Explaining Educational Attainment across Countries and over Time
Consider the following facts. In 1950, the richest countries attained an average of 8 years of schooling whereas the poorest countries 1.3 years, a large 6-fold difference. By 2005, the difference in schooling declined to 2-fold because schooling increased faster in poor than in rich countries. What explains educational attainment differences across countries and their evolution over time? We consider an otherwise standard model of schooling featuring non- homothetic preferences and a labor supply margin to assess the quantitative contribution of productivity and life expectancy in explaining ...
Endogenous Social Distancing in an Epidemic
I present a model where work implies social interactions and the spread of a disease is described by an SIR-type framework where both susceptible and infectious are asymptomatic. Upon the outbreak of a disease a lower contact rate can be achieved at the cost of lower consumption. Individuals do not internalize the effects of their decisions on the evolution of the epidemic while the planner does. Specifically, the planner internalizes that a low contact rate early in the epidemic implies a low stock of infectious in the future; and a low stock of infectious in the future permits an increase ...
Comparative Advantage and Moonlighting
The proportion of multiple jobholders (moonlighters) is negatively correlated with productivity (wages) in cross-sectional and time series data, but positively correlated with education. We develop a model of the labor market to understand these seemingly contradictory facts. An income e?ect explains the negative correlation with productivity while a comparative advantage of skilled workers explains the positive correlation with education. We provide empirical evidence of the comparative advantage in CPS data. We calibrate the model to 1994 data on multiple jobholdings, and assess its ability ...
Explaining Cross-Cohort Differences in Life Cycle Earnings
College-educated workers entering the labor market in 1940 experienced a 4-fold increase in their labor earnings between the ages of 25 and 55; in contrast, the increase was 2.6-fold for those entering the market in 1980. For workers without a college education these figures are 3.6-fold and 1.5-fold, respectively. Why are earnings profiles flatter for recent cohorts? We build a parsimonious model of schooling and human capital accumulation on the job and calibrate it to earnings statistics of workers from the 1940 cohort. The model accounts for 99 percent of the flattening of earnings ...
Family Economics Writ Large
Powerful currents have reshaped the structure of families over the last century. There has been (i) a dramatic drop in fertility and greater parental investment in children; (ii) a rise in married female labor-force participation; (iii) a significant decline in marriage and a rise in divorce; (iv) a higher degree of positive assortative mating; (v) more children living with a single mother; (vi) shifts in social norms governing premarital sex and married women's roles in the workplace. Macroeconomic models explaining these aggregate trends are surveyed. The relent-less flow of technological ...
COVID-19 and the Importance of Testing
Using only the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases does not help us understand the scope of the pandemic.
How Fast Has COVID-19 Been Spreading?
For many countries, the number of COVID-19 cases seems to double every few days.
COVID-19: Projected Deaths in the U.S.
This post documents COVID-19-related deaths in a few countries and uses those data to provide projections for the U.S.
Is the U.S. Looking Like Italy? Projections on COVID-19 Death Rates
After adjusting for population, daily coronavirus deaths are less in the U.S. than in Italy. However, the U.S. seems to be catching up with Italy on that metric.
Reopening the U.S.: Gauging the Trend of COVID-19 Transmissions
An analysis suggests that counties accounting for the vast bulk of U.S. GDP aren’t yet seeing a downward trajectory in COVID-19 cases, but growth rates have generally slowed.