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Census Bureau Economists to Present at 2018 Allied Social Science Association and American Economic Association Meeting in Philadelphia

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U.S. Census Bureau economists will present results from their research at the annual meeting of the Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) and American Economic Association (AEA) in Philadelphia Jan. 5-7, 2018. This meeting brings together more than 13,000 economists and scholars from related fields from around the world and showcases current research in economics. Census Bureau economists will also serve as discussants of papers in their fields of expertise, act as panelists, and recruit doctoral candidates interested in careers at the agency.

This year, the ASSA/AEA meeting includes 24 papers with Census Bureau co-authors, presenting recent findings in the following areas:

Entrepreneurship, self-employment and contract work: The Census Bureau continues to be a leader in research on entrepreneurship and self-employment. Our economists will present seven papers on the subject.

  • The Link Between University R&D, Human Capital and Business Startups (Goldschlag, Jarmin, Lane and Zolas): Combines data on public and private investments in science with Census Bureau microdata to examine links between startup performance and new measures of workforce human capital.
  • High Growth Entrepreneurship (Brown, Earle, Kim and Lee): Examines how founder and firm characteristics are associated with the success of startups.
  • The Career Implications of Start-up Work Experience (Miranda, Sandusky and Stinson): Looks at the career implications for workers employed at young firms, including subsequent earnings and the propensity of starting a business.
  • Self-employment Duration of Opportunity and Necessity Entrepreneurs: A Closer Look at Female-Male Differences (Luque and Jones): Explores gender differences in self-employment duration of “opportunity” versus “necessity” entrepreneurs.

Other papers will focus on related measurement issues, including two in a session devoted to the increasing prevalence of contract work and its implications.

  • Is the Gig Economy Growing? Divergent Trends in Alternative Self-employment Series (Abraham, Haltiwanger, Sandusky and Spletzer): Uses multiple sources of data on self-employment to examine the size and growth of the “gig” economy.
  • Domestic Outsourcing of Labor Services in the United States: 1996-2015 (Dorn, Schmieder and Spletzer): Explores the domestic outsourcing of labor services and its effect on the earnings of the outsourced jobs.
  • Aggregate Labor Market Fluidity (Hyatt and Sandusky): Assesses whether the reallocation of workers into and from self-employment explains the apparent divergence in employment reallocation as measured by household surveys versus administrative records sources.

Earnings and earnings inequality: Earnings and the determinants of earnings continue to be a major area of economic research at the Census Bureau.

  • Earnings Inequality and Mobility Trends in the United States: Nationally Representative Estimates from Longitudinally Linked Employer-employee Data (Abowd, McKinney and Zhao): Examines earnings inequality and mobility trends in the United States.
  • Earnings Inequality and the Role of the Firm (Abowd and McKinney): Explores the role of the employer in explaining earnings inequality.
  • Job-to-Job Flows and the Consequences of Job Separations (Fallick, Haltiwanger and McEntarfer): Investigates the earnings and employment outcomes for workers experiencing job separation.
  • Job Ladders and Growth in Earnings, Hours, and Wages (Hahn, Hyatt and Janicki): Looks at the role of procyclical employment growth and employer-to-employer transitions in the evolution of earnings, hours and wages.
  • The Parental Gender Earnings Gap in the United States (Sandler, Chung, Downs and Sienkiewicz): Uses multiple sources of data to look at the within-couple differences in earnings over time, before and after the birth of a child.
  • Examining the Black-White Earnings Differential with Administrative Records (Gideon, Heggeness, Murray-Close and Myers): Compares estimates of the black-white male earnings gap using self-reported data from the Current Population Survey  versus data from the Social Security Administration.

Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS): One session at the meeting will focus entirely on updates to the Census Bureau’s innovative BDS, which provides annual statistics on establishment births and deaths, firm startups and shutdowns, employment, and job creation and destruction, by firm (and establishment) size, age, industrial sector, state and metropolitan area. Our economists will discuss:

  • Upcoming Improvements to the Business Dynamics Statistics (Stinson and White): Explains several upcoming improvements and enhancements including using a more consistent longitudinal linking methodology, incorporating nearly 4 decades of County Business Patterns data and publishing the entire series on a NAICS basis.
  • Business Dynamics of United States Exporters: Integrating Trade Transactions Data With Business Administrative Data (Baresse, Kamal, Miranda and Ouyang): Describes recent efforts to create new sets of BDS statistics on the dynamics of U.S. merchandise exporters.
  • Business Dynamics and Innovative Firms (Goldschlag and Perlman): Considers firms engaged in innovation, including patenting and trademarking, research and development and high-tech employment.
  • Business Dynamics and Worker Earnings (McCue and Stinson): Discusses an effort to integrate administrative information on worker earnings and demographics, which will yield new statistics on earnings distributions by firm size, firm age, industry and geography.

Poverty and lifetime outcomes: Three presentations will focus on poverty and lifetime outcomes.

  • HOPE VI Public Housing Demolitions: Short and Long Run Effects (Pollakowski, Haltiwanger, Kutzbach, Palloni and Staiger): Investigates whether public housing demolition impacted the earnings of children later in life.
  • Air Quality, Human Capital Formation and the Long-term Effects of Environmental Inequality at Birth (Voorheis): Examines the effect of pollution exposure at birth on high school completion, college attendance and incarceration.
  • Calculating a Supplemental Poverty Measure in the Survey of Income and Program Participation: Methods, Findings, and Comparisons to the Current Population Survey (Fox, Warren and Edwards): Compares Supplemental Poverty Measure estimates using different data sources.

Expectations and uncertainty: Understanding expectations and uncertainty will be the topic of two papers.

  • Firm Expectations: Measuring Subjective Uncertainty (Bloom, Davis, Foster, Lucking, Ohlmacher and Saporta): Discusses the results of new content on the Management and Organizational Practices Survey that measures manufacturers’ expectations of shipments, employment, materials and capital expenditures.
  • Expectation Formation Following Large Unexpected Shocks (Baker, McElroy and Sheng): Presents new stylized facts regarding expectation formation after large, unexpected natural disasters.

Other business outcomes: Lastly, two papers will look at other business outcomes.

  • Direct and Spillover Effects of a Large Labor Market Shock: Evidence From U.S. Matched Employer-Employee Data (Schott, Tello-Trillo and Pierce): Focuses on the impact of trade policy on the unemployment spells and subsequent earnings of manufacturing workers.
  • Productivity Dispersion: Misallocation or Adjustment Frictions? (Earle, Brown and Dinlersoz): Examines the factors impacting productivity dispersion.

In addition to these papers by Census Bureau co-authors, there will be presentations of research papers based on Census Bureau microdata, written by researchers using the Federal Statistical Research Data Center (FSRDC) network.

Economists at the Census Bureau, and our collaborators in the FSRDCs, play a key role in creating and improving statistical products that are essential to policymakers, businesses, researchers and the public. These products come from a variety of sources, such as survey microdata on businesses and households, linked employer-employee data, and confidential microdata from federal and state administrative and statistical agencies. Our economists apply these data to the study of a variety of topics, including the ones above, all to help improve economic measurement at the Census Bureau.

For further details on the papers to be presented at the ASSA/AEA meeting, including a preliminary program with abstracts, see <www.aeaweb.org/conference/2018/preliminary>.

For more information on working papers by Census Bureau researchers and FSRDC researchers, see <www.census.gov/research/working_papers>.

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