A structural model of multiple welfare program participation and labor supply
One of the long-standing issues in the literature on transfer programs for the U.S. low-income population concerns the high cumulative marginal tax rate on earnings induced by participation in the multiplicity of programs offered by the government. Empirical work on the issue has reached an impasse partly because the analytic solution to the choice problem is intractable and partly because the model requires the estimation of multiple sets of equations with limited dependent variables, an estimation problem which until recently has been computationally infeasible. In this paper we estimate a ...
The career decisions of young men
Individual heterogeneity and interindustry wage differentials
Estimates of interindustry wage differentials are obtained using a fixed-effects estimator on a long panel, the National Longitudinal Survey of Young Men (NLS). After controlling for observable worker characteristics, 84 percent of the residual variance of log wages across industries is explained by individual fixed-effects. Only 16 percent of the residual variance is explained by industry dummies. Since no controls for specific job characteristics are used, job characteristics that vary across industries could potentially explain this rather small residual across-industry log wage variance ...
The relation between skill levels and the cyclical variability of employment, hours and wages
This paper uses micro data to examine differences in the cyclical variability of employment, hours, and wages for skilled and unskilled workers. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we find that, at the aggregate level, skilled and unskilled workers are subject to essentially the same degree of cyclical variation in wages. That is, relative offer wage differentials between skilled and unskilled workers are acyclical. However, we do find important differences in the patterns of employment and hours variation for skilled vs. unskilled workers when a college degree is used as a proxy for skill. ...
Statistical inference in the multinomial multiperiod probit model
Statistical inference in multinomial multiperiod probit models has been hindered in the past by the high dimensional numerical integrations necessary to form the likelihood functions, posterior distributions, or moment conditions in these models. We describe three alternative approaches to inference that circumvent the integration problem: Bayesian inference using Gibbs sampling and data augmentation to compute posterior moments, simulated maximum likelihood (SML) estimation using the GHK recursive probability simulator, and method of simulated moment (MSM) estimation using the GHK simulator. ...
The employment and wage effects of oil price shocks: a sectoral analysis
In this paper we use micro panel data to examine the effects of oil price shocks on employment and real wages, at the aggregate and industry levels. We also measure differences in the employment and wage responses for workers differentiated on the basis of skill level. We find that oil price increases result in a substantial decline in real wages for all workers, but raise the relative wage of skilled workers. The use of panel data econometric techniques to control for unobserved heterogeneity is essential to uncover this result, which is completely hidden in OLS estimates. While the ...
Sectoral shift theories of unemployment: evidence from panel data
This paper examines the response of sectoral real wages and location probabilities to oil price shocks using U.S. micro-panel data (the National Longitudinal Survey of Young Men). The goal is to determine whether the observed response patterns are consistent with so-called sectoral shift theories of unemployment. These theories predict that shocks that change sectoral relative wages should increase unemployment in the short run and lead to labor reallocation in the long run. Consistent with these predictions, the oil price changes of the 1970s resulted in substantial movements in industry ...
Mixture of normals probit models
This paper generalizes the normal probit model of dichotomous choice by introducing mixtures of normals distributions for the disturbance term. By mixing on both the mean and variance parameters and by increasing the number of distributions in the mixture these models effectively remove the normality assumption and are much closer to semiparametric models. When a Bayesian approach is taken, there is an exact finite-sample distribution theory for the choice probability conditional on the covariates. The paper uses artificial data to show how posterior odds ratios can discriminate between ...
An empirical analysis of income dynamics among men in the PSID: 1968-1989
This study uses data from the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics (PSID) to address a number of questions about life cycle earnings mobility. It develops a dynamic reduced form model of earnings and marital status that is nonstationary over the life cycle. The study reaches several firm conclusions about life cycle earnings mobility. Incorporating non-Gaussian shocks makes it possible to account for transitions between low and higher earnings states, a heretofore unresolved problem. The non-Gaussian distribution substantially increases the lifetime return to post-secondary education, and ...