In today’s globalized world, labor mobility is at the core of the political debate and a centerpiece for economic policy. The design of migration policies, such as selective, skill-biased, immigration policies, policies to encourage the integration of immigrants, or ones that facilitate geographical mobility to increase labor market opportunities of disadvantaged workers, requires a good understanding of a more fundamental issue: understanding the role of internal migration and immigration in shaping the career paths and human capital accumulation of workers. This project aims at providing a coherent analysis that allows us to understand the interactions between labor mobility and human capital accumulation, and their implications for economic policy design.
This project focuses on three main issues: labor mobility, labor market effects of immigration, and the interaction between the two. Our questions are: (a) What are the role of temporary and permanent contracts in shaping career paths and geographic mobility of workers? (b) Does the forgone human capital accumulation during a recession produce a lost generation? Is this alleviated by geographical mobility? (c) What is the role of geographical and occupational mobility in spreading or containing the effects of technological progress on wage inequality? (d) To what extent selective immigration policies maximize native workers’ prospects and wellbeing? (e) How can we increase degree of assimilation of immigrants?
To address these questions, we will develop dynamic equilibrium models that explicitly characterize human capital accumulation decisions of workers and how these decisions interact with migration. Our proposed models will introduce rich labor market structures and a variety of economic shocks. They will require the implementation of novel estimation methods, which we will also develop. The estimated models will be used to evaluate and design key economic policies for the labor market.