Dr. Daniel Tannenbaum approaches his research with the intent on helping build a better world. He takes that research to the next level thanks to support and data access found at the College of Business.
“There are key questions critical for understanding how best to help people, and for understanding the best uses of government and public policy. Knowing these questions are answerable but we don't know the answers yet is my main motivation for the research I do,” said Tannenbaum, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business.
Joining the college in 2016, Tannenbaum plunged into his research and the Nebraska Business community, quickly becoming a prominent faculty member cited in various premier academic journals. His fascination with economics and math, which emerges in his research and teaching, serves as an essential cornerstone in his work.
“Math disciplines logic. It allows us to think rigorously and incrementally, and helps us avoid logical inconsistencies or fallacies, which are so easy – and human – to fall into without the foundation of math firmly in place. However, math is not a substitute for reading and writing, and clear communication,” he said.
Tannenbaum’s latest work focuses on eviction and its effects on financial health, which The New York Times recently cited. He and his co-authors found that while eviction damages credit score, access to credit and durable consumption for several years after, the effects are small relative to the financial strain experienced by both evicted and non-evicted tenants in the year leading up to the filing. Eviction shows no significant impact on debt in collections, residential mobility or neighborhood poverty.
“There is almost no research in economics at all on evictions, and we feel our training in empirical methods and approach to thinking about rental housing as a market, gave us an important advantage and perspective for studying evictions,” explained Tannenbaum.
Another advantage for his research is utilizing the Central Plains Federal Statistical Research Data Center at Nebraska, which gives qualified researchers access to important datasets maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau and other federal agencies. The access to these datasets propels his research forward, giving him key insights into areas he otherwise would not have.
Tannenbaum credits Dr. John Anderson, Baird Family Professor of Economics and executive director of the center, for his leadership efforts to bring it to the College of Business. Anderson sees the center as not only a strategic initiative for the college, but also as a driving factor in the success of the numerous research projects, including Tannenbaum’s, that rely on the data the center provides.
“Because Danny has access to this data, he's able to tease out the direction of causality on an eviction. Does eviction cause poverty or does poverty cause eviction? He is able to sort that out in an innovative way. Danny's a well-trained researcher, but then you take somebody with that kind of training and put it together with that data he can access in the center and he's able to produce high-quality research,” explained Anderson.
Tannenbaum’s work on eviction is laying the foundation for research across the nation, which will help local governments create or reform policies to help those in need. His confidence in what he can accomplish through his research grows knowing his colleagues and college are ready to support his continued research efforts.
“The college has provided me with the resources to produce research at a high level. For the next few years, I see my focus on evictions continuing. My co-authors and I are currently trying to understand how, and to what extent, evictions disrupt the educational development of children,” Tannenbaum said.
To learn more about the Central Plains Federal Statistical Research Data Center, visit: https://business.unl.edu/outreach/central-plains-federal-statistical-research-data-center/.