Research Interests:

- Labor Economics (Immigration, Wage Discrimination, Gender/Race Inequality)

- Environmental Economics

- Development Economics

- Experimental Economics

Scholarly Works:

- Earnings Gap Between Highly Educated Immigrants and US-Born Counterparts: Cross-Sectional Vs. Longitudinal (Job Market Paper - Presentation: Southern Economic Association Annual Meeting, Washington DC, Nov. 2016)

Abstract: Is there any significant gap between the earnings of college educated United States natives and those of college educated immigrants upon arrival to the United States? If there exists such a premium, which group is getting more and how is this gap changing over time? Using the rich and under-explored National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG) dataset (cycles 2003, 2006, and 2008), employing both cross-sectional and longitudinal approaches, I study the earnings gap at entry and its change over time between natives and three types of immigrants (based on current residency status). The analysis is done on whole sample, men only, women only, and also between natives and immigrants who migrated to the United States on different types of visas (permanent residence visa, work visa, study visa, and dependent visa). My results show that, in general, upon their arrival, immigrants have a considerable premium over the US-born, and this gap will even get bigger with an approximate rate of 0.25% for the first 5-10 years of immigrants' residence in the US (men, women, and also sub-groups of immigrants have different estimates). The results also show that \cohort bias" is not an issue in this sample and there is no significant difference (in skills) between cohorts of arrival. Moreover, cross-sectional and longitudinal approaches give different results and draw disparate paths for various sub-groups of immigrants.

- Are College Graduate Immigrants on Work Visa Cheaper than Natives? (completed)

Abstract: The use of H-1B and other work visas to hire foreign professionals in the United States has recently been controversial and has caused policy debates. Also, there is a general concern that some wage discrimination might exist against skilled immigrants who are working in the US labor market with working visa compared to natives. Using the 2003 and 2010 waves of National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG), I examine whether or not any wage premium exists for or against college graduate immigrants who are on work visa compared with college graduate natives. I also check for any change of such a premium from 2003 to 2010. The results show that contrary to the common belief that foreign workers are cheap labor force, after controlling for socio-economic and demographic characteristics, skilled immigrants holding temporary work visas have a significant wage premium over natives and this premium has even significantly increased from 2003 to 2010. According to results, this wage premium is different for men and women and for individuals originally from some particular countries, but there is no evidence supporting different premiums for people having different fields of study.

- Does Wildfire Smoke Impact Home Values? (with Klaus Moeltner - in Progress)

- Estimating the Rate of Return on Investment in On-the-Job Training in Iran (in Progress)

Dissertation Committee:

Dr. Nicolaus Tideman (co-chair)

Professor, Department of Economics

Virginia Tech


Phone: (540) 231-7592

Dr. Klaus Moeltner (co-chair)

Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

Virginia Tech


Phone: (540) 231-8249

Dr. Kwok Ping (Byron) Tsang

Associate Professor, Department of Economics

Virginia Tech


Phone: (540) 231-5942

Dr. Wen You

Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

Virginia Tech


Phone: (540) 231-4083