Yun WangFollow

Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Hakan Yilmazkuday

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Cem Karayalcin

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Mihaela Pintea

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Sneh Gulati

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


International Trade, Migration

Date of Defense



My dissertation encompasses three different topics on empirical international trade and migration. The first chapter investigates the short run effects of regional trade agreements on trade costs. It is widely accepted that the reinforcement of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) aiming at trade costs reduction among trade partners requires time. This paper investigates the effects of RTAs on trade costs over time by using unique micro-price data. We confirm that having an RTA on average lowers trade costs significantly. Furthermore, data shows significant and negative effects of RTAs on trade costs over time. Specifically, besides the initial impact on trade costs, having an RTA continuously lower trade costs every year after the commencement of the RTA.

The second chapter decomposes the overall effects of gravity variables on trade through three gravity channels: duties/tariffs (DC), transportation-costs (TC), and dyadic-preferences (PC). Compared to the existing literature, additional channel of PC is introduced and shown to dominate the other two channels, with adjacency contributing about 45 percent, distance about 32 percent, colony about 14 percent, free trade agreements about 7 percent, and language about 2 percent. The results imply that gravity variables mainly capture the effects of demand shifters rather than supply shifters (as implied by the existing literature).

The third chapter utilizes an immigration inflow data set from OECD countries during the period of 1984 to 2015 to shed light on how institutional quality affects the immigration rate. With the analysis in the fixed-effects framework, we construct a set of country-time specific institutional quality indexes to examine their effects on the immigration rate. The paper shows that other than the network effects, GDP difference, and migration costs, institutional qualities in both destination and source countries matter when it comes to potential migration decisions. Specifically, better socioeconomic conditions in the destination countries, and worse foreign debt, budget balance, government stability, internal conflicts, and corruption conditions in the source countries increase the immigration inflow.





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