I am a labor economics Ph.D. student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, interested in understanding the returns to skills and the role skills play in earnings inequality. I am also interested in the impact of evolving technologies on the composition of worker tasks in the U.S. labor market.
My current research looks at displaced workers, workers who lose their job as a result of a firm or plant closing. Some displaced workers experience larger earnings changes after displacement than others. Using comprehensive occupational employment data, I estimate the effect of the state-level occupation growth rate in the worker's pre-displacement occupation on subsequent labor market outcomes. I find that adverse labor market conditions in a worker's occupation at the time of displacement have negative consequences. Displacement from a shrinking occupation is associated with decreased earnings and longer durations of joblessness. Furthermore, holding the occupation growth rate constant, there is only a small effect of the worker's industry growth rate on their labor market outcomes. These results suggest that vulnerable displaced workers' difficulties in the labor market are a function of their skills and less related to the goods and services they were previously producing.