Potential Jobs Impacted by Covid-19
In this blog, we conduct an exercise to determine the potential consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on near-term labor market outcomes. This is not a forecast, but an attempt to provide some discipline around potential bounds of the number of jobs impacted by the crisis. We estimate that between nine and 26 million jobs are potentially affected,1 with a best guess of around 15 million. If these jobs are lost, the June unemployment rate could reach between 14% and 18%, with a best guess of around 15%.
A note on the benefits of homeownership
This brief note adds to recent work that attempts to identify externalities associated with homeownership. The results suggest that some of the homeownership effect found in Green and White  is driven by family characteristics associated with homeownership, especially residential stability. However, as much as homeownership increases residential stability, it appears to be correlated with higher school attainment. Attempts to control for endogeneity cannot eliminate this finding. ; Originally issued as WP 98-20 (June 1999)
The impact of Rosenwald Schools on Black achievement
The Black-White gap in completed schooling among Southern born men narrowed sharply between the World Wars after being stagnant from 1880 to 1910. We examine a large scale school construction project, the Rosenwald Rural Schools Initiative, which was designed to dramatically improve the educational opportunities for Southern rural Blacks. From 1914 to 1931, nearly 5,000 school buildings were constructed, serving approximately 36 percent of the Black rural school-aged Southern population. We use historical Census data and World War II enlistment records to analyze the effects of the program on ...
Tracking U.S. Consumers in Real Time with a New Weekly Index of Retail Trade
We create a new weekly index of retail trade that accurately predicts the U.S. Census Bureau's Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MRTS). The index's weekly frequency provides an early snapshot of the MRTS and allows for a more granular analysis of the aggregate consumer response to fast-moving events such as the Covid-19 pandemic. To construct the index, we extract the co-movement in weekly data series capturing credit and debit card transactions, mobility, gasoline sales, and consumer sentiment. To ensure that the index is representative of aggregate retail spending, we implement a novel ...
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 ...
The impact of technology on displacement and reemployment
This article explores whether job displacement is more prevalent in industries with higher technological innovation and whether older and less skilled employees are more prone to technology-induced job displacement. The authors also test whether the probability of reemployment is lower for older and less skilled workers in high-technology industries.
Did Covid-19 disproportionately affect mothers’ labor market activity?
School and day care center restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic have presented enormous challenges to parents trying to juggle work with child-care responsibilities. Still, empirical evidence on the impact of pandemic-related child-care constraints on the labor market outcomes of working parents is somewhat mixed. Some studies suggest the pandemic had no additional impact on the labor supply of parents, while other studies show not only that it did but that the negative impact was disproportionately borne by working mothers.
Explaining Variation in Real Wage Growth Over the Recent Expansion
In August 2019 the unemployment rate was roughly 1 percentage point below the Congressional Budget Office?s (CBO) estimate of its long-run or natural rate, nearly matching the unemployment rate gap that developed during the historically tight labor market of the late 1990s. Nevertheless, real wage growth remains well below its pace of the late 1990s and even that of the milder 2000s expansion.
Estimating the trend in employment growth
For the unemployment rate to decline, the U.S. economy needs to generate above-trend job growth. We currently estimate trend employment growth to be around 80,000 jobs per month, and we expect it to decline over the remainder of the decade, due largely to changing labor force demographics and slower population growth.
Supplier relationships and small business use of trade credit
This paper sheds some light on the empirical importance of supplier relationships, including ethnic ties, for the use of trade credit by minority-owned small businesses. Results based on the 1993 National Survey of Small Business Finance (NSSBF) indicate that ethnic differences in the use of trade credit are present after conditioning on an extensive list of control variables. This holds especially for Black-owned businesses, and we find that they use less trade credit, are less likely to take advantage of discounts for early payment, and are more likely to have payments past due. We use ...