Journal of Labor Economics

Published by University of Chicago Press
Online ISSN: 1537-5307
Publications
Article
This article "discusses aggregate-level interactions between Jewish immigration and economic growth both in the Jewish sector of Mandatory Palestine and in Israel". The reciprocal effects of population and economic growth are discussed in two sections on population as an engine of growth and was the size of the population dependent on the economy. The author concludes that "causality between population and [gross national] product runs both ways.... For the whole period 1922-1982, it is very clear that immigration pushed the rate of increase of capital stock. For the period from 1954 on, immigration responded to the growth rate of per capita income or consumption."
 
Article
"This article uses the 1970, 1980, and 1990 Public Use Samples of the U.S. census to document what happened to immigrant earnings in the 1980s and to determine if pre-1980 immigrant flows reached earnings parity with natives. The relative entry wage of successive immigrant cohorts declined by 9% in the 1970s and by an additional 6% in the 1980s. Although the relative wage of immigrants grows by 10% during the first 2 decades after arrival, recent immigrants will earn 15%-20% less than natives throughout much of their working lives."
 
Article
The influence of birth order and childhood family size on future achievement is discussed. Two major empirical findings are presented by the author. "First, neither birth order nor childhood family size significantly influences the level or growth rate of wages, a result that is consistent with previous research. Second, family size is both a statistically and economically significant determinant of women's employment status: women from small families work less than women from large families when they are young and more than women from large families when they are more mature." The geographical focus is on the United States.
 
Article
The authors develop an empirical model of adolescent premarital childbearing in which a woman's decisions affect a sequence of outcomes: premarital pregnancy, pregnancy resolution, and the occurrence of marriage before the birth. State welfare, abortion, and family planning policies alter the costs and benefits of these outcomes. For white adolescents, welfare, abortion, and family planning policy variables have significant effects on these outcomes consistent with theoretical expectations. Black adolescents' behavior shows no association with the policy variables. The different racial results may reflect differences in sample size or important unmeasured racial differences in factors that influence fertility and marital behavior. Copyright 1995 by University of Chicago Press.
 
Average Years of Education and Log Hourly Earnings, Men Ages 25-59 
Article
We investigate whether selective intermarriage and endogenous ethnic identification interact to hide some of the intergenerational progress achieved by the Mexican-origin population in the United States. In part, we do this by comparing an "objective" indicator of Mexican descent (based on the countries of birth of the respondent and his parents and grandparents) with the standard "subjective" measure of Mexican self-identification (based on the respondent's answer to the Hispanic origin question). For third-generation Mexican-American youth, we show that ethnic attrition is substantial and could produce significant downward bias in standard measures of attainment which rely on ethnic self-identification.
 
Article
"We argue that the postwar baby boom [in the United States] caused substantial fluctuations in both the economic rewards to education and educational attainment over the last 3 decades. If substitutability between young and old workers diminishes with education, the present value of lifetime earnings for a boom cohort is depressed more for highly educated workers, reducing incentives for educational attainment. The opposite is true for pre- and postboom cohorts. The diminishing substitutability hypothesis explains the declines in both the returns to college and college completion rates in the 1970s and predicts a substantial increase in educational attainment for postboomers."
 
Article
"In this paper we question the pioneering work of Todaro, which states that rural-to-urban labor migration in less developed countries (LDCs) is an individual response to a higher urban expected income. We demonstrate that rural-to-urban labor migration is perfectly rational even if urban expected income is lower than rural income. We achieve this under a set of fairly stringent conditions: an individual decision-making entity, a one-period planning horizon, and global risk aversion. We obtain the result that a small chance of reaping a high reward is sufficient to trigger rural-to-urban labor migration."
 
Article
"Implications of the quantity (number) and quality (skill) of immigration on the destination economy are analyzed, including impacts on value added, wages, quasi rents, rates of return, and the skill distribution of the native labor force. Quantity-quality trade-offs are considered for both immigrant and native workers. Medium- and long-run labor-supply responses by natives to immigrant-induced changes in wage rates are shown to have second-order effects which subtantively affect the impacts of immigrants. The impact of immigration policy depends on the quality as well as quantity of immigrants, the time horizon, and the speed of factor market adjustment."
 
