DAVIDE ALONZO

Ph.D. Candidate at the Vancouver School of Economics

Working Papers

Abstract

Does geographic heterogeneity in occupational returns affect the patterns of family formation and dissolution? And do marriage choices matter for the geographic distribution of workers? This paper examines the effects of geographic heterogeneity in occupational returns on marriage and divorce, and the impact of family formation on the geographic allocation of labor. We document that geographically mismatched workers -- those living in a location that pays relatively lower wages in their occupation -- are less likely to marry and more likely to divorce. Moreover, conditional on marrying, mismatched workers are more likely to be married to similarly mismatched partners. To account for these observations, we develop an equilibrium model of migration and family formation, and we estimate it using microdata for the US. Through counterfactual experiments, we assess both individual and aggregate implications of joint marriage and location choices. We find that, while at the individual level entering a marriage reduces wage growth, in aggregate the presence of marriage markets and the endogeneity of marriage market conditions enhance productivity by attracting workers to high return locations.

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joint with Giovanni Gallipoli

Abstract

We characterize the distribution of worker-job surplus in the U.S. economy for different decades, and document extensive heterogeneity in the pecuniary and non-pecuniary rewards that workers derive from similar jobs. This heterogeneity is associated with compensating differentials, especially in non-college occupations and among women in college-level jobs. Estimates of worker-job match values are employed to recover technology parameters such as (i) the productivity of different occupation-demographic matches, and (ii) the substitutability of broad occupation groups in production. We use the latter to quantify the extent to which technological progress, as opposed to shifts in the heterogeneous valuations of jobs, accounts for structural change in the labor market. We find that, while employment patterns are the by-product of changes in both technology and preferences, the evolution of wages can almost entirely be explained by technological progress.

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Work in Progress

joint with Giovanni Gallipoli

Abstract

We merge data on the nutritional content of a subset of packaged (bar-code level) food products to longitudinal home-scanner data on the shopping behavior of US households. We use a Random Forest regression to impute the nutritional content of the remaining food products. The resulting dataset is used to study the association between marital status and the dietary habits of the household members.

joint with Chenyu Hou

Abstract

Uncertainty about the fundamental aspects of the evolution of infections in the population (e.g. the infection rate and the fraction of infected population) is a prominent feature of newly discovered viruses. This paper studies the role of early testing as a tool available to policymakers for learning about the structural parameters underlying the evolution of a pandemic. The paper analyses the informational content of testing at the different stages of a pandemic and how learning through testing interacts with other instruments in the definition of the optimal policy.