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Author:Hu, Luojia 

Working Paper
The COVID-19 Pandemic and Asian American Employment

Recent studies have documented the disparate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on labor market outcomes for different racial groups. This paper adds to this literature by documenting that the employment of Asian Americans - in particular those with no college education - has been especially hard hit by the economic crisis associated with the onset of the pandemic. This can only partly be explained by differences in demographics, local market conditions, and job characteristics, and it also cannot be entirely explained by possible different selection into education levels across ethnic groups. ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-19

Newsletter
Changing Labor Force Composition and the Natural Rate of Unemployment

This article discusses why changes in the composition of the labor force may have lowered the natural (or trend) rate of unemployment?the unemployment rate that would prevail in an economy making full use of its productive resources?to 5 percent or less. A lower natural rate may help explain why wage inflation and price inflation remain low despite actual unemployment recently reaching 5.5 percent?a figure only slightly above prominent estimates of the natural rate, such as that of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Demographic and other changes should continue to lower the natural rate ...
Chicago Fed Letter

Working Paper
Credit Score Doctors

We study how the existence of cutoffs in credit scores affects the behavior of homebuyers. Borrowers are more likely to purchase houses after their credit scores cross over a cutoff to qualify them for a higher credit score bin. However, the credit accounts of these individuals (crossover group) are more likely to become delinquent within four years following home purchases than the accounts of those who had stayed in the same bin (non-crossover group). The effect is not only concentrated in subprime bins, but in other bins as well. It is neither limited to pre-crisis period nor curtailed by ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP 2020-07

Newsletter
How much of the decline in unemployment is due to the exhaustion of unemployment benefits?

Prior studies have examined the impact of extended unemployment insurance (UI) benefits on the rise in the unemployment rate in this recession and early recovery. We use real-time microdata from the Bureau of Labor Statistics? Current Population Survey (CPS) to examine whether there has been a reverse effect recently as benefits have been exhausted. We find that if UI benefits had lasted indefinitely, the unemployment rate would have been cumulatively about 0.1 to 0.3 percentage points higher between October 2009 and January 2011, which represents about 10% to 25% of the decline in the actual ...
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue July

Working Paper
Easy Bootstrap-Like Estimation of Asymptotic Variances

The bootstrap is a convenient tool for calculating standard errors of the parameter estimates of complicated econometric models. Unfortunately, the bootstrap can be very time-consuming. In a recent paper, Honor and Hu (2017), we propose a ?Poor (Wo)man's Bootstrap? based on one-dimensional estimators. In this paper, we propose a modified, simpler method and illustrate its potential for estimating asymptotic variances.
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2018-11

Newsletter
How Health Insurance Improves Financial Health

Low-income Americans who became eligible to enroll in Medicaid due to the Affordable Care Act saw their medical debt cut in half.
Chicago Fed Letter

Working Paper
The Effect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansions on Financial Wellbeing

We examine the effect of the Medicaid expansions under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) on consumer, financial outcomes using data from a major credit reporting agency for a large, national sample of adults. We employ the synthetic control method to compare individuals living in states that expanded Medicaid to those that did not. We find that the Medicaid expansions significantly reduced the number of unpaid bills and the amount of debt sent to third-party collection agencies among those residing in zip codes with the highest share of low-income, uninsured ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2016-10

Journal Article
Do labor market activities help predict inflation?

The authors conduct an empirical analysis of the role of labor market activities in inflation and conclude that wage growth is not very informative for predicting price inflation. But price inflation does seem to help predict wage growth.
Economic Perspectives , Volume 34 , Issue Q II

Working Paper
Prenatal sex selection and girls' well-being? evidence from India

The paper studies the impact of prenatal sex selection on the well-being of girls by analyzing changes in children's nutritional status and mortality during the years since the diffusion of sex-selective abortion in India. We use the ratio of male to female births in the year and state in which a child was born as a proxy for parental access to prenatal sex-selection. Using repeated cross-sections from a rich survey dataset, we show that high sex ratios at birth reflect the practice of sex-selective abortion. We then exploit the large regional and time variations in the incidence of ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2010-11

Working Paper
Rushing into American Dream? House Prices, Timing of Homeownership, and Adjustment of Consumer Credit

In this paper we use a large panel of individuals from Consumer Credit Panel dataset to study the timing of homeownership as a function of credit constraints and expectations of future house price. Our panel data allows us to track individuals over time and we model the transition probability of their first home purchase. We find that in MSAs with highest quartile house price growth, the median individual become homeowners earlier by 5 years in their lifecycle compared to MSAs with lowest quartile house price growth. The result suggests that the effect of expectation dominates the effect of ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2013-13

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