Article
"This paper develops a model of the transmission of earnings, assets, and consumption from parents to descendants. The model assumes utility-maximizing parents who are concerned about the welfare of their children. The degree of intergenerational mobility is determined by the interaction of this utility-maximizing behavior with investment and consumption opportunities in different generations and with different kinds of luck. We examine a number of empirical studies for different countries. Regression to the mean in earnings in rich countries appears to be rapid. Almost all the earnings advantages or disadvantages of ancestors are wiped out in three generations." A comment by Robert J. Willis is included (pp. 40-7).
 
Article
This paper is a survey of analyses of women's labor force growth in 12 industrialized countries, presented at a conference in Sussex, England in 1983. The main focus is on growth of the labor force of married women from 1960-1980; trends in fertility, wages, and family instability are discussed. In all countries, wages of women were lower than wages of men, although between 1960 and 1980 labor force rates of married women rose in most of the industrialized countries. 2 factors that are associated with this growth are declines in fertility and increases in divorce rates. The 12 countries studied are: 1) Australia, 2) Britain, 3) France, 4) Germany, 5) Israel, 6) Italy, 7) Japan, 8) Netherlands, 9) Spain, 10) Sweden, 11) US, and 12) USSR. The substitution variables (wages of women or their education) have strong positive effects on labor force participation in most cases, and in most cases the positive wage elasticities exceed the negative income elasticities by a sizable margin. A summary table estimating parameters of the P-function for each country, and their predictive performance in time series, are included. From 1960-1980 the average per country growth in participation of married women was 2.84% per year. Wages of working women, in this same period grew, on average, faster than wages of men in most countries, in part due to selectivity by education in labor force growth. While growth rates of real wages across countries have a weak relation with the differential growth rates of married women's labor force, the relation is strong when country parameters are taken into account. The dominance of the "discouraged" over the "added" workers in female labor force growth appears to be upheld internationally. On the average, total fertility rate dropped from 2.42 in 1970 to 1.85 in 1980. Both fertility declines and the growth of family instability appear to represent lagged effects of longer term developments in the labor force of women. Women's wages are lower than men's wages in all countries; wage differentials narrowed in all other countries over the past 2 decades. This narrowing was due both to women's educational attainment catching up with men's, and to a positive educational selectivity of women's labor force growth during this period. Ultimately, without labor market discrimination and with equal educational attainment, the wage gap can be eliminated only when sex differences in lifetime work experience vanish.
 
Article
"This paper uses combinations of full brothers, half brothers, and fathers and sons to measure the effect of common family background on a household's income and wealth. While the data are drawn from a nineteenth-century [U.S.] population, the intraclass correlation for income ranges from .13 to .18, which is similar to that found in modern samples. Intraclass correlations for wealth are significantly higher (.18-.35) than are those for income. Intraclass correlations of half brothers compared to those for full brothers suggest that fathers play a dominant role in the transmission of the common family effect. When unobserved background is decomposed into individual and family effects, the individual effect dominates the family effect for income, while the family effect dominates the individual effect for wealth." A comment by Sherwin Rosen is included (pp. 80-2).
 
Article
An analysis of the economic impact of divorce settlements in the United States is presented using data for a white cohort taken from the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972. "The effects of spouses' incomes on the divorce transfer are estimated and used to simulate the welfare effects of divorce on husbands, wives, and children under alternative assumptions about marriage contracts and the ability of a couple to continue coordinating resources in the aftermath of divorce. We find a positive (negative) relationship between divorce transfers and the growth of husband's (wife's) earnings during marriage. The estimated expenditure on children in the divorce state is only half the accustomed level during marriage."
 
Article
"The seven-fold increase, since 1920, in the labor force participation rate of married women [in the United States] was not accompanied by a substantial increase in average work experience among employed married women. Two data sets giving life-cycle labor-force histories for cohorts of women born from the 1880s to 1910s indicate considerable (unconditional) heterogeneity in labor-force participation. Employed married women had substantial attachment to their jobs; increased participation brought in women with little prior work experience. Average work experience among cross sections of employed married women increased from 9.1 to 10.5 years over the 1930-50 period. Implications for 'wage discrimination' are discussed."
 
