Working Papers/ Work in Progress

This paper studies the determinants of firm demand for foreign skilled labor and the effects of skilled immigration policy changes in a dynamic general equilibrium model in which migration is an endogenous response to an increase in labor demand in the receiving economy. The model mimics skilled immigration policy in the U.S: Firms face hiring costs and there is an occasionally binding cap on foreign workers. An immigration cap increase to the socially optimal level leads to a net welfare increase despite heterogeneous effects on workers. An alternate immigration policy with a market-driven allocation of permits is also welfare enhancing.



Skilled Immigration, Offshoring, and Trade (with Daisoon Kim and Raghav Paul) [Draft Available on Request] 

This paper studies the welfare impacts of skilled immigration policy changes using a two-country, two-sector general equilibrium model with skilled migration, offshore labor hiring, and trade in intermediate inputs. Immigration policy frictions that restrict the domestic supply of skilled labor lead to a larger employment of labor in offshore affiliates and higher intermediate imports from foreign affiliates. The calibrated model that matches the U.S. economy suggests that adjustment in offshore labor hiring dampens the domestic skilled workers' welfare gain from an immigration policy reform (cap reduction) by 50 percent. Therefore, ignoring offshore labor hiring would overestimate the welfare gains from the cap reduction.

An Estimated Model of High-Skilled Migration with Search and Matching Frictions (with Federico Mandelman) [In Progress]

Do industry differences in markups and returns to scale affect the home market effect? We answer this question by building a multi-industry new-trade model in which industries differ in a wide range of characteristics. We then test the model predictions using industry-level data. We find that i) industries with higher markups tend to be concentrated in larger countries, and ii) returns to scale play an ambiguous role in influencing industry trade patterns as in the model. Our analysis highlights the importance of non-constant marginal costs and non-tradable input intensity of production and non-production activities in shaping trade patterns.

We estimate key parameters in a search and matching model with skilled immigration using Bayesian estimation techniques using U.S. quarterly data from 1995 to 2017. The estimated parameters have  implications for how the economy responds to immigration policy changes.

Policy Reports/Book Chapters
  • "Upgrading in the Indian garment industry: a study of three clusters" (with Saon Ray and Prithvijit Mukherjee), Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper Series No. 43, April 2016. Available at SSRN: (link)

  • "Normalizing India-Pakistan Trade" (with Taneja et al.), in India Pakistan Trade: Strengthening Economic Relations (pp. 13-45), Springer, August 2014

  • "India-Pakistan: Trade Perception Survey" (with Taneja et al.), in India-Pakistan Trade: Strengthening Economic Relations (pp. 71-126), Springer, August 2014

Departmment of Economics, Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA 50112