Yang Wang

Ph.D. Candidate

Job Market Paper

"Skill Complementarity in Teams: Matching, Sorting and Agglomeration in China"

This paper models and quantifies the importance of within-firm skill complementarity in explaining cross-city productivity gaps in China. I argue that skill complementarity is an important driver of skill concentration which augments these productivity gaps with agglomeration economies. I develop a spatial general equilibrium model that captures an economy inhabited by heterogeneous individuals who form production teams through assortative matching and sort across cities in these teams. Using restricted firm-level census data, I structurally estimate the model through the simulated method of moments. Through counterfactual analysis, I find that within-firm skill complementarity accounts for 18% of cross-city productivity gaps in China. I further examine the general equilibrium effects of trending place-based policies in China: subsidizing skilled individuals to reside in second-tier cities. The simulated equilibrium shows local gains from such policies at the expense of other cities, suggesting an equity-efficiency trade-off in a spatial economy.


"Railways and the Local Economy: Evidence from Qingzang Railway." Economic Development and Cultural Change. 2015. (with Binzhen Wu) Press Coverage: [The Economist]

Working Papers

"What We Learn from a Failed RD: Consequences of Retaking in High-Stakes Tests"

"Talents on the Move: Income Gains from Internal Migration in China"

Research in Progress

"Maternal Stress, Birth Weight and School Performances: Evidence from the 2003 SARS Outbreak"

"New Faces in Africa: Local Employment and Skill Transfer in Ethiopia"

"Skill Dispersion and Wage Inequality in China"

"Avoiding the Air Pollution: Evidence from Bike-Sharing" (with Chu Dang)

"Parental Time Investment and School Performance"(with Wei Chi and Binzhen Wu)