Seminar Series – Spring 2023

A weekly seminar hosted jointly with the World Bank featuring guest speakers presenting cutting-edge research in development economics.

Please note that the series this semester will be in person. All seminars will take place from 12:30-1:45 on Thursdays in ICC 550. 

Simone Schaner, University of Southern California

February 9, 2023

Information, Intermediaries, and International Migration

Job seekers face substantial information frictions, especially in international labor markets where intermediaries match prospective migrants with overseas employers. We conducted a randomized trial in Indonesia to explore how information about intermediary quality shapes migration outcomes. Holding access to information about the return to choosing a high-quality intermediary constant, intermediary-specific quality disclosure reduces the migration rate, cutting use of low-quality providers. Workers who do migrate receive better pre-departure preparation and have improved experiences abroad, despite no change in occupation or destination. These results are not driven by changes in beliefs about average provider quality or the return to migration. Nor does selection explain improved outcomes for those who migrate with quality disclosure. Together, our findings are consistent with an increase in the option value of search: with better ability to differentiate offer quality, workers
search longer, select higher-quality intermediaries, and ultimately have better migration experiences.

Eoin McGuirk, Tufts University

February 23, 2023

Lori Beaman, Northwestern University

March 2, 2023

Guy Grossman, University of Pennsylvania

March 16, 2023

Diana Moreira, University of California – Davis

March 23, 2023

Gaurav Khanna, University of California – San Diego

March 30, 2023

Namrata Kala, MIT

April 13, 2023

Saad Gulzar, Princeton University

April 20, 2023

Sandra Sequeira, London School of Economics

April 27, 2023

Fred Finan, University of California – Berkeley

May 4, 2023