Ashoka Reflections_FEBRUARY 2024

Welcome to interactive presentation, created with Publuu. Enjoy the reading!

“Essays on Immigrants and their Impact on the

Local Labour Market” by Dr Ronit Mukherji was

selected as the Citation winning thesis for 2022

Ashoka Reflections | Page 06

The Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) has played a crucial role in financing, facilitating, and promoting

India’s international trade and investment. In this pursuit, Exim Bank has recognised the significance of

economic research for policy evolution and informed decisions by stakeholders. The International Economic

Research Annual Citation (IERA Citation) was instituted by the India Exim Bank in 1989 as part of the Bank’s

enduring commitment to promote high-quality research. The Citation is presented to the Doctoral Thesis with

a focus on international economics, trade, development issues and related financing. Over the years, it has

been a springboard for intellectual leaders in the field of economic research. Several past winners of the

Citation are prominent economists, research scholars, and academicians today.

IERA Citation 2022 was the 34th edition and an eminent Jury of domain experts was constituted to evaluate

the entries received for the Citation. After a detailed evaluation, the thesis titled: “Essays on Immigrants and

their Impact on the Local Labour Market” by Dr Ronit Mukherji (Assistant Professor, Department of Economics

Ashoka University) was selected as the Citation winning thesis for 2022. The award was presented on 8th

December 2023 by Dr Richard Baldwin at Bharat Mandapam, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. He is a Professor of

International Economics at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), an expert in global

economic policy and theory, and an authority on understanding the economic drivers and risks of

globalisation. The welcome address was by Ms Harsha Bangari, Managing Director, Export-Import Bank of

India, and the inaugural address was by Chief Guest Dr Vivek Joshi, Secretary, Ministry of Finance,

Government of India. The Citation besides the honour, also carries a cash prize of Rs. 3,50,000 and the

winning thesis is published in the form of an Occasional Paper, intended to benefit policymakers, exporters,

industrialists, export promotion council and researchers.

The winning thesis consists of three chapters that delve into the behaviour and earnings of immigrants and

how their entry impacts the local labour market. It employs empirical analysis using microdata to establish

causal relationships between immigrant entry and local economic changes. The research combines this

empirical approach with macroeconomic models and calibration tools to gain a deeper understanding of how

these changes occur in the local economy. The first chapter of the thesis explores whether the entry of low-

skilled immigrants can explain the consistent decline in unionisation rates observed in the United States. The

chapter argues that immigrant entry has altered the incentives for native-born workers to join labour unions

and for firms to hire unionised workers. It further shows that a decline in unionisation rates concentrated

around the skill distribution extremes. The chapter also considers a model which on closer examination

predicts that low-skilled immigrant entry can explain a significant portion of the total decline in union density.

The second chapter of the thesis investigates the impact of exchange rate fluctuations between the source

and foreign economies on immigrant workers' earnings and labour supply. It suggests that a source country's

currency depreciation leads to a decrease in earnings—indicating a backwards-bending supply curve. The

final chapter examines the influence of macroeconomic conditions (such as the unemployment rate) at the

point of entry for immigrants into the foreign economy and how it affects their short- and long-term earnings.

The chapter investigates the earnings of immigrant workers during economic downturns and whether long-

term success varies among immigrants with different skills, education, nationality, and gender.

Dr Ronit Mukherji is grateful for the award and recognition. He would like to thank his thesis supervisors at his

alma mater, the University of British Columbia. They are Prof. David Green, Prof. Michael Devereux, and Prof.

Kevin Milligan. He also would like to thank his parents and colleagues for their support.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84