Angela Li was awarded a College Research Fellowship to work on research with Luc Anselin, Stein-Freiler Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology and the College and the Director of the Center for Spatial Data Science.
Angela is a fourth-year Economics and Public Policy Studies major. As part of her work on this research, she has advanced her applied spatial econometrics and programming skills and founded the Chicago branch of R-Ladies to support more women statistical programmers.
The research project involves the application of new spatial analytical methods designed to address deficiencies in the techniques currently available in program and policy evaluation. Current non-spatial methods are still mostly characterized by a lack of accounting for spatial spillover effects—where what happens in one community simultaneously impacts its neighbors, leading to non-independence in the outcome variable. When spatial effects are ignored, this can result in overstated or understated program effect estimates, biasing simulation experiments of cost-effectiveness and future policy decisions. To address this research gap and account for spatial effects, this research application utilizes new spatial methods to estimate place-based impacts — in this case of demolition policies on nearby home values in the Midwest.