Work, Leisure, and Family: From the Silent Generation to Millennials (with George-Levi Gayle and Prasanthi Ramakrishnan ) Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, Fourth Quarter 2021, 103(4), pp. 385-424.

This article analyzes the changes in family structure, fertility behavior, and the division of labor within the household from the Silent generation (cohort born in 1940-49) to the Millennial generation (cohort born in 1980-89). Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, this article documents the main trends and life-cycle profiles for each generation. The main findings are that (i) the wage-age profile has been shifting down over generations, especially for Millennial men; (ii) the returns to a four-year college degree or higher for men have increased for all generations; (iii) Millennials enjoy a higher level of leisure than previous generations; (iv) the housework hours for women have clearly declined over generations, while the housework hours for Millennial men are higher than those of the previous generations of men; (iv) less-educated individuals have retreated from marriage, especially Millennials, while more-educated individuals have delayed marriage; (v) divorce rates have risen, with Millennials most likely to divorce, but the longer a couple is married, the likelihood of divorce has decreased over generations; and (vi) the Millennials’ completed fertility rate is likely to be the lowest among all generations.

Working Papers

Informality, Family, and Taxation: How Joint-Household Behavior Affects the Labor Market (Job Market Paper)

How do joint-household behavior and taxation impact the formal-informal labor market composition in developing countries? Using data from the Brazilian Monthly Employment Survey and the formalization policy SuperSimples (2007), under a matching difference-in-differences approach, we show that responses to the policy depend on the initial sorting of the household into the labor market sectors. We structurally estimate a household search model with formal and informal sectors to study the labor market dynamics. We exploit the exogenous variation of the policy to evaluate, quantify, and decompose the causal impact for heterogeneous workers into labor-supply and labor-demand channels. We find: (1) The policy positively impacted the formality rate by 14%, mainly explained by higher job-finding rates, where 44% of the inflows correspond to married women with a formally employed spouse; (2) changes in the conditional wage distributions are the policy's most effective mechanism; (3) welfare gains of 4.2% and improvements in inequality of 4% arise especially for informal men; (4) the policy effect is ambiguous when decomposed by gender and marital status; and (5) younger workers respond the most to policy changes, leading to higher formality rates in the long-run. Thus, these results provide new avenues for policymakers to design cost-effective targeted policies and social programs that will improve labor market performance, inequality, welfare, and the aggregate economy.

Moving for Better Skill Match (with Kelvin Yuen )

This paper studies the connection between multidimensional skill mismatch and labor mobility decisions, and the implications on the aggregate economy thereof. We show empirically that higher skill mismatch induces workers to move to a better-matched job. Occupational mobility increases by 0.7 p.p. if skill mismatch increases by 1 standard deviation. Moreover, labor mobility helps reduce skill mismatch, especially for those previously with high skill mismatch. An equilibrium search model featuring skill mismatch and on-the-job search is developed. Quantitatively, we find that (1) skill mismatch has an important role to play in affecting the labor mobility decisions, as well as the aggregate economy, (2) about two-thirds of the total skill mismatch can be accounted for by search frictions, which explain half of the occupational mobility and cost about 1% of the aggregate output and welfare, and (3) aggregate productivity growth has a positive impact on both the skill mismatch and occupational mobility.

Work in Progress

Childcare Subsidies, Income and Bequest Taxation, Marriage, and Intergenerational Mobility (with George-Levi Gayle, Limor Golan, and Prasanthi Ramakrishnan)

Inequality and Intergenerational Mobility: The Disparate Impact of COVID-19 in the Presence of Informality (with Andrea Flores)

Parental Time Investment and Intergenerational Mobility: The Role of Paid Parental Leave on Child Development in Germany (with Andrea Flores and Alexander Monge-Naranjo)

Discrimination, Technology, and Demographics: The Changing Trends of Labor Market Inequalities in the United States (with Alexander Monge-Naranjo and Faisal Sohail)

Pre-Doctoral Work

Analysis of the transitional dynamics and duration of unemployment in Costa Rica - In Spanish. (with Juan Manuel Castro and Jonathan Garita). Revista de Ciencias Económicas, 2014, Vol 32(2), pp. 39-64.