On May 15th 2019, I defended my dissertation! Thank you to my committee — Peter, Kelly, and Heather — and the entire Economics department at the University of California, Santa Barbara for your support.

Starting summer 2019, I will be a postdoctoral associate at MIT Sloan in the Initiative on the Digital Economy.

I am interested in the roles played by occupations, firms, and public policy in determining workers’ success in the labor market. Specifically, I am interested in these effects on `vulnerable’ workers — workers who have recently experienced a shock, such as job loss, injury, or new family responsibilities that could adversely affect their labor market prospects.

My job market paper 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. What explains this variation in earnings changes? 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.

Feel free to contact me at sarah.bana at gmail.com