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European Job Market for Economists (EEA)
Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA)
Primary: Labor Economics and Applied Microeconomics.
Secondary: Urban Economics, Economic History and Economic Growth
"Emigration and Local Structural Change: Evidence from (Austria)-Hungary in the Age of Mass Migration” (Job Market Paper)
I assess the impact of emigration on structural change relying on newly digitized panel data from Hungary prior to World War I. My empirical design exploits plausibly exogenous differences in chain migration as a function of distance to the first pioneering emigrants. I find that low-skilled emigration led to local deindustrialization: the departure of one hundred emigrants caused a county to have 17 fewer industrial workers over a decade. This estimate implies a relative decline of 2.3 industrial workers for every local industrial worker who emigrated. To explain my empirical findings, I develop a theoretical model of a small open economy with two sectors, agriculture and manufacturing, whose key assumption is that manufacturing exhibits external economies of scale. In this setting, a shrinking labor force stunts industrialization when labor and land are sufficiently strong complements in agriculture. The proposed theoretical interpretation is borne out by additional empirical evidence on wages and the lack of labor-saving technology adoption in manufacturing.
"The Mechanics of Good Fortune: On Intergenerational Mobility during the Second Industrial Revolution" (with L. Bärtsch)
To what extent and how can the winners of structural transformations, defined by their occupation, transmit their gains in socio-economic status to their offspring? To address this question, we complement US full count census data with newly digitized data on the local supply of secondary education and occupational income in the late nineteenth century. We analyze the case of machinists whose occupation experienced a relative labor demand spike during the Second Industrial Revolution (1870-1914), resulting in higher income, job stability and less occupational downgrading. Using matching and fixed effects regressions, we document that the (grand)sons of men who were machinists in 1870 held occupations with significantly higher earnings than the (grand)sons of comparable non-machinists. The higher earnings of machinists' sons mainly stemmed from parental investment in their education, but this effect is absent for those sons who were already too old to attend high school when the income of machinists started to rise. Additionally, the sons of initially rural machinists benefited from rural-to-urban migration. Our results are robust to controlling for family-fixed effects (comparing machinists to their non-machinist brothers), pre-1870 spatial sorting, and a rich set of next-door neighbor and grandparental characteristics.
Research Papers in Progress
"Reducing the Child Penalty by Incentivizing Part-time Work?: Evidence from a Child Benefit Reform in Germany" (with L. Bärtsch and M. Sandner)
The child penalty, i.e. negative labor market effects for women after childbirth, is an important determinant of the gender wage gap even in countries with a generous welfare system. Using German administrative data, we investigate whether incentivizing part-time work by the child benefit recipient leads to a reduction in the child penalty in the short run (while child benefits are received) and in the medium run (after the expiration of the child benefit and the employment protection period). We exploit the introduction of ElterngeldPlus in July 2015 in a difference-in-differences design, comparing mothers giving birth in the surrounding months in different years. In line with the goal of the policy, treated mothers increased their (part-time) labor supply during the first year following childbirth. However, we find limited long-term effects on their labor market outcomes four years after childbirth, suggesting that incentivizing part-time work might not be particularly effective in reducing the gender wage gap. Balance tests, placebo regressions in other years and the fact that less than nine months passed between the enactment and implementation of the law corroborate the causal interpretation.
"Supercharging Growth: the Effect of Cheap Electricity on Local Innovation" (with S. Ellingsen)
"War Casualties and Rural Development: Evidence from Interwar Hungary (1910-1941)" (with S. Ellingsen and B. Fehér)