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Archive for the 'Labor Economics' Category

Trust your employees, Increase Productivity

At least that is what a study by Falk and Kosfeld (2006) found.   The research question they tested was if the principal can set a minimum level of x, should they?  An economist would say, of course.  The agent has an incentive to not work at all.  Setting a minimum level of work would guarantee a […]

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Are all the good men married?

Does marriage cause men’s wages to rise?  This is the question addressed by UCSD professor Kate Antonovics and Robert Town in their 2004 paper in AER cleverly titled “Are all the good men married?” It has been shown that married men earn more money than non-married men with similar characteristics.  Why is this?  A few […]

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Does more education improve your health?

A recent JHE article by Park and Kang wonder if more education induces people to have a healthier lifestyle.  They use data on Korean men to see if this is the case.  They find that “an increase in education induces individuals to exercise regularly, and to get regular health checkups…[but]…education has little effect on smoking […]

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Wage inequality

Many economists have noted that wage growth has not kept up with overall economic growth over the past few decades.  We observe widening wage inequality since the 1970s.  Are workers getting poorer relative to the owners of capital?  Is a communist revolution needed to equalize the playing field? Economist Martin Feldstein thinks not.   “Feldstein […]

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Offshorable Economists

In recent years, economists have examined the phenomenon of offshoring.  Offshorable service jobs are characterized by a number of factors.   Jensen and Kletzer note that offshorable jobs have little face-to-face customer contact and work processes that can be monitored via the internet.  Thus, data entry is easily offshorable whereas barbershop services are not. A paper […]

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Playing sports increases your paycheck

The WSJ Real Time Economics blog reviews a paper by Michael Lechner which finds that “sports-playing adults saw a boost in income of about 1,200 euros per year over 16 years when compared to their less active peers. That translates into a 5-10% rate of return on sports activities, roughly equal to the benefit of […]

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Heckman’s “Econometric Causality”

Nobel laureate James Heckman has a nice summary of how applied econometricians and policy researchers should define causality. Some of the more interesting points I have excerpted below. On the source of randomness in a sample “One reason why many statistical models are incomplete is that they do not specify the sources of randomness generating […]

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Decreased Mortality leads to increased investment in Education

Economists predict that longer life expectancy leads to more investment in education. For those who live a short time, sacrificing working years for education is not worthwhile if the payback period is short. For those with a longer life expectancy, an individual can reap the monetary rewards from education over a longer period of time. […]

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Absenteeism and Presenteeism

Should employers provide health insurance to their employees? There are many reasons why they should. One is that employees are attracted to firms that offer health insurance, especially since their are tax and cost advantages to group health insurance purchased through an employer. Another reason is that if a worker becomes sick, that reduces productivity. […]

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Do hosiptal CEOs make too much money?

Paul Levy, the president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston made about $1 million dollars in 2005. Of this, $650,000 was base salary, $195,000 was made up of incentive bonus, and the balance was composed of compensation for health insurance, life insurance, and retirement. How do I know these figures? Paul […]

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