Found 433 article(s) in category 'Jobs and Unemployment'

Why Firms Offer Paid Parental Leave: An Exploratory Study

Why Firms Offer Paid Parental Leave: An Exploratory Study. Claudia Goldin, January 2020, Paper, “Why do competitive firms in the US provide paid parental leave (PPL)? Which firms do and to what extent? We use several firm- and individual-level data sets to answer these questions. These include the BLS-Employee Benefit Survey (EBS) for 2010 to 2018 and an extensive firm-level data collection that we compiled. Our work is undergirded by a two-period model with competitive firms whose workers vary by their optimal firm-specific training and the probability that each will remain on the job after PPL is taken. We find that firm-provided PPL has greatly increased in the last two decades and generally covers new fathers. The levels of provision differ greatly by the industry, firm size, and the degree of firm-specific training. But even the top-of-the-line firm in the US provides fewer fully paid parental weeks than does the median OECD nation.Link

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The Dilemma of Gender Equality: How Labor Market Regulation Divides Women by Class

The Dilemma of Gender Equality: How Labor Market Regulation Divides Women by Class. Torben Iversen, 2019, Paper, “Women shoulder a heavier burden of family work than men in modern society, preventing them from matching male success in the external labor market. Limiting working hours is a plausible way to level the playing field by creating the possibility of less gendered roles for both sexes. But why then are heavily regulated European labor markets associated with a smaller share of women in top management positions compared with liberal market economies such as in the United States? We explain this puzzle with reference to the difficulty of ambitious women to signal their commitment to high-powered careers in regulated markets.Link

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Compensation, Austerity, and Populism

Compensation, Austerity, and Populism. Jeffry Frieden, December 6, 2019, Paper, “The existence of comprehensive social policies to compensate those who might be harmed by integration is widely seen as an important precondition for public support for economic and political integration in western Europe. However, many western European countries reduced spending on income maintenance after 1990. In countries hard hit by the sovereign debt crisis, there have also been significant cuts to social services. We evaluate the impact of levels of social spending on public support for populist parties. We also evaluate the impact of austerity measures on support for such parties. We examine a panel of 187 elections from 1990-2017 and analyze pooled cross-sectional data from eight waves of the European Social Survey. We find evidence that populist parties fare worse where countries spend more on social support, and where spending has not been reduced from historical levels. On the other hand, where countries spend less on income maintenance, and/or have decreased spending from earlier levels, populist vote shares are consistently higher, and the likelihood of supporting populist parties greater. This relationship holds when controlling for a range of individual and macroeconomic factors, including occupational and educational characteristics, unemployment, economic growth, and immigration rates. The growing strength of populist political parties is rooted in long-term economic and cultural changes, but appropriate social policies may moderate their appeal.Link

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The Surrogate Index: Combining Short-Term Proxies to Estimate Long-Term Treatment Effects More Rapidly and Precisely

The Surrogate Index: Combining Short-Term Proxies to Estimate Long-Term Treatment Effects More Rapidly and Precisely. Raj Chetty, November 2019, Paper, “A common challenge in estimating the long-term impacts of treatments (e.g., job training programs) is that the outcomes of interest (e.g., lifetime earnings) are observed with a long delay. We address this problem by combining several short-term outcomes (e.g., short-run earnings) into a “surrogate index,” the predicted value of the long-term outcome given the short-term outcomes. We show that the average treatment effect on the surrogate index equals the treatment effect on the long-term outcome under the assumption that the long-term outcome is independent of the treatment conditional on the surrogate index. We then characterize the bias that arises from violations of this assumption, deriving feasible bounds on the degree of bias and providing simple methods to validate the key assumption using additional outcomes. Finally, we develop efficient estimators for the surrogate index and show that even in settings where the long-term outcome is observed, using a surrogate index can increase precision. We apply our method to analyze the long-term impacts of a multi-site job training experiment in California. Using short-term employment rates as surrogates, one could have estimated the program’s impacts on mean employment rates over a 9 year horizon within 1.5 years, with a 35% reduction in standard errors. Our empirical results suggest that the long-term impacts of programs on labor market outcomes can be predicted accurately by combining their short-term treatment effects into a surrogate index.Link

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The Economic Effects of Private Equity Buyouts

