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Jel Classification:E24 

Working Paper
Multidimensional Skill Mismatch
What determines the earnings of a worker relative to his peers in the same occupation? What makes a worker fail in one occupation but succeed in another? More broadly, what are the factors that determine the productivity of a worker-occupation match? In this paper, we propose an empirical measure of skill mismatch for a worker-occupation match, which sheds light on these questions. This measure is based on the discrepancy between the portfolio of skills required by an occupation and the portfolio of abilities possessed by a worker for learning those skills. This measure arises naturally in a dynamic model of occupational choice and human capital accumulation with multidimensional skills and Bayesian learning about one?s ability to learn these skills. In this model, mismatch is central to the career outcomes of workers: it reduces the returns to occupational tenure, and it predicts occupational switching behavior. We construct our empirical analog by combining data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79), the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) on workers, and the O*NET on occupations. Our empirical results show that the effects of mismatch on wages are large and persistent: mismatch in occupations held early in life has a strong negative effect on wages in future occupations. Skill mismatch also significantly increases the probability of an occupational switch and predicts its direction in the skill space. These results provide fresh evidence on the importance of skill mismatch for the job search process.
AUTHORS: Guvenen, Fatih; Kuruscu, Burhanettin; Tanaka, Satoshi; Wiczer, David
DATE: 2015-09-02

Working Paper
Training and Search on the Job
The paper studies human capital accumulation over workers? careers in an on the job search setting with heterogenous firms. In renegotiation proof employment con- tracts, more productive firms provide more training. Both general and specific training induce higher wages within jobs, and with future employers, even conditional on the future employer type. Because matches do not internalize the specific capital loss from employer changes, specific human capital can be over-accumulated, more so in low type firms. While validating the Acemoglu and Pischke (1999) mechanisms, the analysis nevertheless arrives at the opposite conclusion: That increased labor market friction reduces training in equilibrium.
AUTHORS: Lentz, Rasmus; Roys, Nicolas
DATE: 2015-10-30

Working Paper
Corporate Income Tax, Legal Form of Organization, and Employment
A dynamic stochastic occupational choice model with heterogeneous agents is developed to evaluate the impact of a corporate income tax reduction on employment. In this framework, the key margin is the endogenous entrepreneurial choice of the legal form of organization (LFO). A reduction in the corporate income tax burden encourages adoption of the C corporation legal form, which reduces capital constraints on ?rms. Improved capital re-allocation increases overall productive e?ciency in the economy and therefore expands the labor market. Relative to the benchmark economy, a corporate income tax cut can reduce the non-employment rate by up to 7 percent.
AUTHORS: Chen, Daphne; Qi, Shi; Schlagenhauf, Don E.
DATE: 2017-07-31

Working Paper
Long-Term Unemployment: Attached and Mismatched?
In this paper, I quantify the contribution of occupation-specific shocks and skills to unemployment duration and its cyclical dynamics. I quantify specific skills using microdata on wages, estimating occupational switching cost as a function of the occupations' difference in skills. The productivity shocks are consistent with job finding rates by occupation. For the period 1995-2013, the model captures 69.5% of long-term unemployment in the data, while a uniform finding rate delivers only 47.2%. In the Great Recession, the model predicts 72.9% of the long-term unemployment that existed in the data whereas a uniform finding rate would predict 57.8%.
AUTHORS: Wiczer, David
DATE: 2015-12-02

Working Paper
Universal Basic Income versus Unemployment Insurance
In this paper we compare the welfare effects of unemployment insurance (UI) with an universal basic income (UBI) system in an economy with idiosyncratic shocks to employment. Both policies provide a safety net in the face of idiosyncratic shocks. While the unemployment insurance program should do a better job at protecting the unemployed, it suffers from moral hazard and substantial monitoring costs, which may threaten its usefulness. The universal basic income, which is simpler to manage and immune to moral hazard, may represent an interesting alternative in this context. We work within a dynamic equilibrium model with savings calibrated to the United States for 1990 and 2011, and provide results that show that UI beats UBI for insurance purposes because it is better targeted towards those in need.
AUTHORS: Fabre, Alice; Pallage, Stéphane; Zimmermann, Christian
DATE: 2014-11-14

