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Hutchins Roundup: Labor market mobility, family disadvantage, and more

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Studies in this week’s Hutchins Roundup find that homeowners with less equity in their homes are more likely to move for a job than those with more equity, being born in a low-income, single-parent household is more detrimental for boys than for girls, and more.

Fall in housing prices did not limit labor mobility during the Great Recession

Using credit reports and mortgage data, Yuliya Demanyanyk of the Cleveland Fed, Dmytro Hryshko of the University of Alberta, María José Luengo‐Prado of the Boston Fed, and Bent Sørensen of the University of Houston find that homeowners who are under water are more likely to move to another region to take a new job than individuals in the same ZIP code with more equity in their homes. The authors conclude that, contrary to popular belief, the sharp decline in house prices does not explain the decline in labor mobility in the U.S. during the Great Recession.

Being born in a disadvantaged family is more consequential for boys than for girls

Using data on siblings born in Florida between 1992 – 2002, David Autor and Melanie Wasserman of MIT, David Figlio and Krzysztof Karbownik of Northwestern, and Jeffrey Roth of the University of Florida find that boys born to disadvantaged families – defined by family structure, such as single-parent households, and income – have lower academic achievement scores in elementary and middle school, more disciplinary problems, and lower high school graduation rates than their sisters. The authors conclude that the gender gap among black children is larger than among whites largely because black children are raised in families with more disadvantages.

Japan’s unconventional monetary policy yields positive spillover effects in emerging Asia

Using monthly data on 20 countries, Giovanni Ganelli and Nour Tawk of the IMF find that the Bank of Japan’s quantitative and qualitative easing (QQE) led to currency appreciation in emerging Asian economies, but the harm that did to those economies was more than offset by the positive effects of higher equity prices. The authors conclude that the spillovers of Japan’s QQE were mainly to boost confidence and expectations in other Asian countries, rather than through other channels.

Chart of the week: U.S. mortgage borrowing accelerates


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Quote of the week: “So why is convergence moving in the wrong direction?” asks IMF official David Lipton

“The usual recipe is that each country needs to get its ‘own house in order’… This is all well and good; the OHIO strategy certainly is needed. However, it may not stand on its own. Key elements are likely to be strongly pro-cyclical, further deepening the slowdown in global growth that concerns us today. What should worry us is that the international monetary and financial system is generating vulnerabilities that could worsen the situation. Scared by recent bouts of capital market volatility, many countries may conclude that they need even larger buffers— more reserve accumulation, stronger current account positions, and more self-insurance. All of these will be even more pro-cyclical.”

— David Lipton, IMF First Deputy Managing Director

Try your hand at putting the federal budget on a sustainable trajectory while also achieving your governing goals at www.fiscalship.org.

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