Mark Hoekstra’s research in empirical microeconomics addresses a wide range of questions relevant for public policy. His work in education has demonstrated significant returns to high school and college quality, and has shown that exposure to disruptive peers during elementary school has important short- and long-run effects on achievement and adult earnings. His other work on peer effects has documented that poor physical fitness is in fact ‘contagious’, and that white men who are randomly exposed to more and higher ability African Americans behave more positively toward new and different African Americans in the future. His work in law and economics has examined the impact of Stand-Your-Ground laws on homicides and whether state laws can deter illegal immigration. Other research has shown how the Cash for Clunkers stimulus program actually reduced new vehicle spending over a period of less than a year, and that large positive income shocks only postpone, rather than reduce, personal bankruptcy. Currently he is examining the impact of voter identification laws on election outcomes, as well as the moral hazard and personal safety effects of vehicle size.
Professor Hoekstra is the Private Enterprise Research Center Rex B. Grey Associate Professor of Economics. He also holds appointments as a Research Fellow at IZA and a Research Associate at NBER.