Article
"This article investigates the effects of welfare payments, wages, and unemployment on women's probability of interstate migration [in the United States]. It also investigates if the income attraction of locations varies with recency of labor market experience. Welfare gains increase the probability of interstate migration. Welfare effects are largest for single mothers with small children and stronger among women with no recent labor market experience. The welfare effects, albeit small, are larger than the wage effects. The wage effects are weaker among women with no recent work experience. Ethnic-specific analyses suggest differences in migration behavior among Anglos, African-Americans, and Puerto Ricans."
 
GED Credentials Issued as a Percentage of All High School Completers, 1960-2006 
Weighted OLS Fixed Effects Estimates of the Impact of the 1997 GED Reform on Various Dropout Rate Measures 
Article
The option to obtain a General Education Development (GED) certificate changes the incentives facing high school students. This paper evaluates the effect of three different GED policy innovations on high school graduation rates. A six point decrease in the GED pass rate due to an increase in passing standards produced a 1.3 point decline in overall dropout rates. The introduction of a GED certification program in high schools in Oregon produced a four percent decrease in graduation rates. Introduction of GED certificates in California increased dropout rates by 3 points. The GED program induces high school students to drop out.
 
Article
The rate of married women's labor force participation is lower in the Netherlands than in similar industrialized countries; however, since the end of World War II, this rate increased from 0 to almost 25%. Using estimation results obtained with a probit model on a 1979 nationwide cross section, this paper reconstructs the postwar growth of this participation rate. 3 explantions for this change are: 1) apart from the baby boom right after the war, fertility rates have been steadily declining in the Netherlands, 2) the real wages of male and especially of female workers has risen enormously since 1947, and 3) an increase in female market earnings due to increased educational attainments. The behavior of female participation rates at prime ages are interpreted in light of developments in the patterns of family formation and dissolution; between 1945 and 1971, the frequency of marriage among females increased, and during the 1970s, marriage rates declined, especially among young women. The average number of children per family has diminished drastically; from 3 in 1950, to 2.75 in 1960, 2.05 in 1971, and 1.65 in 1974. Until 1972, a woman's labor earnings were added to her husband's income, since then, a woman's labor income is taxed separately from her husband's income. This change had a powerful effect on net earnings, and hence on participation, in particular among wives of high earning husbands. Findings show that children past primary school age have an indirect effect on participation through the negative effect on the predicted market wage; having another child older than 11 reduces the predicted wage rate by .12 and reduces participation from .70 to .61. The negative effect of children on participation diminishes strongly as the children grow older. From analyzing partial prediction effects, it is learned that real wage contributes substantially to the explanation of the observed long run change, especially female real wages. Overall, Dutch women are rather sensitive to increased economic opportunities in the labor market.
 
Article
"This article utilizes an exact match file between the 1978 March [U.S.] Current Population Survey and administrative records from the Social Security Administration to analyze errors in the reporting of annual income using nonparametric methodology.... Three new findings are of interest: there is higher measurement error in cross-sectional samples than in panels. The negative relationship between measurement error and earnings is driven largely by overreporting among low earners. Median response errors are not related to earnings."
 
Article
This paper examines labor force participation of women in France and its evolution over time. Cross-section estimates of a logit model measure the effects on participation of wives' wages, husbands' earnings, families' unearned income, and number of children. They are found to be in accordance with theory. Applied to historical data, these estimates overpredict actual changes. A new specification of the participation model, using as endogenous variable the fraction of lifetime after leaving school spent in the labor force, shows that the effect of the main explanatory variable, education, changed over time. This model gives accurate predictions.
 
Article
Over the last two generations, women in Soviet Russia reached the highest labor force participation rate in the world. As everywhere else, the process was accompanied by a sharp rise in their educational attainment and a similarly sharp decline in fertility. On the basis of data about families of Soviet emigrants during the early 1970s, it is shown that Soviet women respond to the same economic variables that create similar trends in market economies. Socialist ideology and Soviet growth strategy help on the one hand to expedite the process, but on the other amplify the contradiction between women's family and labor market roles and result in relatively low wages for women.
 
