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Jel Classification:O15 

Credit, Income and Inequality

Analyzing unique data on loan applications by individuals who are majority owners of small firms, we detail how a bank’s credit decisions affect their future income. We use the bank’s cutoff rule, which is based on the applicants’ credit scores, as the discontinuous locus providing exogenous variation in the decision to grant loans. We show that application acceptance increases recipients’ income five years later by more than 10 percent compared to denied applicants. This effect is mostly driven by the use of borrowed funds to undertake investments, and is stronger when individuals ...
Staff Reports , Paper 929

Working Paper
College Access and Attendance Patterns: A Long-Run View

We harmonize the results of 42 different data sets and studies dating back to the early 20th century to construct a time series of college attendance patterns for the United States. We find an important reversal around the time of World War II: before that time, family characteristics such as income were the better predictor of college attendance; afterwards, academic ability was the better predictor. We construct a model of college choice that can explain this reversal. The model's central mechanism is an exogenous rise in the demand for college that leads better colleges to become ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 10

Migration, Congestion Externalities, and the Evaluation of Spatial Investments

The direct benefits of infrastructure in developing countries can be large, but if new infrastructure induces in-migration, congestion of other local publicly provided goods may offset the direct benefits. Using the example of rural household electrification in South Africa, we demonstrate the importance of accounting for migration when evaluating welfare gains of spatial programs. We also provide a practical approach to computing welfare gains that does not rely on land prices. We develop a location choice model that incorporates missing land markets and allows for congestion in local land. ...
Staff Report , Paper 506

Working Paper
Of Cities and Slums

The emergence of slums is a common feature in a country's path towards urbanization, structural transformation and development. Based on salient micro and macro evidence of Brazilian labor, housing and education markets, we construct a simple model to examine the conditions for slums to emerge. We then use the model to examine whether slums are barriers or stepping stones for lower skilled households and for the development of the country as a whole. We calibrate our model to explore the dynamic interaction between skill formation, income inequality and structural transformation with the rise ...
Working Papers , Paper 2016-22

Working Paper
Social Interventions, Health and Wellbeing: The Long-Term and Intergenerational Effects of a School Construction Program

We analyze the long-run and intergenerational effects of a large-scale school building project (INPRES) that took place in Indonesia between 1974 and 1979. Specifically, we link the geographic rollout of INPRES to longitudinal data from the Indonesian Family Life Survey covering two generations. We find that individuals exposed to the program have better health later in life along multiple measures. We also find that the children of those exposed also experience improved health and educational outcomes and that these effects are generally stronger for maternal exposure than paternal exposure. ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2019-9

Crime, house prices, and inequality: the effect of UPPs in Rio

We use a recent policy experiment in Rio de Janeiro, the installation of permanent police stations in low-income communities (or favelas), to quantify the relationship between a reduction in crime and the change in the prices of nearby residential real estate. Using a novel data set of detailed property prices from an online classifieds website, we find that the new police stations (called UPPs) had a substantial effect on the trajectory of property values and certain crime statistics since the beginning of the program in late 2008. We also find that the extent of inequality among residential ...
Staff Reports , Paper 542

Spatial Wage Gaps and Frictional Labor Markets

We develop a job-ladder model with labor reallocation across firms and space, which we design to leverage matched employer-employee data to study differences in wages and labor productivity across regions. We apply our framework to data from Germany: twenty-five years after the reunification, real wages in the East are still 26 percent lower than those in the West. We find that 60 percent of the wage gap is due to labor being paid a higher wage per efficiency unit in West Germany, and quantify three distinct barriers that prevent East Germans from migrating west to obtain a higher wage: ...
Staff Reports , Paper 898

Africa is on time

We present evidence that the recent African growth renaissance has reached Africa?s poor. Using survey data on African income distributions and national accounts GDP, we estimate income distributions, poverty rates, and inequality indices for African countries for the period 1990-2011. Our findings are as follows. First, African poverty is falling rapidly. Second, the African countries for which good inequality data exist are set to reach the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) poverty reduction target on time. The entire continent except for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will reach ...
Staff Reports , Paper 686

Working Paper
Internal Migration in the United States: A Comparative Assessment of the Utility of the Consumer Credit Panel

This paper demonstrates that credit bureau data, such as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax (CCP), can be used to study internal migration in the United States. It is comparable to, and in some ways superior to, the standard data used to study migration, including the American Community Survey (ACS), the Current Population Survey (CPS), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) county-to-county migration data. CCP-based estimates of migration intensity, connectivity, and spatial focusing are similar to estimates derived from the ACS, CPS, and IRS data. The CCP can ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1804

Working Paper
Internal Migration in the United States: A Comprehensive Comparative Assessment of the Consumer Credit Panel

We introduce and provide the first comprehensive comparative assessment of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York/Equifax Consumer Credit Panel (CCP) as a valuable and underutilized data set for studying internal migration within the United States. Relative to other data sources on US internal migration, the CCP permits highly detailed cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of migration, both temporally and geographically. We compare cross-sectional and longitudinal estimates of migration from the CCP to similar estimates derived from the American Community Survey, the Current Population ...
Working Papers , Paper 201804R


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