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Essays on Labor Markets

Muazzam Toshmatova, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This dissertation focuses on research at the intersection of labor, public, and regional economics. Chapter 1 evaluates the effect of Secure Communities (SC), an immigration enforcement program, on the living arrangements of U.S.-born elderly. Using U.S. Census data and exploiting spatial and temporal variation in the implementation of SC, I estimate a difference-in-differences model. I find that SC increased the likelihood of coresidence among the elderly. Furthermore, I provide suggestive evidence that the elderly are more likely to coreside with a person out of the labor force. Empirical tests suggest that the increased price of household services due to the reduction of immigrants’ labor supply is the key mechanism generating these effects. These findings suggest that strict immigration enforcement policies could greatly impact the living arrangements and work decisions of U.S.-born persons. Chapter 2 examines the impact of automation on young workers’ career paths and educational choices. Using NLSY79 data, we document two stylized facts. First, children whose parents were employed in routine-intensive occupations are more likely to be employed in similar occupations by routine content. Second, the gap between children of parents with high- and low-routine jobs persists over age and time. Second, the gap between children of parents in the first (lowest) and last (highest) terciles by routine intensity is persistent over age and career trajectory. With the persistence of intergenerational occupational types, policies promoting education and occupation variety are beneficial for economic growth. Chapter 3 explores the growth effect of human capital in the U.S. Using U.S. census data for 1980-2018, the instrumental variable analysis shows that college graduates, not residents with high school degrees, drive job growth. By exploiting a Community Zone (CZ) growth model, I disentangle the estimated effect into two components related to higher productivity and higher quality of life. In nonmetropolitan areas, the analysis confirms evidence of the causal relationship between human capital and growth in employment, suggesting that the whole effect is explained by the increase in quality of life. In an urban setting, I find that higher productivity contributed to more than 80% of the effect at the CZ level.

Subject Area

Economics|American studies|Labor economics|Public policy

Recommended Citation

Toshmatova, Muazzam, "Essays on Labor Markets" (2023). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI30487125.