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Jel Classification:I31 

Journal Article
Risk Aversion at the Country Level

This article estimates the coefficient of relative risk aversion for 75 countries using data on self-reports of personal well-being from the 2006 Gallup World Poll. The analysis suggests that the coefficient of relative risk aversion varies closely around 1, which corresponds to a logarithmic utility function. The authors conclude that their results support the use of the log utility function in numerical simulations of economic models.
Review , Volume 97 , Issue 1 , Pages 53-66

Working Paper
Preferences over the Racial Composition of Neighborhoods: Estimates and Implications

We estimate the parameters of a dynamic, forward-looking neighborhood choice model in 197 metro areas where households have preferences over the racial composition of neighborhoods. Our inclusion of multiple metro areas in the estimation sample enables us to develop a new, shift-share IV strategy to estimate the impact of the racial composition of neighborhoods on location choice that relies only on across-metro comparisons of similarly situated neighborhoods. For the “shift,” we use national data to determine the probabilities different types of households live in different neighborhoods ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP 2023-23

Working Paper
Does Access to Free Pre-Kindergarten Increase Maternal Labor Supply?

In this paper, we evaluate the effects of free pre-kindergarten (pre-K) programs on the labor force participation (LFP) of mothers. We use variation in pre-K rules across all US states, including income eligibility requirements in some states. To estimate the causal effects of access to pre-K on labor supply, we exploit the panel aspect of the monthly Current Population Survey between 2002 and 2019. Specifically, we look at the change in labor market behavior of women when their child becomes age-eligible for pre-K, controlling for individual factors. We find that access to free pre-K ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2022-3

Working Paper
Government Transfers and Consumer Spending among Households with Children during COVID-19

Leveraging novel data on consumer credit and debit card spending by Zip code, this study examines how the impact of government transfers on economic well-being varied by household type during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings indicate that pandemic transfers disproportionately benefited households with children, buffering them from earnings losses at the pandemic’s start and sustaining spending growth over time. Household essential spending increased proportionally with the delivery of cash transfers, while discretionary spending was influenced more by pandemic-specific factors beyond ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-17

Working Paper
Sustainable Consumption and the Comprehensive Economic Well-Being of American Households

This paper develops a comprehensive measure of household economic well-being. The “sustainable consumption” concept accounts for income, assets, debt, transfer payments, and asset returns to estimate a consumption path that balances resources with expenditure over a household’s lifetime. Calculating sustainable consumption using Panel Study of Income Dynamics data demonstrates that it acts as an anchor for actual household spending. Results show that following a period of rapid growth from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s, sustainable consumption stagnated on average. In the aftermath ...
Working Papers , Paper 23-5

Working Paper
Termination of SNAP Emergency Allotments, Food Sufficiency, and Economic Hardships

To meet the rising need for food and nutrition assistance during the pandemic in the United States, all states were approved to provide Emergency Allotments (EA) to households enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In this analysis, we use the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Surveys and exploit staggered state-level variation in dissolution of the SNAP EA payments to study whether the end of EA is associated with food-related challenges and economic hardships. Our findings indicate that EA termination is followed by a decrease in the likelihood that adult ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2023-046

Working Paper
Financial Vulnerability and Personal Finance Outcomes of Natural Disasters

I evaluate the effects of hurricanes of varying intensity on the financial condition of a typical resident in both affected and unaffected census tracts, where the degree of affect is determined by the relative location of a census tract?s boundary with buffers around the tracks of hurricane eyes that occurred in the years 2000-2014. The primary question in the article is whether financial vulnerability, or, alternatively, ?financial preparedness,? affects post-hurricane disaster financial outcomes. {{p}} I find that hurricanes tend to lower credit scores, for the most, but outcomes are far ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 17-9

Working Paper
Health Shocks, Health Insurance, Human Capital, and the Dynamics of Earnings and Health

We specify and calibrate a life-cycle model of labor supply and savings incorporating health shocks and medical treatment decisions. Our model features endogenous wage formation via human capital accumulation, employer-sponsored health insurance, and means-tested social insurance. We use the model to study the effects of health shocks on health, labor supply and earnings, and to assess how health shocks contribute to earnings inequality. We also simulate provision of public insurance to agents who lack employer-sponsored insurance. The public insurance program substantially increases medical ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 080

World welfare is rising: estimation using nonparametric bounds on welfare measures

I take a new approach to measuring world inequality and welfare over time by constructing robust bounds for these series instead of imposing parametric assumptions to compute point estimates. I derive sharp bounds on the Atkinson inequality index that are valid for any underlying distribution of income conditional on given fractile shares and the Gini coefficient. While the bounds are too wide to reject the hypothesis that world inequality may have risen, I show that world welfare rose unambiguously between 1970 and 2006. This conclusion is valid for alternative methods of dealing with ...
Staff Reports , Paper 662

Discussion Paper
Mitigating Benefits Cliffs for Low-Income Families: District of Columbia Career Mobility Action Plan as a Case Study

The structure of the United States social safety net features the phaseout of public assistance as household income increases, which functions as an effective marginal tax on wage gains and is commonly referred to as a "benefits cliff." This presents a disincentive for some low-income workers, especially those with children, to accept higher-paying jobs or promotions. Workforce development programs focused on helping low-income workers must contend with the challenges that benefits cliffs present to the career advancement of their clients. In this paper, we describe the overall structure of ...
FRB Atlanta Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper , Paper 2023-01


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