Research

Pension Wealth and the Gender Wealth Gap, with Markus Grabka and Eva Sierminska (here )

We examine the gender wealth gap with a focus on pension wealth and statutory pension rights. By taking into account employment characteristics of women and men, we are able and identify the extent to which the redistributive effect of pension rights reduces the gap. The empirical basis of this examination is the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), which is one of the few datasets where information on wealth as well as on pension entitlements is collected at the individual level. Pension wealth data is available for 2012 only. Individual level wealth data allows to analyze the gender wealth gap between women and men across all households. Due to the longitudinal character of the underlying data, detailed information on employment trajectories and family related events (such as child-birth, marriage, divorce, widowhood, etc.), which can have an effect on (public) pension entitlements are considered.

Effects of Increased Immigration Enforcement on Citizens' Self-Employment (here)

The recent increase in interior immigration enforcement in the U.S. has reduced the number of low skilled workers by increasing deportations of undocumented immigrants. In this paper, I study how these immigration enforcement policies affect the self-employment shares of citizens. I examine the impact of four immigration enforcement policies, each implemented with a staggered roll-out across the U.S. and ending up with different adoption levels. I implement a Difference-in-Differences strategy and an event-study specification using data from 2005 to 2014 from the American Community Survey. I find that increased immigration enforcement decreased the share self-employed among male and female citizens of the United States, which is consistent with predictions that undocumented immigrants are complementary to self-employed citizens. The reduction of citizens' self-employment is concentrated among high school graduates. There is one exception, increased enforcement led to an increase in self-employment shares among male Hispanic citizens, which implies that the undocumented workers were substitutes for self-employed Hispanic citizens. To enable comparison with previous studies, I estimate the effects of immigration enforcement programs on citizens’ employment. I find that employment verification mandates decrease wage and salary employment shares of citizens, therefore, the mandates are not causing the self-employed to switch into wage and salary employment.

Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Duration in Mexico City (draft available upon request)

This paper studies the impact of establishing an Unemployment Insurance (UI) in a developing country. Mexico City was the first city in Mexico to provide formal workers government funded unemployment benefits. With this setting I study the effects of establishing an UI program in a developing country with high informal activity levels and a weak safety net on unemployment duration. Does UI improves job search and decrease unemployment duration? Or does it incentivize longer unemployment spells? I estimate a Differences-in-Differences unemployment duration model, in which the reemployment probability can vary before and after introducing UI using other Mexican cities as a control group. I find no evidence of an effect on unemployment duration with the introduction of UI. Even workers with low levels of education, who might have the lowest reservation wages do not have a higher probability of staying unemployed with the introduction of UI. The explanation to these null effects can be that UI the benefits levels are low and that the program requires users to prove they are looking for a job, increasing the probability of finding a job.