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Title:Essays on migration
Author(s):Xie, Xiaoying
Director of Research:Lubotsky, Darren H.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Lubotsky, Darren H.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):McMillen, Daniel P.; Albouy, David; Deryugina, Tatyana
Department / Program:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Instrumental Variable
compulsory schooling laws
quantile regression
housing price
Abstract:Migration is one of the main forces shaping our society as we know it. Focusing on the determinants of migration and its influence on local communities, this dissertation consists of three chapters. Chapter 1 provides a brief introduction to the thesis, covering the motivation for the research, the methodologies used, and policy implications. Chapter 2 estimates the impact of education on two key outcomes: migration probability and distance. Migration greatly affects the regional economy, and hence, the out-migration of highly educated workers has raised serious concerns for regional development. The OLS estimator indicates a small but positive effect of education on both outcomes, which is similar to other studies. However, using compulsory schooling law changes as an instrumental variable, the 2SLS estimator suggests that education increases migration distance but decreases the probability to migrate. To guide the analysis, this paper expands the basic migration model to include distance as another element in people's decisions. The intuition is that by searching broader distances, people could obtain higher expected incomes, but must also pay higher costs. The overall effect of education on migration is determined by the trade-off between the cost and benefits of migrating longer distances. Chapter 3 estimates the influence of immigration on local housing prices. Housing price is crucial to people's well-being, as it not only affects their living conditions, but also affects homeowners' investment values. Both the OLS and 2SLS results suggest that on average immigration has a slight positive effect on housing prices. However, if we use quantile regression, we observe quite significant but heterogeneous effects of different neighborhoods. For census tracts with expensive housing, immigrants increase housing prices. For census tracts with cheap housing, immigrants reduce housing prices. Lower housing prices make housing more affordable for tenants, but reduces homeowners' total wealth. We also look at possible sources of heterogeneity from both the supply side and demand side. In poor neighborhoods, for example, immigrants might drive natives to neighborhoods with better amenities while increasing housing supply in the area, hence reducing housing prices.
Issue Date:2015-07-15
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Xiaoying Xie
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201

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