Richard DiSalvo

I am a PhD candidate at the University of Rochester Department of Economics. I study education, health, and environmental policy using administrative and survey data.

Two policy areas I am actively working in are school district facility structure (e.g. grade configurations and school locations), and public drinking water contamination (e.g. the Safe Drinking Water Act and its implications).

I am part of Professor Elaine Hill's team at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. I have presented my work at policy and industry conferences. Feel free to get in touch to discuss research or opportunities to collaborate (email:

My research is presented below. For more detail on my experience, including non-research work, click here for my Curriculum Vitae.

Working Papers

Grade Configurations and Student Test Performance: Evidence from Recent National Data
What grade configuration is best for student test performance is an important question in education policy. I use recent national data to bring new evidence to bear on this question. (Available on SSRN)

Research in Progress

Drinking Water Contamination and Infant Health: Evidence from Pennsylvania. With Elaine Hill (University of Rochester).
The effect of water contamination on health is an important factor for judging water quality regulation. We use detailed drinking water quality data for Pennsylvania, spatially matched with birth records, and a mother fixed-effects design to identify the average effects of drinking water contamination on infant health.
Suspension Reduction and Student Performance: Evidence from Apparent Suspension-Limiting Policies. With Josh Kinsler (University of Georgia) and Hao Teng (University of Rochester).
The Effects of Sports Participation on Student Attendance: Evidence from Sports Seasons
The Distribution of Land Rents from the Appalachian Shale Gas Boom. With Andrew Boslett and Elaine Hill (University of Rochester).
Patterns in Drinking Water Contamination in Selected US States. With Alexis Zavez (University of Rochester) and Elaine Hill (University of Rochester).