Distributive policy

Stone Seminar on Inequality and Social Policy

The Stone Program on Wealth Distribution, Inequality, and Social Policy welcomes Professor Arindrajit Dube for the first lecture in the Fall 2022 Stone Inequality & Social Policy Seminar Series. Professor Dube will discuss his paper, “The Unexpected Compression: Employment and Wage Trends Before and After the Pandemic,” co-authored with Professor David Autor. This seminar will be preceded by a welcome luncheon for the Stone program community in the Allison Dining Room at 11:30 am.

Arindrajit Dube is a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His research focuses on labor economics, as well as health economics, public finance and political economy. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in development policy from Stanford University, as well as a doctorate. in Economics from the University of Chicago. He has held visiting professorships in the Department of Economics at MIT and at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. He is also currently an associate researcher at the NBER and a researcher at the IZA.

“The Unexpected Squeeze: Employment and Wage Trends Before and After the Pandemic”

Summary: We present evidence that labor market tensions in the wake of the pandemic have led to increased competition in the labor market. Even though low-wage jobs have been hit particularly hard during the pandemic, the subsequent rebound has led to an unexpected compression in the wage distribution. Wages grew fastest at the bottom and slowest at the top — the opposite of what we’ve seen for much of the past four decades — driving down the college wage premium and compressing wage inequality. This trend is accompanied by a sharp increase in job separations, which are associated with rapid growth in nominal wages for non-academic workers. The evolution of separations was much greater in jobs with particularly low wages, which led to a doubling of the elasticity of wage separations, a measure of competition in the labor market. Wage growth among people who keep their jobs is much less pronounced. (co-authored with David Autor, Ford Professor of Economics, MIT)