Christian Dustmann's research while affiliated with University College London and other places

Publications (227)

Article
Full-text available
Obesity not only leads to immense medical costs associated with treating obesity-related illness but is also associated with lower employment prospects and earnings. This study shows that sunshine-induced vitamin D may have a preventive effect on obesity for children. It investigates the relation between sun intensity from pregnancy until infancy o...
Article
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This paper develops and estimates a dynamic model where individuals differ in ability and location preference to evaluate the mechanisms that affect the evolution of immigrants’ careers in conjunction with their re-migration plans. Our analysis highlights a novel form of selective return migration where those who plan to stay longer invest more int...
Article
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The trend of rising income inequality in Germany since the mid-1990s is strongly amplified when considering income after housing expenditure. The income share of housing expenditure rose disproportionally for the bottom income quintile and fell for the top quintile. Factors contributing to these trends include declining relative costs of homeowners...
Article
We investigate the wage, employment and reallocation effects of the introduction of a nationwide minimum wage in Germany that affected 15% of all employees. Based on identification designs that exploit variation in exposure across individuals and local areas, we find that the minimum wage raised wages, but did not lower employment. It also led to t...
Preprint
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This paper analyzes the career progression of workers over their life cycle. We develop a model that allows for wage growth to be determined by sectoral and firm mobility, unobserved ability and the accumulation of human capital. We add three important extensions. First, workers may move between two occupational sectors that require cognitive-abstr...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper develops and estimates a dynamic model where individuals differ in ability and location preference to evaluate the mechanisms that affect the evolution of immigrants' careers in conjunction with their re-migration plans. Our analysis highlights a novel form of selective return migration where those who plan to stay longer invest more int...
Article
We provide an overview of the integration of refugees into the labor markets of a number of high-income countries. Discussing the ways in which refugees and economic migrants are differently selected and so might be expected to perform differently in a host country’s labor market, we examine employment and wages for these groups over time after arr...
Article
To estimate the causal effect of refugee migration on voting outcomes in parliamentary and municipal elections in Denmark, our study is the first that addresses the key problem of immigrant sorting by exploiting a policy that assigned refugee immigrants to municipalities on a quasi-random basis. We find that in all but the most urban municipalities...
Article
Straightforward economic arguments point to the potential for large global output gains from movement of labor from less to more productive locations. Yet the politics of receiving countries seems resistant, characterized rather by efforts to limit migration or to stop it altogether. In this article we examine the foundations of claims of large wel...
Article
We exploit two unusual policy features of academic high schools in Seoul, South Korea—random assignment of pupils to high schools within districts and conversion of some existing single-sex schools to the coeducational (coed) type over time—to identify three distinct causal parameters: the between-school effect of attending a coed (versus a single-...
Article
We estimate the effects of receiving additional schooling before age 5 on cognitive and noncognitive outcomes, exploiting unique school entry rules in England that cause variation in the age at school entry and the effective length of the first school year, and combining survey data with administrative school records up to 6 years after exposure. W...
Article
In this paper, we examine the heterogeneous treatment effects of a universal child care (preschool) program in Germany by exploiting the exogenous variation in attendance caused by a reform that led to a large staggered expansion across municipalities. Drawing on novel administrative data from the full population of compulsory school entry examinat...
Article
This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of refugee migration, with emphasis on the current refugee crisis. After first reviewing the institutional framework laid out by the Geneva Convention for Refugees, we demonstrate that, despite numerous attempts at developing a common European asylum policy, EU countries continue to differ widely in inte...
Article
By exploiting a commuting policy that led to a sharp and unexpected inflow of Czech workers to areas along the German-Czech border, we examine the impact of an exogenous immigration-induced labor supply shock on local wages and employment of natives. On average, the supply shock leads to a moderate decline in local native wages and a sharp decline...
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Full-text available
We estimate a dynamic life-cycle model of labor supply, fertility and savings, incorporating occupational choices, with specific wage paths and skill atrophy that vary over the career. This allows us to understand the trade-off between occupational choice and desired fertility, as well as the sorting both into the labor market and across occupation...
Article
We classify the empirical literature on the wage impact of immigration into three groups, where studies in the first two groups estimate different relative effects, and studies in the third group estimate the total effect of immigration on wages. We interpret the estimates obtained from the different approaches through the lens of the canonical mod...
Article
Existing evidence on peer effects in the productivity of coworkers stems from either laboratory experiments or real-word studies referring to a specific firm or occupation. In this paper we aim at providing more generalizable results by investigating a large local labor market, with a focus on peer effects in wages rather than productivity. Our est...
Article
We investigate the effects of attending a more advanced track in middle school on long-term education and labor market outcomes for Germany, a country with a rigorous early-age tracking system, where the risk of misallocating students is particularly high. Our research design exploits quasi-random shifts between tracks induced by date of birth, and...
Article
This paper provides an introduction into the estimation of marginal treatment effects (MTE). Compared to the existing surveys on the subject, our paper is less technical and speaks to the applied economist with a solid basic understanding of econometric techniques who would like to use MTE estimation. Our framework of analysis is a generalized Roy...
