Three Essays On Labor Demand And Supply

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: The following essays are concerned with the issues of labor supply and demand. Each essay's topic addresses the economic analysis of a wage floor or, in the case of the first essay, the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is often analyzed as an alternative policy to a minimum wage. Chapter 1 examines the response of workers, in terms of hours worked, to the Earned Income Tax Credit. Several studies have found that receipt of the EITC induces single women with dependent children to enter the labor market. Employing a regression kink design, I exploit the discontinuities in the EITC benefit function to estimate the impact of benefit receipt on single mothers hours of work once in the labor market. I find a decrease in hours worked for mothers with more than one child. The estimate is statistically significant but economically small. Chapter 2 investigates living wage laws, estimating wage, establishment number, and total employment for industries likely covered by a living wage law. I find that, contrary to expectation, living wage laws increase wages for covered industries but do not lead to firm exit or relocation or increased unemployment. Chapter 3 also looks at living wage laws. I use propensity score matching to match individuals in the two types of cities in an attempt to overcome this weakness in identification. Like previous studies, I find a statistically significant, positive effect of living wage policies on wages for those in the lowest decile of the wage distribution. However, I find an effect on employment and hours worked that is not different from 0.
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Labor economics; Wage floors; Earned Income Tax Credit
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Union Local
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Lichter, Daniel T.
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Blau, Francine D
Freedman, Matthew
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Policy Analysis and Management
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Ph. D., Policy Analysis and Management
Degree Level
Doctor of Philosophy
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Government Document
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dissertation or thesis
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