Working Paper
Network Search: Climbing the Job Ladder Faster
We introduce an irregular network structure into a model of frictional, on-the-job search in which workers find jobs through their network connections or directly from firms. We show that jobs found through network search have wages that stochastically dominate those found through direct contact. Because we consider irregular networks, heterogeneity in the worker's position within the network leads to heterogeneity in wage and employment dynamics: better connected workers climb the job ladder faster and do not fall off it as far. These workers also pass along higher quality referrals, which benefits their connections. Despite this rich heterogeneity from the network structure, the mean-field approach allows the problem of our workers to be formulated tractably and recursively. We then calibrate and study the wage and employment dynamics coming from our job ladder with network heterogeneity. This quantitative version of our mechanism is consistent with several features of empirical studies on networks and labor markets: jobs found through networks have higher wages and last longer.
AUTHORS: Arbex, Marcelo; O'Dea, Dennis; Wiczer, David
DATE: 2016-05-19

Working Paper
Explaining Educational Attainment across Countries and over Time
Consider the following facts. In 1950, the richest countries attained an average of 8 years of schooling whereas the poorest countries 1.3 years, a large 6-fold difference. By 2005, the difference in schooling declined to 2-fold because schooling increased faster in poor than in rich countries. What explains educational attainment differences across countries and their evolution over time? We consider an otherwise standard model of schooling featuring non- homothetic preferences and a labor supply margin to assess the quantitative contribution of productivity and life expectancy in explaining educational attainment. A calibrated version of the model accounts for 90 percent of the difference in schooling levels in 1950 between rich and poor countries and 71 percent of the faster increase in schooling over time in poor relative to rich countries. These results suggest an alternative view of the determinants of low education in developing countries that is based on low productivity.
AUTHORS: Restuccia, Diego; Vandenbroucke, Guillaume
DATE: 2014-11-01

Working Paper
Why did Rich Families Increase their Fertility? Inequality and Marketization of Child Care
A negative relationship between income and fertility has persisted for so long that its existence is often taken for granted. One economic theory builds on this relationship and argues that rising inequality leads to greater differential fertility between rich and poor. We show that the relationship between income and fertility has ?attened between 1980 and 2010 in the US, a time of increasing inequality, as high income families increased their fertility. These facts challenge the standard theory. We propose that marketization of parental time costs can explain the changing relationship between income and fertility. We show this result both theoretically and quantitatively, after disciplining the model on US data. We explore implications of changing differential fertility for aggregate human capital. Additionally, policies, such as the minimum wage, that affect the cost of marketization, have a negative effect on the fertility and labor supply of high income women. We end by discussing the insights of this theory to the economics of marital sorting.
AUTHORS: Bar, Michael; Hazan, Moshe; Leukhina, Oksana; Weiss, David; Zoabi, Hosny
DATE: 2018-09-25

Working Paper
The Baby Boomers and the Productivity Slowdown
The entry of baby boomers into the labor market in the 1970s slowed growth for physical and human capital per worker because young workers have little of both. Thus, the baby boom could have contributed to the 1970s productivity slowdown. I build and calibrate a model a la Huggett et al. (2011) with exogenous population and TFP to evaluate this theory. The baby boom accounts for 75% of the slowdown in the period 1964-69, 25% in 1970-74 and 2% in 1975-79. The retiring of baby boomers may cause a 2.8pp decline in productivity growth between 2020 and 2040, ceteris paribus.
AUTHORS: Vandenbroucke, Guillaume
DATE: 2018-12-01

Working Paper
How Should Unemployment Insurance Vary over the Business Cycle?
We study optimal unemployment insurance (UI) over the business cycle using a heterogeneous agent job search model with aggregate risk and incomplete markets. We validate the model-implied micro and macro labor market elasticities to changes in UI generosity against existing estimates, and provide an explanation for divergent empirical findings. We show that generating the observed demographic differences between UI recipients and non-recipients is critical in determining the magnitudes of these elasticities. We find that the optimal policy features countercyclical replacement rates with average generosity close to current U.S. policy but adopts longer payment durations reminiscent of European policies.
AUTHORS: See, Kurt; Birinci, Serdar
DATE: 2020-01-01

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