Guy Michaels

Guy Michaels
The London School of Economics and Political Science | LSE · Department of Economics

PhD

About

36
Publications
5,522
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2,339
Citations
Citations since 2017
4 Research Items
1545 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250300
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250300
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250300
Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (36)
Article
Africa’s demand for urban housing is soaring, even as it faces a proliferation of slums. In this setting, can modest infrastructure investments in greenfield areas where people subsequently build their own houses facilitate long run neighborhood development? We study "Sites and Services" projects implemented in seven Tanzanian cities during the 197...
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Does economic activity relocate away from areas that are at high risk of recurring shocks? We examine this question in the context of floods, which are among the costliest and most common natural disasters. Over the past thirty years, floods worldwide killed more than 500,000 people and displaced over 650,000,000 people. This paper analyzes the eff...
Article
Do fixed geographic features such as coastlines and rivers determine town locations, or can historical events trap towns in unfavourable locations for centuries? We examine the effects on town locations of the collapse of theWestern Roman Empire, which temporarily ended urbanization in Britain, but not in France. As urbanization recovered, medieval...
Article
We use new data to examine the effects of giant oilfield discoveries around the world since 1946. On average, these discoveries increase per capita oil production and oil exports by up to 50 percent. But these giant oilfield discoveries also have a dark side: they increase the incidence of internal armed conflict by about 5-8 percentage points. Thi...
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We develop a new methodology for quantifying the tasks undertaken within occupations using 3,000 verbs from around 12,000 occupational descriptions in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOTs). Using micro-data from the United States from 1880-2000, we find an increase in the employment share of interactive occupations within sectors over time t...
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Full-text available
We use new data to examine the effects of giant oilfield discoveries around the world since 1946. On average, these discoveries increase per capita oil production and oil exports by up to 50 percent. But these giant oilfield discoveries also have a dark side: they increase the incidence of internal armed conflict by about 5-8 percentage points. Thi...
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Full-text available
We use variation in oil abundance among Brazilian municipalities to investigate the effects of resource windfalls. We find muted effects of oil through market channels: offshore oil has no effect on municipal non-oil GDP or its composition, while onshore oil has only modest effects on non-oil GDP composition. However, oil abundance causes municipal...
Article
Using geological variation in oil abundance in the Southern US, I examine the long term effects of resource-based specialisation through economic channels. In 1890 oil abundant counties were similar to other nearby counties but after oil was discovered they began to specialise in its production. From 1940-90 oil abundance increased local employment...
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Guy Michaels and colleagues show how new technologies are polarising the labour market, with the middle-skilled losing out most
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Do firms always choose the cheapest suitable inputs, or can group attitudes affect their choices? To investigate this question, we examine the deterioration of relations between the United States and France from 2002-2003, when France's favorability rating in the US fell by 48 percentage points. We estimate that the worsening attitudes reduced bila...
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OECD labor markets have become more “polarized” with employment in the middle of the skill distribution falling relative to the top and (in recent years) also the bottom of the skill distribution. We test the hypothesis of Autor, Levy, and Murnane (2003) that this is partly due to information and communication technologies (ICT) complementing the a...
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A Resource Curse? The impact of oil windfalls on living standards in Brazil
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The scope for economic research on resource-rich countries has widened considerably over the past two decades. While examination of market-based channels mechanisms (such as spending effects and exchange-rate appreciation) and resource price volatility are still important, other issues are coming to the forefront. These include the risk of depletio...
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Full-text available
We use variation in oil output among Brazilian municipalities to investigate the effects of resource windfalls. We find muted effects of oil through market channels: offshore oil has no effect on municipal non-oil GDP or its composition, while onshore oil has only modest effects on non-oil GDP composition. However, oil abundance causes municipal re...
Article
We examine urbanization using new data that allow us to track the evolution of population in rural and urban areas in the United States from 1880 to 2000. We find a positive correlation between initial population density and subsequent population growth for intermediate densities, which increases the dispersion of the population density distributio...
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The advent of the U.S. Interstate Highway System provides an interesting experiment, which I use to identify the labor market effects of reduced trade barriers. This highway network was designed to connect cities and border crossings and to serve national defense, and as an unintended consequence it crossed many rural counties. I find that these co...
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Having a female first-born child significantly increases the probability that a woman’s first marriage breaks up. Using this exogenous variation, recent work finds that divorce has little effect on women’s mean household income. We further investigate the effect of divorce using Quantile Treatment Effect methodology and find that it increases women...
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Since Adam Smith's time, the division of labor in production has increased significantly, whileinformation processing has become an important part of work. This paper examines whether the needto coordinate an increasingly complex division of labor has raised the demand for clerical office workers, who process information that is used to coordinate...
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Full-text available
Since Adam Smith's time, the division of labour in production has increased significantly, while information processing has become an important part of work. This paper examines whether the need to coordinate an increasingly complex division of labour has raised the demand for clerical office workers, who process information that is used to coordin...
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Full-text available
One of CEP's core research themes is the impact of trade openness on countries, firms, regions, communities and sectors.Two recent studies confirm the gains from opening up trade - but recognise that addressing the uneven outcomes of globalisation is as big a challenge as pursuing liberalisation in the face of entrenched interests.
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Since changes in trade openness are typically confounded with other factors, it has been difficult to identify the labor market consequences of increased international trade. The advent of the United States Interstate Highway System provides a unique policy experiment, which I use to identify the effect of reducing trade barriers on the relative de...
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What are the consequences of resource-based regional specialization, when it persists over a long period of time? While much of the literature argues that specialization is beneficial, recent work suggests it may be costly in the long run, due to economic or political reasons. I examine this question empirically, using exogenous geological variatio...
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Full-text available
The Long-Term Consequences of Regional Specialization* What are the consequences of resource-based regional specialization, when it persists over a long period of time? While much of the literature argues that specialization is beneficial, recent work suggests it may be costly in the long run, due to economic or political reasons. I examine this qu...
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Full-text available
The paper examines consolidation episodes in the EU since 1970 with a view to shedding light on the factors that determine the success or failure of fiscal adjustment. Compared to the existing literature on successful fiscal consolidations we add a number of new dimensions. Two deserve particular attention. Firstly, we explore a broader set of pote...
Article
My dissertation is a collection of three essays that consider various aspects of income inequality and the demand for skill. The first chapter uses the advent of the US Interstate Highway System to examine the effect of reducing trade barriers on the relative demand for skilled labor. The Interstate Highway System was designed to connect major citi...
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This paper examines the effects of technology on information processing over more than a century, using industry-level variation in the demand for clerical office workers. Clerks are skilled workers who generate, store, and communicate information that is used by manufacturing firms to coordinate production. I find that production technology affect...

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