Poverty rate, subsidized broadband internet, etc.

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This week in Course Notes:

Unlike past recessions, the COVID-19 recession resulted in more job losses and quits for women than for men

The COVID-19 recession has often been referred to as a “she-cession” because unlike previous economic recessions, it resulted in greater job losses for women than for men. Women’s employment levels have fallen due to job losses in predominantly female occupations such as retailing, as well as increased pressures on childcare. In this article, Stefania Albanesi and Jiyeon Kim use data from the Current Population Survey to analyze to what extent the decline in employment can be attributed to each of these shocks. They estimate that the professional breakdowns represent only about a third of the job losses of women between March and May 2020. In particular, the profession has had little impact on the increase in the non-activity of mothers with children, especially married mothers, compared to men. This suggests that many mothers have voluntarily reduced their labor supply to increase their home care responsibilities. Indeed, data on labor market flows show that women contributed to 85% of voluntary departures between June and November 2020. This highlights another challenge for future working hours and employment for women, even as the economy begins to rebound.

Subsidized broadband increases broadband uptake, employment and income for low-income families

High-speed Internet access has grown over the past decade, but income-based disparities persist. Among families with income over $ 70,000 per year, 86% have a high-speed Internet connection at home, compared to only 56% for families with income below $ 40,000. In this article, George W. Zuo examines whether changes in broadband prices can reduce this gap and increase employment rates in low-income families. Zuo measures the impact of Internet Essentials, a discounted broadband program launched by Comcast in 2012. Essentials has provided subsidized broadband to more than 6 million families with children eligible for a free or discounted lunch. Using data from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration as well as the American Community Survey, Zuo finds that the program increased broadband usage among eligible families by 8%, reducing the income gap to broadband by 40%. Families who enrolled in the program were also 8 percentage points more likely to be employed and experienced a $ 147 increase in their annual income. The effect on employment is due to both an increase in labor market participation and a decrease in the probability of being unemployed.

Skilled women in the United States are more likely to be married than unskilled women, unlike most other industrialized countries

Marriage rates in the industrialized world have been declining for more than half a century. In 2015, 20% of American adults aged 35 to 44 had never married, up from about 7% in 1970. In most countries, skilled women married at lower rates than unskilled women. . In the United States, however, skilled women are now more likely to be married than unskilled women. In their new article, Marianne Bertrand and her co-authors explain this reverse trend using a theoretical model that describes the relationship between marriage rates, women’s skill levels, labor market opportunities and gender norms. They argue that as labor market opportunities increase for skilled women, their marriage rates decrease relative to unskilled women because their opportunity cost of having children is higher. This makes them less attractive in the marriage market, where gender norms require women to play an important role in childbearing. However, at high wage levels, the benefit of higher family income outweighs the opportunity cost of having children, making high-income skilled women relatively more attractive in the labor market. wedding.

Top graphic: Pandemic aid programs lead to record 45% drop in poverty rate

This week top graphic shows that in 2021, the United States experienced a record 45% drop in the poverty rate, almost three times the largest drop before. Between 2018 and 2021, the poverty rate fell from 13.9% to 7.7%, largely thanks to pandemic assistance programs like the enhanced child tax credit.

Notice of choice: We need better policies to promote racial diversity in higher education

“Affirmative action has been a veil obscuring the truth about American higher education. It has never been so difficult to see, for those who have tried, but removing it could force the nation as a whole to recognize the disparities in our system and to seek better mechanisms to make the university fair ”, writes Adam Harris.

Self-promotion: Doubling the Pell Grant would make college more affordable for low-income students

The Pell Grant is the largest subsidized component of federal financial aid to higher education. To keep college education affordable for students from low-income families, Phillip B. Levine argues that we should double the maximum value of the Pell Grant, currently $ 6,495. After factoring in other forms of financial aid, Levine estimates that Pell’s current worth would leave a student in a family in the 25th percentile of the wealth distribution with an outstanding balance of $ 14,100 if he attends. a public flagship school. “There is no right answer as to how students are supposed to pay the remaining bill after accounting for financial aid,” writes Levine. If the maximum Pell Grant were doubled to $ 13,000, the unmet financial need of low-income students could in many cases be reduced to $ 0.

For your calendar: Virtual events examining the impacts of COVID on children, ways to help children transition to adulthood, and policies for a more inclusive economic future

What we know about children and COVID-19

Thursday, September 9, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. EDT

The New York Times

On Their Own Wings: Helping Youth Transition to Adulthood

Monday, September 13, 2021 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EDT

American Institute of Business

Evidence of a stronger economic future

September 20, 2021 – September 21, 2021

Washington Center for Equitable Growth

We are hiring a center coordinator for the Child and Family Center

The center coordinator provides administrative, project and communication support to the Center for children and families, working closely with Director, Kristin Butcher, and senior management to coordinate all Center activities, timelines and deliverables, and provide direct administrative support. If you are interested or know someone who might be, you can find more details in the job offer. Thank you for sharing this with your professional networks!


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