Melanie Khamis completed her Ph.D. at the London School of Economics.She also holds an MSc in Economics from the University of Warwick and a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Before and during her doctoral studies, she worked as an economist for the Department for International Development (DFID) (U.K.), as a consultant for the World Bank and as a researcher for the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Her main research interests are labor economics, development economics and applied microeconomics.

She worked at IZA as a Research Associate from February 2008 until June 2011.

She is currently an Associate Professor of Economics at Wesleyan University (since March 2018), where she was also an Assistant Professor (2011 to 2018). She continues to be affiliated with IZA as a Research Fellow.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 10830
published in: Labour Economics, 2017, 49, 145-161

This paper examines the persistent effects of historical labor market institutions and policies on women's long-term labor market outcomes. We quantify these enduring effects by exploring quasi-experimental variation in Germany's post-World War II mandatory reconstruction policy, which compelled women to work in the rubble removal and reconstruction process. Using difference-in-differences...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8425
published in: Research in Labor Economics, 2015, 1-33

The changes in women and men's work lives have been considerable in recent decades. Yet much of the recent research on gender differences in employment and earnings has been of a more snapshot nature rather than taking a longer comparative look at evolving patterns. In this paper, we use 50...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7239
published in: Applied Economics, 2016, 8(29): 2771-2784.

This paper provides causal evidence on the long-term legacies of postwar reconstruction and mandatory employment on women's family formation outcomes such as marriage, age at first marriage and divorce. We exploit city-by-cohort variation in the intensity of World War II reconstruction in Germany which determined the mobilization of women in...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6163
published in: Research in Labor Economics, 2012, 229 - 255

Informality is a growing phenomenon in the developing and transition country labor market context. In particular, it is noticeable that working in an informal employment relationship is often not temporary. The degree of persistence of informality in the labor market might be due to different sources: structural state dependence due...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6148
substantially revised paper appeared as DP No. 10830

During World War II, more than one-half million tons of bombs were dropped in aerial raids on German cities, destroying about forty percent of the total housing stock nationwide. With a large fraction of the male population gone, the reconstruction process had mainly fallen on women in postwar Germany. This...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5406
published in: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2012, 83 (3), 353-371

We examine spending on consumption items which have signaling value in social interactions across groups with distinctive social identities in India, where social identities are defined by caste and religious affiliations. The classification of such items was done by eliciting responses to a survey in India. We match the results...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5142
published in: Gil S. Epstein and Ira N. Gang (eds.), Migration and Culture, Frontiers of Economics and Globalization, Vol. 8, Emerald Publishing: 2010

Ethnic conflicts and their links to international human trafficking have recently received a surge in international attention. It appears that ethnic conflicts exacerbate the internal displacement of individuals from networks of family and community, and their access to economic and social safety nets. These same individuals are then vulnerable to...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4676
published in: Journal of International Development, 2012, 24 (7), 894-908

This paper provides a detailed analysis of various dimensions of informality in the Mexican labor market. To understand the nature of informality in terms of regulations and compliance, the legalistic view, and in terms of productivity view of the labor market this paper makes an empirical contribution to the debate...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4614
published in: Review of Development Economics, 2012, 16 (4), 579–593

Limited availability of workfare programs and unemployment insurance and a large informal sector are features of the Argentine labor market at the outset of the 2001 economic crisis. This paper tests the hypothesis whether informal work is an alternative to workfare participation before a large-scale program expansion took place. Results...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 3916

This paper employs recently developed econometric models of marginal treatment effects to analyze the relevance of labor market comparative advantage and segmentation in the participation and earnings performance of workers in formal and informal jobs in Argentina. A novel household data set on informality and self-employment and information on labor...