Photo of Shilan Dargahi

Shilan Dargahi
Lecturer in Ecomonics (Economics)
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T: +44 (0)1273 873439

Research

Working Papers

An Empirical Test of Re-sorting in the Marriage Market

Abstract: This paper uses an unbalanced panel of British households to look at the effect of productivity shocks on the stability of marriage. The paper builds on a simple framework that assumes household production is a function of labour market productivities and matching in the marriage market is positive assortative. Following positive assortative sorting, differences in spouses' productivity shocks should be associated with higher rates of separation. However the empirical findings of this paper suggest that contrary to what the theory predicts, spouses that both are of low productivity type are more prone to divorce, as opposed to mismatched couples.

 

Benefit System and Marriage Dissolution Among Working Families

In this paper I use a tax and benefit micro-simulator of the U.K. welfare system to study the demographic changes as a response to policy interventions. Specifically, I estimate to what extent the marriage penalties created by the welfare state can affect the divorce rate. The welfare system in the U.K subsidises the lone parenthood and the marriage penalties created by the system are found to be higher among low earning households. With the help of the tax and benefit simulator, I impute the counterfactual effect of divorce on the net benefit entitlements of a sub sample of working families. The traditional economic model of marriage implies that increasing public support for unmarried mothers generally increases the prevalence of single-headed households. My findings suggest that £100 weekly increase in marriage penalties increases the probability of divorce by around 0.7%. 

School exam performance (Joint with Birgitta Rabe, Iftikhar Hussain)

This project aims at analysing the effect on exam performance of circumstances around the time of the exam, including for example weather (temperature, humidity), pollutant concentration, religious and cultural festivals (e.g. the Ramadan) and major sporting events. Such circumstances are known to influence performance through their effect on health and study effort. We aim to add to this literature by using data from the National Pupil Database (NPD) to consider a broader set of factors affecting exam performance, including health (Joint with Iftikhar Hussain, Birgitta Rabe)

 

Employment Transitions During and After Divorce

This is a descriptive paper based on 18 years of data from the British Household Panel Survey to study the labour supply choices of women who experience divorce. The paper looks into the labour supply at both intensive and extensive margins. The findings indicate that employment history is very important in predicting the labour supply after divorce. Women with full time work experience tend to increase their working hours after divorce, while women who only have part time work experience decrease their hours of labour supply. Moreover employment choices tend to vary across different educational groups. It is only among university graduates, that divorce increases the odds of full time employment. The findings are relevant for social policies that aim to assist households through in-work benefits.