Guillaume Vandenbroucke is an economist and research officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. His research focuses on the relationship between economics and demographic change. He joined the St. Louis Fed in 2014. Read more about the author and his research.
Rich countries have had higher levels of education for a long time, but poor countries are catching up. However, the increased education for poor countries hasn’t translated to catching up economically.
In addition to race and gender, marital status appears to play a role in the earnings gap.
Economic reasoning suggests that people should invest heavily in stocks when young and then shift to less-risky bonds as they grow older. Yet U.S. households don’t appear to be following this investment pattern.
Women once faced much higher unemployment rates than men. Women now appear to be less exposed to increased joblessness during recessions than men.
Are baby boomers a reason why productivity growth is slowing down? They are aging out of the workforce, taking their experience and expertise with them.
Some people argue that immigrants make life harder for workers who are already U.S. citizens. But the data don’t show much of a correlation between immigration and the unemployment rate or between immigration and wages.
Despite strong growth, Russia’s GDP per capita is still only about 15 percent of that of the U.S. Although Russia is becoming more productive, it’s hampered by a decline in population.
The level of education determines a worker’s earnings to a large degree, and this simple study of cohorts of workers over the decades illustrates how the “lifetime education premium” is becoming more valuable than ever.
The decision to look for a job, as well as some measures of income inequality, are closely connected with the living arrangements people choose and, therefore, are important to policymakers.