Article
The assumption that all migrations are permanent, which pervaded the early microdata-based research on immigrant career profiles, is not supported by the empirical evidence. Rather, many – if not most – migrations appear to be temporary. In this paper, therefore, we illustrate the estimation challenges when migrations are temporary. As in an overwh...
Article
The Author 2015. This article derives novel testable implications of referral-based job search networks in which employees provide employers with information about potential new hires that they otherwise would not have. Using comprehensive matched employer-employee data covering the entire workforce in one large metropolitan labour market combined...
Article
Many migrations are temporary-a fact that has often been ignored in the economic literature on migration. Such omission may be serious in that expected migration temporariness can impart a distinct dynamic element to immigrants' economic behavior, generating possible consequences for nonmigrants in both home and host countries. In this paper, we pr...
Article
We analyze the effect of immigrants’ legal status on their consumption behavior using unique survey data that samples both documented and undocumented immigrants. To address the problem of sorting into legal status, we propose two alternative identification strategies as exogenous source of variation for current legal status: First, transitory inco...
Article
This chapter begins by documenting that temporary migrations are not only very common, but that out-migration of immigrants is selective both in terms of migrants’ individual characteristics and their economic outcomes. We then examine the problems that arise when estimating immigrants’ earnings profiles when out-migration is selective, and discuss...
Article
In this paper, we analyse the effect of emigration from Poland on Polish wages. Focusing on the 1998–2007 period for Poland, we use a unique dataset that contains information about household members who are currently living abroad, which allows us to develop region-specific emigration rates and to estimate the effect of emigration on wages using wi...
Article
2015, The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. This paper analyzes how changes in the skill mix of local labor supply are absorbed by the economy, distinguishing between three adjustment mechanisms: wages, expansion in size of those production units using the more abundant skill group more intensively, and more intensive use of the more abun...
Article
We investigate the fiscal impact of immigration on the UK economy, with a focus on the period since 1995. Our findings indicate that, when considering the resident immigrant population in each year from 1995 to 2011, immigrants from the European Economic Area (EEA) have made a positive fiscal contribution, even during periods when the UK was runnin...
Article
This paper analyses the effect of local crime rates on residents’ mental health. Using longitudinal information on individuals’ mental well-being, we address the problem of sorting and endogenous moving behaviour. We find that crime causes considerable mental distress for residents, primarily driven by property crime. Effects are stronger for femal...
Article
The relation between income and migration intentions can be monotonically decreasing, increasing, or inverse U-shaped, dependent on the level of migration cost relative to wealth and if individuals are credit constrained. Using unique individual level data, covering countries in three geographic regions—sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America—w...
Article
This paper investigates the effect of early exposure to neighborhood crime on subsequent criminal behavior of youth exploiting a unique natural experiment between 1986 and 1998 when refugee immigrants to Denmark were assigned to neighborhoods quasi-randomly. We find strong evidence that the share of young people convicted for crimes, in particular...
Article
In the late 1990s and into the early 2000s, Germany was often called "the sick man of Europe" (for example, Economist 2004), a phrase usually attributed to comments by Czar Nicholas I of Russia about the troubles faced by the Ottoman Empire in the mid-19th century. Indeed, Germany's economic growth averaged only about 1.2 percent per year from 1998...
Article
This paper analyzes the career progression of skilled and unskilled workers, with a focus on how careers are affected by economic downturns and whether formal skills, acquired early on, can shield workers from the effect of recessions. Using detailed administrative data for Germany for numerous birth cohorts across different regions, we follow work...
Article
This paper studies the effect of a German universal child care program (aimed at 3-to 6-year-olds) on the school readiness outcomes. We draw on unique administrative data for the entire population of children who are about to start school in one large region. Our identification strategy exploits a federal policy reform which entitles every child to...
Article
This paper uses 1997-2005 LFS data to study the impact of immigration on natives' wages, and wage distribution. We present a theoretical model where we show that if capital is supplied at a price fixed on international markets, immigration will have on average a positive wage effect, as long as immigrants differ from natives in their skill composit...
Article
This paper studies a possible market failure in the firm-based vocational training market: training may be too complex to be specified in a contract so that it is legally enforceable, resulting in the inability of firms to commit to training provision. We present a model of firm provided training and show that training is substantially lower in the...
Article
We discuss approaches to estimating the effect that immigration has on wages of native workers which assume a three-level CES model, where immigrants and natives are allowed to be imperfect substitutes within an age-education cell, and predict the wage impact based on estimates of the elasticities of substitution at each level. We argue that this a...
Article
In this paper, we investigate how changes in the skill mix of local labor supply are absorbed by the economy. We distinguish between three adjustment mechanisms: through factor prices, through an expansion in the size of those production units that use the more abundant skill group more intensively, and through more intensive use of the more abunda...
Article
This paper first presents a brief historical overview of immigration in Europe. We then provide (and distinguishing between EU and non-EU immigrants) a comprehensive analysis of the skill structures of immigrants and their labor market integration in the different European countries, their position in the wage distribution, and the situation of the...
