NBER Publications by Shing-Yi Wang

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Working Papers and Chapters

February 2015Asymmetric Information and Remittances: Evidence from Matched Administrative Data
with Thomas Joseph, Yaw Nyarko: w20986
Using new data matching remittances and monthly payroll disbursals, we demonstrate how fluctuations in migrants' earnings in the United Arab Emirates affect their remittances. We consider three types of income fluctuations that are observable by families at home: seasonalities, weather shocks and a labor reform. Remittances move with all of these income changes. Remittances do not move with an individual's growth in earnings over time. The slope of the relationship between earnings and time in the UAE varies across individuals and is not easy to observe by families. Thus, a key characteristic that drives remittance behavior is the observability of income rather than other features of these fluctuations. The results are consistent with a private information model where remittances are view...
August 2014Worker Mobility in a Global Labor Market: Evidence from the United Arab Emirates
with Suresh Naidu, Yaw Nyarko: w20388
In 2011, a reform in the United Arab Emirates allowed any employer to renew a migrant's visa upon contract expiration without written permission from the initial employer. We find that the reform increased incumbent migrants' earnings and firm retention of these workers. This occurs despite an increase in employer transitions, and is driven by a fall in country exits. While the outcomes of workers already in the United Arab Emirates improved, our analysis suggests that the reform decreased demand for new migrant workers and lowered their earnings. These results are consistent with a model in which the reform reduces the monopsony power of firms.
November 2013Dishonesty and Selection into Public Service
with Rema Hanna: w19649
In this paper, we demonstrate that university students who cheat on a simple task in a laboratory setting are more likely to state a preference for entering public service. Importantly, we also show that cheating on this task is predictive of corrupt behavior by real government workers, implying that this measure captures a meaningful propensity towards corruption. Students who demonstrate lower levels of prosocial preferences in the laboratory games are also more likely to prefer to enter the government, while outcomes on explicit, two-player games to measure cheating and attitudinal measures of corruption do not systematically predict job preferences. We find that a screening process that chooses the highest ability applicants would not alter the average propensity for corruption among t...
September 2013Property Rights and Intra-Household Bargaining
This paper examines whether an individual-level transfer of property rights increases the individual's bargaining power within the household. The question is analyzed in the context of a housing reform that occurred in China that gave existing tenants the opportunity to purchase the homes that they had been renting from their state employers. The rights to each housing unit were granted to a particular employee, so property rights were defined at the individual level rather than the household level. The results indicate that transferring ownership rights to men increased household consumption of some male-favored goods and women's time spent on chores. Transferring ownership rights to women decreased household consumption of some male-favored goods.

Published: Wang, Shing-Yi, 2014. "Property rights and intra-household bargaining," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 192-201. citation courtesy of

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