In this paper, Professor Zhao and his coauthors construct a unified objective measure of health status: the frailty index. Using this index, they propose and estimate a stochastic process for health dynamics over the life cycle accounting for mortality bias. Their health measure and dynamic process can be used to study the evolution of health over the life cycle and its economic implications.
Building on this work, Professor Zhao and his coauthors are currently working on a project that explores the evolution of health inequality over the life cycle and its implication for lifetime earnings inequality.
Title: COVID-19 and The Rise of Intimate Partner Violence
Abstract: Stay-at-home policies have been implemented worldwide to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, there is a growing concern that such policies could increase violence against women. We find evidence in support of this critical concern. We focus on Peru, a country that imposed a strict nationwide lockdown starting in mid-March and where nearly 60% of women already experienced violence before COVID-19. Using administrative data on phone calls to the helpline for domestic violence (Línea 100), we find that the incidence rate of the calls increased by 48 percent between April and July 2020, with effects increasing over time. The rise in calls is found across all states and it is not driven by baseline characteristics, including previous prevalence of violence against women. These findings create the need to identify policies to mitigate the negative impact of stay-at-home orders on women’s safety.
Professor Zhao’s paper “Rising Wealth Inequality: Intergenerational Links, Entrepreneurship, and the Decline in Interest Rate” has been accepted for publication in Journal of Monetary Economics. In this paper, Professor Zhao and his coauthor investigate the causes of rising wealth inequality in the United States.
Professor Ray has recently published a paper “Nonparametric measurement of potential gains from mergers: an additive decomposition and application to Indian bank mergers” coauthored with his recent PhD student Shilpa Sethia in Journal of Productivity Analysis. JPA is considered to be the top ranked journal in the field of Production Economics. As reported by William Greene, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, the 2020 impact factor of JPA (2.61) exceeded several highly respected field journals like Journal of Econometrics (2.388) or Journal of Applied Econometrics (2.424).
His coauthor, Shilpa Sethia, who is a 2019 Econ PhD from UCONN, is currently employed as a Senior Economic Analyst at National Grid in Waltham, MA.
Research of Professor Ken Couch and his co-authors, Robert Fairlie and Huanan Xu exploring women’s labor market experiences relative to men’s during the COVID-19 pandemic has been published in Economic Inquiry.
The paper, “The Evolving Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Gender Inequality in the US Labor Market: The COVID Motherhood Penalty” can be found on the journal web site and is available under open access at this link:
We explore whether COVID-19 disproportionately affected women in the labor market using Current Population Survey data through the end of 2020. We find that male–female gaps in the employment-to-population ratio and hours worked for women with school-age children have widened but not for those with younger children. Triple-difference estimates are consistent with most of the reductions observed for women with school-age children being attributable to additional childcare responsibilities (the “COVID motherhood penalty”). Conducting decompositions, we find women had a greater likelihood to telework, higher education levels and a less-impacted occupational distribution, which all contributed to lessening negative impacts relative to men.
“The Evolving Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Gender Inequality in the U.S. Labor Market: The COVID Motherhood Penalty” has been released by the National Bureau of Economic Research as Working Paper 29426.
The paper is co-authored by Professor Ken Couch along with Robert Fairlie at the University of California Santa Cruz and Huanan Xu at Indiana University South Bend.
We explore whether COVID-19 disproportionately affected women in the labor market using CPS data through the end of 2020. We find that male-female gaps in the employment-to-population ratio and hours worked for women with school-age children have widened but not for those with younger children. Triple-difference estimates are consistent with most of the reductions observed for women with school-age children being attributable to additional child care responsibilities (the “COVID motherhood penalty”). Conducting decompositions, we find women had a greater likelihood to telework, higher education levels and a less-impacted occupational distribution, which all contributed to lessening negative impacts relative to men.
The paper is coauthored with Carlos Felipe Balcázar, Stanislao Maldonado and Hugo Ñopo.
Abstract: We exploit time and spatial variation generated by the commodities boom to measure the effect of natural resources on human capital formation in Peru, a country with low governance indicators. Combining test scores from over two million students and district-level administrative data of mining taxes redistributed to local governments, we find sizable effects on student learning from the redistribution. However, and consistent with recent political economy models, the relationship is non-monotonic. Based on these models, we identify improvements in school expenditure and infrastructure, together with increases in health outcomes of adults and children, as key mechanisms explaining the effect we find for redistribution. Policy implications for the avoidance of the natural resource curse are discussed.
Alpha C Chiang, a renowned economist, and Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Connecticut, is best-known for his classic textbook — Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics.
In this memoir, he tells the entertaining, scary, embarrassing, glorifying and surreal tales that colored his life.
On the academic side, Alpha describes in detail his scholastic journey, including why and how he created one of the most popular books on mathematical methods in economics, as well as the experiences of his teaching career. On the nonacademic side, he describes his ventures into his many hobbies, the spices of his life, including Chinese opera, ballroom dancing, painting and calligraphy, photography, piano, music composition, playwriting, and even magic. Such tales round out the depiction of a colorful life.
Professor Alexander Vaninsky, a long-time economics instructor at the Stamford Campus, recently published the article “Multiobjective restructuring aimed at green economic growth” in Environment Systems and Decisions (February 2021) https://rdcu.be/ch3UZ
This research introduces an approach to the structural optimization of national economies resulting in green economic growth. This study considers the comparative advantages of the sectors of the economy in the final product ratio, energy intensity, and carbonization of the gross output. The input–output model is transformed to a structured form, and the projected gradient of the gross domestic product (GDP) is derived. Factorial models of energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are developed and used to obtain the projected antigradients of these indicators. Each of these vectors determine the locally
optimal structural change for each dimension. Their components are found to be proportional to the sectoral deviations from the national average, thus revealing a sectorwise comparative advantage or disadvantage. This observation allowed us to characterize these components as Ricardian gradients. Although it is not possible to move in each of the three vectors concurrently, it is possible to direct the economic restructuring to make the least possible acute angles with each vector. Thus, the locally Pareto-optimal vector of structural change is formed. At each moment in time, the system is directed to move alongside this vector or by the boundary. The suggested approach is applied to simulate the economies of China and the United States. The obtained results reveal that the suggested changes in the structure of the gross output simultaneously allowed for an increase in GDP, a decrease in energy consumption, and the mitigation of CO2 emissions. Applications to international cooperation and trade are discussed.