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Essays in Labor and Family Economics

Lann, Steven (2024) Essays in Labor and Family Economics. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation explores two topics: workplace flexibility policies and parental investment into child human capital. The first chapter studies how parents' time and goods investments into their children are affected by household income and family size. The second chapter investigates the mechanisms determining the provision of flexibility policies, as well as the welfare effects of these policies. The third chapter examines how flexibility is measured in the literature, and develops occupation-level proxy measures of flexibility for use by researchers. In Chapter 1, I introduce a model of parental investment in child human capital featuring multiple investment types, static and dynamic investment choices, and multiple children. I find evidence that children of low-income parents experience a larger quality-quantity trade-off compared to the children of high-income parents. The estimated model can replicate this and other patterns of parental investments and child outcomes. Chapter 2 provides the first economic analysis of the allocation and welfare effects of workplace flexibility policies. Using data on workplace flexibility and other non-wage amenities from the ATUS and CPS, I find that among all the amenities studied, flexibility uniquely has a significant relationship with workers' intensive labor supply and timing of labor hours. I also find evidence that employers take this labor supply endogeneity into account when choosing to offer flexibility. Next I develop a model of a labor market in which heterogeneous firms compete for workers via bundles of wages and flexibility policies. Analysis of data simulated from the calibrated model reveals a compensating wage differential of flexibility of about 7 percent. Welfare analysis shows that workplace flexibility policies strongly benefit women by reducing the gender wage gap and female unemployment, and provides a net benefit for male workers and low-productivity firms. In Chapter 3, I use the American Time Use Survey to develop four workplace flexibility policy variables that capture several important dimensions of flexibility. I develop occupation-level measures of these flexibility policies by employing a machine learning approach. These flexibility policy indices are available for 481 Census occupation codes and are shown to be highly predictive of occupation-level access to workplace flexibility policies.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lann, Stevensteven.lann@pitt.edustl76
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRipoll,
Committee MemberCoen-Pirani,
Committee MemberHanley,
Committee MemberCaucutt,
Date: 13 May 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 27 March 2024
Approval Date: 13 May 2024
Submission Date: 2 April 2024
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 145
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Economics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: labor economics, family economics, workplace flexibility, human capital
Date Deposited: 13 May 2024 13:51
Last Modified: 13 May 2024 13:51


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