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Author: Ang, Xiaoling Lim
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1. Ang, Xiaoling Lim
Essays in Labor Economics
Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, Princeton University, January 2011
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT)
Keyword(s): College Education; Financial Assistance; Income; Parental Influences

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

This dissertation consists of three distinct essays on the economics of labor. The first two chapters study the effects of fertility incentives on labor supply and the third examines the relationship between parental income changes and the outcomes of college students.

The first two chapters of this dissertation examines the labor supply effects of fertility incentives by making use of two major policy changes that occurred in Canada over the past 25 years: the Quebec Parental Insurance Program which provides generous parental leave benefits and the series of cash-transfer fertility incentives introduced in Quebec in the 1980s. The empirical work for these projects was conducted using confidential versions of the Canadian Census and the Labour Force Surveys on-site at Statistics Canada. I find that while increases in the generosity of parental leave benefits substantially increase the birth rate and induce increases in labor supply among women of child bearing age, cash-transfer fertility incentives only slightly increase birth rates and decrease female labor supply. The cost of each additional birth due to an increase in the generosity of parental leave programs is $15,828 in 2008 Canadian dollars, whereas the cost of an additional birth due to cash-transfer fertility incentives is $223,625 in 2008 Canadian dollars. Therefore, paid parental leave is a low-cost way to increase fertility whereas the price per additional birth due to cash-transfer fertility incentives is quite high.

The third chapter studies the effect of parental income changes on students who have already matriculated into college. From my empirical analysis using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, I find that individuals who experience large year-to-year declines in parental income while they are in college respond mainly by increasing their term-time labor supply and do not adjust their use of financial aid significantly. Students who encounter large parental income losses are also more likely to experience periods of non-enrollment prior to receiving their degrees, but by the end of the survey period studied are also more likely to have completed their baccalaureate or associates degrees. Responses to parental income declines do not vary substantially by parental income levels at age 18.

Bibliography Citation
Ang, Xiaoling Lim. Essays in Labor Economics. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, Princeton University, January 2011.