Creator: Guvenen, Fatih and Rendall, Michelle Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 704 Abstract:
In this paper, we study the role of education as insurance against a bad marriage. Historically, due to disparities in earning power and education across genders, married women often found themselves in an economically vulnerable position, and had to suffer one of two fates in a bad marriage: either they get divorced (assuming it is available) and struggle as low-income single mothers, or they remain trapped in the marriage. In both cases, education can provide a route to emancipation for women. To investigate this idea, we build and estimate an equilibrium search model with education, marriage/divorce/remarriage, and household labor supply decisions. A key feature of the model is that women bear a larger share of the divorce burden, mainly because they are more closely tied to their children relative to men. Our focus on education is motivated by the fact that divorce laws typically allow spouses to keep the future returns from their human capital upon divorce (unlike their physical assets), making education a good insurance against divorce risk. However, as women further their education, the earnings gap between spouses shrinks, leading to more unstable marriages and, in turn, further increasing demand for education. The framework generates powerful amplification mechanisms, which lead to a large rise in divorce rates and a decline in marriage rates (similar to those observed in the US data) from relatively modest exogenous driving forces. Further, in the model, women overtake men in college attainment during the 1990s, a feature of the data that has proved challenging to explain. Our counterfactual experiments indicate that the divorce law reform of the 1970s played an important role in all of these trends, explaining more than one-quarter of college attainment rate of women post-1970s and one-half of the rise in labor supply for married women.
Keyword: Divorce law reform, Marriage, College-gender gap, Divorce, Female labor supply, and Remarriage Subject (JEL): D13 - Household Production and Intrahousehold Allocation, E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity, and J12 - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Domestic Abuse
Creator: Green, Edward J. and Weber, Warren E. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 571 Abstract:
A current U.S. policy is to introduce a new style of currency that is harder to counterfeit, but not immediately to withdraw from circulation all of the old-style currency. This policy is analyzed in a random-matching model of money, and its potential to decrease counterfeiting in the long run is shown. For various parameters of the model, three types of equilibria are found to occur. In only one does counterfeiting continue at its initial high level. In the other two, both genuine and counterfeit old-style money go out of circulation—immediately in one and gradually in the other. There are objectives and expectations that can reasonably be imputed to policymakers, under which the policy that they have chosen can make sense.
Creator: Wallace, Neil Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 084 Keyword: Fiat money, Federal Reserve System, Monetary policy, and Central banking Subject (JEL): E51 - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers and E58 - Central Banks and Their Policies
Creator: Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953- and Ruhl, Kim J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 453 Abstract:
Following its opening to trade and foreign investment in the mid-1980s, Mexico’s economic growth has been modest at best, particularly in comparison with that of China. Comparing these countries and reviewing the literature, we conclude that the relation between openness and growth is not a simple one. Using standard trade theory, we find that Mexico has gained from trade, and by some measures, more so than China. We sketch out a theory in which developing countries can grow faster than the United States by reforming. As a country becomes richer, this sort of catch-up becomes more difficult. Absent continuing reforms, Chinese growth is likely to slow down sharply, perhaps leaving China at a level less than Mexico’s real GDP per working-age person.
Subject (JEL): O20 - Development Planning and Policy: General, E65 - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes, O10 - Economic Development: General, E23 - Macroeconomics: Production, F14 - Empirical Studies of Trade, and O47 - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
Creator: Christiano, Lawrence J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 339 Keyword: Fluctuations, Investment, Inventory investments, and Inventory Subject (JEL): G31 - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies; Capacity and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
Creator: Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 321 Abstract:
Americans now work 50 percent more than do the Germans, French, and Italians. This was not the case in the early 1970s when the Western Europeans worked more than Americans. In this paper, I examine the role of taxes in accounting for the differences in labor supply across time and across countries, in particular, the effective marginal tax rate on labor income. The population of countries considered is that of the G-7 countries, which are major advanced industrial countries. The surprising finding is that this marginal tax rate accounts for the predominance of the differences at points in time and the large change in relative labor supply over time with the exception of the Italian labor supply in the early 1970s.
Keyword: Social Security Reform, International Labor Supply, and International Tax Rates Subject (JEL): E62 - Fiscal Policy, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity, and H20 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue: General
Creator: Ohanian, Lee E. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 285 Abstract:
Between 1929 and 1933, real output per adult fell over 30 percent and total factor productivity fell 18 percent. This productivity decrease is much larger than expected from just extrapolating the productivity decrease that typically occurs during recessions. This paper evaluates what factors may have caused this large decrease, including unmeasured factor utilization, changes in the composition of production, and increasing returns. I find that these factors combined explain less than one-third of the 18 percent decrease, and I conclude that the productivity decrease during the Great Depression remains a puzzle.
Subject (JEL): N12 - Economic History: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations: U.S.; Canada: 1913-, O47 - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence, and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
Creator: Jones, Larry E., Manuelli, Rodolfo E., and McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 317 Abstract:
We study the large observed changes in labor supply by married women in the United States over the post–World War II period, a period that saw little change in the labor supply by single women. We investigate the effects of changes in the gender wage gap, the quantitative impact of technological improvements in the production of nonmarket goods, and the potential inferiority of nonmarket goods in explaining the dramatic change in labor supply. We find that small decreases in the gender wage gap can simultaneously explain the significant increases in the average hours worked by married women and the relative constancy in the hours worked by single women and by single and married men. We also find that the impact of technological improvements in the household on married female hours and on the relative wage of females to males is too small for realistic values. Some specifications of the inferiority of home goods match the hours patterns, but they have counterfactual predictions for wages and expenditure patterns.
Keyword: Gender wage gap, Hours of work , and Technological improvements Subject (JEL): J22 - Time Allocation and Labor Supply and E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity