Research

Publications

The environmental cost of the international job market for economists, Ecological Economicswith O. Chanel & A. Prati, Vol. 201, 2022

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, econjobmarket.org, which kindly agreed to share its anonymized data with us. Using this dataset, we estimate the individual environmental impact of 1,057 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 4,000 tons of avoidable CO2-eq and a comprehensive economic cost over e3.5 million. We contrast this overall assessment against three counterfactual scenarios: a more efficient 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.

CEP Discussion paper (2021)
Media: VOX EU column 

Scrambled questions penalty in multiple choice tests: New evidence from French undergraduate students, Economics Bulletin, with M.Sangnier & T. van Ypersele, Vol. 37(1), pp. 347-351, 2017

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

International College Students' Impact on the US Skilled Labor Supply  (with M. Beine & G. Peri)

US universities attract each year hundreds of thousands of international students. Some of them become high skilled labor supply in the US, at least in the short-run. In this paper, we estimate the short-run transition rates of international students graduating from American universities into the local labor market. To identify the effect of one more international student on US labor supply, we implement an instrumental variable estimation using innovations in the level of tuition fees charged to international students by public US universities, in the year they likely started their studies. We find that attracting an additional international student in a US university increases the local labor supply by about 0.23 employees for master graduates and about 0.14 for bachelor degrees. These averages, that we call "transition rates" into the US labor market, conceal large differences between STEM students and non-STEM students. We find positive transition rates only for STEM students, both for bachelor and master graduates, and larger in the aftermath of the 2008 Optional Practical Training (OPT) reform that extended Optional Practical Training for those students.

NBER Working Paper (2022) 
Media: The Chronicle of Higher Education

Cultural differences and immigrants' wages

In this paper, I investigate how cultural differences affect the labor-market performance of immigrant workers in Germany. I document a negative relationship between hourly wages and the cultural distance between immigrants’ countries of origin and Germany. This result is robust across the three main indicators used in the gravity literature: linguistic, religious, and genetic distances. This cultural wage penalty disappears after five to ten years spent in Germany. Controlling for language proficiency as well as for selective in- and out-migration, these results highlight the cultural integration of immigrant workers. I finally provide evidence suggesting that lower wage progression may be explained by fewer job-to-job transitions.

DEM Discussion paper (2021) Revise and Resubmit, Labour Economics

Looking for the `Best and Brightest': Hiring difficulties and high-skilled foreign workers

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.

DEM Discussion paper (2021) Submitted
Media: Forbes 

Selected work in progress

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