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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Essays in Changes in the Composition of Skills, Migration and Credit Access, and Entrepreneurial Productivity

  • Author(s): Cortes Quiroz, Edgar Gustavo
  • Advisor(s): Mazzocco, Maurizio
  • et al.

This dissertation is composed of three chapters.

In Chapter 1 I first document a slowdown in the growth of the level of employment in high-skill occupations in the United States beginning around the year 2000 that resulted in a slight decrease in the share of the working population employed in high skill occupations. I then show that this decrease is mainly driven by demographic changes associated with the exit from the high skill employment of the first baby boom generation, which had a high rate of employment in high skill occupations. Finally, I provide evidence that suggests that this exit from high-skill employment is not caused by a negative demand shock. The finding suggests that the US economy has experienced a negative skill supply shock and that the slowdown in the share of individuals employed in high-skill occupations will continue further.

In Chapter 2 I estimate the effect of increased access to credit on migration from Mexico to the United States. A newly created bank that serves low and middle income clients, Banco Azteca, opened more than 800 bank branches in October 2002. I first provide evidence of increased access to credit and migration in counties in which the Bank opened. I then show that migrants are more negatively selected after 2002. However, this is not exclusive to counties affected by the opening of the bank.

In Chapter 3, Pedro Aratanha and I match newly collected individual-level administrative data from Brazil's largest microlending institution to their clients' year, month, and municipality of birth data on rainfall to estimate the effect of in utero drought exposure on bank clients' business performance during adulthood. We find that being exposed to a drought is associated with about 2 percent lower revenue.

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