nep-lab New Economics Papers
on Labour Economics
Issue of 2023‒09‒18
seventeen papers chosen by
Joseph Marchand, University of Alberta

  1. When Women’s Work Disappears: Marriage and Fertility Decisions in Peru By Hani Mansour; Pamela Medina; Andrea Velásquez
  2. The Summer Drop in Female Employment By Brendan M. Price; Melanie Wasserman
  3. Immigration Enforcement and the Institutionalization of Elderly Americans By Almuhaisen, Abdulmohsen; Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina; Furtado, Delia
  4. The Search for Parental Leave and the Early-Career Gender Wage Gap By Ilaria D'Angelis
  5. The Search for Good Jobs: Evidence from a Six-year Field Experiment in Uganda By Oriana Bandiera; Vittorio Bassi; Robin Burgess; Imran Rasul; Munshi Sulaiman; Anna Vitali
  6. Currency Areas, Labor Markets, and Regional Cyclical Sensitivity By Katheryn Russ; Jay C. Shambaugh; Sanjay R. Singh
  7. How to Fund Unemployment Insurance with Informality and False Claims: Evidence From Senegal By Abdoulaye Ndiaye; Kyle F. Herkenhoff; Abdoulaye Cisse; Alessandro Dell'Acqua; Ahmadou Aly Mbaye
  8. Macroeconomic Effects of UI Extensions at Short and Long Durations By Acosta, Miguel; Mueller, Andreas I.; Nakamura, Emi; Steinsson, Jón
  9. The Gender Gap in Claiming Credit for Teamwork By Klara Kinnl; Jakob Möller; Anna Walter
  10. Vacancy Duration and Wages By Bassier, Ihsaan; Manning, Alan; Petrongolo, Barbara
  11. Globalization and Inequality in Latin America By Dix-Carneiro, Rafael; Kovak, Brian K.
  12. The Short and Medium Term Effects of Full-Day Schooling on Learning and Maternal Labor Supply By Bovini, Giulia; Cattadori, Niccolò; De Philippis, Marta; Sestito, Paolo
  13. Change, stagnation, and polarisation in UK job quality, 2012-2021: evidence from a new Quality of Work index By Stephens, Thomas C.
  14. The Effect of Medicaid Expansion on the Take-up of Disability Benefits by Race and Ethnicity By Becky Staiger; Madeline S. Helfer; Jessica Van Parys
  15. Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, Accused Scientists, and Their Research By Rainer Widmann; Michael E. Rose; Marina Chugunova
  16. Workers and the Green-Energy Transition: Evidence from 300 Million Job Transitions By E. Mark Curtis; Layla O'Kane; R. Jisung Park
  17. Economic Activity by Race By Fatima Mboup

  1. By: Hani Mansour; Pamela Medina; Andrea Velásquez
    Abstract: This paper studies the gendered labor market and demographic effects of trade liberalization in Peru. To identify these effects, we use variation in the exposure of local labor markets to import competition from China based on their baseline industrial composition. On average, the increase in Chinese imports during 1998-2008 led to a persistent decline in the employment share of low-educated female workers but had smaller and transitory effects on the employment of low-educated men. In contrast to the predictions of Becker's model of household specialization, we find that the increase in import competition during this period increased the share of single low-educated people and decreased their marriage rates. There is little evidence that import com-petition affected fertility decisions. The results highlight the role of gains from joint consumption in marriage formation.
    Keywords: import competition, marriage formation, fertility
    JEL: J16 J12 J13 J23
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Brendan M. Price; Melanie Wasserman
    Abstract: We provide the first systematic account of summer declines in women’s labor market activity. From May to July, the employment-to-population ratio among prime-age US women declines by 1.1 percentage points, whereas male employment rises; women’s total hours worked fall by 9.8 percent, more than twice the decline among men. School closures for summer break—and corresponding lapses in implicit childcare—provide a unifying explanation for these patterns. The summer drop in female employment aligns with cross-state differences in the timing of school closures, is concentrated among mothers with young school-age children, and coincides with increased time spent engaging in childcare. Decomposing the gender gap in summer work interruptions across job types defined by sector and occupation, we find large contributions from both gender differences in job allocation and gender differences within job types in the propensity to exit employment over the summer. Women’s summer work interruptions contribute to gender gaps in pay: women’s weekly earnings decline by 3.3 percent over the summer months, about five times the decline among men.
