Grant Category

The Labor Market

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

The labor market is one of the most important institutions determining economic growth and its distribution, as labor income is more than two-thirds of national income. Skill levels and the efficient matching of skills to jobs are key for economic growth. Yet the labor market is not a perfectly competitive market, but rather one that is regulated by a wide array of institutions that affect labor income and its distribution.

We need a better understanding of the two-way link between equitable growth and the labor market. How does the labor market affect equitable growth? How does inequality, in turn, affect the labor market?

  • The effect of the labor market on equitable growth
  • The effects of inequality on the labor market
  • The effects of productivity on the labor market

Explore the Grants We've Awarded

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Employer-employee discordance in awareness and perceived accessibility of paid family and medical leave

Grant Year: 2020

Grant Amount: $80,000

Grant Type: academic

This project examines the level of alignment between employer and employee beliefs about the accessibility of paid leave. It takes advantage of a unique data source, The Shift Project, which samples low-wage, service-sector workers from within a set of large retail and food service employers across the United States and allows the team to match employee responses with individual employers. The research will pair quantitative analyses of Shift Project data and in-depth interview data from interviews with twenty human resources staff members at firms in the sample to provide important information about how employer practices may mediate awareness and take-up of paid leave benefits.

Employers and Paid Leave: Assessing the Interdependencies between State-level Mandates, Medical Leave, and Voluntary Provisions of Paid Leave

Grant Year: 2020

Grant Amount: $80,000

Grant Type: academic

This project will examine the effect of both state-provided paid medical leave and city- and state-level sick pay mandates on the provision of paid leave. The proposed project will use restricted-use National Compensation Survey data with geographic identifiers and a difference-in-differences approach to determine whether employers react to the mandated provision of sick leave and state paid leave social insurance programs by reducing their voluntary provision of medical leave, private group disability insurance, and other forms of paid leave such as family leave. No other study has comprehensively studied the interactions and interdependencies of state-level sick pay mandates, employer provisions of paid leave, and state-run medical leave systems.

Paid Family Leave and Work Eldercare Tradeoffs

Grant Year: 2020

Grant Amount: $27,500

Grant Type: academic

This project seeks to understand how access to paid family leave influences the provision of eldercare and labor market outcomes among individuals in midlife and whether the effects vary by individual and care recipient characteristics. To examine these issues, the research team will pool data from 11 waves of the Health and Retirement Survey to examine the experiences of respondents aged 51 to 65 with at least one living parent. They will survey responses to determine the intensity of caregiving provided, as well as the intensity of labor force participation, and use a difference-in-differences approach to compare the experiences of individuals residing in states with operational paid leave social insurance programs (California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island) to those who reside elsewhere.

Scheduling strategies for warehouse work

Grant Year: 2019

Grant Amount: $80,000

Grant Type: academic

This project will partner directly with a warehousing firm in order to: document the risks of certain schedules for subjective well-being and self-reported health for workers and specific demographic groups; document the relationships between work schedules and turnover for workers and for specific demographic groups; quantify the costs of current scheduling practices for the organization by building a more systemic view of the interdependencies of scheduling, absenteeism, productivity, and turnover; and develop and evaluate a workplace intervention targeting workers’ control over their schedules using a cluster-randomized trial.

Understanding the incidence of minimum wage increases

Grant Year: 2019

Grant Amount: $60,000

Grant Type: academic

This project aims to understand how firms accommodate increases in the minimum wage by using granular compensation data that the research team will construct by merging the individual tax returns of all employees and contractors of a firm to the business tax return of the firm. These data allow for an exploration of how changes in the minimum wage affect the full distribution of employee and contractor compensation within affected firms, including changes in employment and income. They will look at which kinds of workers, if any, lose or gain employment following increases in the minimum wage and how the incomes of covered and uncovered workers, as well as firm owners, are affected. Notably, the 17-year data panel will enable them to study dozens of minimum wage increases legislated at the federal, state, and substate level.

Between exclusion and cumulative advantage: Effects of within-organization mobility on inequality

Grant Year: 2019

Grant Amount: $30,510, co-funded with the Russell Sage Foundation

Grant Type: academic

This research seeks to empirically disentangle and quantify job moves that occur within versus between employers. It utilizes two main sources of data: the Current Population Survey and restricted versions of the Survey of Income and Program Participation. The project investigates the extent to which aggregate trends in wage inequality are the result of increased within-organization job mobility and whether this shift has disproportionately benefited high-income/high-skill workers. It will also account for heterogeneity of outcomes among low-skilled/low-educated workers by exploring under what conditions less-educated workers benefit from internal labor markets and whether these conditions vary systematically by industry, occupation, or region.

Experts

Research Advisory Board

Nancy Birdsall

Center for Global Development

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Grantee

Jón Steinsson

University of California, Berkeley

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Grantee

Sylvia Allegretto

University of California, Berkeley

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Grantee

Atif Mian

Princeton University

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Staff

Greg Leiserson

Washington Center for Equitable Growth

Director of Tax Policy and Chief Economist

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