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Author: Colas, Mark Yau
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1. Colas, Mark Yau
Essays in Labor Economics
Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2017
Cohort(s): NLSY79, NLSY97
Publisher: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT)
Keyword(s): College Major/Field of Study/Courses; Colleges; Credit/Credit Constraint; Debt/Borrowing; Labor Market Demographics; Labor Supply; Migration; Tuition

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

Chapter 1 analyzes the dynamic effects of immigration on worker outcomes by estimating an equilibrium model of local labor markets in the United States. The model includes firms in multiple cities and multiple industries which combine capital, skilled and unskilled labor in production, and forward-looking workers who choose their optimal industry and location each period as a dynamic discrete choice. Immigrant inflows change wages by changing factor ratios, but worker sector and migration choices can mitigate the effect of immigration on wages over time. I estimate the model via simulated method of moments by leveraging differences in wages and labor supply quantities across local labor markets to identify how wages and worker choices respond to immigrant inflows. Counterfactual simulations yield the following main results: (1) a sudden unskilled immigration inflow leads to an initial wage drop for unskilled workers which decreases by over half over 20 years; (2) both workers' sector-switching and migration across local labor markets play important roles in mitigating the effects of immigration on wages; (3) a gradual immigration inflow leads to significantly smaller effects on native wages than a sudden inflow.

In chapter 3, I use a dynamic model to analyze how changes in major-specific tuition levels would affect college and major choice. In my model, students face borrowing constraints; therefore, relatively small changes in tuition can potentially affect college and major choice despite large differences in lifetime earnings across majors.

Bibliography Citation
Colas, Mark Yau. Essays in Labor Economics. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2017.