Article
This paper investigates the reasons for the growth in the female labor force in the US during the 20th century. Female labor force participation rates increased by 50% from 1950 to 1970. Real wages have played a significant but hardly exclusive role both in the long term growth in female employment and in the more accelerated growth after 1950. At the beginning of this century, fewer than 1 woman in 5 was a member of the labor force; by 1981 more than 6 in 10 were. Increases in female participation were slightly larger among younger women during the 1970s; for the next 20 years the age shape tilted toward older women. For US women 25-34 years old, labor force participation rates have been rising by more than 2 percentage points per year. Closely intertwined with decisions regarding women's work are those involving marriage and family formation. 2 demographic factors that would play a part in subsequent developments are: nuclearization of the US family and urbanization. Time-series trends in education are observed because schooling affects female labor supply independently of any influence through wages; increased years of schooling across birth cohorts shows that an increase of 1.33 years of schooling increased labor participation by 6.9 percentage points during the pre-World War II era. The swing in marriage rates also affects timing, especially for younger women. Based on disaggregated time series data across the period 1950-1981, mean values at single years of age of labor supply, education, work experience, weekly wages, and fertility are determined. Profiles indicate that female labor supply varies considerably not only across cohorts but also over life cycles within birth cohorts. Results show that: 1) relative female wages defined over the work force were lower in 1980 than in 1950, 2) children, especially when young, reduce labor supply, 3) large negative elasticities are linked to female wages, and 4) with all fertility induced effects included, real wage growth explaines 58% of the postwar increase in female labor supply. Therefore, real wages do explain a considerable part of the postwar increases in female labor supply.
 
Article
PIP This paper reviews statistical data on Japan's female labor force participation and household behavior, and estimates income and wage elasticities from female labor supply equations. Labor force participation rates reveal that: 1) 1/4 of working women work part time, 2) the unemployment rate for women has been consistently lower that for men, 3) female wage rates have improved substantially relative to male wage rates from 1960 to 1975, 4) the educational attainment of the female labor force has increased remarkably, while the proportion of female workers having only an elementary level education declined from 60% to 43%, 5) the fertility rate of Japanese women has declined greatly during the postwar period (from 133 to 71 in 3 decades), and 6) there is a mild tendency to later marriage, and an increased tendency to divorce. A review of the data on female labor supply and household behavior shows that: an analysis of aggregate data is misleading since it includes heterogeneous groups of the self employed, unpaid family workers, and paid employees, whose behaviors are quite different, and 2) historical developments do not seem to conform with the logical sequence of events anticipated by human capital theory. Absolute values of wage elasticity are consistently smaller than income elasticity, both for time series and cross sectional analyses. The relative smallness of wage elasticity to income elasticity is confirmed for the cross sectional data, and may be the consequence of labor supply decisions that are not really responsive to female wage rates. The underestimation of cross sectional analysis has been common among previous studies; analysis is unable to avoid this problem because shifts over time are indicative of structural changes in the behavior of Japanese wives.
 
Article
"Analyzing the location choices of the post-1964 U.S. immigrants results in three main findings: (1) these immigrants are more geographically concentrated than natives of the same age and ethnicity and reside in cities with large ethnic populations; (2) education plays a key role in location choice, reducing geographic concentration and the likelihood of being in cities with a high concentration of fellow countrymen and increasing the probability of changing locations after arrival in the United States; (3) internal migration within the United States occurs more frequently among immigrants than natives and facilitates the process of assimilation for the more educated individuals."
 
Article
"This paper designs a multiarmed bandit (MAB) sequential model for the analysis of the migration-job search process. The implications either are compatible with well-known migration behavior or, when novel, are also plausible. For example, regions with large wage variability attract migrants, and regions with large nonpecuniary returns increase both in migration and out migration. A major advantage of this approach is the relative ease with which martingale estimators can be derived from the martingale structure of the model. These martingale methods are exemplified for the return migration phenomenon."
 
Article
Strike outcomes in the 1880s had a 'winner-take-all' character. Successful strikes ended with a discrete wage gain; failed strikes ended with a return to work at the prestrike wage. The authors present a theoretical interpretation of these outcomes based on a war-of-attrition model. They fit an empirical model specifying the capitulation times of the two parties and the size of the wage gain in the event of a strike success. The results show a systematic relation between the determinants of strike success and the determinants of the wage gain for a successful strike. Copyright 1995 by University of Chicago Press.
 
Article
This article uses personnel, payroll, and other records from the Union Bank of Australia to examine internal labor markets. It is shown that employment was characterized by limited ports of entry, impersonal rules for pay and promotion, well-defined career ladders, shielding from the external labor market, and a long-term employment relationship. In addition tenure within the bank was rewarded considerably more than experience elsewhere, and compensation increased considerably after 25-30 years tenure. These facts are partially consistent with the human capital, matching, and contract theory models but cannot be fully explained by any one model. Copyright 2000 by University of Chicago Press.
 
