David Albouy

David Yves Albouy (pronounced al-bwee) is Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His interests are in public and urban economics, as well as in political economy and labor economics.

General

David Albouy was born in Paris, France, and raised in the Washington D.C. area. He received his B.A. from McGill University in 2000 in History, Philosophy, and Economics. He then earned an M.A. in Economics from Yale University in 2002, and a Ph. D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007. Albouy is a citizen of the United States of America and France and is a native speaker of English and French.

Research

Albouy analyzed the wage gap between native English (Anglophone) and French (Francophone) speakers in Canada from 1971 to 2001. He finds that the wage gap in the province of Quebec was closed by lowering the wages of Anglophones as well as by raising the wages of Francophones, and therefore gap closed more within Quebec than in Canada as a whole. Because the wages of Anglophones fell in Quebec, it appears that the mass-migration of Anglophones out of the province was driven by lost job opportunities, rather than by a deteriorating quality-of-life.

Later, Albouy discredited a key data series in an influential paper by the John Bates Clark Medal winner Daron Acemoglu and his co-authors, Simon Johnson and James A. Robinson, entitled "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation." The data collected by the authors on potential European settler mortality rates was based mainly on mortality rates of European soldiers in the mid-nineteenth century, sometimes mixed with data from Latin-American bishops and African laborers, and never from European settlers. Furthermore, over half of the sample contains rates taken from other countries, often based on mistaken or conflicting evidence. Acemoglu et al. have replied that there is "no foundation" to any of the criticisms raised by Albouy. [http://www.economicprincipals.com/issues/05.10.30.html]

Albouy’s current research focuses on regional inequalities of federal taxes and spending, which journalist Malcom Gladwell writes is "one of the best-kept secrets in American politics." Because federal taxes and transfers are not indexed to local wage levels, taxes are too high in large, expensive cities, where the most productive jobs are, and that workers have a tax incentive to live in nicer or less-productive areas, where wages are lower. This phenomenon has artificially boosted the population in low-density areas and in the South, and has lowered GDP by about a quarter of a percent.

Albouy also challenges economic quality-of-life measurements for different cities, based on how high the cost-of-iving in a city is relative to its local wage-level. By neglecting federal taxes, non-housing costs, and income from non-labor sources, previous research had falsely concluded that households in large cities had much higher disposable-income levels, believed to be compensation for urban disamenities such as congestion and pollution. Thus it was presumed that small cities, like Sioux Falls, SD, were much better places to live than large cities, like San Francisco, CA. Albouy's revised quality-of-life estimates find larger cities to be much more amenable, and reveal that people strongly prefer to live in areas with sunshine, mild seasons, and close to the ocean.

Other research documents that federal spending across states is influenced by Congressional representation: states with members in the majority party receive greater federal grants, particularly for transportation. Furthermore, states with more Republican members receive greater military spending, while states with more Democrats receive more education grants.

Teaching

Albouy teaches undergraduate courses at the University of Michigan in Government Expenditures and Urban Economics and a graduate course in Government Revenues. [http://www.lsa.umich.edu/cg/cg_results.aspx?termArray=w_08_1670&cgtype=ug&cgtype=gr&allsections=true&keyword=albouy&show=20]

Awards

2007 National Tax Association Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award 2007 UC Berkeley Department of Economics Graduate Student Award for Public Policy Research

2006-2007 UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Dissertation-Year Fellowship

2005 Graduate Fellow of the American Academy of Political & Social Science

External links

* [http://www-personal.umich.edu/~albouy/ Personal Website at the University of Michigan ]
* [http://www.nber.org/authors/david_albouy NBER Publications by David Albouy]
* [http://www.lsa.umich.edu/econ/detail/0,2484,9760%255Fpeople%255Fecon5004,00.html University of Michigan, Department of Economics Website]
* [http://ideas.repec.org/e/pal128.html David Yves Albouy at IDEAS]
* [http://www.bus.umich.edu/OTPR/newsletters/Vol12-1Summer2007.htm University of Michigan Tax Research News]
* [http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/opinion/story.html?id=27dd3d2d-6e6a-46ff-921d-67d144496c82 Hitting Anglophones in the Wallet]


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