Department of Economics

Research Seminars

2020-2021 Speakers

  • May 7th, 2021: Parbal K.De, Ph.D. ~ “Effect of Mandatory Schooling Expansion on Educational Mobility and Labor Market Outcomes among Women in Turkey ”

    The Union College Economics Department welcomes

    Parbal K.De, Ph.D., The Graduate Center, City University of New York
    The talk is titled -
    “Effect of Mandatory Schooling Expansion on Educational Mobility and Labor Market Outcomes among Women in Turkey”

    Friday, May 7th, 2021

    Time: 3:30 pm-4:30 pm

    Seminar zoom link: https://union.zoom.us/j/98590909915

    There will be a 30-minute post-seminar discussion as well.

    Abstract

    Using data from the Turkish Demographic Health Survey and a sharp Regression Discontinuity Design, we estimate the effects of an exogenous increase in mandatory schooling on educational mobility and labor market outcomes among women in Turkey. Our findings indicate that compulsory schooling benefits may get magnified beyond the level at which they are applied. Although the law mandated three more years of schooling between primary and junior high school levels, we find that the women covered by the law also had a higher likelihood of attending high schools and achieving schooling levels higher than their mothers. Finally, we find preliminary evidence that these women also had a higher probability of getting better quality jobs.

    The paper that he will present is attached and his CV and research interests can be found on his website here.

  • Friday, April 16th, 2021: Belinda Archibong, Ph.D. ~ “The Epidemic Effect: Global Governance Institutions Mitigate the Effects of Epidemics”

    The Union College Economics Department welcomes

    Belinda Archibong, Ph.D., Barnard College, Columbia University
    The talk is titled -

    “The Epidemic Effect: Global Governance Institutions Mitigate the Effects of Epidemics”

    Friday, April 16th, 2021

    Time: 3:30 pm-4:30 pm

    Seminar zoom link: https://union.zoom.us/j/98590909915

    There will be a 30-minute post-seminar discussion as well.

    Abstract

    Epidemics can negatively impact economic development except mitigated through global governance institutions. We examine the effects of sudden exposure to epidemic disease on economic outcomes using evidence from the African meningitis belt. Meningitis shocks reduce economic activity and child health outcomes in periods when the World Health Organization (WHO) does not declare an epidemic year. These effects are reversed when the WHO declares an epidemic. We find evidence that the influx of disaster aid in response to WHO declarations may partly explain this reversal. Without this epidemic effect, meningitis shocks can depress GDP growth rates by between 2% to 4.3%.

  • February 26th, 2021: Paul Gaggl, Ph.D. ~ “Capital Composition and the Declining Labor Share”

    The Union College Economics Department welcomes

    Paul Gaggl, Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    The talk is titled -

    Capital Composition and the Declining Labor Share

    Friday, February 26th, 2021

    Time: 3:30 pm-4:30 pm

    Seminar zoom link: https://union.zoom.us/j/91202227857

    There will be a 30-minute post-seminar discussion as well.

    Abstract

    To what extent can technological advances in the production of capital account for the recent, worldwide decline in the labor income share? We pose two challenges to the automation narrative: first, estimates of the elasticity of substitution (EOS) between capital and labor tend to fall below or around one, suggesting that a decline in the price of capital should not lead to a decline in the labor income share. Second, we illustrate that, despite technological improvements, the price of capital relative to output has remained roughly constant, worldwide. This poses a challenge to the view that cheaper capital has caused the displacement of workers. We show that a more nuanced approach, which takes seriously the composition of capital, ascribes a prominent role to the automation hypothesis. Though information and communications (ICT) capital is a small fraction of the capital stock, it is highly substitutable with labor, and its user cost declined sharply over the last few decades. A framework that distinguishes between ICT and non-ICT capital is empirically plausible and suggests that automation accounts for more than one quarter of the global decline in the labor share, even if the aggregate EOS is substantially less than unity.