Robert Helsley


Relevant Degree Programs


Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - April 2022)
Language, immigration, and cities (2009)

This dissertation analyzes the complex relationships between language, immigration, and labor and housing market outcomes. First, I model the urban labor market as segmented by language barriers. The prediction of this segmentation theory is confirmed by Canadian Census data, which allow me to identify a worker's labor market segment by her work language. Second, Iexplore whether the housing market reflects people's willingness to pay for higher quality social-ethnic interactions. By combining housing transaction data and Census information, I am able to test such a relationship with positive results. Finally, I ask what properties housing price series have if some people have better knowledge of the future immigration/migration flows toa city. Under this setup, the price series become serially correlated and theprice volatility varies over time. The model also explains the long-standing price-volume relationship in housing transaction data.

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