    JEL: J13 J16 J22 J24
    Date: 2023–08
  3. By: Almuhaisen, Abdulmohsen (University of Connecticut); Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina (University of California, Merced); Furtado, Delia (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between immigration enforcement and institutionalization rates of the elderly. Exploiting the staggered implementation of the Secure Communities (SC) immigration enforcement program across U.S. counties from 2008 through 2014, we show that SC led to a 0.26 percentage points (6.8 percent) increase in the likelihood that Americans aged 65 and above live in an institution. Supportive of supply shocks in the household services market as a central mechanism, we find that the elderly who are most likely to purchase domestic worker services are also the most likely to move into nursing homes following the implementation of SC. Additionally, we find suggestive evidence of significant reductions in the work hours of housekeepers, personal care aids, and home health workers hinting at the critical role of negative supply shocks in occupations that facilitate aging in community.
    Keywords: secure communities, elder care, immigration enforcement, aging, nursing homes
    JEL: J14 J61 J68
    Date: 2023–07
  4. By: Ilaria D'Angelis
    Abstract: I show that highly educated millennial Americans search for employers that provide parental leave, and that women’s stronger willingness to pay for this benefit contributes to the early-career growth in the gender wage gap. Using an hedonic job search model, I estimate that workers are offered higher wages when hired by employers providing paid and unpaid parental leave, but women are willing to pay, respectively, 40% more and 56% more than men for these benefits. While all workers search for jobs and experience wage growth by entering firms offering both high pay and valuable benefits, the gender wage gap increases as young women accept lower wages, compared to men, upon receiving job offers from employers who provide parental leave. While the early-career growth in the gender wage gap would decline by 75% if willingness to pay for parental leave did not differ across genders, a policy mandating and subsidizing parental leave provision could itself halve the early-career wage-gap growth. The widespread availability of parental leave would lessen workers’ need to accept lower wages in exchange for its provision, reducing the gap in accepted wages between men and women entering leave-providing firms.
    Keywords: Gender wage gap, non-wage benefits, paid parental leave, unpaid parental leave, job search, early careers.
    JEL: J16 J31 J32 J64
    Date: 2023–08
  5. By: Oriana Bandiera; Vittorio Bassi; Robin Burgess; Imran Rasul; Munshi Sulaiman; Anna Vitali
    Abstract: There are 420 million young people in Africa today. Understanding how youth search for jobs and what affects their ability to find good jobs is of paramount importance. We do so using a field experiment tracking young job seekers for six years in Uganda's main cities. We examine how two standard labor market interventions impact their search for good jobs: vocational training, vocational training combined with matching youth to firms, and matching only. Training is offered in sectors with high quality firms. The matching intervention assigns workers for interviews with such firms. At baseline, unskilled youth are optimistic about their job prospects, especially over the job offer arrival rate from high quality firms. Those offered vocational training become even more optimistic, search more intensively and direct their search towards high quality firms. However, youth additionally offered matching become discouraged because call back rates from firm owners are far lower than their prior. As a result, they search less intensively and direct their search towards lower quality firms. These divergent expectations and search behaviors have persistent impacts: vocational trainees without match offers achieve greater labor market success, largely because they end up employed at higher quality firms than youth additionally offered matching. Our analysis highlights the foundational but separate roles of skills and expectations in job search, how interventions cause youth to become optimistic or discouraged, and how this matters for long run sorting and individual labor market outcomes.
    JEL: J64 O12
    Date: 2023–08
  6. By: Katheryn Russ; Jay C. Shambaugh; Sanjay R. Singh
    Abstract: In his papers during the lead up to the birth of the European Monetary Union, Obstfeld considered whether the countries forming the EMU were sufficiently similar to survive a single monetary policy—and more importantly, whether they had the capacity to adjust to asymmetric shocks given a single monetary and exchange rate policy. The convention at the time was to take the United States as the baseline for a smoothly functioning currency union. We document the evolution of the literature on regional labor market adjustment within the United States, expanding on stylized facts illustrating how stratification in local labor market outcomes appears far more persistent today than 30 years ago in the context of what Obstfeld and Peri (1998) call non-adjustment in unemployment rates. We then extend the currency union literature by adding an additional consideration: differences in regional cyclical sensitivity. Using measures of cyclicality and Obstfeld-Peri-type non-adjustment, we explore the characteristics of places that can get left behind when local labor markets respond differently to national shocks and discuss implications for policy.