Article
We study the long-term causal effects of attending a "better" school - defined as one with more advanced peers, more highly paid teachers, and a more academic curriculum - on the highest degree completed, wages, occupational choice, and unemployment. We base our analysis on a regression discontinuity design, generated by a school entry age rule, th...
Article
Sjaastad (1962) viewed migration in the same way as education: as an investment in the human agent. Migration and education are decisions that are indeed intertwined in many dimensions. Education and skill acquisition play an important role at many stages of an individual’s migration. Differential returns to skills in origin- and destination coun...
Article
We revisit the question why firms pay for general training within the German ap-prenticeship system. Our hypothesis is that Germany's wage setting institutions induce firms to do so. To test this hypothesis, we develop a model of firm-financed training that incorporates the specific features of the German collective bargaining system. We derive tes...
Chapter
Sjaastad (1962) viewed migration in the same way as education: as an investment in the human agent. Migration and education are decisions that are indeed intertwined in many dimensions. Education and skill acquisition play an important role at many stages of an individuals migration. Differential returns to skills in origin and destination country...
Article
This paper compares the educational attainment of second-generation immigrants with that of children born to native parents in several OECD countries. We show that the average gap in test scores of children of immigrants and natives differs widely across countries, and is strongly related to achievement differences in the parent generation. The dis...
Article
In this paper, we analyse the association between the spatial concentration of ethnic minorities and racial harassment. Ethnic concentration relates to racial harassment through at least three channels: hostility in the attitudes of majority individuals that finds expression in harassment behaviour, the probability that minority individuals meet ma...
Article
This article derives novel testable implications of referral-based job search networks in which employees provide employers with information about potential new hires that they otherwise would not have. Using comprehensive matched employer–employee data covering the entire workforce in one large metropolitan labour market combined with unique surve...
Article
The paper examines the implications for wage bargaining of an important aspect of the ongoing reorganization of work – the move from occupational specialization toward multi-tasking. The analysis shows how, on account of such reorganization, centralized bargaining becomes increasingly inefficient and detrimental to firms’ profit opportunities, sinc...
Article
In this paper we present a model that explains migrations as decisions that respond to where human capital can be acquired more efficiently, and where the return to human capital is highest. The basic framework is a dynamic Roy model in which a worker possesses two distinct skills that can be augmented by learning by doing. There are different impl...
Article
This paper presents novel evidence on the existence and productivity of referral-based job search networks of ethnic minority workers. Using unique matched employer-employee data, we first show that minority workers are considerably more likely to work with workers from the same minority group (i.e. with workers who are likely to be network members...
Article
This paper analyzes savings and asset holdings of immigrants in relation to their return plans. We argue that savings and asset accumulation may be affected by return plans of immigrants. Further, the way savings and assets are held in the home and host country may also be related to future return plans. Thus, comparing savings and assets between i...
Chapter
Full-text available
Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.This chapter discusses changes in the economic performance of ethnic minorities relative to the white native population. It begins by describing the size and geographic distribution of the United Kingdom's minority population. It studies the intergenerational comparison of the different ethnic minor...
Chapter
Sjaastad (1962) viewed migration in the same way as education: as an investment in the human agent. Migration and education are decisions that are indeed intertwined in many dimensions. Education and skill acquisition play an important role at many stages of an individual's migration. Differential returns to skills in origin and destination country...
Article
This article documents that at the start of school, pupils from most ethnic groups substantially lag behind White British pupils. However, these gaps decline for all groups throughout compulsory schooling. Language is the single most important factor why ethnic minority pupils improve relative to White British pupils. Poverty, in contrast, does not...
Article
In this paper we study the remittance behavior of immigrants and how it relates to temporary versus permanent migration plans. We use a unique data source that provides unusual detail on remittances and return plans, and follows the same household over time. Our data allows us also to distinguish between different purposes of remittances. We analyz...
Article
This paper assesses the fiscal consequences of migration to the UK from the Central and Eastern European countries that joined the European Union in May 2004 (A8 countries). We show that A8 immigrants who arrived after EU enlargement in 2004 and who have at least one year of residence, and are therefore legally eligible to claim benefits, are 59 pe...
Article
In this article we address three issues relating to immigrants’ identity, measured as the feeling of belonging to particular ethnic groups. We study the formation of identity with home and host countries. We investigate how identity with either country relates to immigrants’ and their children's labour market outcomes. Finally, we analyse the inter...
Article
A central concern about immigration is the integration into the labour market, not only of the first generation but also of subsequent generations. Little comparative work exists for Europe's largest economies. France, Germany and the UK have all become, perhaps unwittingly, countries with large immigrant populations albeit with very different ethn...
Article
In this paper, we analyse differences in the cyclical pattern of employment and wages of immigrants and natives for two large immigrant receiving countries, Germany and the UK. We show that, despite large differences in their immigrant populations, there are similar and significant differences in cyclical responses between immigrants and natives in...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reviews the labour market performance and educational attainment of ethnic minorities and second generation immigrants in the UK over the last three decades. We first describe the size and composition of the minority population and its regional distribution over time, and investigate their labour market performance relative to the white...