PhD Candidate, Department of Economics

Contact Information

Department of Economics
Northwestern University
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL, 60208

Phone: (+1) 847 387 9836
Email: luca.bittarello@u.northwestern.edu


Education

Ph.D., Economics, Northwestern University, 2019 (expected)
M.A., Economics, Northwestern University, 2016
M.A., Economics, summa cum laude, Sciences Po, 2013
B.A., Social Sciences, summa cum laude, Sciences Po, 2011

Fields of Specialization

Labor Economics
Economic History

Curriculum Vitae

Download Vita (PDF)

Job Market Paper

Organizing Collective Action: Labor Strife in the U.S. in the 1880s (PDF)

This paper evaluates an explanation for the unionization of collective bargaining: unions help workers win strikes. I test this hypothesis with data from the U.S. in the early 1880s, when unorganized workers were still responsible for two fifths of all strike activity. Because organized workers might attempt riskier confrontations than the unorganized, I construct an instrument for union intervention in a strike from the location of the assemblies of the Knights of Labor. I estimate that unions raised strikers’ success rate by 31 percentage points from a baseline of 40 percent; moreover, they decreased the incidence of job loss by 22 percentage points from a baseline of 56 percent. Although unions increased the probability that employers acceded to strikers’ demands, I find no effect on the size of those concessions.

Working Papers

The Task Content of Occupations (PDF), with F. Kramarz and A. Maitre

This paper evaluates how an increase in the supply of skilled labor affects task assignment within and between occupations. Guided by a simple theoretical framework, we exploit detailed information about individual workers’ tasks from multiple surveys to examine the impact of a twofold rise in the share of university graduates in the French workforce between 1991 and 2013. Our identification strategy uses variation in the change in the graduate share across local labor markets. We find that higher average educational attainment is associated with more routine, fewer cognitive and fewer social tasks within occupations and with fewer routine, more cognitive and more social tasks across occupations.

Distributional Impact Analysis: Toolkit and Illustrations of Impacts beyond the Average Treatment Effect, with G. Bedoya, J.M.V. Davis and N.K. Mittag

Discussion Paper 11863 , IZA, 2018
Policy Research Working Paper 8139, World Bank, 2017

Program evaluations often focus on average treatment effects. However, average effects miss important aspects of policy evaluation, such as the impact on inequality. A growing literature develops methods to evaluate such issues by examining the distributional impact of programs and policies. This toolkit reviews these strategies, focusing on their application to randomized control trials. We emphasize two strands of the literature: estimation of treatment impacts on outcome distributions and estimation of the distribution of treatment impacts. Furthermore, we discuss extensions to conditional effect heterogeneity and offer advice on inference and power calculations. We illustrate select methods with data from two randomized evaluations.

Work in Progress

Labor and Technology: The Adoption of Cold Type in the American Newspaper Industry, with Aniket Panjwani and Yiling Zhao
Organizing Strikes in the Gilded Age: From the Knights of Labor to the American Federation of Labor, 1881–1894

Software

Julia: Microeconometrics.jl
Stata: dte.ado and bscr.ado

References

Prof. Joseph P. Ferrie (Committee Co-Chair)
Prof. Joel Mokyr (Committee Co-Chair)
Prof. Matthew J. Notowidigdo
Prof. Francis Kramarz