Thursday, July 23, 2015

Changing female career aspirations

The NY Times reports on changes in female career and family aspirations across cohorts. One angle: millennials have seen their parents' struggles and are trying to plan to avoid or minimize them.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Women's suffrage and the sex ratio

Would you believe that in the Census of 1870, there were more than 10 men for every woman in the state of Wyoming? Per a History Channel page, passage of women's suffrage in Wyoming in 1869 had in some part to do with the massively imbalanced sex ratio.  Here's a plot, data courtesy of IPUMS, of the sex ratios in the 47 states and the District of Columbia in 1870 (horizontal axis) vs. sex ratios in 1880. The red line is the 45-degree line.  By 1880, the sex ratio in Wyoming had fallen from above 10 to just over 2 males per female, lower than that in Montana and Arizona.
Over a decade, part of this could be attributable not only to in-migration of females (and/or out-migration of males!), but to presumably enhanced fertility in the state, which would tend to pull the sex ratio back toward 1.

From the perspective of family economics, enhanced female empowerment would be an outcome to expect when the sex ratio is so heavy imbalanced in favor of females. Suffrage is one dimension, and it would be interesting to compare others.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Deferred compen-sensation

A good friend found this article from NBC HardballTalk on the plethora of deferred compensation a.k.a. generous annuity plans still payable in major league baseball. It's impressive how players and agents set up such plans in the first place. Even more impressive is how they've taken clubs and financial markets to the cleaners with the enormous present value of those plans, given how interest rates have remained at historic lows especially since the Great Recession but even stretching back to the tech bust of 2001.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

CA mandates vaccinations

Amid controversy, California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a new law requiring children in public schools to be vaccinated. Recent work on this topic by Malia Jones and Alison Buttenheim had made the case that Californian parents were otherwise likely to continue filing for personal belief exemptions (PBEs) allowing postponement of vaccinations.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

UK demography

The Guardian reports on UK population trends, including an historical look at natural increase and net immigration, and a sideways age pyramid.

Friday, April 17, 2015

MaCurdy on the minimum wage

Here in Berkeley, CA, there was a Fight for 15 march this past Wednesday, where the 15 is the minimum wage target of interest. Thomas MaCurdy recently wrote an op-ed summary of his hot-off-the-presses JPE paper (link to a helpful Marginal Revolution page) on the minimum wage.

MaCurdy takes at face value the New Minimum Wage literature of the 1990s that found tiny reductions or even increases in employment following minimum wage increases. Rather, his focus is on producers' price setting responses, and he shows that minimum wage increases are "at best a scattershot approach to raising the income of poor families" because minimum wages raise earnings of many workers in many families across the income spectrum, while they raise the prices of goods purchased more typically by low-income families.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Christie on entitlements

Yesterday, NJ governor Chris Christie delivered this speech on entitlement reform. If you ignore the partisan invectives at the beginning and the end, it's an absolutely remarkable read. This guy or his speechwriters really get it. His means-testing proposals are legitimate solutions, in stark contrast to the completely unrealistic budget plan presented by the GOP's Paul Ryan, which relies heavily on the falsehood of revenue-increasing tax cuts.