Creator: Kaplan, Greg and Schulhofer-Wohl, Sam Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 697 Abstract:
We analyze the secular decline in interstate migration in the United States between 1991 and 2011. Gross flows of people across states are about 10 times larger than net flows, yet have declined by around 50 percent over the past 20 years. We argue that the fall in migration is due to a decline in the geographic specificity of returns to occupations, together with an increase in workers’ ability to learn about other locations before moving there, through information technology and inexpensive travel. These explanations find support in micro data on the distribution of earnings and occupations across space and on rates of repeat migration. Other explanations, including compositional changes, regional changes, and the rise in real incomes, do not fit the data. We develop a model to formalize the geographic-specificity and information mechanisms and show that a calibrated version is consistent with cross-sectional and time-series patterns of migration, occupations, and incomes. Our mechanisms can explain at least one-third and possibly all of the decline in gross migration since 1991.
Stichwort: Gross flows, Labor mobility, Information technology, Learning, and Interstate migration Fach: R12 - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity, J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity, J11 - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts, J61 - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers, R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population; Neighborhood Characteristics, and D83 - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
Creator: Fernandez, Raquel, 1959- and Fogli, Alessandra Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 361 Abstract:
We study the effect of culture on important economic outcomes by using the 1970 census to examine the work and fertility behavior of women born in the U.S. but whose parents were born elsewhere. We use past female labor force participation and total fertility rates from the country of ancestry as our cultural proxies. These variables should capture, in addition to past economic and institutional conditions, the beliefs commonly held about the role of women in society (i.e., culture). Given the different time and place, only the beliefs embodied in the cultural proxies should be potentially relevant. We show that these cultural proxies have positive and significant explanatory power for individual work and fertility outcomes, even after controlling for possible indirect effects of culture. We examine alternative hypotheses for these positive correlations and show that neither unobserved human capital nor networks are likely to be responsible.
Stichwort: Neighborhoods, Immigrants, Networks, Female labor force participation, Family, Cultural transmission, and Fertility Fach: Z13 - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification, J22 - Time Allocation and Labor Supply, J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity, J16 - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination, and J13 - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
Creator: Heathcote, Jonathan, Storesletten, Kjetil, and Violante, Giovanni L. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 496 Abstract:
What shapes the optimal degree of progressivity of the tax and transfer system? On the one hand, a progressive tax system can counteract inequality in initial conditions and substitute for imperfect private insurance against idiosyncratic earnings risk. On the other hand, progressivity reduces incentives to work and to invest in skills, distortions that are especially costly when the government must finance public goods. We develop a tractable equilibrium model that features all of these trade-offs. The analytical expressions we derive for social welfare deliver a transparent understanding of how preference, technology, and market structure parameters influence the optimal degree of progressivity. A calibration for the U.S. economy indicates that endogenous skill investment, flexible labor supply, and the desire to finance government purchases play quantitatively similar roles in limiting optimal progressivity. In a version of the model where poverty constrains skill investment, optimal progressivity is close to the U.S. value. An empirical analysis on cross-country data offers support to the theory.
Stichwort: Labor supply, Cross-country evidence, Tax progressivity, Income distribution, Government expenditures, Welfare, Partial insurance, and Skill investment Fach: D30 - Distribution: General, J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity, H40 - Publicly Provided Goods: General, H20 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue: General, J22 - Time Allocation and Labor Supply, and E20 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy: General (includes Measurement and Data)
Creator: Kleiner, Morris and Soltas, Evan J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 590 Abstract:
We assess the welfare consequences of occupational licensing for workers and consumers. We estimate a model of labor market equilibrium in which licensing restricts labor supply but also affects labor demand via worker quality and selection. On the margin of occupations licensed differently between U.S. states, we find that licensing raises wages and hours but reduces employment. We estimate an average welfare loss of 12 percent of occupational surplus. Workers and consumers respectively bear 70 and 30 percent of the incidence. Higher willingness to pay offsets 80 percent of higher prices for consumers, and higher wages compensate workers for 60 percent of the cost of mandated investment in occupation-specific human capital.
Stichwort: Labor supply, Welfare analysis, Human capital, and Occupational licensing Fach: D61 - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis, K31 - Labor Law, J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity, J38 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs: Public Policy, and J44 - Professional Labor Markets; Occupational Licensing