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Long-Term Unemployment: Attached and Mismatched?
In this paper, I quantify the contribution of occupation-specific shocks and skills to unemployment duration and its cyclical dynamics. I quantify specific skills using microdata on wages, estimating occupational switching cost as a function of the occupations' difference in skills. The productivity shocks are consistent with job finding rates by occupation. For the period 1995-2013, the model captures 69.5% of long-term unemployment in the data, while a uniform finding rate delivers only 47.2%. In the Great Recession, the model predicts 72.9% of the long-term unemployment that existed in the ...
Occupational hazards and social disability insurance
Using retrospective data, we introduce evidence that occupational exposure significantly affects disability risk. Incorporating this into a general equilibrium model, social disability insurance (SDI) affects welfare through (i) the classic, risk-sharing channel and (ii) a new channel of occupational reallocation. Both channels can increase welfare, but at the optimal SDI they are at odds. Welfare gains from additional risk-sharing are reduced by overly incentivizing workers to choose risky occupations. In a calibration, optimal SDI increases welfare by 2.6% relative to actuarially fair ...
Occupational Choice, Retirement, and the Effects of Disability Insurance
There is much variation in the physical requirements across occupations, giving rise to great differences in later-life productivity, disability risk, and the value of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). In this paper, I look at how such differences across occupations affect initial career choice as well as the extent to which SSDI, which insures shocks to productivity due to disability, prompts more people to choose physically intense occupations. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the Current Population Survey (CPS), I estimate a dynamic model of occupational ...
Wage Determination in Social Occupations: The Role of Individual Social Capital
We make use of predicted social and civic activities (social capital) to account for selection into "social" occupations. Individual selection accounts for more than the total difference in wages observed between social and nonsocial occupations. The role that individual social capital plays in selecting into these occupations and the importance of selection in explaining wage differences across occupations is similar for both men and women. We make use of restricted data from the 2000 decennial census and the 2000 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey. Individual social capital is ...
Human capital in the inner city
Black males in the United States are exposed to tremendous violence at young ages: In the NLSY97 26 percent report seeing someone shot by age 12, and 43 percent by age 18. This paper studies how this exposure to violence and its associated social isolation affect education and labor market outcomes. I use Elijah Anderson?s ethnographic research on the ?code of the street? to guide the specification of a model of human capital accumulation that includes street capital, the skills and knowledge useful for providing personal security in neighborhoods where it is not provided by state ...