Job Market Paper:
Abstract: Public transit has often been proposed as a solution to the spatial mismatch hypothesis but the link between public transit accessibility and employment has not been firmly established in the literature. Los Angeles provides an interesting case study – as the city has transformed from zero rail infrastructure before the 1990s to a network of 103 Metro stations in 2016 consisting of subway, light rail, and bus rapid transit servicing diverse neighborhoods. I use panel data on tracts, treating route placement as endogenous, which is then instrumented by the distance from the centroid of each tract in LA to a hypothetical Metro route. Overall, I find proximity to Metro stations increases labor force participation and employment for residents, which is robust to using both a binary and continuous measure of distance. Additionally, I find evidence that increased job density in neighborhoods near new transit stations is contributing to the employment increase.
Effects of Recent Minimum Wage Policies in California and Nationwide: Results from a Pre-specified Analysis Plan. Industrial Relations (2022). 61(2): 228-255.
With David Neumark
Abstract: We analyze the impacts of recent city minimum wage increases in California and nationwide, following a pre-analysis plan (PAP) registered prior to the release of data covering two years of minimum wage increases. For California cities, we find a hint of negative employment effects. Nationally, we find some evidence of disemployment effects for teens, but not young adults or high school dropouts. City-specific analyses provide limited evidence of adverse effects on the share low-income, but the pooled city analysis does not; the national analysis generally finds no impact on the share low-income, except for reductions in the share near-poor, although that may at least partly reflect prior trends. All told, we view the results as providing neither strong evidence of substantial adverse effects of city minimum wages, nor strong evidence of substantial beneficial effects.
Relative Sizes of Age Cohorts and Labor Force Participation of Older Workers. Demography (2020). 57(1): 1-31.
With David Neumark
Abstract: We study the effects of the size of older cohorts on labor force participation and wages of older workers in the United States. We use panel data on states, treating the age structure of the population as endogenous, owing to migration. When older cohorts (50–59 or 60–69) are large relative to a young cohort (aged 16–24), the evidence fits the relative supply hypothesis. However, when older cohorts are large relative to 25- to 49-year-olds, the evidence points to a relative demand shift. Thus, we need a more nuanced view than simply whether the older cohort is large relative to the population: the cohort that they are large relative to matters.
Does Stereotype Threat Affect Beliefs and Preferences More than Outcomes?
Abstract: I examine the effects of stereotype threat under competition. This experiment is novel in that it provides subjects with the magnitude of actual performance gender gaps using the same task drawn from an identical population as a stereotype threat treatment. In addition, this is the first study that asks subjects about the magnitude of a perceived gender gap in the tasks, allowing us to analyze situations where there are differences between perceived gap in scores and the actual gap in scores. Finally, this design ties together literature on competition and stereotype threat to determine if stereotype threat is stronger under competition. I do not find convincing evidence of stereotype threat in either competitive or non-competitive settings. However, I find that providing information on gender gaps changes the subjects' preferences towards the tasks that their gender is perceived to perform relatively better in.
With David Neumark
Abstract: Recent policy debate on minimum wages has focused not only on raising the minimum wage, but on eliminating the tip credit for restaurant workers. We use data on past variation in tip credits – or minimum wages for restaurant workers – to provide evidence on the potential impacts of eliminating (or reducing) the tip credit. Our evidence points to higher tipped minimum wages (smaller tip credits) reducing jobs among tipped restaurant workers, without earnings effects on those who remain employed sufficiently large to raise total earnings in this sector. And most of our evidence provides no indication that higher tipped minimum wages would be well targeted to poor or low-income families or reduce the likelihood of being poor or very low income.