nep-lma New Economics Papers
on Labor Markets - Supply, Demand, and Wages
Issue of 2014‒11‒28
ten papers chosen by
Joseph Marchand
University of Alberta

  1. The Effect of High-Skilled Immigration on Patenting and Employment: Evidence from H-1B Visa Lotteries By Kirk Doran; Alexander Gelber; Adam Isen
  2. The Glass Ceiling and The Paper Floor: Gender Differences among Top Earners, 1981-2012 By Fatih Guvenen; Greg Kaplan; Jae Song
  3. Inputs in the Production of Early Childhood Human Capital: Evidence from Head Start By Christopher Walters
  4. Do Women Earn Less Even as Social Entrepreneurs? By Saul Estrin; Ute Stephan; Suncica Vujic
  5. The Long Run Human Capital and Economic Consequences of High-Stakes Examinations By Victor Lavy; Avraham Ebenstein; Sefi Roth
  6. The levelling effect of product market competition on gender wage discrimination By Hirsch, Boris; Oberfichtner, Michael; Schnabel, Claus
  7. The Evolution of Charter School Quality By Patrick L. Baude; Marcus Casey; Eric A. Hanushek; Steven G. Rivkin
  8. New Linked Data on Research Investments: Scientific Workforce, Productivity, and Public Value By Julia Lane; Jason Owen-Smith; Rebecca Rosen; Bruce Weinberg
  9. Learning and Earning: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in India By Maitra, Pushkar; Mani, Subha
  10. Health Status and Labor Force Participation: Evidence for Urban Low and Middle Income Individuals in Colombia By Ana María Iregui-Bohórquez; Ligia Alba Melo-Becerra; María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo

  1. By: Kirk Doran; Alexander Gelber; Adam Isen
    Abstract: We study the effect of winning an additional H-1B visa on a firm's patenting and employment outcomes. We compare firms randomly allocated H-1Bs in the Fiscal Year 2006 and 2007 H-1B visa lotteries to other firms randomly not allocated H-1Bs in these lotteries. We use Department of Homeland Security administrative data on the winners and losers in these lotteries matched to administrative data on the universe of approved U.S. patents, and matched to IRS administrative data on the universe of U.S. employment. Winning an H-1B visa has an insignificant average effect on patenting, with confidence intervals that rule out moderate-sized effects and that are even more precise in many cases. Employment data generally show that on average H-1B workers at least partially replace other workers in the same firm, with estimates typically indicating substantial crowdout of other workers.
    JEL: J18 J21 J23 J24 J44 J48 J61 O3 O32 O34 O38
    Date: 2014–11
  2. By: Fatih Guvenen; Greg Kaplan; Jae Song
    Abstract: We analyze changes in the gender structure at the top of the earnings distribution in the United States over the last 30 years using a 10% sample of individual earnings histories from the Social Security Administration. Despite making large inroads, females still constitute a small proportion of the top percentiles: the glass ceiling, albeit a thinner one, remains. We measure the contribution of changes in labor force participation, changes in the persistence of top earnings, and changes in industry and age composition to the change in the gender composition of top earners. A large proportion of the increased share of females among top earners is accounted for by the mending of, what we refer to as, the paper floor - the phenomenon whereby female top earners were much more likely than male top earners to drop out of the top percentiles. We also provide new evidence at the top of the earnings distribution for both genders: the rising share of top earnings accruing to workers in the Finance and Insurance industry, the relative transitory status of top earners, the emergence of top earnings gender gaps over the life cycle, and gender differences among lifetime top earners.
