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 ...
The Age-Time-Cohort Problem and the Identification of Structural Parameters in Life-Cycle Models
A standard approach to estimating structural parameters in life-cycle models imposes sufficient assumptions on the data to identify the ?age profile" of outcomes, then chooses model parameters so that the model's age profile matches this empirical age profile. I show that this approach is both incorrect and unnecessary: incorrect, because it generally produces inconsistent estimators of the structural parameters, and unnecessary, because consistent estimators can be obtained under weaker assumptions. I derive an estimation method that avoids the problems of the standard approach. I ...
Work from Home After the COVID-19 Outbreak
Based on rich novel survey data on almost 5,000 working age adults, we document that 35.2 percent of the workforce worked entirely from home in May 2020, up from 8.2 percent in February 2020. Highly educated, high-income and white individuals were much more likely to shift to remote work and to maintain employment following the virus outbreak. Using available estimates of the potential number of home-based workers suggests that a large majority (71.7 percent) of U.S. workers that could work from home, effectively did so in May. We provide some evidence indicating that apart from the potential ...
Can China Catch Up with Greece?
China’s leader Xi Jinping recently laid out the goal of reaching the per capita income of “a mid-level developed country by 2035.” Is this goal likely to be achieved? Not in our view. Continued rapid growth faces mounting headwinds from population aging and from diminishing returns to China’s investment-centered growth model. Additional impediments to growth appear to be building, including a turn toward increased state management of the economy, the crystallization of legacy credit issues in real estate and other sectors, and limits on access to key foreign technologies. Even ...
Work from Home Before and After the COVID-19 Outbreak
Based on novel survey data, we document a persistent rise in work from home (WFH) over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using theory and direct survey evidence,we argue that three quarters of this increase reflects adoption of new work arrangements that will likely be permanent for many workers. A quantitative model matched to surveydata predicts that twice as many workers will WFH full-time post-pandemic compared to pre-pandemic, and that one in every five instead of seven workdays will be WFH. These model predictions are consistent with survey evidence on workers' own expectations about ...
Women Have Been Hit Hard by the Loss of Routine Jobs, Too
Technological change and globalization have caused a massive transformation in the U.S. economy. While creating new opportunities for many workers, these forces have eliminated millions of good-paying jobs, particularly routine jobs in the manufacturing sector. Indeed, a great deal of attention has focused on the consequences of the loss of blue-collar production jobs for prime‑age men. What is often overlooked, however, is that women have also been hit hard by the loss of routine jobs, particularly administrative support jobs—a type of routine work that has historically been largely ...
Marriage and Work among Prime-Age Men
Married men work substantially more hours than men who have never been married, even after controlling for observables. Panel data reveal that much of this gap is attributable to an increase in work in the years leading up to marriage. Two potential explanations for this increase are: (i) men hit by positive labor market shocks are more likely to marry; and (ii) the prospect of marriage increases men's labor supply. We quantify the relative importance of these two channels using a structural life-cycle model of marriage and labor supply. Our calibration implies that marriage substantially ...
Are Central Cities Poor and Non-White?
For much of the 20th century, America's central cities were viewed as synonymous with economic and social hardship, often used as proxy for low-income communities of color. Since the 1990s, however, many metropolitan areas have seen a resurgence of interest in central city neighborhoods. Theoretical models of income sorting lead to ambiguous predictions about where households of different income levels will live within metropolitan areas. In this paper, we explore intra-city spatial patterns of income and race for U.S. metropolitan areas, focusing particularly on the locations of low-income ...
Reversal of Gender Gaps in Child Development: Evidence from Young Children in India
This paper provides unique evidence of a reversal of gender gaps in cognitive development in early childhood. We find steep caste and gender gradients and few substantive changes once children enter school. The gender gap, however, reverses its sign for the upper caste, with girls performing better than boys at age 5 but thereafter following the general pattern in India of boys performing better.
Marriage and Work Among Prime-Age Men
Married men work substantially more hours than men who have never been married, even after controlling for observables. Panel data reveal that much of this gap is attributable to an increase in work in the years leading up to marriage. Two potential explanations for this increase are: (i) men hit by positive labor market shocks are more likely to marry; and (ii) the prospect of marriage increases men’s labor supply. We quantify the relative importance of these two channels using a structural life-cycle model of marriage and labor supply. Our calibration implies that marriage substantially ...