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Neil Cholli, Klarman Fellow Does "Welfare-to-Work" Work? Evaluating Long-Run Effects across a Generation of Cohorts Abstract: Welfare-to-work reforms remain a popular yet controversial policy around the world. This paper evaluates reforms that introduced public work requirements in Denmark's social assistance program by estimating their long-run effects on a comprehensive set of outcomes across a generation of birth cohorts. Effects are highly heterogeneous across cohorts based on the time the reforms were introduced in the life cycle. Individuals facing the reforms as adults incur null or modest negative effects on income and substitute toward crime and alternative welfare programs. Meanwhile, children exposed to the reforms before they were eligible for social assistance experience significant gains in schooling and income. This heterogeneity is consistent with a model where younger cohorts invest in their human capital in anticipation of future work requirements while older cohorts adjust along alternative margins with high social costs. Evidence suggests that heterogeneity across cohorts can persist for decades over the life cycle and spill over to their own children. Cost-benefit analyses reveal that welfare-to-work is cost-effective in the long run, but this may be driven by anticipatory behavioral responses of younger cohorts aging into the population. This sheds light on the interpretation of aggregate effects of welfare-to-work over time and alternative, more efficient policy designs.
eCornell Keynote— Interviews can be tense and uncomfortable, no matter which side you’re on — sometimes for both the interviewer and the interviewee. Few of us have had anything resembling formal training on conducting interviews. Every organization needs good interviewers. If you’ve done it right, your candidate decision becomes easier and you’re more likely to have chosen the right person for the job. Your top choice will be excited to join your team — even runners-up will feel like they participated in something worthwhile. Conducting a thoughtful and truly effective job interview is no simple task. It’s highly nuanced and takes skill — but with a few pointers, you can become better in a short time. In this brisk and focused discussion, JR Keller from Cornell’s ILR School will review five specific actions you can take to make better interviews a reality for any job for which you are hiring. WHAT YOU'LL LEARN How to reduce candidate anxietyHow to make candidates feel like you value their timeWhat makes a good interview question as well as which ones to avoidHow to ensure consistency in your approachWhat a proper evaluation plan looks likeSPEAKER JR Keller ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF HUMAN RESOURCE STUDIES Cornell ILR School
Alex Willén, Norwegian School of Economics The Labor Market Competition and Its Effect on Firms and Local Communities Abstract: We isolate the consequences of increased labor market competition on the entire ecosystem of local communities using unique features of the Scandinavian labor market. A shock to labor mobility from Sweden to Norway caused a substantial increase in labor competition for Swedish firms on the border with Norway. Using individual-level register data linked across the two countries, we show that Swedish firms respond by raising worker wages relative to productivity and reducing their workforces. A compositional change in the workforce results in a drop in the average quality of workers, generating a decline in firm value added and a higher risk of firm exit. The negative effects on firms spill over to the local communities, which experience population flight, declining business activity, increased inequality, and changing political sentiments. These effects persist for at least a decade after the initial shock. We conclude that changes to workers’ outside options can have a dramatic and persistent effect on local communities and send ripples across all segments of society, even in countries with automatic stabilizers specifically designed to blunt the impact of local shocks.
Join the ILR Worker Institute on March 5 for a talk on Unions, Labor and Freedom of Expression. Our featured speaker is Randi Weingarten, President, AFT and 2024 ILR Alice B. Grant Labor Leader in Residence. This event is geared towards an in-person audience. If this is not possible, please join us on Zoom.
Jorgen Harris, Occidental Diverse Hiring in Homogeneous Hiring Pools Abstract: We study the effect of hearing cases alongside nonwhite judicial colleagues on the probability that a federal judge hires a nonwhite law clerk. Federal judges are assigned to judicial panels at random and have few limitations on their choices of law clerks. Using a unique dataset of federal case records merged with judicial hiring information, we find that white judges are less likely to hire Black, Hispanic, or Asian clerks in years when they are randomly assigned to cases with Black, Hispanic, and Asian judges (respectively) at a higher rate. This finding presents a surprising contrast to prior work in Battaglini, Harris, Patacchini (2023) which found strong positive effects on interaction with female colleagues on hiring of women. We hypothesize that this negative effect results from reductions in judges’ proactive attempts to recruit non-white clerks, due to changes in their perceptions of the diversity of the profession.