Two VSE doctoral students have done very well at the 2016 Canadian Economics Association conference at the awards ceremonies!
Congratulations to Binging Li on winning the 2016 Bank of Canada Graduate Student Paper Award. “It is a great honor to receive this award,” she says. “I am very thankful for the recognition of my diligent work over the past few years. My deepest gratitude goes to my committee members (Matilde Bombardini, David Green and Tomasz Swiecki). Without their guidance and encouragement, this achievement would not have been possible.”
Her paper aims at understanding how international trade affects human capital accumulation and consequently alters regional comparative advantage and industry specialization. Bingling explains, “Using data from China, I find that export expansion over 1990-2005 leads to regional divergence in educational attainment, and such amplified differences across regions reinforce the initial industry specialization pattern.”
Additionally, congratulations to Oscar Becerra, who earned an honorable mention for the 2016 Bank of Canada Student Paper Award. “Receiving the honorary mention for this award is a great honor to me,” he says. “This mention is the recognition to all the outstanding support and feedback I have received from my thesis committee (Thomas Lemieux, Joshua Gottlieb, and Florian Hoffmann), VSE faculty and fellow students. It encourages me to continue working to produce quality papers that have a positive impact in economics and public policy.”
In his paper he analyzes how future pension benefits affect the workers’ labor supply decisions in developing economies. “Using a large pension reform in Colombia as a natural experiment, I show that workers with higher pension prospects are more willing to work in jobs contributing to the pension system, rather than working in unregulated businesses or by themselves (the informal sector),” Oscar explains. “Because younger workers are responsive to their future pension benefits, the design of pension programs should take into account this response to guarantee the program’s financial stability and to mitigate the effects of the loss of income after retirement.”