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Essays on Labor Markets


This dissertation consists of three essays in the area of Labor Markets. In Chapter 1, I use a merger in the retail pharmacy sector in Brazil to study the effects of concentration on labor market outcomes. I observe a larger reduction in wages of salespeople than pharmacists. The results are consistent with the idea that salespeople have strong preferences for jobs or accumulate some industry-specific human capital, and that pharmacists are better organized into unions. In Chapter 2, co-authored with Ryan Boone, we use worker flows across occupations, industries, and geographies to define better approximations to labor markets. The defined markets maximize a measure of the density of links within markets. In Chapter 3, co-authored with Ariadna Jou Fuya, we investigate whether the flattening in the college premium in Brazil is due to changes in the average quality of college graduates. We show that the supply of workers with college degree has increased, but much of this increase came from newer, lower ranked and lower wage-premium universities. The college premium has actually increased when we hold constant a set of universities. There are more workers with a college degree, but with lower quality degrees, which reflects into lower average wages.

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