Abstract: While US Universities attract millions of international students, we do not know how many of them work in the US after graduating. In this paper we implement an instrumental variable estimation, using quasi-random variations in the tuition charged, and we estimate that between 2003 and 2017 one more international master (or bachelor) student, attracted by a University, increased the US skilled labor supply in the year of graduation by about 0.23 (0.11) employees. Only for STEM students such effect on labor supply was positive and significant, especially after the 2008 Optional Practical Training reform.

Working paper: NBER Working Paper (2022)
Media: The Chronicle of Higher Education, NBER Digest, Forbes

Abstract: Integration of immigrants into their host society is at the core of the public debate in most OECD countries. Immigrant integration includes two distinct dimensions: cultural and economic integration. This paper investigates the interplay between these two processes and presents three main results. First, it documents that immigrants from more culturally distant countries earn lower wages when they enter the German labor market. Second, it highlights that these wage differences progressively diminish over years spent in Germany and even disappear in some cases. For instance, the wage gap associated with a one standard deviation difference in religious and genetic distance disappears after 15 to 20 years. Finally, the paper provides evidence that immigrants who experience a greater increase in cultural assimilation experience more wage growth as well. Taken together, these results suggest that the cultural assimilation process can benefit the economic integration of immigrants.

Abstract: We provide an estimate of the environmental impact of the recruitment system in the economics profession, known as the “international job market for economists”. Each year, most graduating PhDs seeking jobs in academia, government, or companies participate in this job market. The market follows a standardized process, where candidates are pre-screened in a short interview which takes place at an annual meeting in Europe or in the United States. Most interviews are arranged via a non-profit online platform,, which kindly agreed to share its anonymized data with us. Using this dataset, we estimate the individual environmental impact of 1057 candidates and one hundred recruitment committees who attended the EEA and AEA meetings in December 2019 and January 2020. We calculate that this pre-screening system generated the equivalent of about 4800 tons of avoidable CO2-eq and a comprehensive economic cost over €4.4 million. We contrast this overall assessment against three counterfactual scenarios: an alternative in-person system, a hybrid system (where videoconference is used for some candidates) and a fully online system (as it happened in 2020–21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Overall, the study can offer useful information to shape future recruitment standards in a more sustainable way.

Working paper: CEP Discussion paper (2021)
Media: VOX EU column, CentrePiece

Abstract: This note evaluates the scrambled questions penalty using multiple choice tests taken by first-year undergraduate students who follow a microeconomics introductory course. We provide new evidence that students perform worse at scrambled questionnaires than at logically ordered ones. We improve on previous studies by explicitly modelling students individual skills thanks to a fixed effects regression. We further show that the scrambled questions penalty does not differ along gender but varies along the distribution of students' skills and mostly affects students with lower-intermediate skills.

Working Papers

Abstract: This paper estimates the causal effect of recruitment competition on firms' labor demand for high-skilled foreign workers. I assemble a new data set, combining a firm-level panel of all Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) submitted as a first step to obtaining H-1B visas between 2010 and 2019 with online job vacancies and data on venture capital (VC) investments. I use plausibly quasi-exogeneous variation in VC investments in start-ups to instrument yearly changes in recruitment competition at the local labor market level. I find that a one standard deviation increase in the number of job postings advertised by start-ups yields an 8 percent increase in the number of LCAs submitted by employers in the market and a 3 percent increase in the wages advertised in these LCAs. Estimates are only significant for computer occupations. These results support the role of labor market tightness in explaining the absence of the crowding-out effect from H-1B workers against close native substitutes.

Abstract: This paper shows that, on average, U.S. employers are more likely to seek foreign skilled workers for positions where finding domestic workers takes time. It uses a new dataset matching online job posting duration to administrative data on Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) submitted as the first step in applying for H-1B temporary skilled worker visas. It investigates the mechanisms by exploring the heterogeneity of the results across firms and labor markets. It shows that this relationship is not driven by firms manipulating their job postings’ duration to demonstrate their good faith efforts in their search for domestic workers. On the contrary, evidence suggest that the results are due to the insufficient domestic labor supply in tight occupations.

Media: Forbes 

Selected work in progress

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