Paper # Author Title
We examine an economy in which the cost of consuming some goods can be reduced by making commitments that reduce flexibility. We show that such consumption commitments can induce consumers with risk-neutral underlying utility functions to be risk averse over small variations in income, but sometimes to seek risk over large variations. As a result, optimal employment contracts will smooth wages conditional on being employed, but may incorporate a possibility of unemployment. Download Paper
We examine an economy in which the cost of consuming some goods can be reduced by making commitments that reduce flexibility. We show that such consumption commitments can induce consumers with risk-neutral underlying utility functions to be risk averse over small variations in income, but sometimes to seek risk over large variations. As a result, optimal employment contracts will smooth wages conditional on being employed, but may incorporate a possibility of unemployment. Download Paper
We examine an economy in which the cost of consuming some goods can be reduced by making commitments that reduce flexibility. We show that such consumption commitments can induce consumers with risk-neutral underlying utility functions to be risk averse over small variations in income, but sometimes to seek risk over large variations. As a result, optimal employment contracts will smooth wages conditional on being employed, but may incorporate a possibility of unemployment. Download Paper
There is an increasing interest in the concept of social exclusion and the related concept of social isolation and their potential role in understanding inequality. We examine the degree to which voluntary separation from social activities during adolescence affects adult wages. It is well-known that participation in high school athletic programs leads to higher adult wages. We present empirical evidence that this premium is not primarily due to selection on predetermined characteristics valued in the labor market. Download Paper
We examine an economy in which the cost of consuming some goods can be reduced by making commitments to consumption levels independent of the state. For example, it is cheaper to produce housing services via owner-occupied than rented housing, but the transactions costs associated with the former prompt relatively inflexible housing consumption paths. We show that consumption commitments can cause risk-neutral consumers to care about risk, creating incentives to both insure risks and bunch uninsured risks together. For example, workers may prefer to avoid wage risk while bearing an unemployment risk that is concentrated in as few states as possible. Download Paper
There is an increasing interest in the concept of social exclusion and the related concept of social isolation and their potential role in understanding inequality. We examine the degree to which voluntary separation from social activities during adolescence affects adult wages. It is well-known that participation in high school athletic programs leads to higher adult wages. We present empirical evidence that this premium is not primarily due to selection on predetermined characteristics valued in the labor market. Download Paper
Taller workers receive a wage premium. Net of differences in family background, the disparity is similar in magnitude to the race and gender gaps. We exploit variation in an individual's height over time to explore how height affects wages. Controlling for teen height essentially eliminates the effect of adult height on wages for white males. The teen height premium is not explained by differences in resources or endowments. The teen height premium is partly mediated through participation in high school sports and clubs. We estimate the monetary benefits of a medical treatment for children that increases height. Download Paper
Taller workers receive a wage premium, and the disparity in wages is similarin magnitude to the race and gender gaps. We exploit the variation in an individual's height over time to explore the ways in which height affects wages.Specifically, we show that for white males the effect of adult height is essentially eliminated when adolescent height is taken into account. We find that participation in high school sports and clubs, and to a lesser extent schooling, are channels through which teen height affects adult wages. The benefits of beinga taller teen seem to accrue equally across income classes and also across broad occupation categories, suggesting that the benefits of teen height do not result from occupational sorting. Because height is heritable and because tall adults tend to have children with each other, the benefits of teen height tend to be perpetuated across generations. Finally, we use our estimates of the teen height premium to perform a simple calculation of the monetary benefits of a newly approved treatment for children that increases height. Download Paper
Taller workers receive a wage premium, and the disparity in wages is similar in magnitude to the race and gender gaps. We exploit the variation in an individual's height over time to explore the way in which height affects wages. Specifically, we show that for white males, the effect of adult height is essentially eliminated when adolescent height is taken into account. We take this as evidence that adolescent height has important economic implications long after the time that it is observable to others, and we explore the channels through which the effects might be manifested. Download Paper