On Intergenerational Immobility : Evidence that Adult Credit Health Reflects the Childhood Environment
Using a novel dataset that links socioeconomic background to future credit, postsecondary education, and federal student loan and grant records, we document that, even though it is not and cannot be used by credit agencies in assigning risk, background is a strong predictor of adult credit health. A relationship remains upon inclusion of achievement, attainment, and debt management metrics. These findings reveal a new dimension along which childhood circumstances persist into adulthood and imply that the many important contexts in which credit scores are relied upon to evaluate individuals ...
Leading, lagging, and left behind: identifying metropolitan leaders and labor market outcomes
From 1990 to 2010, the United States underwent significant changes in the makeup of the population and its educational attainment. During the period, bachelor's degree or higher attainment proportions rose significantly?7.9 percentage points?from 20.3 percent in 1990 to 28.2 percent in 2010. This growth happened unevenly, though. Of 283 metropolitan areas, only 78 were above the 7.9 percentage point increase, suggesting much more concentrated growth than would be expected if growth were experienced evenly. This paper documents the concentration of growth and examines four labor market ...
Will talent attraction and retention improve metropolitan labor markets?
Since the early 1990s, metropolitan entities and local governments have targeted incentives, policies, and investments with the goal of highly educated and skilled workers to locate in their communities. These efforts focus on attracting workers who hold a bachelor?s degree or higher and have had a profound effect on the form and management of metropolitan areas, but there is not clear evidence that growth in bachelor?s or higher degree attainment improves metropolitan labor market outcomes. I use an outcomes-based cluster-discriminant analysis to test whether or not metropolitan areas with ...
Assessing the Evidence on Neighborhood Effects from Moving to Opportunity
The Moving to Opportunity (MTO) experiment randomly assigned housing vouchers that could be used in low-poverty neighborhoods. Consistent with the literature, I find that receiving an MTO voucher had no effect on outcomes like earnings, employment, and test scores. However, after studying the assumptions identifying neighborhood effects with MTO data, this paper reaches a very different interpretation of these results than found in the literature. I first specify a model in which the absence of effects from the MTO program implies an absence of neighborhood effects. I present theory and ...
The causes and consequences of Puerto Rico's declining population
Puerto Rico?s population has been falling for nearly a decade, and the pace of decline has accelerated in recent years. Although a slowdown in the island?s birthrate has contributed to this decline, a surge in the out-migration of its citizens has been a more important factor. The exodus?which includes a large share of younger people?has hastened population aging, but it has not necessarily led to a ?brain drain.? To counter its population loss, Puerto Rico must not only adopt measures to shore up its economy and expand job opportunities, but also enact fiscal reforms and improve the island?s ...
Preferences and biases in educational choices and labor market expectations: shrinking the black box of gender
Standard observed characteristics explain only part of the differences between men and women in education choices and labor market trajectories. Using an experiment to derive students' levels of overconfidence, and preferences for competitiveness and risk, this paper investigates whether these behavioral biases and preferences explain gender differences in college major choices and expected future earnings. In a sample of high-ability undergraduates, we find that competitiveness and overconfidence, but not risk aversion, are systematically related with expectations about future earnings: ...
Human capital investments and expectations about career and family
This paper studies how individuals believe human capital investments will affect their future career and family life. We conducted a survey of high-ability currently enrolled college students and elicited beliefs about how their choice of college major, and whether to complete their degree at all, would affect a wide array of future events, including future earnings, employment, marriage prospects, potential spousal characteristics, and fertility. We find that students perceive large ?returns" to human capital not only in their own future earnings, but also in a number of other dimensions ...
Speaking for Herself: Changing Gender Roles in Survey Response
Among married and cohabiting couples, the percentage of female respondents has increased substantially in the PSID (Panel Study of Income Dynamics) from 9% in 1968 to 60% in 2015. This shift in gender composition has taken place despite a formal policy that historically designated male heads of household as respondents. We use this shift as a case study to explore which characteristics are associated with women responding to the PSID and how different respondent gender compositions may affect data quality. First, we find that women are increasingly less likely to respond as their husband?s ...
The Uneven Recovery in Prime-Age Labor Force Participation
The labor force participation rate of prime-age individuals (age 25 to 54) in the United States declined dramatically during and after the Great Recession. Although the prime-age labor force participation rate has been increasing since mid-2015, it remains below its pre-recession level. Understanding the reasons for this decline requires detailed analysis; aggregate statistics on labor force participation may mask potential differences in labor market outcomes by sex or educational attainment. Didem Tzemen and Thao Tran identify these differences, finding that prime-age men and women without ...
The Changing Cyclicality of Labor Force Participation
The labor force participation rate has become more sensitive to the business cycle.