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Working Paper Archives

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis working papers are preliminary materials circulated to stimulate discussion and critial comment.

Applied Microeconomics

Explaining Cross-Cohort Differences in Life Cycle Earnings

Earnings growth has been systematically decreasing from one cohort to the next, starting with the cohort that was 25-year-old in 1940. This cohort's labor earnings grew by a factor of 4 between the ages of 25 and 55.

Multidimensional Skill Mismatch

What determines the earnings of a worker relative to his peers in the same occupation? What makes a worker fail in one occupation but succeed in another? More broadly, what are the factors that determine the productivity of a worker-occupation match? In this paper, we propose an empirical measure of skill mismatch for a worker-occupation match, which sheds light on these questions.

Estimation of Dynastic Life-Cycle Discrete Choice Models

This paper explores the estimation of a class of life-cycle discrete choice intergenerational models. It proposes a new semiparametric estimator.

What is the source of the intergenerational correlation in earnings?

This paper uses a dynastic model of household behavior to estimate and decomposed the correlations in earnings across generations.

What Accounts for the Racial Gap in Time Allocation and Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital?

This paper analyzes the sources of the racial difference in the intergenerational transmission of human capital by developing and estimating a dynastic model of parental time and monetary inputs in early childhood with endogenous fertility, home hours, labor supply, marriage, and divorce.

Was Sarbanes-Oxley Costly? Evidence from Optimal Contracting on CEO Compensation

This paper develops measures of the costs and benefits of governance regulations within a dynamic principal agent model of hidden information and moral hazard following the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX).

Local Polynomial Regressions versus OLS for Generating Location Value Estimates: Which is More Efficient in Out-of-Sample Forecasts?

As an alternative to ordinary least squares (OLS), we estimate location values for single family houses using a standard housing price and characteristics dataset by local polynomial regressions (LPR), a semi-parametric procedure.

Schools and Stimulus

This paper analyzes the impact of the education funding component of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Recovery Act) on public school districts.

Semi-Parametric Interpolations of Residential Location Values: Using Housing Price Data to Generate Balanced Panels

We estimate location values for single family houses by local polynomial regressions (LPR), a semi-parametric procedure, using a standard housing price and characteristics dataset.

Student Loans and Repayment: Theory, Evidence and Policy

Rising costs of and returns to college have led to sizeable increases in the demand for student loans in many countries. In the U.S., student loan default rates have also risen for recent cohorts as labor market uncertainty and debt levels have increased.

Education Policies and Structural Transformation

This article studies the impact of education and fertility in structural transformation and growth.

Interjurisdictional Competition and Location Decisions of Firms

We examine the welfare properties of alternative regimes of interjurisdictional competition for heterogenous mobile firms.

Illegal Immigration and Fiscal Competition

Reflecting recent enforcement policy activism of US states, this paper examines federal- state overlap of illegal immigration policy in a spatial context.

The 2009 Recovery Act: Stimulus at the Extensive and Intensive Labor Margins

This paper (i) estimates the local effects of government stimulus spending on labor market outcomes and (ii) shows how these effects can be obtained from a firm's optimal policy in the presence of costs to hiring workers.

Reversal of Gender Gaps in Child Development: Evidence from Young Children in India

This paper provides unique evidence of a reversal of gender gaps in cognitive development in early childhood.

Determinants of Trade Margins: Insights Using State Export Data

We adapt the heterogeneous firm trade models of Helpman, Melitz, and Rubinstein (2008) and Lawless (2010) to analyze extensive and intensive trade margins using state-level exports to foreign nations.

Risk Aversion at the Country Level

In this paper the authors estimate the coefficient of relative risk aversion for 75 countries using data on self-reports of personal well-being from the Gallup World Poll.

Creating Jobs Via the 2009 Recovery Act: State Medicaid Grants Compared to Broadly-Directed Spending

Researchers have used cross-state differences to assess the jobs impact of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Recovery Act).

Too Big to Cheat: Efficiency and Investment in Partnerships

We study the roles private information and capital accumulation play in the structure of partnerships. Partnerships are ventures formed with capital contributions from two members who initially share ownership of a business.

Informal Unemployment Insurance and Labor Market Dynamics

How do job losers use default -- a phenomenon 6x more prevalent than bankruptcy --as a type of “informal" unemployment insurance, and more importantly, what are the social costs and benefits of this behavior?

What Do We Know about the Relationship between Access to Finance and International Trade?

The recent financial crisis has focused attention on the relationship between access to finance and international trade, triggering a burgeoning segment of the literature evaluating this link empirically.

International Trade, Female Labor, and Entrepreneurship in MENA Countries

Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries stand out in international comparisons of de jure obstacles to female employment and entrepreneurship. These obstacles manifest themselves in low rates of female labor participation, entrepreneurship, and ownership.

Interjurisdictional Competition with Adverse Selection

In this paper, we study the welfare consequences of imposing alternative regimes of competition between two local governments that compete for mobile firms which have private information on their degree of mobility.

On the Substitutability between Foreign Aid and International Credit

We examine the effect of relaxing a binding borrowing constraint for a recipient country on theamount of foreign aid it receives.

The Case Against Patents

The case against patents can be summarized briefly: there is no empirical evidence that they serve to increase innovation and productivity.

An Approximate Dual-Self Model and Paradoxes of Choice under Risk

We derive a simplified version of the model of Fudenberg and Levine [2006, 2011] and show how this approximate model is useful in explaining choice under risk.

Evolving to the Impatience Trap: The Example of the Farmer-Sheriff Game

The literature on the evolution of impatience, focusing on one-person decision problems, finds that evolutionary forces favor the more patient individuals. This paper shows that in the context of a game, this is not necessarily the case.

Codes of Conduct, Private Information, and Repeated Games

We examine self-referential games in which there is a chance of understanding an opponent’s intentions. Our main focus is on the interaction of two sources of information about opponents’ play: direct observation of the opponent’s code-of-conduct, and indirect observation of the opponent’s play in a repeated setting.

Academic Rankings with RePEc

This document describes the data collection and use of data for the computation of rankings within RePEc (Research Papers in Economics).

Author Identification in Economics, ... and Beyond

Identifying authorship correctly and efficiently is a difficult problem when the literature is abundant, but poorly recorded. Homonyms are tedious to differentiate.

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