Company Research Interests

LAI encourages its economists to pursue individual research projects and provides the support they need. At present, the following topics are among those on which our economists are either working or intend to be working shortly:

  • The interracial marriage decisions of the native born in the US are examined with 2000 US Census data using a marginal cost/marginal benefit model of racial compatibility. The focus is on mobility, veteran status and education and how these three forms of human capital affect interracial marriage.
  • The determinants of post migration martial dissolution among immigrants.
  • Using application data for nursing programs, attempt to attribute some of the favorable racial wage gap discussed in the paper by LAI’s Jonathan Fisher and Christina Houseworth, “The Reverse Wage Gap among Educated White and Black Women” to selection.  They hypothesize that black applicants to nursing programs are of a higher quality and hope to create a proxy variable for otherwise-unmeasured quality and examine the racial wage gap further.
  • Examine how the allocation of household services between single, married, divorced and same sex couples differs.  The American Time Use Survey matched with the Current Population Survey provides information on the individual’s earnings, occupation, characteristics of the partner, and household services.
  • The effects of university policies on the outcomes of university graduates. These effects are generated both directly through the policies themselves, and indirectly through their influence on decisions made by individuals in their acquisition of human capital.
  • There are many differences between blacks and whites in many outcomes including earnings and education. Why the respective groups acquire different amounts of human capital, on average.
  • The intergenerational transmission of human capital - whether the high correlation between parent and child education levels can be attributed directly to education, or whether it is a function of other common characteristics, and if so, what those characteristics might be.
  • The effects of disability on human capital acquisition. I am particularly interested in the effects of disabilities that may limit one’s access to certain job markets, but do not significantly increase the cost of acquiring human capital. Such disabilities will increase an individual’s incentive to acquire human capital and may actually increase their earnings.
  • Consumption, income, and wealth inequality and poverty, especially how they have evolved over the last thirty years.
  • Consumption of older Americans, especially the change at retirement and how consumption changes in the years after retirement.
  • Home maintenance and home additions expenditures; their importance in housing and maintaining housing value, and their determinants.
  • The use of human capital-specific input-output tables and constrained optimization models to analysis of discrimination, inequality and the demand for education within a general equilibrium context.
  • The allocation of time – Time-use surveys may provide insight into the amount of time individuals devote to non-market activities.  However, little formal analysis has been devoted to the beneficiaries of that time.  The goal is to develop an equivalence scale for household non-market activities.
  • Cost of specific illnesses – The most likely future cost of care is of major importance in litigation involving catastrophic injuries.
  • Ongoing maintenance of LAI’s data extracts from the American Community Survey, Current Population Survey, Consumer Expenditure Survey, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the American Community Survey and the General Social Survey.