This week in Course Notes:

Verbal skills play a much more important role in explaining college enrollment and graduation than math skills

Early childhood math and verbal skills are key determinants of future outcomes, but their impact on educational attainment varies. To show this, Esteban Acuejo and Jonathan James use a large administrative data set that tracks an entire cohort of public school students in England aged 5 to 22. have no impact on the production of verbal skills. In turn, a given increase in verbal skills has three times the impact on college enrollment than a similar increase in math skills. Female students have stronger verbal skills than male students, and this gap is reflected in college enrollment rates. Verbal skills also have a greater impact on college graduation, for students in STEM and non-STEM fields. Finally, the authors show that the importance of verbal skills on academic success applies equally to the American education system.

Rural families headed by women have lower housing costs than urban households, but have more difficulty using government assistance for housing problems

Female-headed households living in urban and rural areas have different housing costs. Using a 2013 cross-sectional study by the American Housing Survey, Ebunoluwa Odeyemi and Kim Skobba find that despite their lower incomes, rural women’s households spend a lower percentage of their income on housing, compared to those in urban areas. Affordable rural housing often comes in the form of mobile homes and multi-family units rather than rented homes. Children increase the risk of cost burdens by 20% for rural families and 17% for urban families. Finally, receiving any form of government assistance in urban areas reduced the burden of housing costs, but rural families needed more than two forms of safety net to have affordable housing.

Tennessee’s mandatory wait period for abortions led to more second trimester abortions, but fewer abortions overall

In 2015, Tennessee passed a law requiring women to take an extra trip to see a counselor and wait at least 48 hours before they could get an abortion. Some argue that a mandatory waiting period and a second visit delay or prevent abortions by increasing associated costs, such as transportation, time off work, and child care. Jason Lindo and Mayra Pineda-Torres use a difference-in-difference approach to estimate the causal impact of Tennessee policy on abortion outcomes for women. They find that the policy led to a 53-69% increase in second trimester abortions, but an overall reduction in abortions. The individual cost of postponing an abortion is estimated at $ 500. They also find that the largest increase in second trimester abortions has occurred in Shelby County, which has the highest poverty rates, the lowest median income, and the highest share of black women.

Top graph: Record number of voluntary departures shows workers looking for better jobs

This week’s top chart shows the record number of voluntary departures – up to 4.3 million workers – in the US labor market in August 2021. These were highest in the recreation and business sector. hotel. Tight job market suggests workers have used the pandemic to think about what jobs they would actually prefer to take back, especially in light of the spread of the Delta variant

Choice Opinion: Employers Should Stop Relying On A University Degree For Mid-Skilled Jobs

“Employers rely too much on the baccalaureate as a practical signal, even if it is not entirely reliable, that a person has a certain degree of intelligence, perseverance and sociability… [One solution is] less selection of candidates simply because they do not have a bachelor’s degree. Then look for other signals of a candidate’s qualities. For example, give the candidate a test of the skills that the job really requires. Accept a certificate of completion from a training program or an associate’s degree instead of a degree from a four-year school, ”wrote Peter Coy in his interview with Bryon Auguste.

Self-Promotion: A Nearly Universal and Unconditional Child Tax Credit Should Be Part of America’s Social Safety Net

Melissa S. Kearney argues that the expanded child tax credit, or child allowance, should be a permanent part of social policy to support families. Children growing up in poverty should benefit from some form of social insurance not only as a basic guarantee of well-being, but also because of the long-term social benefits of investing in early childhood. A near universal design would limit disincentives to work and close a gap in the safety net by directing money to children whose parents have very little or no income. As Kearney concludes: “An unconditional child tax credit or child allowance fits into a well-designed social safety net in our country”.

For your calendar: Virtual events related to the FTC’s public policy missions, promoting equity for children and youth, and improving America’s social safety net through tax policy.

Fourteenth Annual Conference of the Federal Trade Commission on Microeconomics

Federal Trade Commission

November 4-5, 2021

Using evidence to promote equity for children and youth

Urban Institute

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT

114th Annual Tax Conference

National Tax Association

November 17-20, 2021

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