    JEL: F15 F16 F45
    Date: 2023–08
  7. By: Abdoulaye Ndiaye; Kyle F. Herkenhoff; Abdoulaye Cisse; Alessandro Dell'Acqua; Ahmadou Aly Mbaye
    Abstract: This paper studies the welfare effects of unemployment insurance (UI) in low-income countries characterized by high levels of informality, weak enforcement of UI claims, and job search frictions. We assess the impact of UI on workers’ welfare in the presence of moral hazard and liquidity constraints. Our analysis highlights the significance of the UI scheme design on workers’ welfare and identifies potential funding constraints in implementing UI in imperfect labor markets. Using a custom labor force survey conducted in Senegal, we estimate the key parameters of an extended Chetty (2006) model incorporating an informal sector, and we evaluate the welfare implications of three different UI schemes with varying degrees of enforcement and funding sources. Our results demonstrate that workers respond to UI benefits and that welfare gains depend on the design of the UI system. We find that broad-based taxation through a VAT, inflation tax, or external funding can compensate for weak enforcement (i.e., high false UI claim rates), leading to substantial and quantifiable welfare gains. Moreover, safety net expansions reduce loan default rates, potentially fostering greater credit access. This study suggests that increasing the prevalence of UI in low-income countries could raise standard measures of consumer welfare.
    JEL: E0 E24 H21 J65 O10 O55
    Date: 2023–08
  8. By: Acosta, Miguel (Federal Reserve Board); Mueller, Andreas I. (University of Texas at Austin); Nakamura, Emi (University of California, Berkeley); Steinsson, Jón (UC Berkeley)
    Abstract: We study the macroeconomic effects of unemployment insurance (UI) benefit extensions in the United States at short and long durations. To do this, we develop a new state level dataset on trigger variables for UI extensions and a "UI benefit calculator" based on detailed legislative and administrative sources spanning five decades. Our identification approach exploits variation across states in the options governing the Extended Benefits program. We find that UI extensions during time periods when UI benefit durations are already long—such as in the Great Recession—have minimal effects. However, UI extensions when initial durations are shorter have substantial effects on the unemployment rate and the number of people receiving UI. Through the lens of a search-and-matching model, we show that our estimates are consistent with microeconomic estimates of the duration elasticity to UI, implying small general equilibrium effects of UI extensions.
    Keywords: unemployment insurance, unemployment, general equilibrium
    JEL: E2 J6
    Date: 2023–08
  9. By: Klara Kinnl (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business); Jakob Möller (Institute for Markets and Strategy, Vienna University of Economics and Business); Anna Walter (Institute for Markets and Strategy, Vienna University of Economics and Business; Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna)
    Abstract: We investigate gender differences in individual credit claiming for teamwork. In a large-scale online experiment, participants work on an interactive task in teams of two and subsequently report their subjective contribution to the teamwork. In three between-subject treatments, we incentivize participants to either i) state their beliefs about their contribution truthfully, ii) to exaggerate their contribution, or iii) to exaggerate and thereby harm the other team member. Our setup allows us to distinguish between overconfidence and exaggeration with and without negative externalities, and to test whether there is a gender gap in credit claiming. We find that men and women both equally overestimate their contributions, but men exaggerate more than women: As soon as there is an incentive to exaggerate, men claim to have contributed more than women, even when exaggeration harms the team member. This gender gap in credit claiming is particularly pronounced among very large claims and for high-contributors. Strategic misrepresentations of contributions to teamwork can thus have sizeable equity consequences on the labor market.
    Keywords: Experiment, Gender differences, Incentives, Team work, Overconfidence, Beliefs
    JEL: J16 C92 D9
    Date: 2023–08
  10. By: Bassier, Ihsaan (London School of Economics); Manning, Alan (London School of Economics); Petrongolo, Barbara (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: We estimate the elasticity of vacancy duration with respect to posted wages, using data from the near-universe of online job adverts in the United Kingdom. Our research design identifies duration elasticities by leveraging firm-level wage policies that are plausibly exogenous to hiring difficulties on specific job vacancies, and control for job and market-level fixed-effects. Wage policies are defined based on external information on pay settlements, or on sharp, internally-defined, firm-level changes. In our preferred specifications, we estimate duration elasticities in the range −3 to −5, which are substantially larger than the few existing estimates.
