Kai Liu is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge. He previously worked at the Norwegian School of Economics in Bergen, Norway. His primary research and teaching interests are in labor economics, public economics and applied microeconometrics. He also works on the economics of China. He received his Ph.D. in economics in 2011 from the Johns Hopkins University.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in August 2014.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 9377
forthcoming in: Quantitative Economics

We investigate the importance of various mechanisms by which child care policies can affect life-cycle patterns of employment and fertility among women, as well as long-run cognitive outcomes among children. A structural life-cycle model of employment, fertility, and child care use is estimated using Norwegian administrative data. The estimation exploits...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9256

This paper shows that job mobility is a valuable channel which employed workers use to mitigate bad labor market shocks. I construct and estimate a model of wage dynamics jointly with a dynamic model of job mobility. The key feature of the model is the specification of wage shocks at...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9255
published in: Quantitative Economics, 7 (2016): 411–447.

I address the causes of the gender wage gap with a new dynamic model of wage, hours, and job changes that permits me to decompose the gap into a portion due to gender differences in preferences for hours of work and in constraints. The dynamic model allows the differences in...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9094
published in: Journal of Health Economics, 46 (2016): 16-32.

This paper provides empirical evidence on the role of public health insurance in mitigating adverse outcomes associated with health shocks. Exploiting the rollout of a universal health insurance program in rural China, I find that total household income and consumption are fully insured against health shocks even without access to...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8692
published in: Journal of Comparative Economics, 45 (2017): 154-170

Despite macroeconomic evidence pointing to a negative aggregate consumption response due to political uncertainty, few papers have used microeconomic panel data to analyze how households adjust their consumption after an uncertainty shock. We study household savings and expenditure adjustment from an unexpected, large-scale and rapidly evolving political shock that occurred...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6820
published in: European Economic Review, 84 (2016): 3-17.

We show that cyclical skill mismatch, defined as mismatch between the skills supplied by college graduates and skills demanded by hiring industries, is an important mechanism behind persistent career loss from graduating in recessions. Using Norwegian data, we find a strong countercyclical pattern of skill mismatch among college graduates. Initial...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5331
published in: Journal of Development Economics, 2013, 105, 164-177

China's household saving rate has increased markedly since the mid-1990s and the age-saving profile has become U-shaped. Using a panel of urban Chinese households covering 1989-2006, we document a sharp increase in income uncertainty. While the permanent variance of household income was stable, the transitory variance rose sharply. Based on...