List of Abstracts



A Parametric Control Function Approach to Estimating the Returns to Schooling in the Absence of Exclusion Restrictions: An Application to the NLSY (with Roger Klein and Francis Vella), Empirical Economics, forthcoming


An innovation which bypasses the need for instruments when estimating endogenous treatment effects is identification via conditional second moments. The most general of these approaches is Klein and Vella (2010) which models the conditional variances semiparametrically. While this is attractive, as identification is not reliant on parametric assumptions for variances, the nonparametric aspect of the estimation may discourage practitioners from its use. This paper outlines how the estimator can be implemented parametrically. The use of parametric assumptions is accompanied by a large reduction in computational and programming demands. We illustrate the approach by estimating the return to education using a sample drawn from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. Accounting for endogeneity increases the estimate of the return to education from 6.8% to 11.2%.


JEL: J31, C31

Keywords: return to education, heteroskedasticity, endogeneity


Information and Discrimination in the Rental Housing Market: Evidence from a Field Experiment (with Mariano Bosch and M. Angeles Carnero), Regional Science and Urban Economics, (2010), 40: 11-19


This paper investigates the effect of disclosing information on the discriminatory behavior against immigrants in the Spanish rental market. We conduct a field experiment where emails are sent showing interest in vacant rental apartments. Fictitious applicants whose names represent different ethnic groups send emails with different amounts of information on their ability to pay the rent. Our results indicate that applicants with a name of Moroccan origin are 15 percentage points less likely to receive a response than those with a Spanish name. We also find that revealing positive information about the socioeconomic status of the Moroccan candidate increases the probability of being contacted by about 9 percentage points. However, the information revealed does not completely eliminate discriminatory behavior, suggesting the presence of negative attitudes towards immigrants.


Keywords: Discrimination, Migration, Rental Market, Field Experiment

JEL: J15, R23, C93

Macroeconomic Conditions and the Distribution of Income in Spain”, (with Francis Vella); LABOUR: Review of Labour Economics and Industrial Relations, Vol. 22, Issue 3, p.p. 383-410, September 2008. 

This paper investigates the effects of changes in macroeconomic conditions on the income distribution in Spain. Using household data from the Encuesta Continuada de Presupuestos Familiares (ECPF) from 1985 to 1996, we disentangle the effect of different aggregate variables on the distribution of income by estimating counterfactual densities conditional on different macroeconomic scenarios. Our empirical approach allows for a flexible relationship between the income level and two constructed indices. The first index captures the influence of individual characteristics while the second captures the role of macro economic variables. The contribution of each of these variables to their respective indices is estimated by a semiparametric double index based procedure. The form of the mapping of the indices into income is nonparametrically estimated and, therefore, assumptions regarding how the indices interact are not required. We find that although inequality displays a decreasing trend over the period, the poor performance of the Spanish economy during part of the 1990's produced an increase in the level of income inequality. We conclude that while inflation appears to have no impact on the distribution of income for the period examined, there were important redistributive roles for unemployment, government expenditure and the level of GDP.

JEL: D31, E32, C14

Keywords: Income Distribution, Aggregate Fluctuations, Semiparametric Estimation




Immigration, Family Responsibilities and the Labor Supply of Skilled Native Women(with Libertad González and Francesc Ortega), IZA Working Paper , 4265, June 2009 (Submitted)

This paper investigates the effects of Spain’s large recent immigration wave on the labor supply of highly skilled native women. We hypothesize that female immigration led to an increase in the supply of affordable household services, such as housekeeping and child or elderly care. As a result, i) native females with high earnings potential were able to increase their labor supply, and ii) the effects were larger on skilled women whose labor supply was heavily constrained by family responsibilities. Our evidence indicates that over the last decade immigration led to an important expansion in the size of the household services sector and to an increase in the labor supply of women in high-earning occupations (of about 2 hours per week). We also find that immigration allowed skilled native women to return to work sooner after childbirth, to stay in the workforce longer when having elderly dependents in the household, and to postpone retirement. Methodologically, we show that the availability of even limited Registry data makes it feasible to conduct the analysis using quarterly household survey data, as opposed to having to rely on the decennial Census.


JEL: J61, J22, J13

Keywords: Immigration, Labor supply, Fertility, Retirement, Household services


Does Increasing Parents' Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation? Evidence based on Conditional Second Moments (with Roger Klein and Francis Vella), IZA Working Paper 3967, January 2009 (Submitted)

This paper investigates the degree of intergenerational transmission of education for individuals from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. Rather than identifying the causal effect of parental education via instrumental variables we exploit the feature of the transmission mechanism responsible for its endogeneity. More explicitly, we assume the intergenerational transfer of unobserved ability is invariant to the economic environment. This, combined with the heteroskedasticity resulting from the interaction of unobserved ability with socioeconomic factors, identifies this causal effect. We conclude that the observed intergenerational educational correlation reflects both a causal parental educational effect and a transfer of unobserved ability.


Keywords: Intergenerational mobility, endogeneity, conditional correlation

JEL: C31, J62


“The Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Role Attitudes and its Implications for Female Labor Force Participation” (with Francis Vella), IZA Working Paper 2802, May 2007, (Submited)

Using a sample of mother-child pairs from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79) and the Young Adults of the NLSY79 we explore the relationship between a woman's attitudes towards the role of females in the labor market and the attitudes of her children. We also examine whether this intergenerational cultural link has implications for the labor market behavior of females. We find that a woman's attitudes have a statistically significant effect on her children's views towards working women. Furthermore we find that this cultural transmission influences female labor market decisions. Our results imply that a woman's view regarding the role of females in the labor market and family not only affects the labor market force participation decision of her daughter, but also has an equally strong association with the labor force participation of the wife of her son. These results indicate that the transmission of gender role attitudes contributes to the persistence of economic status across generations.


JEL: J12, J62, D1, Z1

Keywords: intergenerational cultural transmission, gender role attitudes, female labor force participation