Article
I investigate how the relationship between the wage and the length of the work day has changed since the 1890s among prime-aged men and women. I find that across wage deciles, within wage deciles, and within industry and occupation groups, the most highly paid worked fewer hours than the lowest paid in the 1890s but that by 1973 differences in hours worked were small and by 1991 the highest paid worked the longest day. I examine several explanations for the compression in the length of the work day and investigate the implications of hours inequality for earnings inequality. Copyright 2000 by University of Chicago Press.
 
Summary Statistics for Regression Sample
Robustness Checks
Article
Before World War II, the Ford Motor Company was virtually alone in its hiring of black auto workers. If this was because other employers would not hire blacks, then the terms of employment at Ford might differ for blacks and whites. This paper uses Ford's own personnel data to test for racial differences in its terms of employment. We find that though entry wages for young workers did not differ by race, entry wages rose with age for whites but not for blacks. After being hired, most black and white workers received similar wage increases, making Ford jobs very attractive to black workers. Evidence suggests that Ford profited even without an explicit racial differential by hiring only the best black workers available and by disproportionately assigning them to the most disagreeable jobs. Ford's rigorous factory discipline facilitated racial integration and set Ford apart from other firms. While many aspects of Ford's policies were strongly progressive, Ford's response to its labor-relations constraints may have helped to perpetuate stereotypes that blacks were suited only for grimy and unpleasant work.
 
—a, Utility constraint for white workers. b, Utility constraint for white and black workers. 
Summary Statistics for Regression Sample
Robustness Checks
Article
The 191847 employee records of the Ford Motor Company provide a rare opportunity to study a firm willing to hire black workers when similar firms would not. The evidence suggests that Ford did profit from discrimination elsewhere, but not by paying blacks less than whites. An apparent "wage-equity constraint" prevailed, resulting in virtually no racial variation in wages inside Ford. An implication was that blacks quit Ford jobs less often than whites, holding working conditions constant. Arbitrage profit came from exploiting this nonwage margin, as Ford placed blacks in hot, dangerous foundry jobs where quit rates were generally high.
 
Article
H. Gregg Lewis' estimates of the relative wage effect of unionism between 1920 and 1958 are routinely cited though they have rarely been subject to scrutiny. This paper extends Lewis' data to 1980 and, in particular, we construct a series on union membership that links up with the data available in the 1970's from the Current Population Surveys. We proceed to reexamine the effects of trade unions both on relative wages and on relative man hours worked.Our estimates of the relative wage effect are similar to Lewis' though these are not measured with precision and a wide range of estimates are consistent with the results. With respect to the effect of unionism on relative man hours worked, we are not at all satisfied that the analysis of these data clearly points to the existence of a negative effect.
 
Article
The labor force participation of Jewish women in Israel increased between 1955 and 1980, accelerating in the 1970s. Schooling accounts for most of the change. The sharpest rise is among mothers ages 25-44. Thus differentials in participation by marital status have been sharply narrowed and the life cycle in participation has been transformed, the M-shaped curve being replaced by an inverted U with delayed labor force entry due to prolonged schooling and more continuous participation throughout the childbearing period. The reduced incompatibility between child rearing and market work is associated with part-time work and increased reliance on day-care services. The increased employment of women is concentrated in the service industries, mostly public, and is accompanied by some decline in the relative wage of highly educated women. Successive cross-section estimates corroborate this picture in general but do not support the notion that over time preschool children interfere less in women's labor supply.
 
Article
This paper describes changes in hours of work and income between 1959 and 1979 of women and men ages 25-64. It includes attempts to measure and value nonmarket production and leisure as well as market work, to take account of possible income sharing within households, and to allow for economies of scale in household production. The most important empirical result is that, relative to men, women's access to goods and services and leisure was lower in 1979 than in 1959. Changes in hourly earnings, hours of work, and household structure contributed to this result. The sex differential in hourly earnings is explored in detail. Copyright 1986 by University of Chicago Press.
 
