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16 posts on "Inequality"

October 15, 2019

Does U.S. Health Inequality Reflect Income Inequality—or Something Else?



Does U.S. Health Inequality Reflect Income Inequality—or Something Else?

Health is an integral part of well-being. The United Nations Human Development Index uses life expectancy (together with GDP per capita and literacy) as one of three key indicators of human welfare across the world. In this post, I discuss the state of life expectancy inequality in the United States and examine some of the underlying factors in its evolution over the past several decades.

Continue reading "Does U.S. Health Inequality Reflect Income Inequality—or Something Else?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:01 AM in Inequality | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 10, 2019

Is Free College the Solution to Student Debt Woes? Studying the Heterogeneous Impacts of Merit Aid Programs



Is Free College the Solution to Student Debt Woes? Studying the Heterogeneous Impacts of Merit Aid Programs

The rising cost of a college education has become an important topic of discussion among both policymakers and practitioners. At least eleven states have recently introduced programs to make public two-year education tuition free, including New York, which is rolling out its Excelsior Scholarship to provide tuition-free four-year college education to low-income students across the SUNY and CUNY systems. Prior to these new initiatives, New York, had already instituted merit scholarship programs that subsidize the cost of college conditional on academic performance and in-state attendance. Given the rising cost of college and the increased prevalence of tuition-subsidy programs, it’s important for us to understand the effects of such programs on students, and whether these effects vary by income and race. While a rich body of work has studied the effects of merit scholarship programs on educational attainment, the same is not true for the effects on financial outcomes of students, such as debt and repayment. This blog post reports preliminary findings from ongoing work, which is one of the first research initiatives to understand such effects.

Continue reading "Is Free College the Solution to Student Debt Woes? Studying the Heterogeneous Impacts of Merit Aid Programs" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Education, Household Finance, Human Capital, Inequality | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 09, 2019

Who Borrows for College—and Who Repays?



Who Borrows for College—and Who Repays?

Student loans are increasingly a focus of discourse among politicians, policymakers, and the news media, resulting in a range of new ideas to address the swelling aggregate debt. Evaluating student loan policy proposals requires understanding the challenges faced by student borrowers. In this post, we explore the substantial variation in the experiences of borrowers and consider the distributional effects of various policy options.

Continue reading "Who Borrows for College—and Who Repays?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Household Finance, Inequality, Student Loans | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 08, 2019

Job Ladders and Careers



Job Ladders and Careers

Workers in the United States experience vast differences in lifetime earnings. Individuals in the 90th percentile earn around seven times more than those in the 10th percentile, and those in the top percentile earn almost twenty times more. A large share of these differences arise over the course of people’s careers. What accounts for these vastly different outcomes in the labor market? Why do some individuals experience much steeper earnings profiles than others? Previous research has shown that the “job ladder”—in which workers obtain large pay increases when they switch to better jobs or when firms want to poach them—is important for wage growth. In this post, we investigate how job ladders differ across workers.

Continue reading "Job Ladders and Careers" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Employment, Inequality, Labor Market, Unemployment | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 07, 2019

Some Places Are Much More Unequal than Others



Some Places Are Much More Unequal than Others

Economic inequality in the United States is much more pronounced in some parts of the country than others. In this post, we examine the geography of wage inequality, drawing on our recent Economic Policy Review article. We find that the most unequal places tend to be large urban areas with strong economies where wage growth has been particularly strong for those at the top of the wage distribution. The least unequal places, on the other hand, tend to have relatively sluggish economies that deliver slower wage growth for high, middle, and lower wage earners alike. Many of the least unequal places are concentrated in the Rust Belt. These differences in the degree of wage inequality are tied to powerful economic forces arising from technological change and globalization, which have pushed up wages strongly for high-skilled workers in locations that have become the most unequal. Yet those same forces have kept wage growth compressed within a fairly narrow range for workers in places that are the least unequal.

Continue reading "Some Places Are Much More Unequal than Others" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:01 AM in Inequality, Regional Analysis | Permalink | Comments (3)

Introduction to Heterogeneity Series: Understanding Causes and Implications of Various Inequalities



Introduction to Heterogeneity Series: Understanding Causes and Implications of Various Inequalities

Economic analysis is often geared toward understanding the average effects of a given policy or program. Likewise, economic policies frequently target the average person or firm. While averages are undoubtedly useful reference points for researchers and policymakers, they don’t tell the whole story: it is vital to understand how the effects of economic trends and government policies vary across geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic boundaries. It is also important to assess the underlying causes of the various inequalities we observe around us, whether they are related to income, health, or any other set of indicators. Starting today, we are running a series of six blog posts (apart from this introductory post), each of which focuses on an interesting case of heterogeneity in the United States.

Continue reading "Introduction to Heterogeneity Series: Understanding Causes and Implications of Various Inequalities" »

July 10, 2019

Did the Value of a College Degree Decline during the Great Recession?



Did the Value of a College Degree Decline during the Great Recession?

In an earlier post, we studied how educational attainment affects labor market outcomes and earnings inequality. In this post, we investigate whether these labor market effects were preserved across the last business cycle: Did students with certain types of educational attainment weather the recession better?

Continue reading "Did the Value of a College Degree Decline during the Great Recession?" »

September 28, 2018

Just Released: Are Employer-to-Employer Transitions Yielding Wage Growth? It Depends on the Worker’s Level of Education



LSE_2018_Just Released: Are Employer-to-Employer Transitions Yielding Wage Growth? It Depends on the Worker’s Level of Education

The rate of employer-to-employer transitions and the average wage of full-time offers rose compared with a year ago, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s July 2018 SCE Labor Market Survey. Workers’ satisfaction with their promotion opportunities improved since July 2017, while their satisfaction with wage compensation retreated slightly. Regarding expectations, the average expected wage offer (conditional on receiving one) and the reservation wage—the lowest wage at which respondents would be willing to accept a new job—both increased. The expected likelihood of moving into unemployment over the next four months showed a small uptick, which was most pronounced for female respondents.

Continue reading "Just Released: Are Employer-to-Employer Transitions Yielding Wage Growth? It Depends on the Worker’s Level of Education" »

September 05, 2018

Education’s Role in Earnings, Employment, and Economic Mobility



LSE_Education’s Role in Earnings, Employment, and Economic Mobility

Amid dialogue about the soaring student loan burden, questions arise about how educational characteristics (school type, selectivity, and major) affect disparities in post-college labor market outcomes. In this post, we specifically explore the impact of such school and major choices on employment, earnings, and upward economic mobility. Insight into determinants of economic disparity is key for understanding long-term consumption and inequality patterns. In addition, this gives us a window into factors that could be used to ameliorate income inequality and promote economic mobility.

Continue reading "Education’s Role in Earnings, Employment, and Economic Mobility" »

June 27, 2018

Why New York City Subway Delays Don’t Affect All Riders Equally



LSE_2018_Why New York City Subway Delays Don’t Affect All Riders Equally

The state of the New York City subway system has worsened considerably over the past few years. As a consequence of rising ridership and decaying infrastructure, the network is plagued by delays and frequently fails to deliver New Yorkers to their destinations on time. While these delays are a headache for anyone who depends on the subway to get around, they do not affect all riders in the same way. In this post, we explain why subway delays disproportionately affect low-income New Yorkers. We show that wealthier commuters who rely on the subway are less likely to experience extensive issues on their commutes.

Continue reading "Why New York City Subway Delays Don’t Affect All Riders Equally" »

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