Ability, Parental Valuation of Education and the High-School Drop Out Decision

We study how parental preferences for education affect the likelihood that a child graduates from high school. We derive new results on the identification of unobserved factor models.

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Abstract. The probability of dropping out of high school varies considerably with parental education. Using a rich Canadian panel dataset, we examine the channels determining this socio-economic status effect. We estimate an extended version of Carneiro, Hansen and Heckman (2003)’s factor model, incorporating effects from cognitive and non-cognitive ability and parental valuation of education (PVE). We find that cognitive ability and PVE have substantial impacts on dropping-out and that parental education has little direct effect on dropping-out after controlling for these factors. Our results confirm the importance of determinants of pre-high school ability stocks but also indicate an important role for PVE during teenage years.

Citation

@article{foley2014ability,
  title={Ability, Parental Valuation of Education, and the High School Dropout Decision},
  author={Foley, Kelly and Gallipoli, Giovanni and Green, David A},
  journal={Journal of Human Resources},
  volume={49},
  number={4},
  pages={906--944},
  year={2014},
  publisher={University of Wisconsin Press}
}

Macroeconomic Effects of Job Reallocations: A Survey

We provide a critical overview of the approaches that have characterized the empirical literature on the macroeconomic effects of job reallocations.

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Abstract. This paper critically appraises the approaches that have characterized the literature on the macroeconomic effects of job reallocations. Since Lilien’s (1982) seminal contribution there has been a flourishing of empirical analysis but no unifying theoretical framework has obtained consensus in the scientific debate. We face a corpus of research which is heterogeneous in variables’ selection and experimental design. This heterogeneity makes the evaluation of results a daunting task. As a guiding principle for our excursion we track down the methodological development of the solutions to the crucial problem of observational equivalence of aggregate and sectoral reallocation shocks. We draw two main conclusions from our analysis. The first is that the non-directional nature of reallocation shocks holds the key to the solution of the fundamental identification problem. In this sense the recent perspective on job creation and destruction
shows much promise. The second conclusion is that sectoral reallocation of labor has been responsible for no less that 1/4 and no more that 2/3 of the variance of aggregate unemployment in postwar data. While this range may seem wide it is an indication that the importance of labor reallocation may have changed over time, being quite large at particular historical junctures.

Citation

@article{gallipoli2013macroeconomic,
  title={Macroeconomic Effects of Job Reallocations: a Survey},
  author={Gallipoli, Giovanni and Pelloni, Gianluigi},
  journal={Review of Economic Analysis},
  volume={5},
  number={2},
  pages={127--176},
  year={2013},
  publisher={RCEA}
}

Skill Dispersion and Trade Flows

We ask whether skill dispersion is a source of comparative advantage. We find evidence of sizable effects linking the dispersion of skills to industry specialization.

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Abstract. Is skill dispersion a source of comparative advantage? In this paper we use microdata from the International Adult Literacy Survey to show that the effect of skill dispersion on trade flows is quantitatively similar to that of the aggregate endowment of human capital. In particular we investigate, and find support for, the hypothesis that countries with a more dispersed skill distribution specialize in industries characterized by lower complementarity of workers’ skills. The result is robust to the introduction of controls for alternative sources of comparative advantage, as well as to alternative measures of industry-level skill complementarity.

Citation

@article{BGP2012skill,
  title={Skill Dispersion and Trade Flows},
  author={Matilde Bombardini, Giovanni Gallipoli, Germ{\'a}n Pupato},
  journal={The American Economic Review},
  volume={102},
  number={5},
  pages={2327--2348},
  year={2012}
}