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Author:Abel, Jaison R. 

Discussion Paper
Upstate New York Job Growth: The Bad News Is that the Good News Was Wrong

In 2015, upstate New York looked to be having its strongest job growth in years. Employment was estimated to be growing at around one percent—below the national pace, but twice the region's trend growth rate since the end of the Great Recession. Buffalo, in particular, looked to be gaining significant numbers of construction and manufacturing jobs for the first time in decades, pushing it to its highest job growth since the late 1990s. Unfortunately, the good news was wrong. Annual benchmark revisions to New York State's employment data released in early March cut upstate's growth rate in ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20160325

Discussion Paper
Foreclosures Loom Large in the Region

Households in the New York-northern New Jersey region were spared the worst of the housing bust and have generally experienced less financial stress than average over the past several years. However, as the housing market has begun to recover both regionally and nationally, the region is faring far worse than the nation in one important respect—a growing backlog of foreclosures is resulting in a foreclosure rate that is now well above the national average. In this blog post, we describe this outsized increase in the region’s foreclosure rate and explain why it has occurred. We then ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20130410

Report
Knowledge in cities

This study identifies clusters of U.S. and Canadian metropolitan areas with similar knowledge traits. These groups?ranging from Making Regions, characterized by knowledge about manufacturing, to Thinking Regions, noted for knowledge about the arts, humanities, information technology, and commerce?can be used by analysts and policymakers for the purposes of regional benchmarking or comparing the types of programs and infrastructure available to support closely related economic activities. In addition these knowledge-based clusters help explain the types of regions that have levels of economic ...
Staff Reports , Paper 470

Discussion Paper
Delaying College During the Pandemic Can Be Costly

Many students are reconsidering their decision to go to college in the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, college enrollment is expected to be down sharply as a growing number of would-be college students consider taking a gap year. In part, this pullback reflects concerns about health and safety if colleges resume in-person classes, or missing out on the “college experience” if classes are held online. In addition, poor labor market prospects due to staggeringly high unemployment may be leading some to conclude that college is no longer worth it in this economic environment. ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200713

Discussion Paper
When Women Out-Earn Men

We often hear that women earn “77 cents on the dollar” compared with men. However, the gender pay gap among recent college graduates is actually much smaller than this figure suggests. We estimate that among recent college graduates, women earn roughly 97 cents on the dollar compared with men who have the same college major and perform the same jobs. Moreover, what may be surprising is that at the start of their careers, women actually out-earn men by a substantial margin for a number of college majors. However, our analysis shows that as workers approach mid-career, the wage premium that ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20150805

Discussion Paper
College May Not Pay Off for Everyone

In our recent Current Issues article and blog post on the value of a college degree, we showed that the economic benefits of a bachelor’s degree still far outweigh the costs. However, this does not mean that college is a good investment for everyone. Our work, like the work of many others who come to a similar conclusion, is based in large part on the empirical observation that the average wages of college graduates are significantly higher than the average wages of those with only a high school diploma. However, not all college students come from Lake Wobegon, where “all of the children ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20140904b

Discussion Paper
Businesses in the Tri-State Region Struggling to Weather the Coronavirus Outbreak

As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, New York State, New Jersey, and Connecticut have closed nonessential businesses and schools and asked residents to stay home in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. These actions are unprecedented, and the economic impacts are likely to be temporary but severe, and difficult to track and measure. With conditions changing so rapidly, timely data on the economic impacts of the outbreak and resultant policies on businesses and people are both scarce and important. In this post, we provide some very recent information on the economic effects of the ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200330a

Report
Labor market pooling and occupational agglomeration

This paper examines the micro-foundations of occupational agglomeration in U.S. metropolitan areas, with an emphasis on labor market pooling. Controlling for a wide range of occupational attributes, including proxies for the use of specialized machinery and for the importance of knowledge spillovers, we find that jobs characterized by a unique knowledge base exhibit higher levels of geographic concentration than do occupations with generic knowledge requirements. Further, by analyzing co-agglomeration patterns, we find that occupations with similar knowledge requirements tend to ...
Staff Reports , Paper 392

Discussion Paper
The Welfare Costs of Superstorm Sandy

As most of the New York metropolitan region begins to get back to normal following the devastation caused by superstorm Sandy, researchers and analysts are trying to assess the total ?economic cost? of the storm. But what, exactly, is meant by economic cost? Typically, those tallying up the economic cost of a disaster think of two types of costs: loss of capital (property damage and destruction) and loss of economic activity (caused by disruptions). But there is another important type of economic loss that often is not estimated or discussed in policymaking decisions: loss of welfare or ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20121218

Report
Can low-wage workers find better jobs?

There is growing concern over rising economic inequality, the decline of the middle class, and a polarization of the U.S. workforce. This study examines the extent to which low-wage workers in the United States transition to better jobs, and explores the factors associated with such a move up the job ladder. Using data covering the expansion following the Great Recession (2011-17) and focusing on short-term labor market transitions, we find that around 70 percent of low-wage workers stayed in the same job, 11 percent exited the labor force, 7 percent became unemployed, and 6 percent switched ...
Staff Reports , Paper 846

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