Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program



English (en)

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Michele Boldrin


This is a collection of essays on the macroeconomics of information. The first chapter, "The Skill Premium, College Enrollment and Education Signals" explores the quantitative implications of a signaling model of education for the evolution of the skill premium for young workers in the US since the 1970s. I formalize the idea that as college education becomes more affordable for a larger fraction of population, not having a college degree becomes a more precise signal about low ability, increasing the college wage premium. The model, when calibrated, suggests that about 17 percent of the growth in college premium is produced through this signaling channel. In light of the recent financial crisis, in the second essay, I study banks' incentive to produce public information about the return to the loans that they sell to risk-averse investors. Risk-averse banks rely on information production to redistribute risks between themselves and investors. I show that securitization, by eliminating the idiosyncratic component of risk, promises a less risky return, diminishing the marginal benefit of information, hence reducing information production. The third chapter: with Juan Pantano) contributes to the literature of accommodating unobserved heterogeneity in the Hotz-Miller estimation strategies by proposing a new two-step fixed-effect estimation approach. We uncover the type of each observation in the first step by exploiting a consistency requirement of the subjective assessments of a given type reported in subjective expectations data.


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