Gaëlle Simard-Duplain

I am a PhD candidate at the Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia. My fields of interest are Labour Economics, Family Economics, and Public Economics.

In my job market paper, I study the effect of divorce and divorce risk on the labour supply of women at different points in their life-cycle. For this work, I helped create a new linkage between the Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA) and the tax records of survey respondents’ past and present family members. I have also used this data to study intergenerational income mobility in Canada.

I am on the job market this year, and will be available for interviews at the 2018 CEEE (Toronto) and at the 2019 AEA/ASSA meetings (Atlanta).



Abstract: In this paper, I develop and estimate a model of life-cycle labour supply that incorporates the role of divorce. To do so, I set a collective model of household decision-making in an intertemporal context. The reduced-form literature has produced contradictory results on the effect of divorce and divorce risk on women's labour decisions. My model provides a unifying framework within which to view these findings. It also contributes to the structural literature, which has mostly studied how divorce alters bargaining power in marriage, and ignored women's insurance response to the risk of dissolution. I find that divorce shifts the lifetime expected income of married women, thus changing their labour in all periods. However, this effect is mitigated over time, as women stay in and learn about their marriage. At the time of dissolution, the inability to perfectly forecast the timing and impact of the event results in a negative income shock for most women. There is little evidence of subsequent lingering effects.

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Abstract: We investigate the suitability of Canada’s new Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA) for research on intergenerational income mobility. The LISA combines survey data, collected biennially since 2012, and the personal income tax records of both respondents and their past and present family members. In comparison, existing work on intergenerational mobility in Canada has often used the Intergenerational Income Database (IID), a purely administrative data set based on the universe of tax filers. The IID’s size has allowed researchers to describe the experience of mobility of narrowly defined geographic units and cohorts. However, its potential to investigate the mechanisms underlying these patterns is limited, given the small set of variables it informs. As such, the LISA is a promising candidate to further our understanding of the drivers of mobility. We reproduce the analysis from three key papers that have documented the intergenerational transmission of income in Canada using the IID. Despite a much smaller sample size and a different approach to the establishment of parent-child links, we find that the LISA delivers results very close to the existing literature.

Abstract: In this paper, we document non-random selection in samples of parent-child pairs constructed from tax records, and discuss implications for intergenerational research. Administrative data sets are by far the most popular sources of information to study mobility across generations. However, the inclusion of parent-child pairs depends on the primary purpose for which the data was collected. In the case of tax records, both parents and children must have worked and filed their taxes, and the children’s labour market entry must have happened before they left the parental home. We take advantage of the fact that the Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA) includes both survey and administrative data to inform the nature and severity of the resulting sample selection. We find that respondents who were successfully linked to their parents are more educated, and are more likely to have grown up in better educated, nuclear families. Hence, intergenerational income correlation may be underestimated if these characteristics are also associated with higher mobility.

Abstract: We investigate the role of children’s education and work skills in the intergenerational transmission of income. Canada features a relatively low correlation between the incomes of parents and their children. However, due to data limitations the mechanisms that underlie this relationship are still poorly understood. Much of the existing work has relied either on survey data, characterized by shorter panels and small numbers of parent-child pairs, or on administrative data, which informs few of the likely determinants of intergenerational mobility. We overcome this issue by exploiting rich survey data from the Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA), linked to a panel of administrative data for both parents and children covering 1982 to 2013. We estimate that the education level of children accounts for approximately one third of the correlation between their income and their parents’. Furthermore, we find that part of that association in incomes also arises through the use of complex literacy and communication skills at work, but mostly due to their own correlation with education.

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Abstract: In this paper, we exploit the Longitudinal Administrative Databank (LAD) to study the evolution of wealth inequality in Canada from 1982 to 2015, and its persistence for given individuals. Wealth inequality has received increasing attention over the past decade, spurred by a broad concern for justice, as well as an aging population that is increasingly dependent on its savings. In Canada, the study of wealth inequality has relied largely on the Survey of Financial Security and its predecessors. Although an invaluable resource, this data set has until recently only been collected every seven years or so, and its sample size limits the evaluation of inequality for subgroups of the population. However, it’s been shown with respect to income inequality that overall trends conceal important differences across regions and over time, differences that are crucial to our understanding of the role played by macroeconomic conditions and tax legislation. Our paper uses the income capitalization method to take advantage of the higher-frequency data and large sample size provided by the LAD. Furthermore, features of the Canadian tax system allow us to address some of the method’s limitations. Perhaps most importantly, the longitudinal nature of the data set makes it possible to study the persistence of wealth rankings over people’s lifetime. Consistent with the existing literature, we find that the share of the top 1%, especially the top 0.1%, grew substantially from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s, with more moderate growth thereafter. However, the probability for members of the top 1% to remain at the top decreased over the period covered.

Teaching Assistant Positions

  • ECON 226: Making Sense of Economic Data, UBC (2017)
  • ECON 492: The Economics of Sustainable Development, UBC (2014, 2016, 2017)
  • BAPA 550: Foundations of Managerial Economics, UBC (2016)
  • ECON 335: Fertility, Families and Human Migration, UBC (2012, 2015, 2016)
  • ECON 365: Topics in Canadian Industrial Organization and Regulation Policy, UBC (2015)
  • ECON 339: Economics of Technological Change, UBC (2014)
  • ECON 317: Poverty and Inequality, UBC (2013)