Wages and unemployment across business cycles: a high-frequency investigation
This paper investigates the change in wages associated with a spell of unemployment. The novelty lies in using monthly data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to analyze the dynamics of those wage changes across different business cycles. The level of education or the sector of re-employment affects the change in wages following an unemployment spell differently across different downturns. The degree of wage rigidity varies across recessions; wage changes pre- and post-unemployment are sometimes procyclical and sometimes countercyclical. These results may be useful for ...
Consumption and Hours between the United States and France
We document large differences between the United States and France in allocations of consumption expenditures and time by age. Using a life-cycle model, we quantify to what extent tax and transfer programs and market and home productivity can account for the differences. We find that while labor efficiency by age and home-production productivity are crucial in accounting for the differences in the allocation of time, the consumption tax and social security are more important regarding allocation of expenditures. Adopting the U.S. consumption tax decreases welfare in France, and adopting the ...
Home Hours in the United States and Europe
Using data from the Multinational Time Use Study, this paper documents the trends and levels of time allocation, with a focus on home hours, for a relatively large set of industrialized countries during the past 50 years. Three patterns emerge. First, home hours have decreased in both the United States and European countries. Second, female time allocation contributes more to the cross-country difference in both the trends and the levels of market hours and home hours per person. Third, time allocations between the United States and Europe are more similar for the prime-age group than for the ...
Impact of the business environment on output and productivity in Africa
We develop a general equilibrium model to assess the quantitative impact of distorting institutions and policies related to the poor business environment in 30 sub-Saharan African countries. A subset of the distortions?namely, regulation, crime, corruption, and poor infrastructure?is modeled as a tax on output. From the data, we find that, on average, firms in Africa lose a fifth of their sales as a result of those distortions. On the other hand, low access to credit affects the reallocation of resources across firms and capital formation. We find that the quantitative effects of these areas ...
Who Benefited Most from the CARES Act Unemployment Insurance Provisions?
The regular unemployment insurance (UI) program in the United States requires workers to have a minimum amount of earnings as well as a sufficient work history before unemployment. Low-wage workers are more likely to have a short work history before unemployment because they are more likely to be separated from their jobs. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) under the CARES Act temporarily eliminated the requirements for minimum past earnings and length of employment, thus making many low-wage workers who were ineligible for UI under the regular program temporarily eligible. The extra ...
Taxes and Market Hours: The Role of Gender and Skill
Cross-country differences of market hours in 17 countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development are mainly due to the hours of women, especially low-skilled women. This paper develops a model to account for the gender-skill differences in market hours across countries. The model explains a substantial fraction of the differences in hours by taxes, which reduce market hours in favor of leisure and home production, and by subsidized care, which frees (mostly) women from home care in favor of their market hours. Low-skilled women are more responsive to policy ...
The CARES Act Unemployment Insurance Program during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The outbreak of COVID-19 led to widespread shutdowns in March and April 2020 and an historically unprecedented increase in the generosity of unemployment insurance (UI) through the CARES Act. This article summarizes the key policy-relevant results from Fang, Nie, and Xie (2020), whose research examines the interactions of virus infection risk, shutdown policy, and increased UI generosity.
Bundling Time and Goods: Implications for Hours Dispersion
We document the large dispersion in hours worked in the cross-section. We account for this fact using a model in which households combine market inputs and time to produce a set of nonmarket activities. To estimate the model, we create a novel data set that pairs market expenditures and time use at the activity level using data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey and the American Time Use Survey, respectively. The estimated model can account for a large fraction of the dispersion of hours worked in the data. The substitutability between market inputs and time within an activity and across a ...
Human capital dynamics and the U.S. labor market
Entry barriers, competition, and technology adoption
There are large differences in income per capita across countries. Growth accounting finds that a large part of the differences comes from the differences in total factor productivity (TFP). This paper explores whether barrier to entry is an important factor for the cross-country differences in TFP. The paper develops a new model to link entry barriers and technology adoption. In the model, higher barriers to entry effectively reduce entry threat, and lower entry threat leads to adoption of less productive technologies. The paper demonstrates that technology adopted in the economy with entry ...