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Author Quintana-Domeque, Climent
Title Essays in applied economics: Understanding socio-economic status and pay, height and housing prices
book jacket
Descript 152 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 69-04, Section: A, page: 1479
Adviser: Alan B. Krueger
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Princeton University, 2008
This dissertation consists of three self-contained essays that address three distinct topics in applied economics: (1) the relevance of mismatch between workers' preferences and job attributes for understanding estimates of compensating wage differentials; (2) the childhood determinants of adult height in populations; and (3) the reliability of homeowners' estimates of the value of their houses in the context of a developing country
In the first chapter, I attempt to explain why labor economists typically have not been able to find much evidence on compensating wage differentials for job disamenities, except for risk of death. The key insight here is that, although workers need to be compensated when their preferences do not match the requirements for performing a job task, the occurrence of mismatch also decreases productivity, reducing the surplus to be divided between workers and firms, and decreasing wages. I focus on the match between workers' preferences for routine jobs and the variability in tasks associated with the job. Using data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, I find that mismatched workers report lower job satisfaction and earn lower wages. I also find that both male and female workers in routinized jobs earn, on average, 12% less than their counterparts in non-routinized jobs. However, once preferences and mismatch are accounted for, this difference decreases to 8% for men and 5% for women. These findings suggest that accounting for mismatch is important when analyzing compensating wage differentials
The second chapter, which is joint work with Carlos Bozzoli and Angus Deaton, investigates the childhood determinants of adult height in populations, focusing on the respective roles of income and of disease. Across a range of European countries and the United States, we find a strong inverse relationship between postneonatal (one month to one year) mortality, interpreted as a measure of the disease and nutritional burden in childhood, and the mean height of those children as adults. Consistent with this finding, we develop a model of selection and scarring, in which the early life burden of nutrition and disease is not only responsible for mortality in childhood but also leaves a residue of long-term health risks for survivors, risks that express themselves in adult height, as well as in late-life disease. The model predicts that, at sufficiently high mortality levels, selection can dominate scarring, leaving a taller population of survivors: childhood disease selects out the shorter people, leaving people who are on average taller the greater the mortality rate. We find evidence of this effect in the poorest and highest mortality countries of the world, supplementing recent findings on the effects of the Great Chinese famine
The last chapter, which is joint work with Marco Gonzalez-Navarro, provides the first analysis, in the context of a developing country, of the reliability of homeowners' estimates of the value of their houses, as obtained via a household survey. The analysis suggests first that non-response to this question is uncorrelated with the appraised value of the house. Second, homeowners with long tenure largely overestimate the value of their home. However, families with short tenure make reasonably accurate and unbiased estimates of the value of their home, similar to what is found in the US literature. Third, those who, instead of self building their homes, acquire a completed house from a developer make unbiased and very precise estimates of their home's value. Finally, the error and precision do not seem to be correlated with socioeconomic characteristics
School code: 0181
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 69-04A
Subject Economics, Labor
Economics, Theory
Alt Author Princeton University
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