Isaac Sorkin

Department of Economics
Stanford University
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305
Tel: 608/440-0052

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NBER Program Affiliations: LS
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2018Bartik Instruments: What, When, Why, and How
with Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham, Henry Swift: w24408
The Bartik instrument is formed by interacting local industry shares and national industry growth rates. We show that the Bartik instrument is numerically equivalent to using local industry shares as instruments in a GMM estimator and discuss how different asymptotics imply different identifying assumptions. We argue that in most applications the identifying assumption is in terms of industry shares. Finally, we show how to decompose the Bartik instrument into the weighted sum of the just-identified instrumental variables estimators. These weights measure how sensitive the parameter estimate is to each instrument. We illustrate our results through four applications: estimating the inverse elasticity of labor supply, estimating local labor market effects of Chinese imports, estimating the f...
November 2017Reconsidering the Consequences of Worker Displacements: Firm versus Worker Perspective
with Aaron B. Flaaen, Matthew D. Shapiro: w24077
Prior literature has established that displaced workers suffer persistent earnings losses by following workers in administrative data after mass layoffs. This literature assumes that these are involuntary separations owing to economic distress. This paper examines this assumption by matching survey data on worker-supplied reasons for separations with administrative data. Workers exhibit substantially different earnings dynamics in mass layoffs depending on the rea- son for separation. Using a new methodology to account for the increased separation rates across all survey responses during a mass layoff, the paper finds earnings loss estimates that are surprisingly close to those using only administrative data.
October 2017Ranking Firms Using Revealed Preference
This paper estimates workers' preferences for firms by studying the structure of employer-to-employer transitions in U.S. administrative data. The paper uses a tool from numerical linear algebra to measure the central tendency of worker flows, which is closely related to the ranking of firms revealed by workers' choices. There is evidence for compensating differential when workers systematically move to lower-paying firms in a way that cannot be accounted for by layoffs or differences in recruiting intensity. The estimates suggest that compensating differentials account for over half of the firm component of the variance of earnings.

Published: Isaac Sorkin, 2018. "Ranking Firms Using Revealed Preference*," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol 133(3), pages 1331-1393.

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