Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Economics

First Advisor

Joshua R. Hendrickson

Second Advisor

John R Gardner

Third Advisor

Andre Liebenberg


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



The price-specie-flow mechanism (PSFM) is a theory of the adjustment of the balance of trade and gold flows as a result of deviations in relative prices across countries under a gold standard. The PSFM is central to quantity-theoretic discussions of economic fluctuations under a gold standard as well as analysis of whether central banks follo``the rules of the game'' of the gold standard. In short, the PSFM is the standard working assumption when it comes to gold standard adjustment. However, at least since Adam Smith there has been an alternative to the PSFM that has come to be known as the monetary approach to the balance of payments. The distinction between the PSFM and the monetary approach have important implications for both quantity-theoretic explanations of economic fluctuations as well as the interpretation of the so-called "rules of the game." In the first chapter, I outline and test the empirical predictions of each theory to determine which is more accurate. The evidence is mixed, but largely favors the monetary approach to the balance of payments. In the second chapter, I use the national level skill group framework pioneered by Borjas (2003) to estimate the impact of immigration on the wages and the employment rates of native men and women separately. I find that a 10\% increase in immigrant labor supply depresses wages of native women by about 3.5 percentage points but does not have a significant effect on the wages of native men. In exploring the possible explanations for the differences in wage impacts, I find that human capital differences could account for a large portion of these differences. There is not much support for blanket discrimination against immigrants and native women as a group, but the result could still be consistent with a more detailed discrimination story.

Included in

Economics Commons



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