NBER

Melinda Pitts

Federal Reserve Bank of Altanta
1000 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30309-4470

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Federal Reserve Bank of Altanta

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2020The Dynamics of the Smoking Wage Penalty
with Michael E. Darden, Julie L. Hotchkiss: w27567
Cigarette smokers earn significantly less than nonsmokers, but the magnitude of the smoking wage gap and the pathways by which it originates are unclear. Proposed mechanisms often focus on spot differences in employee productivity or employer preferences, neglecting the dynamic nature of human capital development and addiction. In this paper, we formulate a dynamic model of young workers as they transition from schooling to the labor market, a period in which the lifetime trajectory of wages is being developed. We estimate the model with data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 Cohort, and we simulate the model under counterfactual scenarios that isolate the contemporaneous effects of smoking from dynamic differences in human capital accumulation and occupational select...
May 2018State Merit Aid Programs and Youth Labor Market Attachment
with David E. Frisvold: w24662
This paper examines the impact of state merit-aid programs on the labor market attachment of high school-aged youths. The labor force participation rate of teenagers has fallen substantially in recent decades, coinciding with the introduction of merit-aid programs. These programs reduce the price of attending an in-state public college or university for high-achieving students and have the potential to influence students’ allocation of time and effort between labor market activities, human capital development, and other forms of leisure. We examine the influence of these programs based on their generosity, both in the amount of aid provided to a recipient and the percent of students who are recipients of aid, and in their selectivity. Our results suggest that programs that are more sel...

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