Can Wealth Explain Neighborhood Sorting by Race and Income?
Why do high-income blacks live in neighborhoods with characteristics similar to those of low-income whites? One plausible explanation is wealth, since homeownership requires some wealth, and black households hold less wealth than white households at all levels of income. We present evidence against this hypothesis by showing that wealth does not predict sorting into neighborhood quality once race and income are taken into account. An alternative explanation is that the scarcity of high-quality black neighborhoods increases the cost of living in a high-quality neighborhood for black households ...
Do Immigrants Threaten U.S. Public Safety?
Opponents of immigration often claim that immigrants, particularly those who are unauthorized, are more likely than U.S. natives to commit crimes and that they pose a threat to public safety. There is little evidence to support these claims. In fact, research overwhelmingly indicates that immigrants are less likely than similar U.S. natives to commit violent and property crimes, and that areas with more immigrants have similar or lower rates of violent and property crimes than areas with fewer immigrants. There are relatively few studies specifically of criminal behavior among unauthorized ...
Unauthorized Mexican Workers in the United States: Recent Inflows and Possible Future Scenarios
The U.S. economy has long relied on immigrant workers, many of them unauthorized, yet estimates of the inflow of unauthorized workers and the determinants of that inflow are hard to come by. This paper provides estimates of the number of newly arriving unauthorized workers from Mexico, the principal source of unauthorized immigrants to the United States, and examines how the inflow is related to U.S. and Mexico economic conditions. Our estimates suggest that annual inflows of unauthorized workers averaged about 170,000 during 1996-2014 but were much higher before the economic downturn that ...
The Effect of Housing First Programs on Future Homelessness and Socioeconomic Outcomes
Housing First programs provide housing assistance without preconditions for homeless individuals as a platform for rehabilitation. Despite the programs’ increasing popularity, limited evidence exists on their effects on socioeconomic outcomes. Using a novel dataset combining administrative records from multiple public agencies in Los Angeles County and a random case manager assignment design, I estimate that Housing First assistance reduces homelessness and crime, increases income and employment, and does not have a detectable effect on healthcare utilization. Cost-benefit analysis implies ...
Does Access to Free Pre-Kindergarten Increase Maternal Labor Supply?
We evaluate the effects of free pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) programs on the labor force participation of mothers. We use variation in Pre-K rules across all U.S. 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 programs increases overall ...
Labor Markets Are Tight, but Conditions Vary across States
A record 4.4 million employees quit their jobs in September 2021, and many businesses are struggling to fill open positions. Although at a national level the labor market appears historically tight, we show that labor market tightness differs widely across states. Most states have tighter labor markets than before the pandemic, but others have struggled to recover.
The Economic Status of People with Disabilities and their Families since the Great Recession
People with disabilities face substantial barriers to sustained employment and stable, adequateincome. We assess how they and their families fared during the long economic expansion thatfollowed the Great Recession of 2007-09, using data from the monthly Current PopulationSurvey (CPS) and the March CPS annual income supplement. We find that the expansionbolstered the well-being of people with disabilities and in particular their relative labor marketengagement. We also find that applications and awards for federal disability benefits fell duringthe expansion. On balance, our results suggest ...
A New Look at Racial Disparities Using a More Comprehensive Wealth Measure
Most research measuring disparities in wealth by race relies on data that exclude resources that are disproportionately important to low-wealth and non-white families, namely defined benefit (DB) pensions and Social Security. This paper finds that once these resources are included, disparities in wealth between white families and Black and Hispanic families are substantially smaller and that they are not rising over time. The powerful equalizing roles of DB pensions and Social Security highlighted here are further motivation for maintaining their fiscal health. This paper also presents ...
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 ...
Occupational Licensing and Labor Market Fluidity
We show that occupational licensing has significant negative effects on labor market fluidity defined as cross-occupation mobility. Using a balanced panel of workers constructed from the CPS and SIPP data, we analyze the link between occupational licensing and labor market outcomes. We find that workers with a government-issued occupational license experience churn rates significantly lower than those of non-licensed workers. Specifically, licensed workers are 24% less likely to switch occupations and 3% less likely to become unemployed in the following year. Moreover, occupational licensing ...