Mark Hoekstra is an Associate Professor of Economics at Texas A&M University. His research has focused on questions across a wide range of policy-relevant topics. His work in education has demonstrated the significant positive return due to attending the flagship state university, and has shown that exposure to disruptive peers during elementary school has important effects on academic achievement and adult earnings. Other research has shown how large positive income shocks only postpone, rather than prevent, personal bankruptcy. His work on the Cash for Clunkers stimulus program finds that the majority of buyers under the program would have purchased a new vehicle during that time anyway, and that over a period of less than one year the program actually reduced total new vehicle spending by inducing consumers to buy more fuel efficient, but less expensive, new vehicles.
Recent papers have also shown that physical fitness does appear to be ‘contagious’; Air Force cadets randomly assigned to squadrons with less physically fit peers perform worse on fitness tests. Related work has examined the impact of intergroup contact, and shows that being exposed to African Americans results in changed racial attitudes and behavior toward new and different African Americans in the future.
Professor Hoekstra also holds appointments at the National Bureau of Economic Research as a Faculty Research Fellow, and at IZA as a Research Fellow. He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Florida in 2006.