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Working papers


“The Local Economic Impact of International Students: Evidence from US Commuting Zones” [PDF]

Abstract: This paper studies the economic impact of international students on local labor markets and establishments in the United States. Identification rests on a shift-share instrumental variable estimation strategy that exploits plausibly exogenous variation in the outflows of students across countries of origin to other top English-speaking destinations. I find that one additional student per thousand residents increases the employment-to-population ratio by 0.36 percentage points and average hourly wages by 1.06 percent. Consistent with theories with heterogeneous firms, local demand shocks induced by an increase in enrollment also result in substantial within-industry reallocations of labor toward potentially more productive establishments, particularly in the non-tradable sector. These findings thus highlight important economic benefits from international students in the form of increases in local income and aggregate productivity.

“Household Resources and Investments in Children’s Higher Education: The Role of Intra-Household Bargaining”

Abstract: This paper studies the effects of an increase in women’s intra-household bargaining power on children’s university enrollment. Using rich labor force and household survey data from Indonesia, I show that positive shocks to women’s outside options relative to men’s result in substantial decision-making power by women among married couples, particularly over educational investments in children. Accordingly, relative improvements in women’s bargaining power when children graduate from high school significantly increase their likelihood of attending university. This effect is similar for sons and daughters, and larger among couples where the wife has low decision-making power at baseline and households that are less likely to face short-run credit constraints. These results thus suggest that within-couple differences in the demand for children’s higher education and intra-household bargaining dynamics are potentially important mediators of the causal impact of household resources on children’s participation in higher education.

“Parental Risk Preferences, Intra-household Decision Making, and Investments in Children’s Higher Education: Evidence from Indonesia”

Abstract: This paper examines parents’ investments in children’s education in the presence of uncertainty in returns and intra-household heterogeneity in parental risk preferences. Consistent with a Chiappori-type collective model of household decision making, I find that both fathers’ and mothers’ risk aversion significantly decrease children’s tendency to enroll in higher education, although the effects depend critically on the distribution of intra-household bargaining power. Additional results show that parental risk aversion also affects children’s labor market entry upon high school graduation. These findings highlight the roles of parental risk preferences and intra-household bargaining dynamics as important mechanisms that contribute to intergenerational persistence in economic outcomes.


“Promoting Resilience among Disadvantaged Adolescents and Preventing Violence against Women through Scalable Interventions” (with Deborah Cobb-Clark, Shyamal Chowdhury, and Sally Gainsbury)

“Assessing the Effects of Early Childcare Accessibility on the Labor Market Outcomes and WellBeing of Mothers in Australia” (with Deborah Cobb-Clark)

“Contract Employment and Life-Cycle Wage Growth in Developing Countries: Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data”

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