    Keywords: vacancy duration, monopsony, wages
    JEL: J42 J63 J64
    Date: 2023–08
  11. By: Dix-Carneiro, Rafael (Duke University); Kovak, Brian K. (Carnegie Mellon University)
    Abstract: We survey the recent literature studying the effects of globalization on inequality in Latin America. Our focus is on research emerging from the late 2000s onward, with an emphasis on empirical work considering new mechanisms, studying new dimensions of inequality, and developing new methodologies to capture the many facets of globalization's relationship to inequality. After summarizing both design-based and quantitative work in this area, we propose directions for future work. Our overarching recommendation is that researchers develop unifying frameworks to help synthesize the results of individual studies that focus on distinct aspects of globalization's relationship to inequality.
    Keywords: globalization, inequality, Latin America
    JEL: F14 F62 F66 J0 O10
    Date: 2023–08
  12. By: Bovini, Giulia (Bank of Italy); Cattadori, Niccolò (University of Zurich); De Philippis, Marta (Bank of Italy); Sestito, Paolo (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper considers the case of Italy to analyze the short- and medium-term effect of a longer school day in primary school on both students' learning and mothers' labor supply. we rely on unique application-to-primary-school data: first, we control for parental preferences, proxied by individual applications; second, we exploit variation in the probability of attending the full-time (FT) scheme that only stems from nonlinearities in the mix of FT and part-time (PT) applications received by the school and from class size limits set by the law. We show that attending the FT scheme increases Math test scores in grades 2 and 5 and Italian scores in grade 2 by around 4.5% of a standard deviation, but the effects fade away by grade 8. Conversely, there is a positive impact on maternal labor force participation and employment, which is long-lasting (approximately 2 p.p.). No effect is found on fathers' employment. Finally, we find some evidence of negative selection on gains, as the groups of students and mothers for whom the effect seems to be larger are not those more likely to apply to the FT scheme or to attend it conditional on applying.
    Keywords: time at school, female labor supply, selection into treatment, students' learning
    JEL: H40 I21 I24 J13 J21
    Date: 2023–08
  13. By: Stephens, Thomas C.
    Abstract: This paper presents results from a new synthetic index of multidimensional Quality of Work (QoW) for the UK, using data from five waves of Understanding Society (Waves 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12) covering the years 2012-2013 to 2020-2021. The index operationalises a conceptual framework for measuring QoW using the Capability Approach (Stephens, 2023), with an emphasis on the objective rather than subjective aspects of work (Felstead et al., 2019). It comprises 6 Dimensions – Earnings, Insurance, Security, Autonomy and Voice, Work-Life Balance, and Prospects – and 11 Indicators. In line with a number of recent international studies, it adopts an indicator cut-off, weighting, and aggregation approach informed by the Alkire-Foster method (García-Pérez et al., 2017; González et al., 2021; Hovhannishan et al., 2022; Sehnbruch et al., 2020). QoW indicator scores are therefore assigned using cut-offs, with a mix of binary (2-level) and categorical (3-level) cut-offs depending on the indicator. These cut-offs then determine dimensional and, ultimately, index scores. The index suggests there has been a mixed picture for UK job quality over the past decade, with marked changes for some groups and dimensions but stagnation in others. There has been an improvement in mean QoW index scores for employees, led particularly by (a) a sharp rise in workplace pension enrolment as a result of the Pensions Act 2008 and, to a lesser extent, (b) an improvement in wages at the bottom 20% of the distribution. This provides new evidence to support trends already discussed in the literature. However, this masks significant underlying inequalities in job quality. There has been a decline in QoW amongst the self-employed, leading to increased labour market polarisation between employees and more insecure workers. Further, despite improvements in wages, the index also suggests there has been little-to-no corresponding improvement in the proportion of workers able to achieve sufficient earnings to meet the Minimum Income Standards – partly accounted for by a fall in working hours amongst the self-employed. The index also highlights marked sub-group differences in job quality by age, sex, geography, and ethnicity.