The Economic Effects of Private Equity Buyouts. Josh Lerner, October 14, 2019, Paper, “We examine thousands of U.S. private equity (PE) buyouts from 1980 to 2013, a period that saw huge swings in credit market tightness and GDP growth. Our results show striking, systematic differences in the real-side effects of PE buyouts, depending on buyout type and external conditions. Employment at target firms shrinks 13% over two years in buyouts of publicly listed firms but expands 13% in buyouts of privately held firms, both relative to contemporaneous outcomes at control firms. Labor productivity rises 8% at targets over two years post buyout (again, relative to controls), with large gains for both public-to-private and private-to-private buyouts. Target productivity gains are larger yet for deals executed amidst tight credit conditions. A post-buyout widening of credit spreads or slowdown in GDP growth lowers employment growth at targets and sharply curtails productivity gains in public-to-private and divisional buyouts. Average earnings per worker fall by 1.7% at target firms after buyouts, largely erasing a pre-buyout wage premium relative to controls. Wage effects are also heterogeneous. In these and other respects, the economic effects of private equity vary greatly by buyout type and with external conditions.Link

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Human Capital and the Future of Work: Implications for Investors and ESG integration

Human Capital and the Future of Work: Implications for Investors and ESG integration. George Serafeim, 2019, Paper, “Human capital development (HCD) is a key consideration for most companies, but only recently investors have focused on understanding the risks and opportunities related to human capital with the emergence of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment frameworks and impact investing. We argue that the importance of human capital is likely to be magnified in an environment of rapid technological change where the future of work is uncertain and that existing frameworks to measure and evaluate human capital development might not be fit for purpose. Against this backdrop, we derive a human capital development metric that focuses on outcomes rather than inputs; show that even in the current disclosure landscape one could measure with reasonable accuracy this human capital development metric for thousands of companies; and provide exploratory evidence on its relationship with employee productivity. Moreover, we develop an estimate of probability of automation of job tasks for each sub-industry and show the relation of this probability to elements of our HCD metric and other human capital characteristics. Finally, we outline an investor engagement framework to improve the disclosure landscape related to HCD and to empower effective investment stewardship.Link

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The Law, Corporate Governance, and Economic Justice

The Law, Corporate Governance, and Economic Justice. Mark Roe, September 26, 2019, Paper, “The Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court begins by invoking the New Deal, and expressing admiration for the way its goals and some of its social programs have been put into practice by Northern European social democracies. Most important are their protections for workers and the unemployed—protections the Judge finds deplorably absent in U.S. law and corporate labor practices. Nevertheless, when contemplating how corporate boards in the U.S. might respond to the growing demand for U.S. public companies to address social problems like the environment and economic inequality, the Delaware judge falls back on the prescription of Adolph Berle, who, though one of the framers of the New Deal, insisted that companies “stick to their knitting” by putting shareholders first as the only way of ensuring the accountability of corporate managements and boards.Link

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The American Working Man Still Isn’t Working

The American Working Man Still Isn’t Working. Jason Furman, September 19, 2019, Opinion, “The United States is in the midst of its longest-ever economic recovery. It has been a slow climb out of the depths of the 2008–9 financial crisis, but the upward trend is now in its 11th year. American workers have seen 107 consecutive months of job growth, more than double the previous record, and the unemployment rate will soon reach its lowest level in over 50 years. However, there is one important economic indicator that still hasn’t rebounded to pre-crisis levels: the employment rate among prime-age men—that is, men between the ages of 25 and 54.Link

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Recent Employment Growth in Cities, Suburbs, and Rural Communities

Recent Employment Growth in Cities, Suburbs, and Rural Communities. Christopher Foote, September 18, 2019, Paper, “This paper uses a comprehensive source of yearly data to study private-sector labor demand across US counties during the past five decades. Our focus is on how employment levels and earnings relate to population density—that is, how labor markets in rural areas, suburbs, and urban areas have fared relative to one another. Three broad lessons emerge. First, the longstanding suburbanization of employment and population in cities with very dense urban cores essentially stopped in the first decade of the 21st century. For cities with less dense cores, however, the decentralization of employment continues, even as population patterns mimic those of denser areas. Second, a dataset that begins in 1964 shows clearly the decentralization of manufacturing employment away from inner cities that has long been a focus of the urban sociological literature. Starting in the 1990s, however, manufacturing employment fell sharply not just in cities but also in rural areas, which had experienced less-intense deindustrialization before then.Link

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The effect of automatic enrolment on debt

The effect of automatic enrolment on debt. John Beshears, David Laibson, September 17, 2019, Paper, “Automatic enrolment in defined contribution pension plans might be the most common policy application of behavioural economics. But does automatic enrolment increase pension savings at the expense of increased household debt? This column examines a natural experiment in which the US Army began automatically enrolling its civilian employees in its retirement savings plan. It finds strong evidence against the hypothesis that automatic enrolment increases financial distress and debt excluding auto loans and first mortgages.Link

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