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From time use to contingent work to labor supply: thoughts on the contributions of Alan Kreuger

Abstract

Alan had a real concern with “getting it right,” even when getting it right was something that was going to be very, very difficult to do. I focus on some trends in labor supply that Alan was very concerned about. There has been a huge employment and earnings shift in recent years toward those with a Bachelor’s Degree or greater. Moreover, within each educational attainment group, the earnings of those who either have a certificate but no license, or a license, are higher. As for labor force participation, there has been a consistent decline for white men aged 25–54. Alan demonstrated that geographic areas with the greatest decline in labor force participation rates have been those with the highest use of prescription opioid drugs. My work with the National Longitudinal Survey further shows that, in the wake of the Great Recession, younger cohorts of workers are more prone to spells of unemployment or nonpartication in the labor force than those of the past.

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Fig. 1

Source Bureau of labor statistics, current population survey, not seasonally adjusted data

Fig. 2

Source Current population survey combined microdata between 2005–2007 and 2016–2018, author’s calculations

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Source Current population survey combined microdata between 2005–2007 and 2016–2018, author’s calculations

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Source Bureau of labor statistics, current population survey

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Source Bureau of labor statistics, current population survey

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Source Bureau of labor statistics, current population survey

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Source Bureau of labor statistics, current population survey

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Source Bureau of labor statistics, current population survey

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Source Bureau of labor statistics, current population survey

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Reference

  1. Krueger, Alan B. 2017. Where have all the workers gone? An inquiry into the decline in the U.S. Labor Force Participation Rate. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 48 (2): 1–87.

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Author information

Correspondence to Michael Horrigan.

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Horrigan, M. From time use to contingent work to labor supply: thoughts on the contributions of Alan Kreuger. Bus Econ 55, 10–17 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1057/s11369-019-00156-1

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Keywords

  • Educational attainment
  • Labor force participation
  • Opioid crises
  • Alan Krueger