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 ...
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 ...
Gender representation in economics across topics and time: evidence from the NBER
We document the representation of female economists on the conference programs at the NBER Summer Institute from 2001 to 2016. Over the 2013-16 period, women made up 20.6 percent of all authors on scheduled papers. However, there was large dispersion across programs, with the share of female authors ranging from 7.3 percent to 47.7 percent. While the average share of women rose slightly?from 18.5 percent in 2001-04?a persistent gap between the finance, macroeconomics, and microeconomics subfields remains, with women representing 14.4 percent of authors in finance, 16.3 percent of authors in ...
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 ...
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: ...
Optimal Income Taxation: An Urban Economics Perspective
We derive an optimal labor income tax rate formula for urban models in which tax rates are determined by traditional forces plus a new term arising from urban forces: house price, migration and agglomeration effects. Based on the earnings distributions and housing costs in large and small US cities, we find that in a benchmark model (i) optimal income tax rates are U-shaped, (ii) urban forces serve to raise optimal tax rates at all income levels and (iii) adopting an optimal tax system induces agents with low skills to leave large, productive cities. While agglomeration effects enter the ...
Improving Child Welfare in Middle Income Countries: The Unintended Consequence of a Pro-Homemaker Divorce Law and Wait Time to Divorce
This study identifies the impact of access to and the speed of divorce on the welfare of children in a middle income largely Catholic country. Using difference-in-difference estimation techniques, I compare school enrollment for children of married and cohabiting parent households before and after the legalization of divorce. Implementing pro-homemaker divorce laws increased school enrollment anywhere from 3.4 to 5.5 percentage points, and the effect was particularly salient on secondary school students. I provide evidence that administrative processes influencing the speed of divorce affect ...
The Changing Cyclicality of Labor Force Participation
The labor force participation rate has become more sensitive to the business cycle.
Determinants of college major choice: identification using an information experiment
This paper studies the determinants of college major choice using an experimentally generated panel of beliefs, obtained by providing students with information on the true population distribution of various major-specific characteristics. Students logically revise their beliefs in response to the information, and their subjective beliefs about future major choice are associated with beliefs about their own earnings and ability. We estimate a rich model of college major choice using the panel of beliefs data. While expected earnings and perceived ability are a significant determinant of major ...
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 ...