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Author Archives: Sabrina I. Pacifici

The Importance of Data Occupations in the U.S. Economy

 Economics & Statistics Administration, Department of Commerce. By William Hawk, Regina Powers, Economists, and Robert Rubinovitz Deputy Chief Economist Economics and Statistics Administration Office of the Chief Economist. ESA Issue Brief #01 -15. March 12, 2015.

“The growing importance of data in the economy is hard to dispute. But what does this mean for workers and jobs? A lot, as it turns out: higher paying (over $40/hour), faster growing jobs. In this report we identify occupations where data analysis and processing are central to the work performed and measure the size of employment and earnings in these occupations , as well as in the industries that have the highest concentration of these data occupations. Key findings of the report include:

• Employment where data is central to the job was about 10.3 million in 2013 (of which 1.6 million were government workers) , or about 7.8 percent of all employment. However, including occupations where working with data is at least an important part of the job dramatically increases that number: to 74.3 million jobs, or over half of the workforce.
• Hourly wages for private-sector workers in data occupations, which are concentrated in the broad categories of business and computer/mathematical occupations, averaged $40.30 in 2013, about 68 percent higher for all occupations.
• For these top data occupations, two-thirds or more of the workers have at least a college degree; in comparison about one-third of workers across all occupations have a bachelor’sdegree or higher.
• Private sector industries with the highest concentration of data occupations added 1.8 million jobs over the last decade, representing about 31 percent of total private job growth which was four times faster than in private industries overall.
• Data intensive industries are located in many states, but the highest concentrations are in Washington, D.C.; Virginia; Massachusetts; Maryland; and Connecticut.”

The Liquidation of Government Debt

The Liquidation of Government Debt, Carmen M. Reinhart and M. Belen Sbrancia. IMF Working Paper. January 21, 2015. “High public debt often produces the drama of default and restructuring. But debt is also reduced through financial repression, a tax on bondholders and savers via negative or belowmarket real interest rates. After WWII, capital controls andContinue Reading

Public Sector Unions & the First Amendment after Harris v. Quinn and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby

Tang, Aaron, Public Sector Unions & the First Amendment after Harris v. Quinn and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (March 28, 2015). New York University Law Review, Forthcoming. Available for download at SSRN: “When the Supreme Court struck down the so-called contraceptive mandate in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, it rested its ruling on theContinue Reading

Majority of Hires Never Report Looking for a Job

Carlos Carrillo-Tudela, Bart Hobijn, Patryk Perkowski, and Ludo Visschers – “Every month, millions of workers search for new jobs although they already have one. About one-tenth of these searchers switch employers in the following month. However, most of the job switchers in the United States never reported having looked for a job. This implies that,Continue Reading

Salon – Subprime loans are coming to financial aid

Jeff Bryant  – “Wall Street wants to own your education destiny. To the old saying about “death and taxes,” you can now add another: debt. In fact, in contemporary America, debt is likely becoming at least as all-encompassing as the other two. An increasingly powerful force behind the debt explosion is not what you mightContinue Reading

The Gender Gap in Mathematics: Evidence from a Middle-Income Country

Prashant Bharadwaj, Giacomo De Giorgi, David Hansen, and Christopher Neilson: “Using a large administrative data set from Chile, we find that, on average, boys perform better than girls in mathematics. In this paper, we document several features of their relative performance. First, we note that the gender gap appears to increase with age (it doubles between fourth grade andContinue Reading

CFPB Takes Action Against “Bad Check” Debt Collector

“Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced an enforcement action against a nationwide debt collection operation and its chief executive officer for using deceptive threats of criminal prosecution and jail time in order to intimidate consumers into paying debts for bounced checks. The company also misled consumers into believing that they must enroll inContinue Reading

Pricing Freight Transport to Account for External Costs: Working Paper 2015-03

By David Austin (CBO) – “Although freight transport contributes significantly to the productivity of the U.S. economy, it also involves sizable costs to society. Those costs include wear and tear on roads and bridges; delays caused by traffic congestion; injuries, fatalities, and property damage from accidents; and harmful effects from exhaust emissions. No one paysContinue Reading

What Went Wrong with the FISA Court

Brennan Center for Justice – What Went Wrong with the FISA Court by Elizabeth (Liza) Goitein, Faiza Patel, March 18, 2015. “The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court is no longer serving its constitutional function of providing a check on the executive branch’s ability to obtain Americans’ private communications. Dramatic shifts in technology and law haveContinue Reading

Federal Student Aid – Loan Servicing Information Report

“Per the contractual agreement with each of our federal loan servicers, the Department of Education (the Department) will annually measure servicer performance in the areas of customer satisfaction and default prevention. We will then use these results to determine each servicer’s allocation of future loan volume when applicable. This announcement is intended to share theContinue Reading

Senate Select Committee on Ethics: A Brief History of Its Evolution and Jurisdiction

Senate Select Committee on Ethics: A Brief History of Its Evolution and Jurisdiction, Jacob R. Straus, Analyst on the Congress. January 13, 2015. “The United States Constitution provides each House of Congress with the sole authority to establish rules and punish and expel Members. From 1789 to 1964, the Senate dealt individually with cases ofContinue Reading

The Effect of Probability and Uncertainty Models on Hedge Fund Performance Analysis

Muteba Mwamba, John Weirstrastrass, The Effect of Probability and Uncertainty Models on Hedge Fund Performance Analysis (2014). The Journal of Applied Business Research, September/October 2014 Volume 30, Number 5. Available for download at SSRN: “This paper implements two types of framework to investigate the outperformance, selectivity and market timing skills in hedge funds: uncertaintyContinue Reading