Selected Papers

PDF Version of Out-Of-Print AEI Article

"Accounting for the Slowdown in Black White Wage Convergence," (with Kevin M. Murphy and Brooks Pierce), in Workers and Their Wages: Changing Patterns in the U.S., (American Enterprise Institute, 1991)

Papers Available in PDF Format

"Did Trade Liberalization Help Women? The Case of Mexico in the 1990s" (with Ernesto Aguayo-Tellez and Jim Airola), June 2010.

  • Abstract: Using household and establishment level data which span the 1990s, we examine the impact of trade liberalization policies on women’s labor market outcomes in Mexico.  We find that that women’s relative wage remained stable while employment increased, leading to an increase in women’s wage bill share. Between-industry shifts, consistent with trade-based explanations, account for up to 40 percent of the growth in women’s wage bill share between 1990 and 2000. Comparing across industries, we find tariff cuts and exports are positively related to industry growth and women benefited since some of the fastest growing industries were female-intensive industries. We use establishment level data for the manufacturing sector to examine within-industry shifts in women’s wage bill share.  Even controlling for detailed industry and maquiladora status, women’s wage bill share is positively related to exports by foreign firms, suggesting that trade liberalization further encouraged outsourcing and assembly-type activity.  Finally, we find suggestive evidence that household bargaining power shifted in favor of women.  Expenditures shifted from goods associated with male preference, such as men’s clothing and tobacco and alcohol, to those associated with female preference such as women’s clothing and education.

"HIV and Fertility in Africa: First Evidence from Population Based Surveys" (with Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan and Belgi Turan), January 2010 (NBER Working Paper 14248).

  • Abstract: The historical pattern of the demographic transition suggests that fertility declines follow mortality declines, followed by a rise in human capital accumulation and economic growth. The HIV/AIDS epidemic threatens to reverse this path. We utilize recent rounds of the Demographic and Health Surveys that link an individual woman's fertility outcomes to her HIV status based on testing. The data allows us to distinguish the effect of own positive HIV status on fertility (which may be due to lower fecundity and other physiological reasons) from the behavioral response to higher mortality risk, as measured by the local community HIV prevalence. We show that although HIV-infected women have significantly lower fertility, local community HIV prevalence has no significant effect on non-infected women's fertility.

"Is There Still an Added Worker Effect?" (with Simon Potter), August 2007.

  • Abstract: Using matched March CPS files we examine labor market transitions of husbands and wives. We find that the "added worker effect"—the greater propensity of non-participating wives to enter the labor force when their husbands exit employment—is still important among a subset of couples but the overall value of marriage as a risk-sharing arrangement has diminished due to the greater positive co-movement of employment within couples. While we find that positive assortative matching on education did increase over time, we find that this shift in composition of couple types alone explains little of the increased positive correlation.

"Does Reducing College Costs Improve Educational Outcomes for Undocumented Immigrants? Evidence from State Laws Permitting Undocumented Immigrants to Pay In-state Tuition at State Colleges and Universities" (with Aimee Chin), January 2007.

  • Abstract: Ten states, beginning with Texas and California in 2001, have passed laws permitting undocumented students to pay the in-state tuition rate—rather than the more expensive out-of-state tuition rate—at public universities and colleges. We exploit state-time variation in the passage of the laws to evaluate the effects of these laws on the educational outcomes of Hispanic childhood immigrants who are not U.S. citizens. Specifically, we use individual-level data from the 2001-2005 American Community Surveys supplemented by the 2000 U.S. Census, and estimate the effect of the laws on the probability of attending college for 18-24 year olds who have a high school degree and the probability of dropping out of high school for 16-17 year olds. We find some evidence suggestive of a positive effect of the laws on the college attendance of older Mexican men, although in general estimated effects of the laws are not significantly different from zero. We discuss various reasons for the estimated zero effects. Two important considerations are that little time has elapsed since the state laws were passed and that unchanged federal policy on financial aid and legalization for undocumented students may dampen the state laws’ benefits. Thus, the longer-run effects of the laws may well differ from the short-run effects presented in this paper.