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Jel Classification:J24 

Discussion Paper
Job Training Mismatch and the COVID-19 Recovery: A Cautionary Note from the Great Recession

Displaced workers have been shown to endure persistent losses years beyond their initial job separation events. These losses are especially amplified during recessions. (1) One explanation for greater persistence in downturns relative to booms, is that firms and industries on the margin of structural change permanently shift the types of tasks and occupations demanded after a large negative shock (Aghion et al. (2005)), but these new occupations do not match the stock of human capital held by those currently displaced. In response to COVID-19, firms with products and services that complement ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200527

Can low-wage workers find better jobs?

There is growing concern over rising economic inequality, the decline of the middle class, and a polarization of the U.S. workforce. This study examines the extent to which low-wage workers in the United States transition to better jobs, and explores the factors associated with such a move up the job ladder. Using data covering the expansion following the Great Recession (2011-17) and focusing on short-term labor market transitions, we find that around 70 percent of low-wage workers stayed in the same job, 11 percent exited the labor force, 7 percent became unemployed, and 6 percent switched ...
Staff Reports , Paper 846

Population aging, migration spillovers, and the decline in interstate migration

We investigate the role of the aging of the U.S. population in the decline in interstate migration since the mid-1980s. Using an instrumental variables strategy on cross-state data, we show that an aging workforce causes the migration rates of all age groups in a state to drop. This demonstrates that the effect of aging on migration includes indirect effects that go beyond the direct effect of raising the workforce share of groups with lower migration rates. We then develop an island model in which firms can hire workers either locally or from other locations, and show that an aging ...
Staff Reports , Paper 699

Knowledge in cities

This study identifies clusters of U.S. and Canadian metropolitan areas with similar knowledge traits. These groups?ranging from Making Regions, characterized by knowledge about manufacturing, to Thinking Regions, noted for knowledge about the arts, humanities, information technology, and commerce?can be used by analysts and policymakers for the purposes of regional benchmarking or comparing the types of programs and infrastructure available to support closely related economic activities. In addition these knowledge-based clusters help explain the types of regions that have levels of economic ...
Staff Reports , Paper 470

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

Do colleges and universities increase their region's human capital?

We investigate whether the degree production and research and development (R&D) activities of colleges and universities are related to the amount and types of human capital present in the metropolitan areas where the institutions are located. We find that degree production has only a small positive relationship with local stocks of human capital, suggesting that migration plays an important role in the geographic distribution of human capital. Moreover, we show that spillovers from academic R&D activities tilt the structure of local labor markets toward occupations requiring innovation and ...
Staff Reports , Paper 401

Preference for the workplace, investment in human capital, and gender

We use a hypothetical choice methodology to estimate preferences for workplace attributes and quantify how much these preferences influence pre-labor-market human capital investments. This method robustly identifies preferences for various job attributes, free from omitted variable bias and free from considering the equilibrium job match. Women on average have a higher willingness to pay (WTP) for jobs with greater work flexibility and job stability, and men have a higher WTP for jobs with higher earnings growth. These job preferences relate to college major choices and actual job choices, ...
Staff Reports , Paper 767

Shared knowledge and the coagglomeration of occupations

This paper provides an empirical analysis of the extent to which people in different occupations locate near one another, or coagglomerate. We construct pairwise Ellison-Glaeser coagglomeration indices for U.S. occupations and use these measures to investigate the factors influencing the geographic concentration of occupations. The analysis is conducted separately at the metropolitan area and state levels of geography. Empirical results reveal that occupations with similar knowledge requirements tend to coagglomerate and that the importance of this shared knowledge is larger in metropolitan ...
Staff Reports , Paper 612

Anatomy of Lifetime Earnings Inequality: Heterogeneity in Job Ladder Risk vs. Human Capital

We study the determinants of lifetime earnings (LE) inequality in the United States, for which differences in lifetime earnings growth are key. Using administrative data and focusing on the roles of job ladder dynamics and on-the-job learning, we document that 1) lower LE workers change jobs more often, mainly driven by higher nonemployment; 2) earnings growth for job stayers is similar at around 2 percent in the bottom two-thirds of the LE distribution, whereas for job switchers it rises with LE; and 3) top LE workers enjoy high earnings growth regardless of job switching. We estimate a job ...
Staff Reports , Paper 908

Working Paper
Optimal Social Insurance and Rising Labor Market Risk

This paper analyzes the optimal response of the social insurance system to a rise in labor market risk. To this end, we develop a tractable macroeconomic model with risk-free physical capital, risky human capital (labor market risk) and unobservable effort choice affecting the distribution of human capital shocks (moral hazard). We show that constrained optimal allocations are simple in the sense that they can be found by solving a static social planner problem. We further show that constrained optimal allocations are the equilibrium allocations of a market economy in which the government ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 18


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Abel, Jaison R. 12 items

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