Essays on Gender, Immigration, and Labor Markets
thesisposted on 01.08.2020, 00:00 by Shalise Sarah Ayromloo
The first chapter of this dissertation examines the evolution of traditional gender attitudes, where women are viewed as homemakers and men as breadwinners, via two key questions: 1) is it better for everyone involved, if men work outside the home and women tend home, and 2) are men better suited emotionally for politics than women? I show that the prevalence of traditional attitudes toward women working and women’s emotional suitability has significantly declined by 37 and 26 percentage points between 1977 and 2016, respectively. I document evidence suggesting that the aggregate decline in traditional attitudes is a function of both cohort replacement and people changing their views with age. I further document that a similar prevalence of traditional gender attitudes exists among men and women, while a higher prevalence of traditional attitudes is associated with lower levels of education and marriage. The second chapter examines the effects of labor demand changes, via Bartik shocks, on the prevalence of traditional gender attitudes. I find that a one percent increase in Bartik shocks, lowers the prevalence of traditional attitudes toward women working by 0.45 percentage points, while I find no evidence of a statistically significant effect on the prevalence of traditional attitudes toward women’s emotional suitability for politics. Although I find no evidence of heterogeneous effects of Bartik shocks, I do find suggestive evidence that men with less than a high school diploma and men with at least a baccalaureate are more responsive to own-group specific Bartik shocks. The third chapter (co-authored with Benjamin Feigenberg and Darren Lubotsky) examines the effects of state-level mandates requiring all or nearly all private-sector employers to use an electronic employment eligibility verification system, “E-Verify,” for new hires. We document declines in formal employment and employment turnover after the mandates’ passage, especially for a probabilistically work-ineligible population. We also document heterogeneity in E-Verify usage by firm size that leads to within-state employment spillovers from larger to smaller firms, and lowers the number of large firms. We find no evidence of labor market outcomes improvements for native-born workers and relocation of work-ineligible population in response to mandates.