Microeconomics & International Trade Seminars

Fall 2018

Thursday 1:403:00 p.m.
499 Engineering II

October 18
Paul Oyer, Stanford
"The Gender Earnings Gap in the Gig Economy: Evidence from over a Million Rideshare Drivers"
Host: George Bulman

November 1
Hilary Hoynes, Berkeley
"The Impact of Childhood Nutrition Assistance on Child Health & Well-Being: Lessons from WIC"
Host: George Bulman / Laura Giuliano

November 8
Priya Mukherjee, William & Mary
"Pricing Private Education in Urban India: Demand, Use, and Impact"
Host: Ajay Shenoy

November 15
Jeremy Fox, Rice
"Geographic Expansion Mergers and FCC Spectrum Policy: Estimating a Matching Game with Externalities"
Host: Natalia Lazzati

December 5 (Note different day)
Bruce Meyer, U. Chicago
"The Use and Misuse of Income Data and the Rarity of Extreme Poverty in the United States"
Host: Rob Fairlie
Recent research suggests that rates of extreme poverty, defined as living on less than either $2 or $4 per-person per-day, are high and rising in the United States. We re-examine the rate of extreme poverty using the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), generally thought to have the most accurate survey income data in the U.S. In addition to income, the SIPP provides information on hours worked, assets, hardships, and other household characteristics.  We link these data to IRS tax records and administrative program data on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), public and subsidized housing benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI). We find that more than 90% of the 3.6 million non-homeless households with survey-reported cash income below $2/person/day are misclassified once we account for in-kind transfers, errors in earnings reports, errors in transfer reports, and the ownership of substantial assets. Several of the largest misclassified groups appear to be at least middle class based on material hardship, housing characteristics, tax data, and other variables. More than two-thirds of all misclassified households are initially categorized as extreme poor due to errors in cash reports of earnings, asset income, and retirement income. Of the households remaining in extreme poverty, 90% consist of a single individual. An implication of the low recent level of extreme poverty is that it cannot have risen substantially over time or due to welfare reform.