Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This thesis is based on a collection of three essays which study the effects of financial policy on labor markets. The first two essays investigate the effects of U.S. bank branching deregulation on labor markets. The first essay studies how these regulations impacted wages and working hours of traditional payroll workers. The second essay studies the impact of these policy reforms on the occupational choice to engage in self-employed work. The main finding of this set of studies is credit access has real effects on the workforce. Estimates from the econometric analysis used in this study suggest that credit access that stemmed from various policy changes lead to increases in entry and exit rates among self-employed workers, especially among those who started incorporated businesses. Furthermore, these effects are stronger among groups that typically face tougher credit constraints such as younger workers, minorities. The results of this study also show that increases in credit, stemming from policy reforms, lead to increases in the annual working hours and growth rate of the real wage rate for private sector workers. Further analysis suggests that increases in the annual labor supply response is higher for workers with lower earning rates, which lead to decreases in income inequality in the absence of a decline in earnings inequality. The third essay studies the effects of bankruptcy reforms on self-employed workers classified by their needs for external finance. We find that after a national tightening of the bankruptcy code, there is a decline in the rates of entry among unincorporated self-employed workers in states which offer a lower degree of bankruptcy protection.



Committee Chair

Unel, Bulent



Included in

Economics Commons