24 October 2016

Quality Predictability and Benefits from New Products:
Evidence from the Digitization of Recorded Music

Technological change in the recorded music industry tripled the number of new products between 2000 and 2008. A study by Luis Aguiar and Joel Waldfogel finds that this expansion of the consumer choice set, particularly for cultural products like music for which ex ante popularity is hard to predict, substantially raised consumer welfare.

21 October 2016

Public School Quality Valuation over the Business Cycle

Homes in areas with good schools always command a price premium; Stuart Gabriel, Owen Hearey, Matthew E. Kahn, and Ryan K. Vaughn find that this premium grows during economic downturns. The authors hypothesize that consumers may be "trading down" from private to public schools during recessions, and that reduced household mobility during downturns may raise the value of the public school option.

20 October 2016

The Rise and Nature of Alternative Work Arrangements

The percentage of workers engaged in alternative work arrangements – defined as temporary help agency workers, on-call workers, contract workers, and independent contractors or freelancers – rose from 10.7 percent in February 2005 to 15.8 percent in late 2015, a survey by Lawrence F. Katz and Alan B. Krueger shows. The percentage of workers hired out through contract companies showed the largest increase, more than doubling.

19 October 2016

Consequences of Long- Term Unemployment:
Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data

Results of a study by Katharine G. Abraham, John C. Haltiwanger, Kristin Sandusky, and James Spletzer support the theory that longer unemployment duration has a strongly negative effect on the likelihood of subsequent employment. Earnings, conditional on finding a subsequent job, are much less sensitive to unemployment spell duration than the job-finding probability.

18 October 2016

Underemployment in the Early Careers
of College Graduates Following the Great Recession

While underemployment among recent college graduates is high by historical standards, the Great Recession pushed relatively few recent graduates into low-skilled service jobs, according to a study by Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz. Many of the underemployed worked in reasonably well paid non-college jobs requiring some degree of knowledge and skill.

17 October 2016

Incarceration, Recidivism and Employment

Analyzing data from Norway’s criminal justice system, Manudeep Bhuller, Gordon B. Dahl, Katrine V. Løken, and Magne Mogstad find that imprisonment decreases the probability that an individual will reoffend within five years by 27 percentage points, especially when individuals who were not working prior to incarceration participate in programs directed at improving employability and reducing recidivism.

14 October 2016

Preferences for Equality in Environmental Outcomes

Respondents to a survey developed by Maureen Cropper, Alan Krupnick, and William Raich were more averse to inequality in health risks than to inequality in income. The mean respondent would accept a 22 percent increase in average health risk if risk were to be equally distributed in the population, but a decrease of only 5 percent in income if incomes were to be equally distributed.

13 October 2016

Do Grandparents and Great-Grandparents Matter?
Multigenerational Mobility in the US, 1910-2013

Studies of U.S. intergenerational mobility focus almost exclusively on the transmission of disadvantage from parents to children, in part because until recently there was insufficient data to assess the influence of earlier generations. Joseph Ferrie, Catherine Massey, and Jonathan Rothbaum analyze data spanning 1910 to 2013 and find a substantial “grandparent effect” for cohorts born since 1920, as well as some evidence of a “great-grandparent effect.”

12 October 2016

Mobile Collateral versus Immobile Collateral

One of the policies adopted after the global financial crisis, the Bank for International Settlement’s liquidity coverage ratio (LCR), requires that net short-term uninsured bank debt be backed one-for-one with U.S. Treasuries or other high-quality bonds. Drawing on the experience with similar regulations during the U.S. National Banking Era,Gary Gorton and Tyler Muir conclude that the LCR is unlikely to reduce financial fragility, and may increase it.

11 October 2016

Unemployment and the Geography of Job Search

Although job seekers are 35 percent less likely to apply to a job opening when it is 10 miles from their zip code than when it is in their zipcode, most job seekers are close to some vacancies. Geographic mismatch is therefore only a minor driver of aggregate unemployment, a study by Ioana Marinescu and Roland Rathelot finds. Relocating job seekers to locations closer to vacancies would decrease unemployment by just 5.3 percent.
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