Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Economics



First Advisor

John R. Gardner

Second Advisor

Natalia Kolesnikova

Third Advisor

Jon R. Moen

Relational Format



This dissertation covers two evaluations on migration policies and their impact on distinct groups of immigrants.

The first chapter deals with a recent policy in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, which started to charge tuition fees from international students in 2017. Tertiary education remains free of charge in all other 15 states, which warrants a difference indifferences approach. My analysis with publicly available data focuses on enrollment rates and provides additional insights into the geographical distribution of changes in enrollment behavior. I find that the international enrollment share decreased by about 2 percentage points at treated institutions, largely thanks to changes in the enrollment behavior of Asian and African students. The policy has however not yet materialized in an improvement of foreign failure shares of final exams, i.e. there is no empirical evidence for a quality effect.

Chapter 2 assesses the labor market effects on different immigrant groups under a restrictive immigration regime. I focus on the Johnson-Reed Act in the US, which curbed immigration after 1924, in particular from Asia as well as Southern and Eastern Europe. Filipinos were exempt from these restrictions because they immigrated from a US territory until gaining independence. This differential treatment creates a well-defined group for a difference-in-difference analysis on relative changes in labor market outcomes. My findings, derived from full US census data between 1910 and 1940, support the hypothesis that ongoing Filipino immigration lowered the relative occupational standing of their compatriots who migrated earlier. Moreover, Filipinos became more likely to seek and find employment in the same period. The effects are particularly strong for 1930 before Filipinos were subject to restrictions themselves, and in California, the main destination of Filipinos. Panel estimates partially support these results.



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