How do retail prices react to minimum wage increases?
Intergenerational economic mobility in the U.S., 1940 to 2000
We use two sample instrumental variables to estimate intergenerational economic mobility from 1940 to 2000. We find intergenerational mobility increased from 1940 to 1980 but declined sharply thereafter, a pattern similar to cross-sectional inequality trends. However, the returns to education account for only some of these patterns. The time- series may help to reconcile previous findings in the intergenerational mobility literature. Our estimates imply a somewhat different pattern for the intergenerational income correlation, a measure insensitive to changes in cross-sectional inequality ...
Recent evidence on the relationship between unemployment and wage growth
The current expansion has delivered the lowest unemployment rates in decades, yet nominal wage growth has remained relatively contained. This suggests to some a shift in the historical relationship between unemployment and wage growth. We look across the states for more timely evidence of a change in this relationship. We find some evidence that the elasticity of real wage growth with respect to unemployment has fallen recently, a result that is not due to a compositional shift toward college-educated workers. However, evidence of a weakened relationship is itself weak, depending on ...
The effects of progressive taxation on labor supply when hours and wages are jointly determined
This paper extends a standard intertemporal labor supply model to account for progressive taxation as well as the joint determination of hourly wages and hours worked. We show, qualitatively and quantitatively, that these two factors have important implications for estimating the intertemporal elasticity of substitution. Furthermore, we show how to use this corrected parameter to interpret the labor supply response to a tax change. Failure to account for wage-hours ties within a progressive tax system leads to an hours response to a change in marginal tax rates that may be biased downwards by ...
Firm Dynamics and the Minimum Wage: A Putty-Clay Approach
We document two new facts about the market-level response to minimum wage hikes: firm exit and entry both rise. These results pose a puzzle: canonical models of firm dynamics predict that exit rises but that entry falls. We develop a model of firm dynamics based on putty-clay technology and show that it is consistent with the increase in both exit and entry. The putty-clay model is also consistent with the small short-run employment effects of minimum wage hikes commonly found in empirical work. However, unlike monopsony-based explanations for small short-run employment effects, the model ...
Fertility transitions along the extensive and intensive margins
This paper examines the fertility transition through a new lens: the extensive margin. Parents with high levels of children might substitute quality for quantity as the constraints on quality relax or those on quantity tighten. However, along the extensive margin, the quantity-quality trade-off cannot operate. At low levels of fertility, we expect quality and quantity to be essential complements. We apply these insights to a large school construction program in the American South during the early 20th century, the Rosenwald Rural Schools Initiative. We find that increased schooling ...
Internal Immigrant Mobility in the Early 20th Century: Experimental Evidence from Galveston Immigrants
Between 1907 and 1914, the ?Galveston Movement,? a philanthropic effort spearheaded by Jacob Schiff, fostered the immigration of approximately 10,000 Russian Jews through the Port of Galveston, Texas. Upon arrival, households were given train tickets to pre-selected locations west of the Mississippi River where a job awaited. Despite the program?s stated purpose to locate new Russian Jewish immigrants to the Western part of the U.S., we find that almost 90 percent of the prime age male participants ultimately moved east of the Mississippi, typically to large Northeastern and Midwestern ...
The minimum wage and restaurant prices
Using both store-level and aggregated price data from the food away from home component of the Consumer Price Index survey, we show that restaurant prices rise in response to an increase in the minimum wage. These results hold up when using several different sources of variation in the data. We interpret these findings within a model of employment determination. The model implies that minimum wage hikes cause employment to fall and prices to rise if labor markets are competitive but potentially cause employment to rise and prices to fall if labor markets are monopsonistic. Therefore, our ...
Product market evidence on the employment effects of the minimum wage
We calibrate a model of labor demand to infer the employment response to a change in the minimum wage in the food away from home industry. Assuming a perfectly competitive labor market, the model predicts a 2.5 to 3.5 percent fall in employment in response to a 10 percent minimum wage change. We then introduce monopsony power in local labor markets. We identify the extent of monopsony power using information on the degree to which minimum wage cost shocks are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. Whereas the competitive model implies that employment falls and prices rise in ...
The effect of school finance reform on population heterogeneity
This paper tests whether state school finance reform alters neighborhood income homogeneity. One implication of the Tiebout model is that within-community homogeneity declines as a result of an exogenous decrease in the ability of jurisdictions to set local tax and expenditure levels. The property tax revolt and the school finance equalization reform of the 1970s and 1980s offer a test of the role of state fiscal reform on aggregate population sorting behavior. The results show that school finance has a significant effect on school district income sorting, especially among low income ...