Doctoral Dissertation Research in Economics: Experimental Evidence on Individual Labor Supply Decisions
The extent to which workers respond to higher wage rates is important for our understanding of the determinants of income and poverty. This is especially true for workers with little education and other disadvantages such as a criminal record or a history of substance abuse. These workers may have few opportunities to improve their positions. Understanding how these people respond to wage offers will provide a guide to policies designed to increase employment and earnings for disadvantaged workers. This research project will provide new experimental evidence on the response of low skilled and other disadvantaged workers to changes in wages. This project is unique in its use of experimental methods and in its focus on low-skilled men and women who may have criminal records or face other challenges in the labor market. The estimates will be used to project the potential effectiveness of various public policies to stimulate labor force participation. These results may contribute to the design of policies that increase employment in the U.S. and therefore strengthen the U.S. economy.
Labor force participation rates among low skilled disadvantaged groups have been on the decline in recent decades. Yet very little is known about labor supply elasticities to wage offers of these groups. The researchers will conduct a series of randomized experiments in collaboration with a national ridesharing company to produce experimental estimates of intensive and extensive margin labor supply elasticities. The research targets populations of interest, including low-skilled men and women to produce estimates of labor supply elasticities that can be used to inform current public policy debates including those on the labor force participation rate and the gender wage gap. The project will provide some of the first experimental evidence on disadvantaged workers' labor supply elasticities. The results of this research may contribute to the design of policies that increase employment in the U.S. and therefore strengthen the U.S. economy.
This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number 1729822.
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- Author: Shane Greenstein