Punishment and Crime: The Impact of Felony Conviction on Criminal Activity
This paper uses increases in felony larceny thresholds as a negative shock to felony conviction probability to examine the impact of punishment severity on criminal behavior. In the theft value distribution between old and new larceny thresholds (“response region”), higher thresholds cause a 2 percent increase in the average larceny value within 120 days of enactment. However, within five years of enactment, response region average larceny values and rates decline 2 percentand 13 percent, respectively, in low-wage areas. Thus, under certain market conditions, smaller expected penalties ...
Relative pay, productivity, and labor supply
Relative pay ? earnings compared with the earnings of others doing a similar job, or compared with one?s earnings in the past ? affects how much individuals would like to work (labor supply) and their effort on the job; it therefore has implications for both employers and policy makers. A collection of recent studies shows that relative pay information, even when it is irrelevant, significantly affects labor supply and effort. This effect stems mainly from those who compare unfavorably, as essentially all studies find that awareness of earning less than others or less than in the past ...
Bundling Time and Goods: Implications for Hours Dispersion
We document the large dispersion in hours worked in the cross-section. We account for this fact using a model in which households combine market inputs and time to produce a set of nonmarket activities. To estimate the model, we create a novel data set that pairs market expenditures and time use at the activity level using data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey and the American Time Use Survey, respectively. The estimated model can account for a large fraction of the dispersion of hours worked in the data. The substitutability between market inputs and time within an activity and across a ...
Breaking the Implicit Contract: Using Pension Freezes to Study Lifetime Labor Supply
This paper studies the elimination of traditional pensions and subsequent adoption of 401(k) plans by U.S. employers. Using thousands of firm-level natural experiments, it shows that unexpected losses in future compensation engendered by pension plan transitions induce premature retirement for some workers and delayed retirement for others. Observed heterogeneity in retirement behavior is indicative of differences in wealth and in preferences for leisure. Using credibly identified treatment effects as estimation targets, it fits a structural model of retirement and uses the model to evaluate ...
Nominal GDP Targeting With Heterogeneous Labor Supply
We study nominal GDP targeting as optimal monetary policy in a model with a credit market friction following Azariadis, Bullard, Singh and Suda (2018), henceforth ABSS. As in ABSS, the macroeconomy we study has considerable income inequality which gives rise to a large private sector credit market. Households participating in this market use non-state contingent nominal contracts (NSCNC). We extend the ABSS framework to allow for endogenous and heterogeneous household labor supply among credit market participant households. We show that nominal GDP targeting continues to characterize optimal ...
Comparative Advantage and Moonlighting
We document three facts: (i) Higher educated workers are more likely to moonlight; (ii) conditional on education, workers with higher wages are less likely to moonlight; and (iii) the prevalence of moonlighting is declining over time for all education groups. We develop an equilibrium model of the labor market to explain these patterns. A dominating income effect explains the negative correlation of moonlighting with productivity in the cross section and the downward trend over time. A higher part-to-full time pay differential for skilled workers (a comparative advantage) explains the ...
Did Covid-19 disproportionately affect mothers’ labor market activity?
School and day care center restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic have presented enormous challenges to parents trying to juggle work with child-care responsibilities. Still, empirical evidence on the impact of pandemic-related child-care constraints on the labor market outcomes of working parents is somewhat mixed. Some studies suggest the pandemic had no additional impact on the labor supply of parents, while other studies show not only that it did but that the negative impact was disproportionately borne by working mothers.
Demographics, COVID-19 Leave Construction with Tight Labor Supply
Although pandemic-induced material shortages may improve, the construction industry’s labor supply challenge is the result of longer-term demographic issues.
Human Capital and Long-Run Labor Income Risk
This review article examines the role of labor income risk in determining the value of a person?s human capital. We draw on the existing literature to present a model that incorporates various types of shocks to earnings. Within this framework, we highlight the implications of different assumptions about the correlation between market returns and labor income growth for the value of human capital and its riskiness. Further, the article surveys other work that applies similar ideas to assess the value and risk of pension promises. Finally, we discuss how to enrich the environment with ...
Marriage and Work Among Prime-Age Men
Married men work substantially more hours than men who have never been married, even after controlling for observables. Panel data reveal that much of this gap is attributable to an increase in work in the years leading up to marriage. Two potential explanations for this increase are: (i) men hit by positive labor market shocks are more likely to marry; and (ii) the prospect of marriage increases men’s labor supply. We quantify the relative importance of these two channels using a structural life-cycle model of marriage and labor supply. Our calibration implies that marriage substantially ...