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Jel Classification:J30 

Report
An Approach to Predicting Regional Labor Market Effects of Economic Shocks: The COVID-19 Pandemic in New England

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic led state and local governments throughout New England and much of the nation to issue ordinances restricting activity that might otherwise contribute to the spread of the disease. Individuals also freely adjusted their behavior, hoping to reduce the chances of infecting themselves or others. As a result, many employers have experienced substantial reductions in sales revenue, which were expected to generate harmful effects on the labor market. Even though the reversal of mandated policies and voluntary behavior changes are well under way, the initial ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Working Paper
Pay, Employment, and Dynamics of Young Firms

Why do young firms pay less? Using confidential microdata from the US Census Bureau, we find lower earnings among workers at young firms. However, we argue that such measurement is likely subject to worker and firm selection. Exploiting the two-sided panel nature of the data to control for relevant dimensions of worker and firm heterogeneity, we uncover a positive and significant young-firm pay premium. Furthermore, we show that worker selection at firm birth is related to future firm dynamics, including survival and growth. We tie our empirical findings to a simple model of pay, employment, ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 21

Report
Analyzing the Labor Market Outcomes of Occupational Licensing

Recent assessments of occupational licensing have shown varying effects of the institution on labor market outcomes. This study revisits the relationship between occupational licensing and labor market outcomes by analyzing a new topical module to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Relative to previously available data, the topical module offers more detailed information on occupational licensing from government, with a larger sample size and access to a richer set of person-level characteristics. We exploit this larger and more detailed data set to examine the labor ...
Staff Report , Paper 504

Working Paper
Was Sarbanes-Oxley Costly? Evidence from Optimal Contracting on CEO Compensation

This paper investigates the effects of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) on CEO compensation, using panel data constructed for the S&P 1500 firms on CEO compensation, financial returns, and reported accounting income. Empirically SOX (i) changes the relationship between a firm?s abnormal returns and CEO compensation, (ii) changes the underlying distribution of abnormal returns, and (iii) significantly raises the expected CEO compensation in the primary sector. We develop and estimate a dynamic principal agent model of hidden information and hidden actions to explain these regularities. We find ...
Working Papers , Paper 2015-17

Working Paper
Measuring Heterogeneity in Job Finding Rates Among the Nonemployed Using Labor Force Status Histories

We use a novel approach to studying the heterogeneity in the job finding rates of the nonemployed by classifying the nonemployed by labor force status (LFS) histories, instead of using only one-month LFS. Job finding rates differ substantially across LFS histories: they are 25-30% among those currently out of the labor force (OLF) with recent employment, 10% among those currently OLF who have been unemployed but not employed in the previous two months, and 2% among those who have been OLF in all three previous months. This heterogeneity cannot be deduced from the one-month LFS or from ...
Working Paper , Paper 14-18

Working Paper
Firm Dynamics and the Minimum Wage: A Putty-Clay Approach

We document two new facts about the market-level response to minimum wage hikes: firm exit and entry both rise. These results pose a puzzle: canonical models of firm dynamics predict that exit rises but that entry falls. We develop a model of firm dynamics based on putty-clay technology and show that it is consistent with the increase in both exit and entry. The putty-clay model is also consistent with the small short-run employment effects of minimum wage hikes commonly found in empirical work. However, unlike monopsony-based explanations for small short-run employment effects, the model ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2013-26

Working Paper
Measuring Heterogeneity in Job Finding Rates among the Non-Employed Using Labor Force Status Histories

We introduce a novel approach to studying heterogeneity in job finding rates by classifying the non-employed, the unemployed and those out of the labor force (OLF), according to their labor force status (LFS) histories using four-month panels in the CPS. Respondents? LFS histories outperform current-month responses to survey questions about duration and reason for unemployment, desire to work, or reasons for not searching in predicting future employment. We find that the best predictor of future employment for the non-employed is their duration since last employment. For those OLF, the ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2017-20

Working Paper
The intensive and extensive margins of real wage adjustment

Using 35 years of data from the Current Population Survey we decompose fluctuations in real median weekly earnings growth into the part driven by movements in the intensive margin-wage growth of individuals continuously full-time employed-and movements in the extensive margin-wage differences of those moving into and out of full-time employment. The relative importance of these two margins varies significantly over the business cycle. When labor markets are tight, continuously full-time employed workers drive wage growth. During labor market downturns, the procyclicality of the intensive ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2016-4

Working Paper
Evaluating the Success of President Johnson's War on Poverty: Revisiting the Historical Record Using a Full-Income Poverty Measure

We evaluate progress in President's Johnson's War on Poverty. We do so relative to the scientifically arbitrary but policy relevant 20 percent baseline poverty rate he established for 1963. No existing poverty measure fully captures poverty reductions based on the standard that President Johnson set. To fill this gap, we develop a Full-income Poverty Measure with thresholds set to match the 1963 Official Poverty Rate. We include cash income, taxes, and major in-kind transfers and update poverty thresholds for inflation annually. While the Official Poverty Rate fell from 19.5 percent in 1963 ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-011

Working Paper
Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the United States During and After the Great Recession

Rigidity in wages has long been thought to impede the functioning of labor markets. In this paper, we investigate the extent of downward nominal wage rigidity in US labor markets using job-level data from a nationally representative establishment-based compensation survey collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We use several distinct methods to test for downward nominal wage rigidity and to assess whether such rigidity is less or more severe in the presence of negative economic shocks than in more normal economic times. We find a significant amount of downward nominal wage rigidity in ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-001r1

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