Results for “alan krueger”
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Joshua Angrist has written a tribute to Alan Krueger

Alan Krueger died a year ago this week. I think of him often, and would like to mark the anniversary of his death by sharing a story of my time with Alan. Alan and I had a lot in common. First, we were both born in the third quarter; that is, we’re QOB3s. In fact, Alan was only one day older than me. We used to joke that this explains his relative success: it’s an age effect!

There is much more at the link, moving throughout.  And here is the Joshua Angrist introduction to econometrics course on Marginal Revolution University.

Alan Krueger, RIP

You probably all know by now that Alan Krueger has passed away, nonetheless it seems appropriate to offer tribute and condolences.  Alan and I were together in the same year at Harvard in the economics Ph.D program, and although he was on track to win a Nobel Prize and I have read most of his papers and books, I always associate him more with those years in the mid-1980s.  I am very saddened by the news.

Alan Krueger on opioids and labor force participation

I haven’t had a chance to look at this one, but here is the headline summary from Brookings:

The new paper, published in the Fall 2017 edition of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, makes a strong case for looking at the opioid epidemic as one driver of declining labor force participation rates.

In fact, Krueger suggests that the increase in opioid prescriptions from 1999 to 2015 could account for about 20 percent of the observed decline in men’s labor force participation during that same period, and 25 percent of the observed decline in women’s labor force participation.

Here is the Brookings link.

Where is the Card and Krueger paper at?

Has it held up better than many people believe?  Here is a good and sure to prove controversial overview from Arindrajit Dube.  Excerpt:

Subsequent research that built on Myth and Measurement has found that while the sizeable positive effects in some of their specifications were likely due to chance, the lack of job loss was very much a robust finding. Card and Krueger’s own subsequent analysis in 2000 using Unemployment Insurance filings by firms (which was closer to the universe of firms in the two states than their original sample) over a longer period already moved towards this view, as the employment elasticities, while still positive, were smaller in magnitude and not statistically distinguishable from zero.(1) My own work with William Lester and Michael Reich (2010) demonstrated this point by comparing contiguous counties across state borders and pooling over 64 different border segments with minimum wage differences over a 17-year period (1990-2006).

There is also a lengthy discussion of whether Neumark and Wascher overturned the central Card and Krueger result.  Read the whole post.

Addendum: Tim Worstall comments.  Matt Yglesias comments.

What I’ve been reading

1. David Nutt, Drink? The New Science of Alcohol + Your Health.

A very good introduction to the growing body of evidence about the harms of alcohol, in all walks of life.

2. Samuel Zipp, The Idealist: Wendell Willkie’s Wartime Quest to Build One World.

Who cares about Wendell Willkie? I received this review copy determined not to read it, but of course I could not help but crack open the cover and sample a few pages, and then I was hooked.  The first thirty pages alone had excellent discussions of early aviation (Willkie was an aviation pioneer of sorts with a cross-world flight), Midwestern family and achievement culture of the time, and the rise of the United States.

3. I was happy to write a blurb for Michael R. Strain’s The American Dream is Not Dead (But Populism Could Kill It).

4. Simon W. Bowmaker, When the President Calls: Conversations with Economic Policymakers.

The interviewed subjects include Feldstein, Boskin, Rubin, Summers, Stiglitz, Rivlin, Yellen, John Taylor, Lazear, Harvey Rosen, Goolsbee, Orszag, Brainard, Alan Krueger, Furman, Hassett, and others.

4. Cheryl Misak, Frank Ramsey: A Sheer Excess of Powers.

Thorough and useful, though not exciting to read.

5. Gabriel Said Reynolds, Allah, God in the Qur’an.

A very good treatment of what it promises, with an emphasis on the concept of mercy in Islam.

6. Sophy Roberts, The Lost Pianos of Siberia.

A wonderful book if you care about the lost pianos of Siberia and indeed I do: “Roberts reminds us in this fresh book that there are still some mysterious parts of our world.” (link here)  Also of note is Varlam Shalamov, Sketches of the Criminal World: Further Kolyma Stories, the first third being remarkably moving and incisive as well.

There is also Sidney Powell and Harvey A. Silverman, Conviction Machine: Standing Up to Federal Prosecutorial Abuse is a frank and brutal documentation of why you should never trust a prosecutor or speak to the FBI.

Also new and notable is Lily Collison, Spastic Diplegia–Bilateral Cerebral Palsy: Understanding the Motor Problems, Their Impact on Walking, and Management Throughout Life: a Practical Guide for Families.

Friday assorted links

Will China beat the United States in the fight against air pollution?

There are now pollution red alerts in at least 24 cities in north China, so are things really hopeless in the Middle Kingdom?  I say no.  That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here are some excerpts:

One famous paper, by economists Gene M. Grossman and Alan Krueger, found that (in current dollars) the turning point for environmental improvement comes in “almost every case” when countries reach the range of $17,000 to $18,000 in per capita annual income. Current Chinese per capita income can be plausibly estimated at over $14,000 per year. That means China may not be far from starting to clean up its air, and indeed air quality is already one of the major political issues in China.

The Chinese government already responds to pollution problems with factory closings and automobile restrictions more quickly than it used to, and in general there is better data and more transparency from policymakers.  The U.S. Embassy in Beijing reports pollution improvements for particulate matter over the last year. Over the last two years, there have been suggestions, admittedly debatable ones, that China’s evolution into a service-sector economy means that the turning point already has been reached.

What about the U.S. and its history of fighting air pollution?

By my estimates (see the column), the United States started cleaning up at a per capita income of at least 28k (in current dollars), in the mid-1960s, arguably later than that date.  In other words, if the Chinese waited to start cleaning up their air until they were about twice as rich as is currently the case, they still would be matching the pace of America.

How much monopsony power is there?

This is from Adam Ozimek:

…if big firms are bargaining down wages then why do labor economists consistently find a large firm wage premium? To take one example from many, one recent study on retailers found that after controlling for individual and store characteristics, firms with at least 1,000 employees pay 9% to 11% more than those employing 10 or fewer.

Third, if firms’ bargaining power over their employees is growing, then why are they increasingly contracting out for work? Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger argue that from 2005 to 2015, the share of workers hired out through contract companies grew from 0.6% to 3.1%. A company with labor market power wouldn’t want to contract out work to another company. They’d want to hire workers directly to take advantage of that power.

Fourth, the CEA report points to the minimum wage literature as evidence of monopsony power. Leaving aside the debate over whether the minimum wage reduces employment (I say yes, the report says no) the literature clearly shows that the minimum wage increases prices. As Daniel Aaronson and Eric French have pointed out, the monopsony model implies that the minimum wage should increase employment and output, thereby decreasing prices. That prices rise is inconsistent with the monopsony model.

I say there is plenty of monopsony in the short run in individual situations, mostly because workers carve out perks for themselves in individual firms.  In other words, if firms have some short-run bargaining power, it is because they have lost the longer-run bargaining power game.

Pain medication and labor force participation

A large share of American men between the ages of 25 and 54 who aren’t in the labor force may suffer from serious health conditions that are “a barrier to work” and suffer physical pain, sadness, and stress in their daily lives, according to research being presented next week by Princeton University labor economist Alan Krueger.

“Nearly half of prime age NLF [not-in-the-labor-force] men take pain medication on a daily basis, and in two-thirds of cases, they take prescription pain medication,” according to Krueger’s paper, Where Have All the Workers Gone?

Here is more from Peter Coy.  Here is the paper.