Labor mobility

If labor was perfectly mobile and suddenly there were massive dislocations requiring workers to relocate, you’d expect an uptick in the number of workers moving, right? A corollary is that if you do not see an up-tick in the number of workers moving, then either there was no massive dislocations or there is not perfectly […]

A link everyone will find useful

I was at a practice job talk at a nearby university on Friday. As preface to my work ((I’ll post on it as soon as I get my job applications sent)), I pointed out that workers change careers many times, 3 or 4 times, over their lifetimes where career change is defined as an occupation […]

Quit picking on Japan, part II

Will Wilkinson has been schooling the internets about division properly controlling for inflation when figuring real incomes, eliciting bored nods from those that have actually read Broda/Weinstein/Romalis (no links… too boring to write a post about) and confused indignation from those that want to talk about everything except real income inequality. Anyway, this prompted me […]

Quit picking on Japan!

Here’s the per capita GDP for the G8 countries (relative to the USA): You can take two lessons from this chart. 1) Japan hasn’t had bad monetary policy relative to, say, the continental European countries or 2) Monetary policy just doesn’t matter in the long-run Also, the more you stare at these real GDP per […]

The heartbeat of America

Here’s all the Jolts data (minus job openings): These are not seasonally adjusted so that’s why you get the inverted-U shape every year for the hiring and quits series and the inclined saw shape for firings. Still, you can see something happened the last two or three years. Firings (the pink line) spiked in early […]

Who are the long term unemployed?

A few weeks ago, Mike was asking me about the long term unemployed. I’m running some regressions using CPS data so I have the data he asked about just hanging out on my desktop. Public service: The unemployed during this recession ((I looked at 2008 and 2009 data for folks that worked one week or […]


Categorize this chart in the “must see the data to believe” bucket.

The total effect of immigration is positive

Last time, I said that nobody really cares about the direct or partial effect of immigration on natives. This isn’t strictly true. If immigration policy were changed to only allow immigrants of a particular skill-type to come into the country, this would probably upset the people of that skill-type. Each individual immigrant hurts the employment […]

George Borjas and the national approach

It has taken me too long to introduce the hero of this story. Borjas has had a series of papers, books and editorials since the mid-80′s that have each challenged the consensus economist’s view on immigration in support of the popular view. His work in the late 80′s uncovered the pattern of a secular decline […]

A little better

Here’s the cross-state plot of the effect of immigrants on native wages: This time you’ll notice that I plotted the changes in the proportion of immigrants against the change in wages (these are changes from the 1990 to 2000 censuses). In effect, I’m controlling for fixed features of states. This makes the effect size (a […]