I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia. I expect to graduate in summer 2017.
I am currently on the job market. I will be available for interviews at the CEEE (Toronto, December 2016) and the ASSA/AEA meeting (Chicago, January 2017).
My research interests are in labor economics and macroeconomics. I am particularly interested in households’ insurance mechanisms to adverse idiosyncratic shocks, and how these insurance mechanisms interact with intrahousehold bargaining.
Job Market Paper
Abstract: This paper studies how households insure themselves against idiosyncratic wage shocks and how this insurance interacts with intrahousehold bargaining. First, I estimate gender-specific demand elasticities from the Consumer Expenditure Survey and use them to approximate consumption allocations within households in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Then, I set up a life-cycle model of the household and examine two channels of insurance, self-insurance and family labor supply. I consider two alternative specifications of this model: a unitary version in which I restrict sharing rules to be fixed within households, and a non-unitary one in which I allow sharing rules to change. After deriving identification results, I estimate the model by the Generalized Method of Moments. I find that intra-household allocations respond strongly to fluctuations in individual wages. Removing the restriction of fixed sharing rules does not reduce the extent of consumption smoothing within a household, but it significantly changes the relative importance of different channels. In particular, the relative contribution of family labor supply to household consumption smoothing decreases from 61% in the unitary model to 45% in the non-unitary model when the shock hits the husband's wage, and from 58% to 30% when the shock hits the wife's wage. This is due to the fact that added worker effects are much milder in the non-unitary specification. Moreover, a negative permanent shock to the husband's wage decreases his consumption more and decreases wife's consumption less, suggesting that the assumption of full ex-ante commitment may be misleading. Shocks of the same size may have very different implications, depending on whose income they change.
Abstract: Intrafamily insurance is a crucial form of protection against welfare losses generated by adverse idiosyncratic shocks. To explore the nature and extent of this insurance, we examine evidence on disability and labor supply among married and single men in the Canadian Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics. At first blush, the evidence suggests a limited insurance role for marriage both ex-ante—since there is selection in the marriage market against more disabled and less productive individuals—and ex-post, as married couples exhibit almost no intrahousehold substitution in labor supply following husbands' disability onset. We argue that these observations are consistent with a life cycle model that combines learning-by-doing human capital accumulation and endogenous sorting and power-sharing within marriage. The model provides a framework to measure the insurance value of marriage when individuals are confronted with both wage and health risk. We find that, while the lack of full commitment reduces the ex-ante insurance value of marriage, having a partner does provide substantial ex-post insurance against both wage and disability shocks, even in the absence of intraspousal substitution in labor supply.
Abstract: This paper generalizes Tauchen (1986) and Rouwenhorst (1995) methods to non-stationary, first-order Markov processes over a finite horizon. Prompted by the observation that within-cohort income inequality increases with age (Deaton and Paxson 1994), non-stationary income processes have become standard in quantitative life-cycle models. We evaluate the performance of both methods in the context of a finite-horizon income fluctuation problem with a non-stationary income process. We find that the generalized Rouwenhorst method performs extremely well even with a relatively small number of states.
My teaching fields include labor economics, macroeconomics, econometrics, and computational economics.
In 2013-2014, I was awarded the "Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award" by the Vancouver School of Economics.
Teaching Experience at the University of British Columbia
ECON 516 Special Topics in Macroeconomics
I was invited to give lectures on computational methods in macroeconomics to 2nd year PhD students.
Teaching Assistant for UBC Graduate Courses:
ECON 602 Macroeconomics I (2012)
ECON 627 Econometric Theory II (2012-2014)
Teaching Assistant for UBC Undergraduate Courses:
ECON 226 Making Sense of Economic Data (2015)
ECON 325 Introduction to Empirical Economics (2011-2016)
ECON 326 Methods of Empirical Research in Economics (2016)