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Title:Essays on Applied Microeconomics
Author(s):Munoz Morales, Juan Sebastian
Director of Research:Albouy, David Y
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Albouy, David Y
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Thornton, Rebecca; Forsythe, Elizabeth C; Bartik, Alex
Department / Program:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Import Competition
Emerging Economies
School Shootings
Property Values
Abstract:This dissertation includes three chapters that use applied microeconomics theory to assess three different economic questions. The first chapter analyzes the labor market effects of import competition from high-wage countries on emerging economies. Though abundant evidence shows that import competition from low-wage countries decreases manufacturing employment and wages of high-wage countries, less is known about the reverse: the impact of import competition from high-wage countries on emerging economies. This paper uses a natural experiment to examine the effects of import competition from the United States on workers and firms in Colombia. We exploit industry variation in import exposure and regional variation in import access in the wake of a free trade agreement that increased import competition in Colombia but left its exports unaffected. Using administrative employer-employee data to identify proxies for productivity and skills, we find that a 10 percent increase in import competition from the United States decreases employment in Colombia by 6.4 percent in affected industries and states. The impacts are driven largely by the exit and shrinking of less-productive firms. Less-skilled workers experience the greatest impacts, with effects on employment lasting for at least four years. Import competition induces workers to shift from affected to unaffected industries and states, and decreases the wage of workers employed in less-productive firms. The second chapter includes an analysis of how school shootings affect housing prices in the United States. We find that house prices within a school district decline by 7.8 percent in the three year period after the episode, along with a decline in number of transactions. The drop in property prices is stronger among houses with more bedrooms, a measure that serves as a proxy for properties most likely to have school-age children in the household. We also find evidence of decrease in school enrollment and in the number of teachers in the aftermath of the shooting. The analysis suggests that it is the deterioration in school quality that results in lower willingness to pay. The third chapter compares the economic returns of workers' skills with the returns to schooling degrees. Using longitudinal data of all college graduates in Colombia, we estimate labor market returns to postsecondary degrees and to various skills --including literacy, numeracy, foreign language, field-specific, and non-cognitive skills. Graduates of longer programs, of private institutions, and of schools with higher reputation earn higher wages. Even after controlling for all the characteristics of the degree, a one standard deviation increase in each skill predicts an average wage increase of two percent. Returns to skills vary along the wage distribution, with tenure, with the field of specialization and the type of job obtained immediately after graduation.
Issue Date:2020-04-29
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Juan Munoz Morales
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-08-26
Date Deposited:2020-05

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