Research Archive

Minimum Wage

In the United States, states with higher minimum wage rates tend to have higher employment rates. They also tend to have higher average annual pay.

OECD countries with stronger protection against dismissal tend to have higher employment rates. And OECD countries with tighter regulation on temporary forms of employment tend to have higher male employment rates, but lower female employment rates.


Labor Law

After the 2008 Financial Crisis triggered a global recession, policymakers in many countries have attempted to increase employment by making their labor market "more flexible." The specific proposals differ by country, but they share the common theme of reducing worker protections.

In France, reforms that would allow companies to lay off workers more easily, loosen restrictions on working hours, reduce overtime payments and reduce severance payments sparked the Nuit debout protests in the spring of 2016.

Italy's experience with labor market liberalization (following passage of the "Biagi Law" in 2003) suggests that such reforms will not increase employment rates, because macroeconomic growth affects employment rates far more than labor market regulation does.


AnX11 Phone Project

This documentation project explains how to install and configure Debian on a rooted Android phone. Installing desktop software onto a phone provides a nice "on the go" solution and it's a relaxing way to work.

As an economist with Debian installed on my Android phone, I can run R scripts and Perl scripts directly on the phone itself. And, if I'm teaching class, I can project X11 applications like wxMaxima and Gretl from my phone onto the screen behind me. Students may follow my lead on their laptop computers. Or -- if students also have Debian installed on their phones -- they can follow my lead on their phones.


Text Mining

Twenty years ago, all statistical analysis was conducted with numerical datasets. Because computers have become more powerful in recent years, we can now use statistical methods to analyze text. The goal of this documentation project is to describe the ways we use statistics to compare documents, find correlations among words and (more generally) to find out what we like to talk about.


Mortgage Default

In 2010, the NYS Banking Dept. (NYSBD) began collecting data on every home mortgage default and foreclosure in the New York State for the purpose of transmitting it to non-profit mortgage counselors. We paired the NYSBD's data with data on originations from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) enables us to compare borrowers who defaulted to those who did not.

Like many previous studies, we found strong racial and ethnic disparities in lending practices and our analysis shows that the same disparities reappear in the pre-foreclosure filing data. This finding suggests that lending disparities contributed to the higher default rates that we observe among black and Latino borrowers.

Employment growth appears to have the strongest effect on the home mortgage default rate. In the absence of employment growth, even large principal balance reductions would only have a minimal effect on the rate of mortgage default.



While working at the NYSBD, Sean MacDonald and I developed coincident indices and used those indices to forecast the state of the NYS labor market and the financial health of NYS banks.


Income Inequality

In the economic development literature, much work is devoted to the question of whether income inequality will widen or narrow as an economy grows over time. Most models assume inequality, but in this paper I developed a model that is both grounded in growth theory and capable of generating all degrees of income inequality (from complete equality to complete inequality).


Health Outcomes

This is a feasibility report on case management partnerships between New York City's HIV-AIDS Services Administration and the Health and Hospitals Corporation. The two organizations collaborated to help mutual clients persist in medical and behavioral health care and to meet the long-term housing needs of mutual clients.

By creating a formal working relationship between HASA and HHC-COBRA programs, the pilot eliminated duplication of effort, kept clients connected to medical and behavioral health care and helped clients who needed to relocate avoid emergency housing.