Macroeconomics, Economic Growth, Demographics
Skill-biased technical change and immiserizing growth
We study the phenomenon of immiserizing growth (IG) by constructing a general equilibrium model in a framework with skill-biased technical change (SBTC) and heterogeneous agents in skills characterized by identical Stone-Geary preferences. The non-homothetic feature of these preferences enables agents to consume the same bundles in diﬀerent proportions as income increases. We identify which drivers in the model can trigger IG situations: the non-homotheticity in preferences, the elasticity of substitution between labour inputs (skilled and unskilled), and diﬀerential SBTC across sectors. No IG arises when we calibrate the model to the U.S. industries and labour data from the EU KLEMS dataset. However, our counterfactual experiments reveal that a decrease (increase) in the annual growth factor for the high-skilled (low-skilled) population leads to IG situations. We then identify the population composition and growth rates for skilled and unskilled agents as other signiﬁcant elements for the phenomenon.
A theory of structural change, home production and leisure
With Fenicia Cossu, Alessio Moro and Francisco Javier Rodriguez-Roman
Why do agents consume more services relative to goods as income grows? We present a theory of structural change assuming that a representative household satisﬁes ﬁnal needs by means of two home-production functions in time and either goods or services from the market. When calibrating the model to U.S. data, roughly half of structural change is accounted for by technological change allowing services to display a larger time saving than goods in satisfying ﬁnal needs. Also, even if preferences are homothetic, the calibrated model generates endogenous income eﬀects, which account for the remaining structural change generated by the model.
US Fertility and Women's Education: an Extension of Hazan and Zoabi (2015)
I present evidence that the cross-sectional relationship between US fertility and women's education, in the 2001-17 period, is U-shaped. By operating a distinction based on marital status and computing the total fertility rates (TFRs), I show that married women are the main driver of the fertility polarization: in particular, better educated married women (with advanced degrees) are giving birth to more children than women with college degree, changing the right side of the total fertility rate function and creating a U-shaped fertility function. Using a hybrid fertility measure (HFR), which allows to avoid some drawbacks present in TFRs, I observe that, in 2017, all hybrid fertility functions (pooled, married and single women) show fertility polarization and thus they are U-shaped. In my thesis the relationship between fertility and education is governed by the cost of childcare relative to mother's income; by extending the article of Hazan and Zoabi (2015) and considering a period of 35-years (1983-2018) I find that childcare and housekeeping services become relatively cheaper for highly educated women, contrary to the others. This thesis shows that in the context of fertility polarization, the marketisation mechanism plays a key role by allowing households to substitute parents' time by purchasing baby-sitting, housekeepers and other services in the market. I document others evidences showing that the number of average weekly hours worked by women increases with their educational level and I find a positive association between hours worked in the market and the relative cost of childcare, relationship valid for all educational groups except for women with the lowest educational level (no high school degree).
2019 - 2022: PhD scholarship fully funded by RAS - Regione Autonoma della Sardegna (P.O.R. Sardegna F.S.E 2014-2020).