Progress Toward Self-Sufficiency for Low-Wage Workers (Research Report)
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Over the last decade, American social policy has increasingly focused on encouraging and requiring work for those receiving government supports. This study analyzes the dynamics of the low-wage labor market and the role of work supports in helping workers move toward economic self-sufficiency. Monthly data from January 2001 through January 2003 shows that over one-quarter of workers earn low wages. We find evidence that low-wage workers are moving to higher-wage jobs, but two years later, the majority of low-wage workers either remain in low-wage jobs or are not working. Our analysis provides some, although limited, evidence that government-provided work supports promote self-sufficiency.
How Career Concerns Influence Public Workers' Effort: Evidence from the Teacher Labor Market (CALDER Working Paper)
|Posted to Web: July 28, 2010||Publication Date: January 01, 2010|
This study presents a generalization to the standard career concerns model and applies it to the public teacher labor market. The model predicts that optimal teacher effort levels decline with both tenure at a school and experience, all things being equal. Using administrative data from North Carolina spanning 14 school years through 2008, the study finds significant changes in teacher sick leave consistent with the generalized career concerns model. There is evidence that observed behaviors cannot be due to the endogeneity of teacher mobility decisions alone as well as evidence suggestive of teacher shirking. In sum, teachers exert considerable discretion over their own effort levels in response to these incentives, with important policy implications.
The White House Summit on Jobs: Taking the Broader View (Updated 12/9/09) (Commentary)
|Posted to Web: April 23, 2010||Publication Date: December 01, 2009|
In the White House jobs summit this week, policy recommendations to get the unemployed back to work are essential. But for the good of the economy and society, Institute Fellow Margaret Simms argues, a system of policies is needed to both promote immediate employment and create opportunities to advance to better jobs. See our recommended research on employment and work force development.
Short-Time Compensation as a Policy to Stabilize Employment (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: December 02, 2009||Publication Date: December 02, 2009|
Short time compensation (STC or work sharing) is a labor adjustment measure designed to reduce or eliminate reliance on layoffs when firms need to reduce hours worked. It spreads the reduction in hours among a wide pool of workers and provides partial unemployment compensation (UC) for the reduced hours. This paper examines STC with attention to experiences in Canada and Germany as well as the United States. It also suggests ways to increase STC use in the United States.
The Nursing Workforce Challenge: Public Policy for a Dynamic and Complex Market (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: November 19, 2009||Publication Date: November 01, 2009|
Nurses are health care's backbone, spending the most time with patients, and working with teams of caregivers in institutions and serving as advanced practice nurses in primary care settings. Short-term shortages wax and wane, but concerns about a shortage are more serious now because the next decade may see more older nurses retiring than new ones entering the workforce. Education needs to be augmented and improved, but no precise estimation method can show how many nurses society "should" produce. Policy should focus more on nurses' scopes of practice and aligning how they are treated and paid with the value they add to patient care.
A better way to get educated, employed (Commentary)
|Posted to Web: August 31, 2009||Publication Date: August 31, 2009|
If you think apprenticeship sounds like a relic from centuries past — good enough for Ben Franklin but a no-go in a 21st-century economy — think again, Institute Fellow Robert Lerman explains in a commentary for thestate.com
Who Are Low-Wage Workers? (Research Brief)
|Posted to Web: August 03, 2009||Publication Date: August 03, 2009|
This brief examines the size and characteristics of the low-wage workforce and whether low-wage workers experience wage growth. We define low-wage workers as workers whose hourly wage rates are so low that even if they worked full-time, full-year their annual earnings would fall below the poverty line for a family of four. This wage rate is $8.63 in 2001, equivalent to $10.50 in 2008. Almost one-third of all workers ages 16 to 64 are low-wage workers in 2001. From 2001 to 2003, we find some evidence that low-wage workers are moving to higher wage jobs. But, the majority of low-wage workers either remain in low-wage jobs or are not working at all.
Fresh Ideas On Work-Life Balance Explored in New Book (Press Release)
|Posted to Web: June 26, 2009||Publication Date: June 01, 2009|
Work-Life Policies, a new Urban Institute Press book, explains that even the most generous policy does little to accommodate workers' outside responsibilities if a job's structure or colleagues' attitudes undermine the policy. Work-Life Policies details the latest research—from sociologists, psychologists, lawyers, and management scholars—and underscores the importance of tailoring effective accommodations for all employees: male or female, parents or childless, salaried or hourly, near the end of one's career or new to the workforce.
|Posted to Web: March 26, 2009||Publication Date: March 24, 2009|