I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor)  in the Department of Economics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. 

I am an applied micro-economist with an interest in the economics of education, labor economics, and inequality.

You can find me at kotta@bgu.ac.il

Upcoming trips  - drop me an email if you're around:


Does Remedial Education at Late Childhood Pay Off After All? Long-Run Consequences for University Schooling, Labor Market Outcomes and Inter-Generational Mobility” (with Victor Lavy and Genia Rachkovski), Journal of Labor Economics. Volume 40, Number 1, January 2022, pp. 239–282

Working Papers

Income Shocks, School Choice, and Long-Term Outcomes: Lessons from Child Allowances in Israel  

I study how a shock to household income during childhood affects educational decisions and long-term educational outcomes. For identification, I leverage a birthday cutoff rule in a reform to child allowances in Israel, which resulted in similar families receiving substantially different amounts of income. To improve statistical efficiency, I exploit variation in the shock’s intensity by extending the recentered treatment approach in Borusyak and Hull (2021) to a regression discontinuity setting. For Jewish boys, losing USD 1,000 reduces the probability of matriculating high school by 2.3 percentage points (10%); however, I find limited evidence that the reduced child allowances affected other groups. This heterogeneity is explained by Jewish boys’ sorting into lower-quality ultraorthodox schools that are unavailable for the other demographic groups. Transitioning to these ultraorthodox schools could appeal to parents since they provide amenities not found elsewhere, such as longer hours of care, meals, and transport. However, these schools are also among the worst performing in the country. My findings highlight parents’ educational decisions as a mechanism driving the long-term consequences of income shocks during childhood.

Recipient of the Policy Impacts Early-Career Scholars Grant 

The Long-Run Effects of Public Universal Pre-K (draft coming soon)

I estimate the effect of attending public pre-K at age three on matriculating high school at age eighteen. My setting is municipalities with an Arab majority in Israel that experienced a universal public pre-K expansion in 2000-2004. Leveraging the staggered rollout of the expansion for identification, I find that attending pre-K positively affects performance in high-school matriculation exams in the Hebrew and Arabic languages. A marginal treatment effect (MTE) analysis reveals a reverse selection on gains: children who benefit the most from pre-K are the least likely to enroll.

Work in Progress

The Income Effects of Reducing Unconditional Cash transfers on Families in Israel  (With Naomi Gershoni, Rania Gihleb, Hani Mansour and Yannay Shannan)

The Long-Term Impact of Healthcare Accessibility in Middle Childhood: Evidence from Medicaid Expansion in the 1990s (With Chien-Tzu Cheng)

The Impact of Early Childhood Education in North Dakota: Non-cognitive Skills, Universal Access, and Parental LFP (With Jesse Bruhn and Justin Doromal)