Disparities and Mitigation Behavior during COVID-19
This paper uses a unique large-scale survey administered in April 2020 to assess disparities on several dimensions of wellbeing under rising COVID-19 infections and mitigation restrictions in the US. The survey includes three modules designed to assess different dimensions of well-being in parallel: physical health, mental and social health, and economic and financial security. The survey is unique among early COVID-19 data efforts in that provides insight on diverse dimensions of wellbeing and for subnational geographies. I find dramatic declines in wellbeing from pre-COVID baseline measures ...
The Slaughter of the Bison and Reversal of Fortunes on the Great Plains
In the late 19th century, the North American bison was brought to the brink of extinction in just over a decade. We show that the bison?s slaughter led to a reversal of fortunes for the Native Americans who relied on them. Once the tallest people in the world, the generations of bison-reliant people born after the slaughter were among the shortest. Today, formerly bison-reliant societies have between 20-40% less income per capita than the average Native American nation. We argue that federal Indian policy that limited out-migration from reservations and restricted employment opportunities to ...
The Introduction of Formal Childcare Services in Inuit Communities and Labor Force Outcomes
We study the impacts of the introduction of formal childcare services to 28 Inuit communities in Canada's North. We use geographical variation in the timing of the introduction of childcare services in the late 1990s and early 2000s to estimate the impact of increased access to childcare. We combine the 1996, 2001, and 2006 long-form census files with data on the opening dates of childcare centres and the number of childcare spaces in each of the 28 communities over time. We find evidence of impacts on female labour force participation driven by multi-adult households in Quebec. Point ...
The Higher Price of Mortgage Financing for Native Americans
A?ordable access to capital and quality housing is a challenge facing Native Americans. In this paper, we demonstrate that mortgage loans with Native Americans as the primary borrower are systematically more likely to be higher-priced. These loans have an average interest rate nearly 2 percentage points above the average loan for non-Native Americans. We also demonstrate that these higher-priced home loans are predominately found on reservation lands and that manufactured homes account for nearly 25 percent to 35 percent of the di?erence in the cost of ?nancing. These results potentially ...
A Racial Inequality Trap
Why has the U.S. black/white earnings gap remained around 40 percent for nearly 40 years? This paper''s answer consists of a model of skill accumulation and neighborhood formation featuring a trap: Initial racial inequality and racial preferences induce racial segregation and asymmetric skill accumulation choices that perpetuate racial inequality. Calibrated to match the U.S. distribution of race, house prices and earnings across neighborhoods, the model produces one-half of the observed racial earnings gap. Moving the economy from the trap to a racially integrated steady state implies a 15.6 ...
Stuck in Subprime? Examining the Barriers to Refinancing Mortgage Debt
Despite falling interest rates and major federal policy intervention, many borrowers who could financially gain from refinancing have not done so. We investigate the rates at which, relative to prime borrowers, subprime borrowers seek and take out refinance loans, conditional on not experiencing mortgage default. We find that starting in 2009, subprime borrowers are about half as likely as prime borrowers to refinance, although they still shop for mortgage credit, indicating their interest in refinancing. The disparity in refinancing is driven in part by the tightened credit environment ...
Racial Gaps in Labor Market Outcomes in the Last Four Decades and over the Business Cycle
We examine racial disparities in key labor market outcomes for men and women over the past four decades, with a special emphasis on their evolution over the business cycle. Blacks have substantially higher and more cyclical unemployment rates than whites, and observable characteristics can explain very little of this differential, which is importantly driven by a comparatively higher risk of job loss. In contrast, the Hispanic-white unemployment rate gap is comparatively small and is largely explained by lower educational attainment of (mostly foreign-born) Hispanics. Regarding labor force ...
Updating the Racial Wealth Gap
Using newly available data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, this paper updates and extends the literature exploring the racial wealth gap. We examine several hypotheses proposed by previous researchers, including the importance of inherited wealth and other family support and that of trends in local real estate markets, and also extend the literature by exploring the gap across the distribution of wealth and simultaneously considering white, African American and Hispanic households. The findings indicate that observable factors account for all of wealth gap between white and Hispanic ...
Migration Constraints and Disparate Responses to Changing Job Opportunities
Using the Current Population Survey between 1996 and 2018, this paper investigates the role constraints to migration might play in explaining racial/ethnic disparities in the labor market. The Delta Index of dissimilarity is used to illustrate a greater distributional mismatch between race/education specific workers and jobs among minorities relative to white non-Hispanics. Regression analysis then shows that this mismatch is consistent with minorities being less responsive to changes in the distribution of job opportunities. However, minorities are more responsive when the growing job ...
Mismatch of Jobs and People: Do Migration Constraints Put Racial Minorities at a Disadvantage?
Using the American Community Survey between 2005 and 2017, this article explores the evidence for potential migration constraints by comparing distributions of people and jobs across race and education. Using the Delta Index of dissimilarity, it illustrates a greater distributional mismatch between workers and jobs among racial minorities, relative to White non-Hispanics. This mismatch suggests greater migration constraints among racial minorities.