Daniel Millimet, James Lake
This dissertation is consist of three empirical studies in microeconomics. The first part explores how monopsony power affects the impact of robot adoption on US labor markets. Theoretically, I show that robots have stronger effects (either positive or negative) on employment and wages in a perfectly competitive labor market than a perfectly monopsonistic labor market. Moreover, the sign of the effects depends on whether robots and labor are substitutes or complements. The empirical results are consistent with the theory. The employment and wage effects diminish as labor market monopsony power grows and they become statistically insignificant in near-monopsonistic labor markets. The second empirical study uses a partial identification approach to bound the joint distribution of disability and employment status in the presence of misclassification. Allowing for a modest amount of misclassification leads to bounds on the labor market status of the disabled that are not overly informative given the relative size of the disabled population. Thus, absent further assumptions, even a modest amount of misclassification creates much uncertainty about the employment gap between the non-disabled and disabled. However, additional assumptions considered are shown to have some identifying power. In the last chapter, we use a difference-in-difference methodology to analyze the local labor market employment effects of the Bush Steel Tariffs depending on how much local labor markets rely on steel as an intermediate input and how much they rely on steel production. Our results show that, at best, the tariffs only slightly boosted local employment in steel-producing industries. But, the tariffs substantially depressed local employment in steel-consuming industries and this depression did not bounce back after Bush removed the tariffs. These results suggest significant and long-lasting damage from the Trump administration's national security tariffs on steel and aluminum.
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Liu, Ding, "Three Essays in Applied Microeconomics" (2022). Economics Theses and Dissertations. 16.