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Jel Classification:J23 

Journal Article
Why Are Some Places So Much More Unequal Than Others?

This study examines the magnitude and sources of regional wage inequality in the United States. The authors find that, as in the nation as a whole, wage inequality has increased in nearly every metropolitan area since the early 1980s, though there is significant variation among places in both the degree of wage inequality and the pace at which it has risen. The most unequal places tend to be large urban areas that have benefited from strong demand for skill and agglomeration economies, with these factors leading to particularly rapid wage growth for high-skilled workers. The least unequal ...
Economic Policy Review , Volume 25 , Issue Dec

Working Paper
Labor market polarization over the business cycle

One of the most important long-run trends in the U.S. labor market is polarization, defined as the relative growth of employment in high-skill jobs (such as management and technical positions) and low-skill jobs (such as food-service and janitorial work) amid the concurrent decline in middle-skill jobs (such as clerical, construction, manufacturing, and retail occupations). Middle-skill job losses typically result from outsourcing labor to lower-wage countries or from substituting automated technologies for routine tasks. Economists are now beginning to study how long-run polarization might ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-16

Working Paper
The Unintended Consequences of Employer Credit Check Bans on Labor and Credit Markets

Since the Great Recession, 11 states have restricted employers? access to the credit reports of job applicants. We document that county-level vacancies decline between 9.5 percent and 12.4 percent after states enact these laws. Vacancies decline significantly in affected occupations but remain constant in those that are exempt, and the decline is larger in counties with many subprime residents. Furthermore, subprime borrowers fall behind on more debt payments and reduce credit inquiries postban. The evidence suggests that, counter to their intent, employer credit check bans disrupt labor and ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1625

Working Paper
Does immigration crowd natives into or out of higher education?

Over the past several decades, the United States has experienced some of its largest immigrant inflows since the Great Depression. This higher level of immigration has generated significant debate on the effects of such inflows on receiving markets and natives. Education market studies have found that inflows of immigrant students can displace some natives from enrollment. Meanwhile, labor market studies have primarily examined the impact of immigrant labor inflows on the wages of similarly and dissimilarly skilled natives, with mixed results. The lack of consensus in the wage studies has ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-18

Report
Underemployment in the early careers of college graduates following the Great Recession

Though labor market conditions steadily improved following the Great Recession, underemployment among recent college graduates continued to climb, reaching highs not seen since the early 1990s. In this paper, we take a closer look at the jobs held by underemployed college graduates in the early stages of their careers during the first few years after the Great Recession. Contrary to popular perception, we show that relatively few recent graduates were working in low-skilled service jobs, and that many of the underemployed worked in fairly well paid non-college jobs requiring some degree of ...
Staff Reports , Paper 749

Working Paper
Revisiting Capital-Skill Complementarity, Inequality, and Labor Share

This paper revisits capital-skill complementarity and inequality, as in Krusell, Ohanian, Rios-Rull and Violante (KORV, 2000). Using their methodology, we study how well the KORV model accounts for more recent data, including the large changes in the labor's share of income that were not present in KORV. We study both labor share of gross income (as in KORV), and income net of depreciation. We also use nonfarm business sector output as an alternative measure of production to real GDP. We find strong evidence for continued capital-skill complementarity in the most recent data, and we also find ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1319

Working Paper
Dynamic Labor Reallocation with Heterogeneous Skills and Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk

Occupational specificity of human capital motivates an important role of occupationalreallocation for the economy’s response to shocks and for the dynamics of inequality.We introduce occupational mobility, through a random choice model with dynamicvalue function optimization, into a multi-sector/multi-occupation Bewley (1980)-Aiyagari (1994) model with heterogeneous income risk, liquid and illiquid assets, priceadjustment costs, and in which households differ by their occupation-specific skills.Labor income is a combination of endogenous occupational wages and idiosyncraticshock. ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2021-16

Working Paper
Health versus Wealth: On the Distributional Effects of Controlling a Pandemic

To slow the spread of COVID-19, many countries are shutting down nonessential sectors of the economy. Older individuals have the most to gain from slowing virus diffusion. Younger workers in sectors that are shuttered have the most to lose. In this paper, we build a model in which economic activity and disease progression are jointly determined. Individuals differ by age (young and retired), by sector (basic and luxury), and by health status. Disease transmission occurs in the workplace, in consumption activities, at home, and in hospitals. We study the optimal economic mitigation policy of a ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 20-03

Report
Aggregate Recruiting Intensity

We develop an equilibrium model of firm dynamics with random search in the labor market where hiring firms exert recruiting effort by spending resources to fill vacancies faster. Consistent with microevidence, fast-growing firms invest more in recruiting activities and achieve higher job-filling rates. These hiring decisions of firms aggregate into an index of economy-wide recruiting intensity. We study how aggregate shocks transmit to recruiting intensity, and whether this channel can account for the dynamics of aggregate matching efficiency during the Great Recession. Productivity and ...
Staff Report , Paper 553

Journal Article
KC Fed LMCI Implies the Labor Market Is Closer to a Full Recovery than the Unemployment Rate Alone Suggests

By consolidating information from a broad range of labor market variables, the Kansas City Fed Labor Market Conditions Indicators (LMCI) provide a consistent gauge of labor market tightness. Adjusting the unemployment rate to incorporate information from the LMCI suggests the labor market is closer to a full recovery than the unemployment rate alone implies.
Economic Bulletin , Issue October 19, 2021 , Pages 3

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