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Author:Altonji, Joseph 

Working Paper
Modeling earnings dynamics
In this paper we use indirect inference to estimate a joint model of earnings, employment, job changes, wage rates, and work hours over a career. Our model incorporates duration dependence in several variables, multiple sources of unobserved heterogeneity, job-specific error components in both wages and hours, and measurement error. We use the model to address a number of important questions in labor economics, including the source of the experience profile of wages, the response of job changes to outside wage offers, and the effects of seniority on job changes. We provide estimates of the dynamic response of wage rates, hours, and earnings to various shocks and measure the relative contributions of the shocks to the variance of earnings in a given year and over a lifetime. We find that human capital accounts for most of the growth of earnings over a career although job seniority and job mobility also play significant roles. Unemployment shocks have a large impact on earnings in the short run as well a substantial long long-term effect that operates through the wage rate. Shocks associated with job changes and unemployment make a large contribution to the variance of career earnings and operate mostly through the job-specific error components in wages and hours.
AUTHORS: Vidangos, Ivan; Smith, Anthony; Altonji, Joseph
DATE: 2009

Working Paper
Small sample bias in GMM estimation of covariance structures
AUTHORS: Altonji, Joseph; Segal, Lewis M.
DATE: 1994

Working Paper
Employer learning and statistical discrimination
AUTHORS: Altonji, Joseph; Pierret, Charles R.
DATE: 1997

Discussion Paper
Risk-sharing, altruism, and the factor structure of consumption
We consider four models of consumption that differ with respect to efficient risk-sharing and altruism. They range from complete markets with altruism to family risk-sharing. We use a matched sample of parents and independent children available from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to discriminate between the four models. Our testing procedure is designed to deal with the set of observed independent children being endogenously selected. The combined hypothesis of complete markets and altruism can be decisively rejected, while we fail to reject altruism and hence family risk-sharing for a subset of families.
AUTHORS: Kotlikoff, Laurence J.; Hayashi, Fumio; Altonji, Joseph
DATE: 1991

Journal Article
Effects of personal and school characteristics on estimates of the return to education
What is the economic return to attending college? The earnings gap between college and high school graduates is large, but college and high school graduates differ in many ways besides education. This article finds that differences in family background and ability explain about one fourth of the gap.
AUTHORS: Altonji, Joseph
DATE: 1998-01

Journal Article
Black/white differences in wealth
This article studies the extent to which the wide gap in the wealth holdings of whites and African Americans can be explained by differences in family income and demographic characteristics.
AUTHORS: Altonji, Joseph; Doraszelski, Ulrich; Segal, Lewis M.
DATE: 2000-01

Journal Article
Vacation laws and annual work hours
This article reviews the theory and evidence regarding how work hours are determined and the role of employer policies on vacation. The authors discuss possible economic rationales for vacation laws and present empirical evidence on whether they affect annual work hours. The results indicate that vacation laws lead to a substantial reduction in work hours.
AUTHORS: Altonji, Joseph; Oldham, Jennifer
DATE: 2003-07

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