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Why are young, educated men working less? (Brookings, Feb 23)
Attach Date 2018/02/28 HIT 627
The proportion of U.S. adults in paid work has declined in recent decades. While the fall in male employment gets the most attention, female work rates are declining too. A new NBER paper from Katharine Abraham and Melissa Kearney provides a comprehensive review and rigorous analysis of the overall trends, and potential contributory factors including trade, technology, weak demand, and an aging population to name a few Abraham and Kearney suggest that other factors are likely playing a role, too, which are impossible to quantify. These include changes in the social norms around paid work and “improvements in leisure technology” (read: Rainbow Six Siege and other awesome games). Note that their preferred measure of labor market activity is the employment-to-population ratio (see Eleanor Krause and Isabel Sawhill’s guide for a quick explanation of the different employment metrics). Read More

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