Leaders: Gregory Acs, David Card, Michael Hout, Jesse Rothstein
The labor market was of course hit very heavily by the Great Recession, as evidenced by (a) the slow recovery of the unemployment rate, (b) and the even slower recovery of the long-term unemployment rate and the prime-age employment ratio (defined as the ratio of employed 25-54 year-olds to the population of that same age). This “jobs problem,” which is especially prominent among low-skill workers, has led to a sharp rise in the number of poor households without any working adults. It also underlies, in part, the sharp increase in the number of disability insurance claims and awards, which in turn has further reduced the supply of labor among low-skilled individuals.
If the first type of “jobs problem” is that there still are not enough of them, the second is that the jobs that are available do not always provide the requisite hours, wages, or security that are needed for a sure pathway out of poverty. As a result, low-skill individuals are not just working less but, even when they are working, there is no guarantee that their jobs will lift them and their families out of poverty. The Labor Markets RG is tasked with conducting research on these and related problems and exploiting administrative and other data to assess possible policy responses to them. We list below a few examples of the work being carried out in this group.
Long-run effects of work incentives: As nonworking poverty increases, the U.S. might well want to turn to new types of work incentive programs. Have these programs worked elsewhere?
Minimum wages and poverty: Throughout the west coast, there are a host of minimum wage “experiments” underway, experiments that have the potential to reset the low-wage labor market in quite fundamental ways. How are these experiments playing out?
Labor Markets - CPI Research
|Consumption and the Great Recession||Luigi Pistaferri, Ivaylo Petev||
Consumption and the Great RecessionAuthor: Luigi Pistaferri, Ivaylo Petev
The particular trauma of severe downturns is that declining consumer spending, itself a reaction to the economy's contraction, also undermines the prospects for recovery. Consumption is, in other words, a fundamental determinant of business cycles - a kind of litmus test of economic health. But it's not just an important determinant of future economic performance. We also look to consumption as an omnibus measure of the set of socioeconomic conditions that underlie consumer behavior, such as job opportunities, price fluctuations, access to credit, and financial security. In this recession brief, we offer an interpretation of recent consumption data in order to determine the extent of the economic damage and its unequal distribution across the American populace.
|Family, the Lifecourse, and the Great Recession||S. Philip Morgan, Erin Cumberworth, Christopher Wimer||
Family, the Lifecourse, and the Great RecessionAuthor: S. Philip Morgan, Erin Cumberworth, Christopher Wimer
The family is an important setting within which the Great Recession can exert its influence. Although the downturn directly affected many workers by reducing their earnings or forcing them into unemployment, it affected others indirectly by changing their living arrangements or family life. Further, the ways in which families are formed or broken up may be affected by the Great Recession, as it can alter the perceived costs and benefits of various family-relevant behaviors. Amid the turmoil and economic upheaval in the wider economy, individuals and families go about their lives, deciding to get married, suffering through breakups and divorces, planning families, and sorting out their living arrangements. The recession could have major effects on all of these family processes.
|Health, Mental Health, and the Great Recession||Sarah Burgard||
Health, Mental Health, and the Great RecessionAuthor: Sarah Burgard
Publisher: Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality
Are we experiencing a "health recession"? While many think the impacts of the Great Recession are mostly confined to the labor and housing markets, the recession may also have taken a toll on health and wellbeing. In assessing such health impacts, it's important to distinguish between direct and indirect effects, the former pertaining to the health of those who are directly impacted by recession-induced negative events, such as unemployment, and the latter pertaining to the more diffuse behavioral changes that a recession may bring about among the general population. For example, the recession might reduce the amount of discretionary driving (to save on fuel costs), with the indirect result being fewer accidents.
|Housing and the Great Recession||Ingrid Gould Ellen, Samuel Dastrup||
Housing and the Great RecessionAuthor: Ingrid Gould Ellen, Samuel Dastrup
The story of the Great Recession cannot be told without addressing housing and, in particular, the dramatic decline in housing prices that began in late 2006. A distinctive feature of the Great Recession is its intimate connection to the housing sector; indeed many would argue that the Great Recession was triggered by the widespread failure of risky mortgage products. Whatever the sources of the Great Recession may have been, the housing sector is still deeply troubled and is a key contributor to our ongoing economic duress. This recession brief lays out the main features of the downturn in the housing sector.
|Immigration and the Great Recession||Douglas S. Massey||
Immigration and the Great RecessionAuthor: Douglas S. Massey
Immigration has been a major component of demographic change in the United States over the past several decades, constituting at least a third of U.S. population growth and up to a half of labor force growth in any given year. By any standard, it is a central feature of the nation’s political economy and thus especially important to monitor as the Great Recession plays out. This brief reviews levels and patterns of immigration to the United States over the past three decades, with a particular focus on their implications for the nation as it recovers from the worst economic downturn since the 1930s.
Labor Markets - CPI Affiliates
|Mary C. Brinton||Professor||Harvard University|
|Patricia A. Roos||Professor of Sociology||Rutgers University-New Brunswick|
|Peter Hedstrom||Professor of Sociology; Official Fellow of Nuffield College||University of Oxford|
|Robert H. Topel||Isidore Brown and Gladys J. Brown Professor in Urban and Labor Economics; Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research||The University of Chicago|
|Steven J. Davis||William H. Abbott Professor of International Business and Economics; Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research||The University of Chicago|
Labor Markets - Other Research
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