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Labor, Trade and Finance: Essays in Applied Economics
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Essay I: Credit Constraint and College Attendance. 

This paper shows that housing wealth alleviate credit constraints for potential college attendees by enabling home owners to extract equity from their property and invest it in the education. Using a large US individual-level survey dataset over the 1996-2011 period, I find that one standard deviation increases of housing prices translate into approximately 72,000 more students enrolled in college each year. My results stay significant when I use proxies for aggregate housing demand shocks and for the topological elasticity of housing supply to generate variation in home equity that is assumed to be orthogonal to decision of going to college.

Essay II: Income Inequality and Trade.

Does trade with unskilled labor-abundant countries reduce the relative wages of U.S. unskilled labor and consequently cause increased income inequality across industries and regions? Empirical studies in the 1990s found only a modest effect. In this paper, I re-consider the question by using the income inequality measures constructed from Current Population Survey (CPS) data and analyzing the effect of rising Chinese import competition between 1993 and 2007 on US local labor markets. I find that areas which are more exposed to China imports competition have larger changes in income inequality. In my main specification, a $1,000 exogenous decadal rise in a MSA's import exposure per worker leads to a 1.5% increase in the logistic Gini. This re-distributive effect is more profound among non-college educated workers in manufacturing sectors. 

Essay III: Employee as Creditor: Evidence from Defined Pension Plans.

In this paper, I show the role of pension plans in shaping the firms' labor market decision. By employing the loan covenants violation and consequently transferring of control rights to creditors, I examine the strategic use of pension underfunding by firms and the resultant wage cuts. I also find that the wage concession is less severe for firms from industry with bigger bargaining power. This study sheds light on how firms strategically renegotiate labor contracts to extract concessions from labor. The evidence suggests that credit contracts between debt-holders and shareholders have spillover effects on non-financial stakeholders. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Department of Economics, Stockholm University , 2017.
Series
Dissertations in Economics, ISSN 1404-3491 ; 2017:4
Keyword [en]
Human Capital, Education, Home Equity, International Trade, Pension Plan
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-148536ISBN: 978-91-7797-069-9 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7797-070-5 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-148536DiVA, id: diva2:1153242
Public defence
2017-12-15, De Geersalen Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 15:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-11-22 Created: 2017-10-29 Last updated: 2017-11-22Bibliographically approved

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