Economics serving society
Sulin Sardoschau

Sulin Sardoschau

Ph. D. student

Paris School of Economics / Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne

Campus Jourdan – 48 Boulevard Jourdan 75014 Paris

6th floor, office 58

Phone +33(0)1 80 52 16 49

  • Trade/Migration and development
  • Political Economy and Institutions

Thesis Supervisor: RAPOPORT Hillel

Academic year of registration: 2014/2015

Thesis title: Migration, Aid, and Conflict: Essays in Political Economy and Development

Year of thesis defense: 2018/2019

Date of thesis defense: 19 November 2018

Working Papers

International Migration and Cultural Convergence

(Co-Authors: Hillel Rapoport & Arthur Silve)

Does international migration contribute to cultural convergence or divergence between sending and receiving countries? We investigate this question both theoretically and empirically. We first develop a compositional model of international migration and cultural change, where divergence arises from self-selection on cultural traits and convergence arises from social mixing. The model is then adapted to allow for horizontal and vertical cultural transmission following citet{bisin2000beyond}. The model yields a rich set of predictions, which we test empirically using panel data from the World Value Survey and bilateral migration data for the period 1981-2014. We exploit within country-pair variation in cultural proximity over time and find support for the cultural transmission hypothesis. As the model with cultural transmission predicts, migration generates bilateral cultural convergence even if we exclude migrants from the pool of respondents in both countries (hence eliminating social mixing). It is also more likely in the long-run, especially after controlling for economic incentives to migrate and for initial cultural distance, which is consistent with the cultural transmission hypothesis (but not with compositional changes). Interestingly, international migration appears as a stronger and more robust driver of cultural convergence than trade. The results hold for a large set of time-varying cultural distance measures along different statistical and topical dimensions. 


Children of War: In-utero Stress and Child Health in Iraq 

This paper combines detailed household-level data on child health from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) in Iraq with geo-coded incidences of violence from the Iraq Body Count Project to estimate the impact of in-utero exposure to violence between 2006 and 2009 on biometric, behavioral and cognitive outcomes of children. Rich data from citet{condra2012takes} on severity (duration and casualties), type (bombings, explosions, gunfire etc.), and perpetrators of violence (coalition, insurgent, or sectarian) on the district level allow me to discriminate between two possible mechanism: damages to the infrastructure versus violence-induced pre-natal stress for mothers. I improve on the literature on the effects of prenatal exposure to violence on child health by testing the stress-mechanism more explicitly. Controlling for unobserved heterogeneity at the household-level with household fixed effects, the results suggest that one single violent incidence during pregnancy significantly increases the risk of stuntedness and malnutrition. The MICS data allow for an analysis of outcomes that go beyond biometric measures. I find that violent incidences also weaken children's ability to recognize words or letters, to get along with other children, and to follow simple directions. Even events with very little impact on the general infrastructure (low duration and low-casualty incidences) remain a major detriment to child health. While the type of violence does not seem to play a major role, the perpetrator of violence seems to matter. Violent incidences that do not fall into the category of "collateral damage" but are explicitly targeting the civilian population appear to be the driver behind the adverse effects of conflict on child health outcomes.


Chinese Aid in Africa: Attitudes and Conflict

(Co-Author: Alexandra Jarotschkin)

Chinese development projects in Africa are often portrayed as exploitative, self-serving and conflict provoking. In this paper we answer the question of whether Chinese aid in Africa really does affect conflict and change attitudes towards China. We combine geo-located information on the number, size and type of Chinese aid projects between 2000 and 2012 with panel data on conflict on the African continent to estimate the impact of the presence of Chinese development projects on violence on the district level. We also exploit a large cross-sectional data set about Africans' attitudes towards China from the 6th wave of the Afrobarometer survey to differentiate between two possible mechanisms: conflict as a competition for resources or conflict as a result of cultural animosity towards China. We use two types of instrumental variables to argue for a causal relationship. In line with the previous literature, we find that the presence of aid projects increases conflict, particularly civilian riots, in Western, Eastern- and Southern African districts. However, we also show that aid projects with no physical Chinese presence (purely financial flows, such as budget support) are the driver behind the increase in conflict, which is suggestive evidence for the rent-seeking channel. Moreover, we do not find that the presence of aid projects provokes a particular hostility towards China. Districts with more Chinese aid projects in the previous 15 years do not hold more unfavorable views towards China than districts with fewer project


Other Projects

Evaluating Refugee and Integration Policies in France

(joint project with the French Ministry of Interior, Hillel Rapoport, Sarah Schneider, Biagio Speciale, and Liam Wren-Lewis)


Policy Briefs 

The Effects of Immigration in Developed Countries: Insights from Recent Economic Research

(Co-Authors: Anthony Edo, Lionel Ragot, Hillel Rapoport and Andreas Steinmayr)

The rise in international migration over the past decades and particularly the recent influx of refugees to the European Union has given more audience to the economic and political consequences of immigration. A major concern in the public debate is that immigrants could take jobs from natives, reduce their wages and negatively contribute to public finances. At the same time, the rise of right-wing populist movements has brought to light that the skepticism towards immigrants and refugees may not only be based only on economic but also on cultural considerations. This report is devoted to investigating these considerations by carefully relying on the existing evidence. We thus study the vast literature on the effects of immigration on the labor market and welfare system in host societies, as well as the more recent literature on the attitudinal and political consequences of immigration.

The literature on the labor market impact of immigration indicates that immigration has a negligible average impact on the wages and employment of native workers. However, because adjustments take time, particularly when immigration is unexpected, the initial and longer run impacts of immigration can differ. The average impact of immigration on public finance is also negligible, sometimes slightly positive or slightly negative. We also document that immigration can have distributional consequences. In particular, the age and educational structure of immigrants plays an important role in determining their impact on the labor market and public finances.


The fact that immigration is sometimes perceived as a factor depressing economic outcomes in host countries tends to affect native attitudes and electoral outcomes. In this regard, the literature first suggests that cultural concerns is the main driving force behind the skepticism towards immigration and that fiscal or labor market concerns only play a secondary role. Second, immigration tends to reduce the support for redistribution among native workers. Third, the effect of local level exposure to immigrants and refugees on native attitudes towards immigrants and extreme voting has been found to vary by context and can be positive or negative.


OECD Global Outlook on Aid (2014)

(Co-authors: Fredrik Ericsson, Suzanne Steensen, Guillaume Simon and Ana Vidales)

The Global Outlook on Aid is a key tool for the international community to better assess the prospects for meeting aid commitments, and to flag potential gaps in aid provision ahead of time. It builds on the annual DAC Survey on Donors’ Forward Spending Plans, a unique instrument that brings together most bilateral and multilateral aid spending plans for the upcoming three years. The report also examines the issue of aid predictability and scrutinises aid providers’ policies and procedures to provide a better understanding of the progress and obstacles in this field.