Working papers


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

 [Latest draft: September 2022PDF

Abstract: This paper studies the short-term economic impact of international students on local labor markets and firms in the United States. Identification rests on a shift-share instrumental variable estimation strategy that exploits changes in the outflows of students across countries of origin to other top English-speaking destinations. I find that international students lead to substantial increases in local jobs and earnings: one additional student per thousand residents increases the employment-to-population ratio by 0.3 percentage points and average hourly wages by 0.8 percent. These effects are concentrated in non-tradable industries, particularly in construction, retail, and services. Consistent with general equilibrium models with heterogeneous firms, local demand shocks induced by an increase in enrollment also result in significant within-industry labor reallocations as more efficient establishments enter and expand while less productive establishments contract and exit. These findings 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”

[draft under revision]

Abstract: Using rich labor force and household survey data from Indonesia, this paper examines the effects of an increase in women's intra-household bargaining power on children's university enrollment. I first show that, consistent with Nash-bargaining models of household decision making, positive shocks to women’s outside options relative to men’s result in more decisions made within the household by women, particularly those related to 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, holding household resources and children’s ability indicators constant. This effect is quantitatively similar for both sons and daughters and especially pronounced among households that are not credit constrained, suggesting that intra-household bargaining is a potentially important mediator of the effects 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”

[draft under revision]

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.

Work in progress

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

“International Students and Natives’ Attitude Towards Immigration” with Julia Zhu