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Essays In Labor Economics

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Abstract

The three essays of this dissertation are studies of individual choice and outcomes in labor-economics related problems. In the first chapter, I use an individual's rank in his coworker-comparison group to predict whether he leaves his job and the amount of earnings growth he will experience over his next few years. Even after controlling for a variety of individual and firm observables and unobservables, I find that an individual's rank is positively correlated with his earnings growth on the current job but negatively correlated with his earnings growth when he changes jobs. The mean reversion of job changers' earnings with respect to rank suggests that rank is a signal of an individual's match productivity with his current firm. In the second chapter, my co-author and I use a flexible decomposition procedure for job-matching to distinguish changes in job-to-job flows due to structural factors of the labor market from changes due to the evolving composition of workers and firms. We find that the likelihood of workers moving to firms 25-100 miles away from their current firm when changing jobs has increased. This increased integration of local labor markets has gone undetected by other studies of mobility, which focus on interstate and even inter-county job and residential migration. In the third chapter, I study whether US citizens have become more or less likely over time to marry someone with whom they share a state of birth. Using a variety of descriptive statistics, I find that the proportion of marriages between citizens with different states of birth has increased. Individuals born in later years and those having higher education are generally more likely to marry someone born in a different state.

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Date Issued

2015-05-24

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Keywords

Labor Economics; Comparison Group

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Employer

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Union Local

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Number of Workers

Committee Chair

Abowd,John Maron

Committee Co-Chair

Committee Member

Benjamin,Daniel
Bodoh-Creed,Aaron
Mansfield,Richard

Degree Discipline

Economics

Degree Name

Ph. D., Economics

Degree Level

Doctor of Philosophy

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Government Document

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dissertation or thesis

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