Agustina Laurito

Agustina is a fifth year doctoral candidate at NYU Wagner, and Graduate Research Assistant at the Institute for Education and Social Policy (IESP) since 2012. At IESP she is part of a team investigating the impact of neighborhood violence on student outcomes. Her research interests are in urban policy and education with a focus on how children’s various social settings affect their wellbeing.

Agustina’s dissertation consists of three papers that use quasi-experimental methods and large administrative data to investigate the effects of community and out-of- school factors on children’s education and health, and how schools can ameliorate these effects (or not). The first paper exploits the random timing of natural disasters relative to standardized testing dates to obtain credible causal estimates of the impact of home country natural disasters on the test performance of immigrant students in New York City. While prior research finds that children are affected by adverse events in their neighborhoods and communities, this study finds that events in immigrants’ home countries can also affect their school performance. The second paper examines whether and to what extent school no idling policies (intended to limit children’s exposure to harmful vehicle emissions from school buses) improve child respiratory health and education. The third paper, co-authored with Amy Ellen Schwartz, examines the relationship between the two largest federal food assistance programs: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the National School Lunch Program. More specifically, it relies on a unique and detailed survey on individual food acquisitions to investigate whether school lunch ameliorates the decline in food consumption at the end of the SNAP payment cycle. 

Agustina was an NYU-Predoctoral Research Training (NYU-PIRT) Fellow from 2013-2016. She received a Master in Public Policy from Duke University, and majored in Political Science in her home country Argentina.