The Lost Weeks of COVID-19 Testing in the United States: Part I
The weeks lost due to inaction in the U.S. during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in rationing of tests and a large number of confirmed cases.
Explaining Cross-Cohort Differences in Life Cycle Earnings
College-educated workers entering the labor market in 1940 experienced a 4-fold increase in their labor earnings between the ages of 25 and 55; in contrast, the increase was 2.6-fold for those entering the market in 1980. For workers without a college education these figures are 3.6-fold and 1.5-fold, respectively. Why are earnings profiles flatter for recent cohorts? We build a parsimonious model of schooling and human capital accumulation on the job and calibrate it to earnings statistics of workers from the 1940 cohort. The model accounts for 99 percent of the flattening of earnings ...
Family Economics Writ Large
Powerful currents have reshaped the structure of families over the last century. There has been (i) a dramatic drop in fertility and greater parental investment in children; (ii) a rise in married female labor-force participation; (iii) a significant decline in marriage and a rise in divorce; (iv) a higher degree of positive assortative mating; (v) more children living with a single mother; (vi) shifts in social norms governing premarital sex and married women's roles in the workplace. Macroeconomic models explaining these aggregate trends are surveyed. The relent-less flow of technological ...
Technology Adoption, Mortality, and Population Dynamics
We develop a quantitative theory of mortality trends and population dynamics. We emphasize diseases as causes of death and individuals' decisions to reduce their mortality by adopting, at some cost, a modern health-related technology. Adoption confers a dynamic externality: Adoption becomes cheaper as more individuals acquire the modern technology. Our model generates an S-shaped diffusion curve, whose shape dictates the pace of mortality reduction in each country. We use the model to explain the gradual decline of mortality in Western Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries as well as the ...
Lifetime Benefits of an Education Have Never Been So High
The level of education determines a worker?s earnings to a large degree, and this simple study of cohorts of workers over the decades illustrates how the ?lifetime education premium? is becoming more valuable than ever.
From Ye Olde Stagnation to Modern Growth in England
Modern economic growth is a relatively recent phenomenon in history, but what led economies out of stagnation?
How Much Debt Is Too Much? What History Shows
The U.K. had relatively high levels of public debt in the past 300 years, with its debt-to-GDP ratio exceeding 200% at times.
The most likely candidates to hold multiple jobs are not who you would expect.
Comparative Advantage and Moonlighting
The proportion of multiple jobholders (moonlighters) is negatively correlated with productivity (wages) in cross-sectional and time series data, but positively correlated with education. We develop a model of the labor market to understand these seemingly contradictory facts. An income e?ect explains the negative correlation with productivity while a comparative advantage of skilled workers explains the positive correlation with education. We provide empirical evidence of the comparative advantage in CPS data. We calibrate the model to 1994 data on multiple jobholdings, and assess its ability ...
Mortality Reductions: Fast for Poorer Nations, Slow for Richer Nations
The same increase in life expectancy took longer for a sample of today’s richer countries than it did for some of today’s poorer countries, but it also occurred earlier.