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Author:Black, Dan A. 

Working Paper
The role of location in evaluating racial wage disparity

A standard object of empirical analysis in labor economics is a modified Mincer wage function in which an individual's log wage is specified to be a function of education, experience, and an indicator variable identifying race. Researchers hope that estimates from this exercise can be informative about the impact of minority status on labor market success. Here we set out a theoretical justification for this regression in a context in which individuals live and work in different locations. Our model leads to the traditional approach, but with the important caveat that the regression should ...
Working Papers , Paper 2009-043

Working Paper
The labor supply of married women: why does it differ across U.S. cities?

Using Census Public Use Micro Sample (PUMS) data for 1980, 1990 and 2000, this paper documents a little-noticed feature of U.S. labor markets that there is wide variation in the labor market participation rates and annual work hours of white married women across urban areas. This variation is also large among sub-groups, including women with children and those with different levels of education. Among the explanations for this variation one emerges as particularly important: married women's labor force participation decisions appear to be very responsive to commuting times. There is a strong ...
Working Papers , Paper 2007-043

Journal Article
The economic progress of African Americans in urban areas: a tale of 14 cities

How significant was the economic progress of African Americans in the United States between 1970 and 2000? In this paper the authors examine this issue for black men 25 to 55 years of age who live in 14 large U.S. metropolitan areas. They present the evidence that significant racial disparities remain in education and labor market outcomes of black and white men, and they discuss changes in industrial composition, migration, and demography that might have contributed to the stagnation of economic progress of black men between 1970 and 2000. In addition, the authors show that there was no ...
Review , Volume 92 , Issue Sep , Pages 353-379

Working Paper
Local price variation and labor supply behavior

In standard economic theory, labor supply decisions depend on the complete set of prices: the wage and the prices of relevant consumption goods. Nonetheless, most of theoretical and empirical work ignores prices other than wages when studying labor supply. The question we address in this paper is whether the common practice of ignoring local price variation in labor supply studies is as innocuous as has generally been assumed. We describe a simple model to demonstrate that the effects of wage and non-labor income on labor supply will typically differ by location. We show, in particular, the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2008-016

Working Paper
Earnings functions when wages and prices vary by location

In this paper we study whether location-specific price variation likely affects statistical inference and theoretical interpretation in the empirical implementation of human capital earnings functions. We demonstrate, in a model of local labor markets, that the ?return to schooling" is a constant across locations if and only if preferences are homothetic ? a special case that seems unlikely to generally pertain. Examination of U.S. Census data (for 1980, 1990, and 2000) provides persuasive evidence that the return to a college education, relative to a high school education, does indeed vary ...
Working Papers , Paper 2007-031

Journal Article
Local price variation and labor supply behavior

In standard economic theory, labor supply decisions depend on the complete set of prices: wages and the prices of relevant consumption goods. Nonetheless, most theoretical and empirical work in labor supply studies ignore prices other than wages. We address the question of whether the common practice of ignoring local price variation in labor supply studies is as innocuous as generally assumed. We describe a simple model to demonstrate that the effects of wage and nonlabor income on labor supply typically differ by location. In particular, we show that the derivative of the labor supply with ...
Review , Volume 91 , Issue Nov , Pages 613-626

Working Paper
Are children 'normal'?

In his classic work on the economics of fertility, Becker (1960) suggests that children are likely ?normal.? We examine this contention. Our first step is documenting an empirical regularity about the cross section of white married couples in the U.S.: when we restrict comparisons to households living in broadly similar locations (e.g., in expensive urban areas, or in rural areas), completed fertility is positively correlated with the husband?s income. Two alternative models rationalize the data?one in which children are ?normal? and a second in which the observed pattern emerges solely as a ...
Working Papers , Paper 2008-040

Journal Article
Local price variation and labor supply behavior

In standard economic theory, labor supply decisions depend on the complete set of prices: wages and the prices of relevant consumption goods. Nonetheless, most theoretical and empirical work in labor supply studies ignores prices other than wages. We address the question of whether the common practice of ignoring local price variation in labor supply studies is as innocuous as generally assumed. We describe a simple model to demonstrate that the effects of wage and nonlabor income on labor supply typically differ by location. In particular, we show that the derivative of the labor supply with ...
Regional Economic Development , Issue Oct , Pages 2-14

Working Paper
African-American economic progress in urban areas: a tale of 14 American cities

How significant was the economic progress of African-Americans in the U.S. between 1970 and 2000? In this paper we examine this issue for black men 25-55 years old who live in 14 large U.S. metropolitan areas. We present the evidence that significant racial disparities remain in education and labor market outcomes of black and white men. We discuss changes in industrial composition, migration, and demographic changes that might have contributed to the stagnation of economic progress of black men between 1970 and 2000. In addition, we show that there was no progress in a financial well-being ...
Working Papers , Paper 2010-015

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