Essays on Labor Economics and Econometrics
Austin, Benjamin Alfred
MetadataShow full item record
CitationAustin, Benjamin Alfred. 2020. Essays on Labor Economics and Econometrics. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThis dissertation comprises of three essays that explore topics in labor economics and econometrics.
The first essay (Chapter 1), coauthored with Matthew Lilley, examines the impact of Right-to-Work (RTW) laws on labor markets and related outcomes in the United States. Using border-pair differences, we find RTW laws are associated with an increased share of manufacturing employment, increased employment, and decreased disability receipt. RTW laws are also associated with greater upward mobility. We find the differences in industry and employment outcomes did not exist prior to the passage of RTW laws, persist after controlling for other state policy differences, and do not appear to primarily be due to local substitution.
The second essay (Chapter 2) examines different methodologies for estimating impulse response functions in macroeconomic time series. I explore the relative efficiency of instrumental variable identification of impulse responses using Structural Vector Autoregressions (SVAR-IV) and Linear Projections with Instrumental Variables (LP-IV) in finite samples. Using a well-known medium-scale Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model as a laboratory, I conduct a variety of Monte Carlo simulations and find that SVAR-IV estimates exhibit lower root mean square error (RMSE) and generally better coverage than LP-IV, but can exhibit bias at long horizons.
The final essay (Chapter 3), coauthored with my advisor Edward Glaeser and Lawrence Summers, examines regional disparities in nonemployment rates for prime age (25-54 year old) men in the United States. We document that the rate of nonemployment for working age men has nearly tripled over the last 50 years, generating a social problem that is disproportionately centered in the eastern parts of the American heartland. We find that increases in labor demand appear to have greater effects on employment in areas where not working has been historically high, suggesting that subsidizing employment in such places could reduce the rate of not working and discuss potential proemployment policies.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365868
- FAS Theses and Dissertations