Technical Projects

Analyzing Reduced Teenage Employment
Employment among 16-19 year-olds declined significantly in the United States from 2000 to 2013. In my dissertation, I presented evidence from a variety of different data sources in order to evaluate five different hypotheses.  These were: a reduction in the supply of teenage labor stemming from increased returns to education; decreased demand for teenage labor due to increased competition from immigrants; decreased demand for teenage labor due to increased competition from less-skilled workers; decreased demand for teenage labor due to increased competition from adult workers in general; and minimum wages that are increasingly binding. You can download the full dissertation here or look at the presentation summarizing it.

Exploring the Federal Government Civilian Workforce
In this presentation, you can explore what the civilian federal government workforce looks like – what occupations they serve in, where their jobs are located, what educational levels they’ve completed, how old they are, and what agencies and subagencies they work for.

Claims about Maternity Leave and Class
In How We Are Ruining America (JULY 11, 2017), David Brooks writes that “Upper-middle-class moms have the means and the maternity leaves to breast-feed their babies at much higher rates than high school-educated moms, and for much longer periods.” His claim that higher-earning mothers have more access to maternity leave is accurate, but he fundamentally misunderstands how this plays out. Maternity leave, as well as being better able to afford to pay for child care, translates to more-educated mothers of infants being both more likely to be employed. Using Census data on the typical number of hours worked per week in the previous year and current employment status, we see that education among the mothers of infants is positively correlated with number of hours typically worked per week in the previous year as well as with currently being employed. There is a leave gap, but it’s small in absolute terms, and the total of on leave (included in ’employed, not at work’ in the lower graph) + not employed negatively correlates with education. Therefore, the idea that breastfeeding differences are due to maternity leave access differences at the very least requires some more explanation from Brooks. (Workbook here.)

hours worked

employment status