John Coglianese in an economist at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. His research focuses on the macroeconomics of labor markets, including such topics as the macro effects of unemployment insurance, declining labor force participation among prime-age men, and seasonal work in the US.
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Ph.D. in Political Economy & Government, 2018
M.A. in Political Economy & Government, 2013
B.A. in Economics and Mathematics, 2011
University of Pennsylvania
Joblessness is highly seasonal. To analyze how households adapt to seasonal joblessness, we introduce a measure of seasonal work interruptions premised on the idea that a seasonal worker will tend to exit employment around the same time each year. We show that an excess share of prime-age US workers experience recurrent separations spaced exactly 12 months apart. These separations coincide with aggregate seasonal downturns and are concentrated in seasonally volatile industries. Examining workers most prone to seasonal work interruptions, we find that these workers incur large earnings losses during the off-season. Lost earnings are (i) driven mainly by repeated separations from the same employer; (ii) not recouped at other firms; (iii) partly offset by unemployment benefits; and (iv) amplified by concurrent drops in partners’ earnings. On net, household income falls by about 80 cents for each $1 lost in own earnings.
This paper documents that much of the decline in labor force participation of U.S. prime age men comes from “in-and-outs”—who I define as men who temporarily leave the labor force. Individuals moving in and out of the labor force have been an understudied margin of labor supply but account for 20–40% of the decline in participation between 1984 and 2011. In-and-outs are distinct from unemployed individuals, experiencing no loss of future income as a result of their time out of the labor force, and represent a distinct margin of labor supply from long-term labor force dropouts. Examining explanations for the rise of in-and-outs, I find little evidence to suggest that changes in labor demand are responsible.