Manning Up and Womaning Down: How Husbands and Wives Report Earnings When She Earns More
To infer social preferences regarding the relative earnings of spouses, we use measurement error in the earnings reported for married couples in the Current Population Survey. We compare the earnings reported for husbands and wives in the survey with their “true” earnings as reported by their employers to tax authorities. Compared with couples where the wife earns just less than the husband, those where she earns just more are 15.9 percentage points more likely to under-report her relative earnings. This pattern reflects the reporting behavior of both husbands and wives and is consistent ...
Health Insurance as an Income Stabilizer
We evaluate the effect of health insurance on the incidence of negative income shocks using the tax data and survey responses of nearly 14,000 low income households. Us-ing a regression discontinuity (RD) design and variation in the cost of nongroup pri-vate health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, we find that eligibility for sub-sidized Marketplace insurance is associated with a 16% and 9% decline in the rates of unexpected job loss and income loss, respectively. Effects are concentrated among households with past health costs and exist only for “unexpected” forms of earnings ...
Important Factors Determining Fintech Loan Default: Evidence from the LendingClub Consumer Platform
This study examines key default determinants of fintech loans, using loan-level data from the LendingClub consumer platform during 2007–2018. We identify a robust set of contractual loan characteristics, borrower characteristics, and macroeconomic variables that are important in determining default. We find an important role of alternative data in determining loan default, even after controlling for the obvious risk characteristics and the local economic factors. The results are robust to different empirical approaches. We also find that homeownership and occupation are important factors in ...
How do people pay rent?
Using data from the 2014 Boston Fed Bill Payment Experiment and the 2014 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC), we investigate how households pay their rent. We find that the dominant methods for paying rent are cash (22 percent), check (42 percent), and money order (16 percent). Electronic methods are still rarely used, at 8 percent for bank account number payment and 7 percent for online banking bill payment, and less than 2 percent for debit and credit cards. Compared with other large bill payments of more than $200, rental payments are much more likely to be made with paper-based ...
What are the Perceived Barriers to Homeownership for Young Adults?
As the U.S. emerges from the Great Recession, there is concern about slowing rates of new household formation and declining interest in homeownership, especially among younger households. Potential reasons that have been posited include tight mortgage credit and housing supply, changing preferences over tenure in the wake of the foreclosure crisis, and weak labor markets for young workers. In this paper, we examine how individual housing choices, and the stated motivations for these choices, reflect local housing affordability and individual financial circumstances, focusing particularly on ...
Heterogeneity in Economic Shocks and Household Spending
Large swings in aggregate household-sector spending, especially for big ticket items such as cars and housing, have been a dominant feature of the macroeconomic landscape in the past two decades. Income and wealth inequality increased over the same period, leading some to suggest the two phenomena are interconnected. Indeed, there is supporting evidence for the idea that heterogeneity in economic shocks and spending are connected, most notably in studies using local-area geography as the unit of analysis. The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) provides a household-level perspective on changes ...
Whose Child Is This? Shifting of Dependents Among EITC Claimants Within the Same Household
Using a panel of household level tax data, we estimate the degree to which dependents are "reassigned" between tax units within households, and how these reassignments affect combined tax liabilities. Reassigning dependents reduces combined tax liabilities on average, suggesting some household level coordination. Additionally, when EITC benefits expanded in 2009, reassignments increasingly involved adding a third child to tax returns to claim these new benefits. However, the subgroup reassigning towards three child tax units actually increased total household tax liabilities, suggesting that ...
Inferring Inequality with Home Production
We revisit the causes, welfare consequences, and policy implications of the dispersion in households' labor market outcomes using a model with uninsurable risk, incomplete asset markets, and a home production technology. Accounting for home production amplifies welfare-based differences across households meaning that inequality is larger than we thought. Using the optimality condition that households allocate more consumption to their more productive sector, we infer that the dispersion in home productivity across households is roughly three times as large as the dispersion in their wages. ...
Labor Market Trends and the Changing Value of Time
During the past two decades, households experienced increases in their average wages and expenditures alongside with divergent trends in their wages, expenditures, and time allocation. We develop a model with incomplete asset markets and household heterogeneity in market and home technologies and preferences to account for these labor market trends and assess their welfare consequences. Using micro data on expenditures and time use, we identify the sources of heterogeneity across households, document how these sources have changed over time, and perform counterfactual analyses. Given the ...
Remarks at the Fifth Data Management Strategies and Technologies Workshop
Remarks at the Fifth Data Management Strategies and Technologies Workshop, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York City