We use a spatial heterogeneous agent model of family formation to study the role of geography in shaping trends in marriage and inequality in the US. The United States has undergone dramatic shifts in household and family structures since the 1980s. Married female labor force participation increased significantly, marriage has declined, and positive assortative mating has risen. Along with a rising skill premium and a declining gender gap, income inequality among households has also widened. We document that these changes had an important geographic dimension: the decline in marriage was much more significant in smaller cities, and marital sorting declined in smaller cities but increased in larger ones. We interpret these facts within a model where households decide where to live, whether or not to get married, and with whom. The framework allows us to quantify the importance of each channel in shaping trends in marriage and inequality.Download Pdf
This paper examines the effects of geographic heterogeneity in occupational returns on marriage market outcomes and the impact of family formation on the geographic allocation of labor. We document that geographically mismatched workers -- those living in a location that pays relatively lower wages to their occupation -- are less likely to marry and more likely to divorce. We develop and estimate a model of migration and family formation. We assess individual and aggregate implications of joint marriage and location choices through counterfactual experiments. We find that, in aggregate, the marriage-market amenity enhances productivity by attracting workers to high-return locations.Download Pdf
We characterize the employment value of different worker-occupation matches and estimate the substitutability of match-specific inputs in production. In an equilibrium model of the U.S. labor market, we examine the responses of employment and wages to shifts in technology and match values. Earnings are mainly driven by technology while match value heterogeneity influences the distribution of workers across occupations. The model delivers measures of rents and compensating differentials. After 1980, employment rents increased for educated workers but stagnated for others. Compensating differentials have risen on average, particularly in occupations where worker mobility has grown.Download Pdf
We merge data on the nutritional content of a subset of packaged (bar-code level) food products to longitudinal home-scanner data on the shopping behavior of US households. We use a Random Forest regression to impute the nutritional content of the remaining food products. The resulting dataset is used to study the association between marital status and the dietary habits of the household members.
Uncertainty about the fundamental aspects of the evolution of infections in the population (e.g. the infection rate and the fraction of infected population) is a prominent feature of newly discovered viruses. This paper studies the role of early testing as a tool available to policymakers for learning about the structural parameters underlying the evolution of a pandemic. The paper analyses the informational content of testing at the different stages of a pandemic and how learning through testing interacts with other instruments in the definition of the optimal policy.