Article
Although much research has focused on recent increases in annual earnings inequality in the United States, the increases could have come from either of two sources: the distribution of lifetime earnings could have become more unequal or the receipt of lifetime earnings could have become more unstable. Based on an analysis of the 1968-92 Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we find that lifetime earnings inequality increased during the early 1980s and that earnings instability increased during the 1970s. We also examine how these trends are related to changes in the distribution of wages and hours and the returns to education. Copyright 2001 by University of Chicago Press.
 
Article
The famous events of May 1968, starting with student riots, threw France into a state of turmoil. As a result, normal examination procedures were abandoned, and the pass rate for various qualifications increased enormously. The lowering of thresholds at critical stages of the education system enabled a proportion of students to pursue more years of higher education than would otherwise have been possible. For those on the margin of passing their examinations, additional years of higher education increased future wages and occupational levels. Interestingly, the effect is also transmitted across generations and is reflected in the educational performance of children.
 
Article
This paper investigates cyclicality in real wages between 1969 and 1982, using 14 years of data from the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics. First, it investigates the extent to which movements in and out of the labor market created apparent wage cyclicality. Second, it investigates whether cyclical movements of workers between heterogeneous wage sectors within the labor market created cyclicality. Little evidence of the first effect is found. The second effect is much more important, and cyclicality clearly occurs in the movement of workers between different labor market sectors. However, sector selection is not correlated with wage determination. Thus, individual wage change estimates of cyclicality need to control for sector location, but need not account for sector selection. The third conclusion of the paper is that cyclicality is present in real wages even within sectors over this time period, and is the result of both cyclicality in overall wage levels (cyclicality in the constant term in wage equations), as well as in the coefficients associated with particular worker characteristics.
 
Article
This article estimates the effects of changes in pension plans and social security in the 1970s and 1980s on the steady state retirement of men. Work incentives associated with pension coverage and plan characteristics are calculated primarily from the 1969-79 Retirement History Study and the 1983 and 1989 Surveys of Consumer Finances. Simulations with a structural retirement model suggest that the long-run effects of changes in pension plans and social security account for about a quarter of the reduction in full-time work by men in their early sixties but cannot explain the reduction by those age 65. Copyright 1999 by University of Chicago Press.
 
Article
This article investigates cyclicity in real wages between 1969 and 1982 using Panel Study of Income Dynamics data. There is little evidence that movements in and out of the labor market induced aggregate wage cyclicity during these years. However, cyclicity in the movement of workers between heterogeneous labor-market sectors affected aggregate wage cyclicity. While sector location is important, sector selectivity is not correlated with wages. Yet, even within sectors, cyclicity is present in real wages over this time period and is the result of cyclicity in overall wage levels, as well as in the coefficients associated with particular worker characteristics. Copyright 1990 by University of Chicago Press.
 
Article
Using micro data from the Canadian Survey of Consumer Finances, 1971-91, the authors investigate the return to a university education. Their conclusions are that while there appears to have been some decline in the return to a university degree during the 1970s in Canada (similar to the United States), the return did not rebound much during the 1980s except among the youngest experience (age) group. There is, however, considerable noise in the ratios from year to year so that one is likely to draw misleading inferences if only a few years of data are used. Coauthors are John Burbidge, Lonnie Magee, and A. Leslie Robb. Copyright 1995 by University of Chicago Press.
 
Article
Using an extraordinary database drawn from longitudinal income tax records, we decompose Canada's growth in earnings inequality into its persistent and transitory components. We find that the growth in earnings inequality reflects both an increase in long-run inequality and an increase in earnings instability. The Canadian data strongly reject several restrictions commonly imposed in the U.S. literature, and they also suggest that imposing these evidently false restrictions may lead to distorted inferences about earnings dynamics and inequality trends.
 
Article
This article examines the determinants of changes in the U.S. wage structure from 1976 to 2000. Our main empirical observation is that changes in both the level of wages and the returns to skill over this period were primarily driven by changes in the ratio of human capital to physical capital. We show that this pattern conforms extremely well to a simple model of technological adoption following a major change in technological opportunities. In contrast, we do not find much empirical support for the view that ongoing (factor-augmenting) skill-biased technological progress has been an important driving force over this period.
 
Article
This article uses Survey of Households' Income and Wealth microdata to investigate the role the Scala Mobile played in the initial fall and subsequent rise in earnings inequality in Italy between 1977 and 1993. The Scala Mobile was a wage indexation mechanism granting the same absolute wage increase to all employees as prices rose, thereby potentially compressing wage differentials. Over time, the potential equalizing effect of this mechanism fell. This article argues that the rise in inequality from the mid-1980s was a response to the compression of differentials operated over the previous years by the Scala Mobile.
 
