This paper analyses the distributional impact of the 1990 and 1991
increases in the federal minimum wage. The rise in the federal minimum wage
had very different impacts across states, depending on state-specific minimum
wage floors and the overall level of wages in each state. In states with a
higher fraction of workers affected by the minimum wage change, we find that
the minimum wage hike generated significant increases in the lower percentiles
of wages, and significant reductions in wage dispersion. The higher minimum
wage also led to increases in the lower percentiles of the family earnings
distribution, and a narrowing of the dispersion in family earnings. We find
some evidence that the increase in the minimum wage lowered poverty rates for
families with some attachment to the labor market.
This paper seeks to identify the characteristics of applicants to
graduate school in economics that predict successful job placement after
completion of graduate school. Although there is considerable uncertainty in
predicting the success of prospective Ph.D. students, the results indicate that
GRE scores, reference writers, and admissions committee ratings are significant
predictors of job placement.
This paper reviews the theoretical arguments for and against linking
international labor standards to trade. Based on theory alone it is difficult
to generalize about the effect of labor standards on efficiency and equity.
Some economists have argued that international labor standards are merely
disguised protectionism. An evaluation of determinants of support for
legislation that would ban imports to the U.S. of goods made with child labor
provides little support for the prevailing political economy view. In
particular, Congressmen representing districts with relatively many unskilled
workers, who are most likely to compete with child labor, are less likely to
support a ban on imports made with child labor. Another finding is that the
prevalence of child labor declines sharply with national income. Lastly, an
analysis of compulsory schooling laws, which are often suggested as an
alternative to prohibiting child labor, finds a tremendous amount of
noncompliance in developing nations.
This paper studies the effect of labor relations on product quality. We consider whether a
long, contentious strike and the hiring of permanent replacement workers by
Bridgestone/Firestone in the mid-1990s contributed to the production of an excess
number of defective tires. Using several independent data sources we find that labor
strife in the Decatur plant closely coincided with lower product quality. Count data
regression models based on two data sets of tire failures by plant, year and age show
significantly higher failure rates for tires produced in Decatur during the labor dispute
than before or after the dispute, or than at other plants. Also, an analysis of internal
Firestone engineering tests indicates that P235 tires from Decatur performed less well if
they were manufactured during the labor dispute compared with those produced after the
dispute, or compared with those from other, non-striking plants. Monthly data suggest
that the production of defective tires was particularly high around the time wage
concessions were demanded by Firestone in early 1994 and when large numbers of
replacement workers and permanent workers worked side by side in 1996.
Princeton Affect and Time Survey - ATUS Well-Being Module. The files posted here are intended to help users to utilize the ATUS-Wellbeing module. The wellbeing module was modeled on the 2006 Princeton Affect and Time Survey (PATS).
Periods of rapid U.S. economic growth during the 1960s and 1970s coincided with improved
living standards for many segments of the population, including the disadvantaged as well as the
affluent, suggesting to some that a rising economic tide lifts all demographic boats. This paper
investigates the impact of U.S. business cycle conditions on population well-being since the
1970s. Aggregate employment and hours worked in this period are strongly procyclical,
particularly for low-skilled workers, while aggregate real wages are only mildly procyclical.
Similar pattems appear in a balanced panel of PSID respondents that removes the effects of
changing workforce composition, though the magnitude of the responsiveness of real wages to
unemployment appears to have declined in the last 20 years. Economic upturns increase the
likelihood that workers acquire jobs in sectors with positively sloped career ladders. Spending
by state and local govemments in all categories rises during economic expansions, including
welfare spending, for which needs vary countercyclically. Since the disadvantaged are likely to
beneﬁt disproportionately from such govemment spending, it follows that the public ﬁnances
also contribute to conveying the beneﬁts of a strong economy to diverse population groups.
This paper presents a series of event studies that measure the stock market
reaction to news about the minimum wage. We use two samples of firms: a broad
sample of companies in low-wage industries; and a narrow sample of firms that
mentioned the cost effects of the federal minimum wage in their recent annual
reports. Our analysis of legislative events leading up to the 1989 amendments
to the Fair Labor Standards Act shows little systematic effect on the market
value of low-wage companies. We also analyze a series of events associated with
a confidential memo from the Secretary of Labor that was leaked in mid-1993.
Here, the stock market reactions suggest that news of a possible change in the
minimum wage may have a modest effect on value of low-wage companies.
Between 1960 and 1980 the gap in earnings between black and white
males narrowed by 15 percent. A detailed analysis of 1960, 1970, and 1980
Census data indicates that increases in the relative return to education
were largely responsible for black workers’ relative earnings gains. One
explanation for these higher returns is that they reflect the market
valuation of higher-quality schooling available to later cohorts of black
students. To investigate the role of school quality in the convergence of
black and white earnings, we have assembled data on three aspects of school
quality -- pupil/teacher ratios, annual teacher pay, and term length -- for
black and white schools in l8 segregated states from 1915 to 1966. The
school quality data are then linked to estimated rates of return to
education for men from different cohorts and states. Improvements in the
relative quality of black schools explain roughly 20 percent of the
narrowing of the black-white earnings gap in this period.
Germany has experienced a high and rising rate of anti-foreigner violence during the early
1990s. To analyze the determinants of crime against foreigners we assembled a new data set
on the number and nature of such crimes at the county level based on newspaper reports. We
ﬁnd signiﬁcant differences in the patterns of violence in the eastem and westem parts of the
country. The incidence of anti-foreigner crime is higher in the east and rises with distance
from the former west German border. Economic variables like unemployment and wages
matter little for the level of crime once location in the east is taken into account. The relative
number of foreigners in a county has no relationship with the incidence of ethnic crimes in the
west, whereas in the east it has a positive association with the number of crimes per resident
and a negative association with the number of crimes per foreign resident.