Department Brown Bag Seminars

Wednesday 12:00 noon 1:05 p.m.

Winter Quarter 2022

January 5
Brenda Samaniego
"Is the school-enrollment cutoff date a random tax? Child birth date and maternal labor supply"
Cutoff dates for school enrollment—a ubiquitous feature of educational systems worldwide—produce different possibility sets for households with children born on different dates. Using survey data from Mexico we examine whether school-enrollment cutoffs affect labor supply. Our results are imprecise but suggest that mothers whose youngest child was born before the cutoff (and therefore were able to enroll their child in school one year earlier) are 0.8-1.2 percentage points more likely to work. This is equivalent to a 5-8% increase among the group of marginal mothers. We conclude that the school-enrollment cutoff is a random tax with little deadweight loss because most mothers are infra- or supramarginal.

January 12
Ajay Shenoy
"A Model of Managerial Ability: An Input Managements Approach"
Models of production treat firm-level TFP as a black box. I propose a micro-foundation for TFP derived from a model of input management. Talented managers are those with more precise beliefs about the marginal product of each input. This framework is general enough to accommodate many forms of managerial ability. I show evidence from a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial that managerial training changes the selection of inputs chosen, which is consistent with my assumption input management is a form of managerial ability. I then take the model as given and derive sufficient conditions for the model to produce the Hicks-Neutral model of TFP that is standard in the literature on productivity estimation.

 January 26
Gerelt Tserenjigmid
"Price Heterogeneity as a Source of Heterogeneous Demand"

February 2
Pablo Peña, U of Chicago

February 9
Luis Bauluz, visiting Berkeley

February 16
Natalia Lazzati

February 23
Carlos Dobkin

March 2
Chenyue Hu
"Spatial Consumption Risk Sharing"

Spring Quarter 2022

April 6
Brian Dillon, Cornell

April 27
Andreas Kleiner, Arizona State
Host: Dong Wei

May 18
Bruce Wydick, USF

May 25
Grace Gu

June 1
Dario Pozzoli

Fall Quarter 2021

October 20
Dohyeon Lee
"Selective Accumulation of Ideas: Accounting for the Decline in Entry Rate and Productivity Growth"
This paper proposes a novel explanation for the decline in the entry rate of new firms and aggregate productivity growth. Improvement in the pool of incumbent firms over time reduces the profitability of potential entrants, making it harder for entrants to find profitable ideas for business and thus lowering the entry rate. This mechanism cannot be captured in stationary models, which implicitly impose disadvantages on incumbent firms relative to entrants. To overcome this limitation, I propose a novel framework that achieves a fair comparison between incumbents and entrants. I show that entrants in the U.S. have kept up with the incumbents on average over the past 40 years.

November 10
Jianan Liu
"The Effects of Labor Market Expansion: Evidence from High-Speed Rail in Germany"
There is growing interest in understanding the role of firms in wage determination. This study examines how connecting labor markets through improved transportation infrastructure affects establishment entry, exit and size, and individual employment and wages. The expansion of High-Speed Rail in Germany connected medium-sized districts located on existing lines, providing a natural experiment to study the effects of labor market expansion. Using establishment and linked employer-employee data and a difference-in-differences design, I find increased establishment entry into treated districts but greater exit among smaller establishments. Within treated districts, the number of establishments in industries with higher wages and greater reliance on skills increases. Average size and wage of establishments increase. Smaller establishments are more likely to grow in size and large ones are more likely to increase wages. Treated districts that are larger or pay higher wages or are connected with districts that pay lower wages are more likely to attract workers. Establishments hire workers from further away, especially young, male, high-educated commuters. To separate establishment wage effects from changes in worker composition and match quality, I examine the wages of stayers, and find that they increase, especially among high-educated workers. The results suggest that improvements in transportation infrastructure increase competition among firms and reduce monopsony power, especially among workers who are more likely and able to commute. This paper sheds light on the potential source of labor market frictions from limited labor mobility.

November 24 - CANCELLED
Luka Kocic
"Old Habits Die Hard: The Impact of Negative Experimental Evidence on the Continued Practice of Medical Procedures"

December 1
Grace Weishi Gu
"Social Unrest and Sovereign Spread"