Article
According to U.S. Census and Current Population Survey (CPS) data, employed U.S. men are more likely to work more than 48 hours per week today than 25 years ago. Using 1979-2006 CPS data, we show that this increase was greatest in the 1980s, among highly educated, highly paid, and older men, and among workers paid on a salaried basis. We examine some possible explanations for these changes, including composition effects. Among salaried men, increases in long work hours were greatest in detailed occupations and industries with larger increases in residual wage inequality and slowly growing real compensation at "standard" (40) hours. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..
 
Article
Using March Current Population Survey data, we investigate married women’s labor supply from 1980 to 2000. We find a large rightward shift in their labor supply function for annual hours in the 1980s, with little shift in the 1990s. These shifts account for most of the slowdown in the growth of labor supply during this period. A major development was the dramatic decrease in the responsiveness of married women’s labor supply to their own and husbands’ wages: their own wage elasticity fell by 50%–56%, while their cross wage elasticity fell by 38%–47% in absolute value.
 
Annual Hours Trends for Selected Groups of Married Women, 1980-2000
Predicted Labor Supply by Own Hourly Wage, 1990 Means for Other Variables
Instrumental Variables Labor Supply Estimates for Wives (dependent variable is annual hours, including zeroes)
Instrumental Variables Labor Supply Estimates for Husbands (dependent variable is annual hours, including zeroes)
Article
We examine the physical and mental health effects of providing care to an elderly mother on the adult child caregiver. We address the endogeneity of the selection in and out of caregiving using an instrumental variable approach, and carefully control for baseline health and work status of the adult child using fixed effects and Arellano-Bond estimation techniques. Continued caregiving over time increases depressive symptoms for married women and married men. In addition, the increase in depressive symptoms is persistent for married men. Depressive symptoms for single men and women are not affected by continued caregiving. There is a small protective effect on the likelihood (10%) of having any heart conditions among married women who continue caregiving. Robustness checks confirm that the increase in depressive symptoms and decrease in likelihood of heart conditions can be directly attributable to caregiving behavior, and not due to a direct effect of the death of the mother. The initial onset of caregiving, by contrast, has no immediate effects on physical or mental health for any subgroup of caregivers.
 
Dispute Incidence and Composition with a 1% Fixed Cost of Striking 
Descriptive Statistics, Continued 
Article
It is argued in many circles that a structural change occurred in U.S. collective bargaining in the 1980s. The authors investigate the extent to which the hiring of replacement workers can account for these changes. For a sample of over 300 major strikes since 1980, they estimate the likelihood of replacements being hired. Reducing the replacement risk to the pre-1982 levels would have led to a reduction in the dispute incidence by 5 percentage points, an increase in the fraction of disputes involving a strike by 4 percentage points, and an increase in the strike incidence by 0.8 percentage points. Copyright 1998 by University of Chicago Press.
 
Article
This article examines the job-search methods of jobless workers and emphasizes sample selectivity in choice of job-search strategies (especially use of public employment agencies). Longitudinal data from the Labour Force Survey of Canada for 1981, 1983, and 1986 indicate that job-search methods change with the business cycle and that many people find jobs without any reported search. The determinants of job-search success also vary substantially over the business cycle, implying a substantial social return to public employment agencies at the 1983 trough of the recession but no noticeable benefits when aggregate unemployment is relatively low. Copyright 1993 by University of Chicago Press.
 
Article
Since 1976, the gender gap in wages on average declined about one percent per year. This article focuses on identifying the factors underlying this trend. Three data sets are analyzed--the Current Population Survey, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and the National Longitudinal Survey. The authors find that convergence in measurable work-related characteristics (schooling and work experience) explains one-third to one-half the narrowing. The remainder is attributable to a relative increase in women's returns to experience as well as to declining wages in blue-collar work and other factors. Copyright 1993 by University of Chicago Press.
 
Top-cited authors
David Card
  • University of California, Berkeley
Andrew J. Oswald
  • The University of Warwick
Lawrence Kahn
  • Cornell University
Francine D. Blau
  • Cornell University
George Borjas
  • Harvard University