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The Redistribution RecessionHow Labor Market Distortions Contracted the Economy$
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Casey B. Mulligan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199942213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199942213.001.0001

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Cross-Sectional Patterns of Employment and Hours Changes

Cross-Sectional Patterns of Employment and Hours Changes

(p.156) 6 Cross-Sectional Patterns of Employment and Hours Changes
The Redistribution Recession

Casey B. Mulligan

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that employment and hours changes 2007–10 were not uniform across demographic groups, but rather fell in amounts related to changes in log self-reliance rates. Self-reliance rate changes tended to be less for persons who were capable of earning a lot and for members of dual-earner or childless households because they were less likely to qualify for safety net programs. Self-reliance rate changes were also less for elderly people. Meanwhile, hours per capita tended to fall more for less educated groups, and tended to increase for elderly people. A more surprising finding is that work hours fell significantly less for married people, even when controlling variables related to demographics and industry. The marital status gap is especially large among women. The education pattern of work hours changes varies by marital status, as predicted by the theory that the expanding social safety net was a major force reducing aggregate work hours.

Keywords:   implicit tax rates, social safety net, labor market, marital status, 2008–9 recession

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