Seminars

  • Founded
    2023
  • Seminar Number
    815

This seminar explores recent research in applied microeconomics.  Through regularly hosting a community of women researchers doing cutting-edge work in applied microeconomics, broadly defined, the seminar strives both to increase the voice of women in the research community and to foster a collaborative environment among female researchers.


Co-Chairs
Elizabeth Ananat
eananat@barnard.edu

Belinda Archibong
ba2207@columbia.edu

Sandra Black
sblack@columbia.edu

Anja Tolonen
atolonen@barnard.edu

Rapporteur
Kate Musen
khm2128@columbia.edu

Meeting Schedule

09/19/2023 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
The Social Integration of International Migrants: Evidence from the Networks of Syrians in Germany
Theresa Kuchler, NYU Stern
Abstract

Abstract

We use de-identified data from Facebook to study the social integration of Syrian migrants in Germany, a country that received a large influx of refugees during the Syrian Civil War. We construct measures of migrants’ social integration based on Syrians’ friendship links to Germans, their use of the German language, and their participation in local social groups. We find large variation in Syrians’ social integration across German counties, and use a movers’ research design to document that these differences are largely due to causal effects of place. Regional differences in the social integration of Syrians are shaped both by the rate at which German natives befriend other locals in general (general friendliness) and the relative rate at which they befriend local Syrian migrants versus German natives (relative friending). We follow the friending behavior of Germans that move across locations to show that both general friendliness and relative friending are more strongly affected by place-based effects such as local institutions than by persistent individual characteristics of natives (e.g., attitudes toward neighbors or migrants). Relative friending is higher in areas with lower unemployment and more completed government-sponsored integration courses. Using variation in teacher availability as an instrument, we find that integration courses had a substantial causal ef- fect on the social integration of Syrian migrants. We also use fluctuations in the presence of Syrian migrants across high school cohorts to show that natives with quasi-random exposure to Syrians in school are more likely to befriend other Syrian migrants in other settings, suggesting that contact between groups can shape subsequent attitudes towards migrants.

This is joint work with Michael Bailey, Drew Johnston, Martin Koenen, Dominic Russel, and Johannes Stroebel.





10/10/2023 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
Backward Linkages in the Copper Mining Sector in Zambia
Anja Benshaul-Tolonen, Barnard College, Columbia University
Abstract

Abstract

Mineral and metal mining generate revenues to a majority of governments in low- and middle-income countries. The mining sector’s impact on the domestic economy is complex: on the one hand, an enclave industry with too few linkages to the overall economy. On the other hand, it may cause the domestic economy to be overly dependent on natural resources. Local procurement policies are adopted to increase the upstream economic linkages of the mining sector. However, it may provide little hedging against the exposure of the domestic economy to international commodity price shocks. I explore this issue using a detailed, dyadic value added tax (VAT) and supplier-buyer transactional data set for Zambia, a large copper producer in Africa. Combining this data set with monthly production data on large copper mining firms in Zambia, and other mineral producers, I measure the link between monthly output of minerals and the value of domestic procurement. There is a strong, direct relationship between monthly mineral production at the mining company level and purchasing pattern: A 1% increase in monthly mineral production is associated with a 0.085% to 0.399% increase in purchasing value. Network analysis indicates that mining companies are (1) large purchasers in comparison to other firms, (2) clustered. Preliminary analysis shows that the 500 most well connected firms in Zambia are connected directly or by one degree of separation to at least one mining firm. The implication is that the economy is highly vulnerable to international commodity price shocks, as shown by the World Banks' downgrading of Zambia from a middle-income to low-income country at a recent copper price drop.





10/17/2023 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
Internal and External Labor Markets and Declining Dynamism
Sadhika Bagga, Columbia University
Abstract

Abstract

Over the last four decades, the US labor market has seen a notable shift in employment composition towards large firms and a decrease in worker mobility between employers. This raises the question, are workers in large firms climbing job ladders internally rather than externally? Using data from the Current Population Survey, I find evidence of the prevalence of internal job ladders within large firms. I document that job stayers in large firms, relative to small ones, realize a larger annual pay growth and a higher probability of internal job switching. While accounting for internal mobility offsets part of the decline in external mobility, there has also been a decreasing trend in the rate of internal job switching. I hypothesize that the decline in internal mobility could be driven by factors such as an aging workforce, firms' response to decreasing labor market competition, and increased job specialization.