    JEL: E24 E25 J31
    Date: 2014–10
  3. By: Christopher Walters
    Abstract: Studies of small-scale "model" early-childhood programs show that high-quality preschool can have transformative effects on human capital and economic outcomes. Evidence on the Head Start program is more mixed. Inputs and practices vary widely across Head Start centers, however, and little is known about variation in effectiveness within Head Start. This paper uses data from a multi-site randomized evaluation to quantify and explain variation in effectiveness across Head Start childcare centers. I answer two questions: (1) How much do short-run effects vary across Head Start centers? and (2) To what extent do inputs, practices, and child characteristics explain this variation? To answer the first question, I use a selection model with random coefficients to quantify heterogeneity in Head Start effects, accounting for non-compliance with experimental assignments. Estimates of the model show that the cross-center standard deviation of cognitive effects is 0.18 test score standard deviations, which is larger than typical estimates of variation in teacher or school effectiveness. Next, I assess the role of observed inputs, practices and child characteristics in generating this variation, focusing on inputs commonly cited as central to the success of model programs. My results show that Head Start centers offering full-day service boost cognitive skills more than other centers, while Head Start centers offering frequent home visiting are especially effective at raising non-cognitive skills. Head Start is also more effective for children with less-educated mothers. Centers that draw more children from center-based preschool have smaller effects, suggesting that cross-center differences in effects may be partially due to differences in counterfactual preschool options. Other key inputs, including the High/Scope curriculum, teacher education, and class size, are not associated with increased effectiveness in Head Start. Together, observed inputs explain about one-third of the variation in Head Start effectiveness across experimental sites.
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2014–10
  4. By: Saul Estrin; Ute Stephan; Suncica Vujic
    Abstract: Based upon unique survey data collected using respondent driven sampling methods, we investigate whether there is a gender pay gap among social entrepreneurs in the UK. We find that women as social entrepreneurs earn 29% less than their male colleagues, above the average UK gender pay gap of 19%. We estimate the adjusted pay gap to be about 23% after controlling for a range of demographic, human capital and job characteristics, as well as personal preferences and values. These differences are hard to explain by discrimination since these CEOs set their own pay. Income may not be the only aim in an entrepreneurial career, so we also look at job satisfaction to proxy for non-monetary returns. We find female social entrepreneurs to be more satisfied with their job as a CEO of a social enterprise than their male counterparts. This result holds even when we control for the salary generated through the social enterprise. Our results extend research in labour economics on the gender pay gap as well as entrepreneurship research on women's entrepreneurship to the novel context of social enterprise. It provides the first evidence for a "contented female social entrepreneur" paradox.
    Keywords: Social entrepreneur, gender pay gap, social enterprise, earnings, job satisfaction
    JEL: J28 J31 J71 L32
    Date: 2014–11
  5. By: Victor Lavy; Avraham Ebenstein; Sefi Roth
    Abstract: Cognitive performance during high-stakes exams can be affected by random disturbances that, even if transitory, may have permanent consequences for long-term schooling attainment and labor market outcomes. We evaluate this hypothesis among Israeli high school students who took a series of high stakes matriculation exams between 2000 and 2002. As a source of random (transitory) shocks to high- stakes matriculation test scores, we use exposure to ambient air pollution during the day of the exam. First, we document a significant and negative relationship between average PM2.5 exposure during exams and student composite scores, post-secondary educational attainment, and earnings during adulthood. Second, using PM2.5 as an instrument, we estimate a large economic return to each point on the exam and each additional year of post-secondary education. Third, we examine the return to exam scores and schooling across sub-populations, and find the largest effects among boys, better students, and children from higher socio-economic backgrounds. The results suggest that random disturbances during high-stakes examinations can have long-term consequences for schooling and labor market outcomes, while also highlighting the drawbacks of using high-stakes examinations in university admissions.
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2014–10
  6. By: Hirsch, Boris; Oberfichtner, Michael; Schnabel, Claus
    Abstract: Using linked employer-employee panel data for West Germany that include direct information on the competition faced by plants, we investigate the effect of product market competition on the gender pay gap. Controlling for match fixed effects we find that intensified competition significantly lowers the unexplained gap in plants with neither collective agreements nor a works council. Conversely, there is no effect in plants with these types of worker codetermination, which are unlikely to have enough discretion to adjust wages in the short run. We also document a larger competition effect in plants with few females in their workforces. Our findings are in line with Beckerian taste-based employer wage discrimination that is limited by competitive forces.
