Tommaso Porzio

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2016Life-Cycle Human Capital Accumulation Across Countries: Lessons From U.S. Immigrants
with David Lagakos, Benjamin Moll, Nancy Qian, Todd Schoellman: w21914
How much does life-cycle human capital accumulation vary across countries? This paper seeks to answer this question by studying U.S. immigrants, who come from a wide variety of countries but work in a common labor market. We document that returns to potential experience among U.S. immigrants are higher on average for workers coming from rich countries than for those coming from poor countries. To understand this fact we build a model of life-cycle human capital accumulation that features three potential theories, working respectively through cross-country differences in: selection, skill loss, and human capital accumulation. To distinguish between theories, we use new data on the characteristics of immigrants and non-migrants from a large set of countries. We conclude that the most likely ...
April 2014Aggregate Fertility and Household Savings: A General Equilibrium Analysis using Micro Data
with Abhijit Banerjee, Xin Meng, Nancy Qian: w20050
This study uses micro data and an overlapping generations (OLG) model to show that general equilibrium (GE) forces are critical for understanding the relationship between aggregate fertility and household savings. First, we document that parents perceive children as an important source of old-age support and that, in partial equilibrium (PE), increased fertility lowers household savings. Then, we construct an OLG model that parametrically matches the PE empirical evidence. Finally, we extend the model to conduct a GE analysis and show that under standard assumptions and with the parameters implied by the data, GE forces can substantially offset the PE effects. Thus, focusing only on the PE can substantially overstate the effect of aggregate fertility on household savings.
December 2012Experience Matters: Human Capital and Development Accounting
with David Lagakos, Benjamin Moll, Nancy Qian, Todd Schoellman: w18602
We use international household-survey data to document that experience-wage profiles are flatter in poorer countries than in richer countries. We find a quantitatively similar pattern when we estimate returns to foreign experience by country of origin among U.S. immigrants. The most likely explanation for both findings is that workers accumulate less human capital from experience in poorer countries. Taking this into consideration in development accounting substantially increases the role of human capital in accounting for cross-country income differences.
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