    Keywords: Alkire-Foster method; capability approach; employment; job quality; polarisation; self-employment; work
    JEL: I31 I38 I39 J21 J28 J31 J32 J80
    Date: 2023–08–22
  14. By: Becky Staiger; Madeline S. Helfer; Jessica Van Parys
    Abstract: Public disability programs provide financial support to 12 million working-age individuals per year, though not all eligible individuals take up these programs. Mixed evidence exists regarding the impact of Medicaid eligibility expansion on program take-up, and even less is known about the relationship between Medicaid expansion and racial and ethnic disparities in take-up. Using 2009-2020 Current Population Survey (CPS) data, we compare changes in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) take-up among people with disabilities living in Medicaid expansion states, compared to people with disabilities living in non-expansion states, before and after Medicaid expansion. We further explore heterogeneity by race/ethnicity. We find that Medicaid expansion reduced SSI take-up among White and Hispanic respondents by 10% and 21%, respectively, and increased SSDI take-up among White and Black respondents by 9% and 11%, respectively. We further find that Medicaid expansion reduced the probability that disabled respondents had employer-sponsored health insurance by approximately 8%, an effect primarily observed among Black and other-race respondents, suggesting that expansion reduced job-lock among the SSDI-eligible, contributing to the observed increase in SSDI take-up.
    JEL: I13 I14 J15 J22
    Date: 2023–08
  15. By: Rainer Widmann (MPI-IC); Michael E. Rose (MPI-IC); Marina Chugunova (MPI-IC)
    Abstract: Does the scientific community sanction sexual misconduct? Using a sample of scientists accused of sexual misconduct at US universities, we find that their prior work is cited less after allegations surface. The effect weakens with distance in the coauthorship network, indicating that researchers learn about allegations through their peers. Among the closest peers, male authors react more strongly, suggesting that they feel a greater need to disassociate themselves from the accused. In male-dominated fields, the effects on citations are more muted. Accused scientists are more likely to leave academic research, to move to non-university institutions, and to publish less.
    Keywords: sexual misconduct; scientific community; scientific impact;
    JEL: J16 M14 I23 K4
    Date: 2023–08–21
  16. By: E. Mark Curtis; Layla O'Kane; R. Jisung Park
    Abstract: Using micro-data representing over 130 million online work profiles, we explore transitions into and out of jobs most likely to be affected by a transition away from carbon-intensive production technologies. Exploiting detailed textual data on job title, firm name, occupation, and industry to focus on workers employed in carbon-intensive (“dirty”) and non-carbon-intensive (“green”) jobs, we find that the rate of transition from dirty to green jobs is rising rapidly, increasing ten-fold over the period 2005-2021 including a significant uptick in EV-related jobs in recent years. Overall however, fewer than 1 percent of all workers who leave a dirty job appear to transition to a green job. We find that the persistence of employment within dirty industries varies enormously across local labor markets; in some states, over half of all transitions out of dirty jobs are into other dirty jobs. Older workers and those without a college education appear less likely to make transitions to green jobs, and more likely to transition to other dirty jobs, other jobs, or non-employment. When accounting for the fact that green jobs tend to have later start dates, it appears that green and dirty jobs have roughly comparable job durations.
    JEL: J01 Q0 Q4 Q5
    Date: 2023–08
  17. By: Fatima Mboup
    Abstract: We observe empirical differences between races across various macroeconomic variables for the White, Black, Asian, and Hispanic populations in the U.S. For instance, the Black unemployment rate in the U.S. is more often than not double the White unemployment rate. In this paper, I treat nine macroeconomic variables as noisy indicators of economic activity and estimate an index that measures the economic activity of racial demographic groups in the U.S., called Economic Activity by Race (EAR). The noise of the indicators motivates the use of Kalman filter estimation to extract a common component from the noisy indicator variables. My index suggests that there are empirical differences between Black and White economic activity in the U.S., supporting the disparities found between races in racial stratification literature. Further, my results suggest that a structural shock to White economic activity is more persistent than a structural shock to Black, Asian, or Hispanic economic activity due to more heterogeneous sensitivity to various measures of economic well-being.
    Keywords: racial stratification; economic activity; racial disparities; unemployment rate; macroeconomic forecasting; macroeconomic data; Kalman filter
    JEL: E37 E01 C22 J15
    Date: 2023–08–09

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