10/24/2023 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
Enhancing Learning Outcomes in Econometrics
Seyhan Erden, Columbia University
Abstract

Abstract

The first course in econometrics has always been challenging for both students and instructors. Students come to the class with a negative attitude, from different quantitative backgrounds, and mostly with the prejudice that this is one of the most challenging courses in their academic career. On the other hand, instructors need to be incentivized to study the pedagogical approaches to teaching econometrics. We found that Classroom Response Systems (CRSs) effectively increase learning outcomes. CRSs also close the achievement gap between students from different degrees of quantitative background. We also find interesting results about instructors’ performances. In the process of this research, we noticed that an interactive visual graphical platform would help students learn each complex concept in econometrics. In Spring 2023, with the help of the Columbia University Provost Grant for an Innovative Course Design Project, we started developing the platform called MetricsMentor. We are almost done with the first simulation and plan to test it in the Intro to Econometrics and MA Econometrics course in the Spring 2024 semester. All seven simulations will be completed by Spring 2025. Now, we need to design an experiment that will go over 3 or 4 semesters to measure the effect of the interactive new design on students’ learning outcomes.





10/31/2023 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
There's No Place Like Home? The Rise in Parental Cohabitation among Young Adults
Sandra Black, Columbia University




11/14/2023 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
'Glossy Green' Banks: The Disconnect Between Environmental Disclosures and Lending Activities
Martina Jasova, Barnard College




11/21/2023 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
TBD
Alexandra Spitz-Oener, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Abstract

Abstract

We analyze whether an increase in the female share of an occupation causally leads to lower relative wages in that occupation. The literature has documented a negative correlation between the female share and relative wages on the occupation level in different countries and time periods, but causal evidence has so far been missing. We exploit the natural experiment of German reunification as an exogenous shock to female occupational shares. Before reunification, East German women were not only more likely to participate in the labor market than their West German counterparts, but female occupational shares also differed substantially between East and West. Using the share of women among East German potential migrants in an occupation-age cell as an instrument for the actual female share in the West after reunification, we document that an increase in the female share in an occupation causally leads to lower wages in that occupation. This evidence is in line with the “devaluation hypothesis” developed in the sociological literature.





11/28/2023 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
Firm Culture
Belinda Archibong, Barnard College
Abstract

Abstract

Africa has some of the highest rates of unemployment globally. While a growing literature has linked ethnicity and ethnic bias to inefficient outcomes across a range of contexts in Africa, there is limited understanding of their contribution to labor market frictions and unemployment. Using new administrative data on 194,190 applicants and over 1.3 million matches from the largest online job platform in Nigeria, we study the role of ethnicity in matching and firm hiring. We find significant differences in the matching outcomes of applicants by ethnicity. While on average, applicants that share the same ethnicity as hiring managers from ethnic majority groups are more likely to be hired, the effects differ significantly by the applicant's gender. Co-ethnic female applicants are much less likely to be hired by hiring managers, while co-ethnic men are more likely to be hired. Male and female hiring managers exhibit similar hiring behavior by ethnicity. Evidence from an information experiment suggests that providing information on these patterns to hiring managers can dampen these effects. The results provide evidence of the role of social and cultural institutions in maintaining persistent group based inequality within formal labor markets.





12/05/2023 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
Customer Data Access and Fintech Entry: Early Evidence from Open Banking
Tania Babina, Columbia University
Abstract

Abstract

Open banking (OB) empowers bank customers to share transaction data with fintechs and other banks. 49 countries have adopted OB policies. Consumer trust in fintechs predicts OB policy adoption and adoption spurs investment in fintechs. UK microdata shows that OB enables: i) consumers to access both financial advice and credit; ii) SMEs to establish new fintech lending relationships. In a calibrated model, OB universally improves welfare through entry and product improvements when used for advice. When used for credit, OB promotes entry and competition by reducing adverse selection, but higher prices for costlier or privacy-conscious consumers partially offset these benefits.





12/12/2023 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
The Competitive Preferences of Asian and White Americans
Homa Zarghamee, Barnard College




02/27/2024 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
TBD
Alice Evans, King's College London




03/05/2024 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
TBD
Sandra Black, Columbia University




03/19/2024 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
TBD
Leah Boustan, Princeton University




03/26/2024 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
TBD
Tania Babina, Columbia University




04/02/2024 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
TBD
Tatiana Mocanu, Columbia University




04/09/2024 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
TBD
Elizabeth Ananat, Barnard College




04/16/2024 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
TBD
Seyhan Erden, Columbia University




04/23/2024 1120 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
1:00 PM
TBD
Anja Benshaul Tolonen, Barnard College