Funded Research

Our funding interests are organized around the following four drivers of economic growth: macroeconomic policy, market structure, the labor market, and human capital. We consider proposals that investigate the consequences of economic inequality, as well as group dimensions of inequality; the causes of inequality to the extent that understanding these causal pathways will help us identify and understand key channels through which inequality may affect growth and stability; and the ways in which public policies affect the relationship between inequality and growth.

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The Matching Multiplier and the Amplification of Recessions: Evidence from the LEHD

Grant Year: 2018

Grant Type: doctoral

How does the differential exposure of workers to recessions contribute to the overall size of the recession? Does this heterogeneity in exposure to aggregate shocks occur within or between firms, and what does this mean for the effectiveness of various stabilization policies (Unemployment Insurance or Monetary Policy)?

Stratification, Stress-Related Morbidity, and Labor Supply at Older Ages

Grant Year: 2018

Grant Type: doctoral

This research brings together social psychology, epidemiology, and stratification economics using the Health and Retirement Study’s Psychosocial Leave-Behind Questionnaire and Enhanced Face-to-Face Interviews (2006-2012) to investigate whether Blacks’ higher rates of both hypertension and inflammation (as measured by elevated levels of C-reactive protein) can be explained through their higher exposure to psychosocial and economic liabilities, and their limited access to economic resources. Further, this research explores whether this heightened exposure to hypertension and inflammation increases Blacks’ likelihood of early labor force exit (leaving the labor force before 62).

The long-run impact of Temporary Disability Insurance on SSDI claims, earnings stability, and labor force participation

Grant Year: 2018

Grant Amount: $65,000

Grant Type: academic

This project will use administrative data to explore the role of Temporary Disability Insurance policies in shaping long-term labor market outcomes, as well as the receipt of long-term Social Security Disability Insurance. Specifically, the researchers will look at the impact of Temporary Disability Insurance on long-run earnings, labor force participation, and employment stability for those with an employment-limiting disability, as well as whether this program impacts Social Security Disability Insurance claims. The project will assess whether there are groups of workers (by education, earnings, gender, and race) for whom Temporary Disability Insurance is particularly useful in improving labor market outcomes or reducing SSDI claims. Currently, five states provide state-run TDI programs—social insurance-style wage replacement for short-term disability. The project will exploit this state variation, using the SIPP Beta Gold longitudinal data. Research on the impacts of these programs is extremely thin, and this project represents an important step in filling this gap.

Using IRS tax data to measure the long-term effects of California’s 2004 Paid Family Leave Act

Grant Year: 2018

Grant Amount: $75,868, co-funded with the Russell Sage Foundation

Grant Type: academic

This project will use IRS tax records to study the effects of California’s 2004 paid family leave insurance on labor market and family formation outcomes for both men and women. Byker and Bailey’s research has two significant advantages over the existing literature on paid parental leave in the United States. First, because they are using administrative data, they have an extremely large sample size, which will allow for potentially stronger conclusions than previous studies to date. The large sample size also allows for the study of heterogeneous effects, which has previously been difficult due to data limitations. Second, the long-term longitudinal nature of their panel allows for the first-ever study of long-term policy effects on employment, earnings, fertility, family formation, and other important impacts. This research comes at a time when many states are actively debating public paid family leave policies, and a national-level conversation is ongoing.

Using linked Census data to examine occupation mobility in the United States

Grant Year: 2018

Grant Amount: $68,000

Grant Type: academic

Recent research by Raj Chetty and other economists using tax return data has allowed for a deeper understanding of the levels and trends of economic mobility in the United States, but there hasn’t been equivalent data for the analysis of social mobility. This study will develop a new longitudinally linked U.S. Census American Community Survey dataset that will allow for parallel analyses of occupational mobility. This will be an important complement to the recent work on economic mobility that will allow for a richer understanding of what mobility actually looks and feels like for Americans. An analysis of occupational mobility in addition to economic mobility will allow for an analysis of whether individuals trade higher earnings for other occupational traits such as prestige, creating a more nuanced understanding of what opportunity looks like. In addition, the project will advance the literature by decomposing intergenerational occupational mobility by race, migration status, family structure, and type of occupation. This work is part of a larger database creation effort at the U.S. Census Bureau, the American Opportunity Study, which will create a panel that will represent the full U.S. population over the past 70 years, increasing the ability of researchers to use linked census data to study many demographic and economic questions in the later half of the 20th century.

Undirected migration

Grant Year: 2018

Grant Amount: $50,000

Grant Type: academic

This research will investigate whether out-migration is a successful response to local economic shocks. In the wake of the Great Recession and its uneven impact on communities in different parts of the United States, out-migration was considered to be a key way for Americans to escape the incidence of local economic shocks. Recent work, however, finds that actual out-migration provided little insurance against recent local shocks, and U.S. migration rates have fallen by about 15 percent since 1980. Yagan will study whether out-migration is, in fact, a channel via which people respond to and solve for local economic shocks by examining whether people move from low opportunity areas to areas with good job prospects, rather than to areas with similarly poor job prospects. A key condition for out-migration to be an actual solution to concentrated and intergenerational economic distress is whether there are better economic conditions in the new location.

Funded research

Human Capital

How does economic inequality affect the development of human capital, and to what extent do aggregate trends in human capital explain inequality dynamics?

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Funded research

Macroeconomic Policy

What are the implications of inequality on the long-term stability of our economy and its growth potential?

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Funded research

Market Structure

Are markets becoming less competitive and, if so, why, and what are the larger implications?

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Funded research

The Labor Market

How does the labor market affect equitable growth? How does inequality in turn affect the labor market?

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