AuthorSorensen, Todd Andrew
AdvisorOaxaca, Ronald L.
Fishback, Price V.
Committee ChairOaxaca, Ronald L.
Fishback, Price V.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation consists of three essays in labor economics. The first essay models how migrants crossing the border between the United States and Mexico respond to increases in border enforcement. We model a potential migrants' joint decision of whether to cross the border and, if so, where to cross the border using a random utility function. Our model allows us to calculate the migrants' substitution patterns: does more enforcement primarily on one part of the border primarily deter migrants from crossing the border altogether, or simply divert them to other parts of the border? We find that a substantial proportion of migrants are indeed diverted. These findings should serve as a caveat to policy makers who seek to address immigration reform issues primarily through tightening the border.The second chapter models the internal migration decisions of U.S. households during the period 935 to 1940. We measure the impact of spending on New Deal programs on migration patterns. Using a model of random utility similar to that in prior chapter, we find that more public works and relief spending in a region made it more attractive to potential migrants, while additional spending on the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) made the locale less attractive. The structural nature of our model allows us to compute counterfactual estimates to assess the overall impact of these programs. We find that regional disparities in spending on public works and relief programs we responsible for nearly 20% of long distance moves made between regions during this period.In the third chapter, we decompose the gap between mean sentences for males and females in the U.S. criminal justice system into the portion that can be explained by differences in the average severity of the crime committed by males and females and the portion explained by differences in how males and females who commit the same crime are treated. We find that differences in characteristics of the defendant can explain only half of the gap between mean male and females sentences, suggesting that women receive more lenient treatment in the U.S. criminal justice system.