Brian K. Kovak

Learn More
Automakers can comply with fuel economy regulations by exploiting a loophole that gives a bonus to flexible-fuel vehicles. Under certain conditions, firms will equate the marginal cost of using the loophole, which is observable, with the unobservable costs of other compliance strategies, such as selling smaller cars or upgrading technology. After verifying(More)
Over the last 40 years, trade barriers around the world have fallen to historically low levels. As part of this process, many developing countries abandoned import substituting industrialization policies by sharply lowering trade barriers, motivating a large literature examining the effects of trade liberalization on various national labor market outcomes(More)
This section closely follows Jones (1975), but deviates from that paper’s result by allowing the amount of labor available to the regional economy to vary. Consider a particular region, r, suppressing that subscript on all terms. Industries are indexed by i = 1...N . L is the total amount of labor and Ti is the amount of industry i-specific factor available(More)
We empirically study the dynamics of labor market adjustment following the Brazilian trade reform of the 1990s. We use variation in industry-specific tariff cuts interacted with initial regional industry mix to measure trade-induced local labor demand shocks, and then examine regional and individual labor market responses to those one-time shocks over two(More)
This paper demonstrates that low-skilled Mexican-born immigrants' location choices in the U.S. respond strongly to changes in local labor demand, and that this geographic elasticity helps equalize spatial differences in labor market outcomes for low-skilled native workers, who are much less responsive. We leverage the substantial geographic variation in(More)
The recent growth in offshore outsourcing of intermediate input production makes it especially critical that statistical agencies are able to accurately measure quality-adjusted trade flows. This paper examines the implications of global production sharing for measuring the price of semiconductors, a critical input to high-end domestic manufacturing and(More)
This paper measures the effects of Brazil’s 1987-1995 trade liberalization on local labor market wages and internal migration patterns. I develop a specific-factors model of regional economies to examine the impact of national price changes on local labor markets. In the model, a region’s industry mix determines the local impact of liberalization, with(More)
Trade economists have long studied the effects of globalization on wage differences between workers with different levels of skill or education. This literature has generally sought to link globalization to changes in the economy-wide skill premium. Attanasio, Goldberg, and Pavcnik (2004) and Gonzaga, Menezes Filho, and Terra (2006) are salient examples(More)
This paper quantifies the effects of trade liberalization on local labor market outcomes and workers’ migration patterns. I extend the classic specific-factors model to examine the impact of national price changes on local labor markets. The model describes how tariff changes across industries affect wages in local labor markets within the liberalizing(More)
Many recent studies estimate cost function parameters to measure the influence of capitalskill complementarity on changes in skill demand. This paper argues that standard cost function estimates assuming quasi-fixed capital systematically overestimate the effect of complementarity when subject to skill-biased technological change. While previous work has(More)