Job Market Paper

  • Marriage Market Signaling and Women’s Occupation Choice

Abstract: Despite the general closure of gender disparities in the labor market over the past half century, occupational segregation has been stubbornly persistent. I develop a new model that explains these occupational outcomes through marriage market signaling. Vertically differentiated men have preference over women’s unobservable caregiving ability. Heterogenous women choose caregiving occupations to signal their ability to be caregivers. My model generates unique predictions on the influence of marriage market conditions on women’s occupational choices. I find empirical support for these predictions using longitudinal data on marriage rates, policy shocks to divorce laws, and shocks to the marriage market sex ratio driven by waves of immigration.

Working Papers

  • Covid19 and Consumer Animus towards Chinese Products — Evidence from Amazon Data (with Alma Cortes and Yipu Deng)

Abstract: Covid19 has tremendously affected all areas of our lives and our online shopping behaviors have not been immune. China is the first country to report cases of Covid19 and suffers from rising animus in the U.S. In this paper, we study consumer animus towards Chinese products post Covid19 using Amazon data. We tracked all face masks sold on Amazon between Sep. 2019 to Sep. 2020, and collect product information that is available to a real consumer, including reviews. By analyzing both seller-generated (e.g., product name, description, features) and user-generated (e.g., reviews and customer Q&A) content, we collect information on the country-of-origin as well as consumer animus for the products. Under a fully-dynamic event study design, we find that the average rating drops significantly after a product is identified as made in China for the first time, while no such drop is found for products with other countries-of-origin. This negative impact is U-shaped, which quickly expands in the first five weeks, and then gradually fades out within six months. An informative-animus review affects the average rating of a Chinese product both directly (through its own rating) and indirectly (through other future ratings), with both mechanisms supported in data. We also provide strong evidence that the drop in average rating is driven by consumer animus instead of product quality.

  • Learning from International Trade: Asymmetric Cultural Transmission and Gender Discrimination

Abstract: In this paper, I propose that international trade helps alleviate gender discrimination. With imperfect information on workers’ ability, there is statistical discrimination towards female workers. Through international trade, culture transmits asymmetrically between firms located in countries with different gender cultures. This cultural transmission benefits women because it transmits only in one direction from more gender-equal cultures to less gender-equal cultures. I prove this by linking the Customs data to the Industrial Firms data of China in 2004, and find that Chinese firms trading with more gender-equal cultures hire a higher fraction of female workers and enjoy higher profits. Similar patterns are not found in Chinese firms trading with less gender-equal cultures. The impact of cultural transmission goes beyond the firms engaged in international trade to have spillover effects onto purely domestic firms. Comparing across skill groups, cultural transmission benefits high-skill female workers more.

  • Export, Wage Distortion, and Income Inequality – A Study based on Chinese Experience (with Yan Zhang, Zhuang Miao, and Kuo Feng)

Abstract: This paper focuses on firm heterogeneity, skill heterogeneity and analyzes how trade liberalization affects the wage inequality between skilled and unskilled workers based on worker performance. We propose a model featuring firm with heterogenous productivity choosing different trade modes and forming distinct demands for workers with various skills. Empirically, we match the Chinese Industrial Firms with Customs data in 2004 and construct an indicator measuring the performance-based wage inequality between skilled and unskilled workers. We find that the existing wage distortion hurts the benefits of skilled workers in China. General trade increases the wage gap between skilled and unskilled workers, but it alleviates the wage distortion against skilled workers. Processing trade decreases the wage gap in China.

Work in Progress

  • Gender Inequality within the Household: Evidence from Childcare Prices (with Timothy N. Bond)
  • Reputation, Optimal Quality Investment and Firm’s Export Decisions (with Jiatong Zhong)

Data Experience

O*NET, National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, Current Population Survey (IPUMS), Decennial Censuses (IPUMS), American Time Use Survey, Consumer Expenditure Survey, Panel Study of Income Dynamics, Amazon Data, China Customs Trade Data, Chinese Annual Survey of Industrial Firms, China Statistical Yearbook, China Census Database, General Social Survey, World Development Indicators, International Trade and Tariff Data, Annual Survey of Manufactures

Research Experience

  • Research Assistant to Timothy Bond……….Fall 2020 – present
  • Research Assistant to Chong Xiang……….Fall 2021, Summer 2017 – Spring 2020
  • Research Assistant to Farid Farrokhi……….Fall 2018 – Spring 2020
  • Research Assistant to Yaroslav Rosokha……….Summer 2017
  • Research Assistant to Yan Zhang……….Fall 2012 – Summer 2016