Work, Weather, and Migration
Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- Chair: Thomas Mroz, Georgia State University
Does Winter Weather Decrease Work?
AbstractThis paper examines how weekly hours among individual workers vary with respect to snowfall in 265 metropolitan areas (about 75% of the US workforce) over the years 2004-2014. We find that working hours are significantly affected by snow events, with magnitudes varying among different types of workers, different types of employment (class of worker, occupation, and industry), and different regions. Overall, each average daily inch of snowfall during a Current Population Survey (CPS) monthly reference week reduces working hours by about 1 hour. Snow storms reduce weekly hours worked considerably more among construction workers and in the south than elsewhere. We find little evidence that hours lost from large snowfalls are "made-up" in subsequent weeks. "back-of-an-envelope" calculation suggests that in an average year, snow leads to a 0.15 percent loss in annual hours worked. If labor input reduction produces an equivalent reduction in economy-wide output, a typical winter will reduce productivity growth by about 10 percent given current productivity levels, say from 1.5 to 1.35 percent.
Motherhood, Migration, and Self-Employment of College Graduates
AbstractFemale labor market outcomes have received increasing attention from both academic researchers and the popular media. Of particular interest is understanding the experience of women who pursue self-employment. Overall, women have lower self-employment rates than men, and there is evidence that they may face unique challenges in starting and running their own businesses. However, women may also have differing motives for pursuing self-employment than men. In particular, previous research suggests that some women, especially married women with families, may value the flexibility in work schedules that self-employment can offer them. We are especially interested in the self-employment outcomes of married mothers who are college graduates, as college graduates tend to have higher labor force participation rates, greater geographic mobility, and more successful businesses compared to their less educated counterparts. Such women may choose to become self-employed as it may provide them with the opportunity to work either on a more flexible schedule or fewer hours in order to balance their family responsibilities with their career aspirations. An additional factor that may affect their labor force decisions is the availability of child care, and one potential source of child care is the proximity to extended family. To assess this, we use American Community Survey microdata to examine how birth-state residence for married mothers who are college graduates relates to self-employment and hours worked. Our results support our hypothesis that flexibility in hours worked in self-employment is a major factor pulling out-migrant mothers into self-employment, perhaps due to being far away from grandparents and other family who could provide child care. The results also suggest that, in response to fewer child care options, self-employed mothers residing outside their birth-state work fewer hours in their businesses. Conversely, self-employed mothers residing in their birth state appear to have better child care access and are able to work more hours per week.
The International Transmission of Local Economic Shocks Through Migrant Networks
AbstractIn this project, we leverage newly validated data on birthplace-based migration networks to examine how access to a strong U.S. labor market affects local economic development outcomes for communities in Mexico. We combine these network data with standard household survey and administrative data to measure how exposure to declining U.S. local labor markets during the Great Recession affected economic development in Mexican migrant-sending regions. The findings inform the policy debate over immigration by demonstrating the global consequences of limiting migration to the United States by less educated workers.
- J0 - General