Peer Reviewed Publication

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Knowledge Obsolescence and Women's Occupational Sorting: New Evidence from Citation Data

Published in The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy

Coauthored with Professor Sarah Pearlman (Vassar College)

Occupational sorting now is one of the main drivers of the gender wage gap. Differential rates of human capital depreciation, or knowledge obsolescence, has been put forward as one potential explanation. This paper provides new evidence on this relationship using a dataset on academic citations constructed by the authors. the dataset covers numerous fields and decades, making it a more recent and comprehensive measure of human capital depreciation. Using data on occupations from the ACS we find that higher rates of knowledge obsolescence are associated with reductions in women's presence in a field. We also find that knowledge obsolescence reduces female presence in college majors at the undergraduate level.

Peer Reviewed Publication

Who Has the Time? Community College Students’ Time-Use Response to Financial Incentives

Published in Atlantic Economic Journal

Coauthored with Professor Cecilia Elena Rouse (Princeton University) and Dr. Lisa Barrow (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

We evaluate the effect of performance-based scholarship programs for post-secondary students on student time use and effort and whether these effects are different for students we hypothesize may be more or less responsive to incentives. To do so, we administered a time-use survey as part of a randomized experiment in which community college students in New York City were randomly assigned to be eligible for a performance-based scholarship or to a control group that was only eligible for the standard financial aid. This paper contributes to the literature by attempting to get inside the “black box” of how students respond to a monetary incentive to improve their educational attainment. We find that students eligible for a scholarship devoted more time to educational activities, increased the quality of effort toward and engagement with their studies, and allocated less time to leisure. Additional analyses suggest that students who were plausibly more myopic (place less weight on future benefits) were more responsive to the incentives, but we find no evidence that students who are arguably more time constrained were less responsive to the incentives.

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Short Report

Recent Developments in Middle Management Diversity

Report in Chicago United's Inside Inclusion 2020 Report

Coauthored with Dr. Daniel Aaronson (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago) and Dr. Thomas Walstrum (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

We show that Women, Hispanic, and Asian workers have made noticeable progress in middle management over the past two decades. Black workers have not, and by some measures, have even lost ground in recent years. With the exception of Asian workers, minority groups remain substantially underrepresented in middle management today, relative to their share of the overall labor force. In general, these diversity trends tend to move in parallel over time across cities and industries. Nevertheless, as discussed below, a few cities and industries stand out on the low and high side. For example, in Chicago, Asian representation in middle management is higher than in most other large cities, but Hispanic representation is noticeably low, and Black representation is declining faster than in other large cities.

Short Report

Measuring the Relationship Between Business Reopenings, Covid-19, and Consumer Behavior

Chicago Fed Letter, August 2020

Coauthored with Dr. Diane Alexander (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago) and Dr. Ezra Karger (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

On March 17, 2020, seven counties in the San Francisco Bay Area put into place the first stay-at-home orders in the United States. In the following weeks, counties and states implemented a cascading sequence of stay-at-home orders, bans on public gatherings, shutdowns of nonessential businesses, and face mask mandates. But as small businesses began to face financial insolvency, states and counties began easing these restrictions. To evaluate the effectiveness of policies restricting mobility and business activity, it is important to document the effects of reopening businesses on public health and economic activity. In this Chicago Fed Letter, we measure the relationship between state-level reopenings of nonessential businesses and health outcomes (Covid-19 cases and deaths), mobility, and revenue at small and large retail businesses.