    Keywords: gender pay gap,discrimination,product market competition
    JEL: J16 J31 J71
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Patrick L. Baude; Marcus Casey; Eric A. Hanushek; Steven G. Rivkin
    Abstract: Studies of the charter school sector typically focus on head-to-head comparisons of charter and traditional schools at a point in time, but the expansion of parental choice and relaxation of constraints on school operations is unlikely to raise school quality overnight. Rather, the success of the reform depends in large part on whether parental choices induce improvements in the charter sector. We study quality changes among Texas charter schools between 2001 and 2011. Our results suggest that the charter sector was initially characterized by schools whose quality was highly variable and, on average, less effective than traditional public schools. However, exits from the sector, improvement of existing charter schools, and positive selection of charter management organizations that open additional schools raised average charter school effectiveness over time relative to traditional public schools. Moreover, the evidence is consistent with the belief that a reduction in student turnover as the sector matures, expansion of the share of charters that adhere to a No Excuses philosophy, and increasingly positive student selection at the times of both entry and reenrollment all contribute to the improvement of the charter sector.
    JEL: I21 I24 I28
    Date: 2014–10
  8. By: Julia Lane; Jason Owen-Smith; Rebecca Rosen; Bruce Weinberg
    Abstract: Longitudinal micro-data derived from transaction level information about wage and vendor payments made by federal grants on multiple U.S. campuses are being developed in a partnership involving researchers, university administrators, representatives of federal agencies, and others. This paper describes the UMETRICS data initiative that has been implemented under the auspices of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. The resulting data set reflects an emerging conceptual framework for analyzing the process, products, and impact of research. It grows from and engages the work of a diverse and vibrant community. This paper situates the UMETRICS effort in the context of research evaluation and ongoing data infrastructure efforts in order to highlight its novel and valuable features. Refocusing data construction in this field around individuals, networks, and teams offers dramatic possibilities for data linkage, the evaluation of research investments, and the development of rigorous conceptual and empirical models. Two preliminary analyses of the scientific workforce and network approaches to characterizing scientific teams ground a discussion of future directions and a call for increased community engagement.
    JEL: D85 J0 O3
    Date: 2014–11
  9. By: Maitra, Pushkar (Monash University); Mani, Subha (Fordham University)
    Abstract: This paper presents the treatment effects from participating in a subsidized vocational training program targeted at women residing in low-income households in India. We combine pre-intervention data with two rounds of post-intervention data from a randomized field experiment to quantify the 6- and 18-month treatment effects of the program. The 6-month effects of the program indicate that women who were offered the training program are 6 percentage points more likely to be employed, 4 percentage points more likely to be self-employed, work 2.5 additional hours per week, and earn 150 percent more per month than women in the control group. Using a second round of follow-up data collected 18 months after the intervention, we find that the 6-month treatment effects are all sustained over this period. Our findings indicate credit constraints, distance, and lack of proper child care support as important barriers to program completion. Further, we also rule out two alternative mechanisms – signalling and behavior that could drive these findings. Finally, a simple cost-benefit analysis suggests that the program is highly cost-effective.
    Keywords: vocational training, panel data, India, economic returns, field experiment
    JEL: I21 J19 J24
    Date: 2014–10
  10. By: Ana María Iregui-Bohórquez; Ligia Alba Melo-Becerra; María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo
    Abstract: This paper uses the first wave of the Colombian Longitudinal Survey (ELCA) to analyze the relationship between individual health status and labor force participation. The empirical modeling strategy accounts for the presence of potential endogeneity between these two variables. The results show that there is a positive relationship between health and labor force participation in both directions, indicating that better health is likely to lead to a higher probability of participation in the labor market, and also that those who are in the labor market are more likely to report better health. Moreover, interesting differences arise when the database is further divided by gender and/or age groups. Our findings highlight the importance of public policy to guarantee good health conditions of the population which could also have a positive impact on labor productivity and consequently on long-run economic growth.
    Keywords: Health status, labor force participation, endogeneity, Colombia
    JEL: C35 C36 I10 J21
    Date: 2014–11–06

This nep-lma issue is ©2014 by Joseph Marchand. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.