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Regional Effects of Job Growth, Unemployment, and Taxation

Jennifer Bernard, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Understanding how regions respond to adverse conditions or policy changes is critical for decision makers to develop timely and helpful policy responses. In this dissertation, I explore how different versions of regions - be it counties, states, or commuting zones - react to changes in job growth, taxation, and unemployment. The first chapter marks how the labor market is characterized by a strong degree of sorting by gender into occupations and industries. Gender sorting implies that men and women are differentially exposed to changes in local labor demand. I study differential responses to these shocks by gender, including migration and labor force participation. Migratory responses are greater for men, while labor supply responses are greater for women, and these effects are larger in rural areas. I provide a decomposition of the labor demand shocks to explore mechanisms, finding that industry sectors comprising most of the identifying variation of a shock vary by both gender and region of analysis. In the second chapter, I estimate the relationship between the economic growth of states and taxes, modeling both the effects of states' own taxes on growth over time and the fiscal spillover effects of taxes in neighboring states on their economic growth. The analysis includes consideration of each of the major state tax revenue sources: income (both personal and corporate), property, and sales taxes. The chapter then extends the model to include spatial spillover effects using a spatial Durbin model in order to determine how neighboring states' taxes may affect a state's economic growth. Results indicate that negative spillover effects are present in some cases, which are then analyzed for policy implications. The last chapter examines how mass-layoffs and internal migration has evolved over the time period after the Great Recession. Labor markets suffer long-lasting changes to employment and the local labor force in response to mass layoff events. After detailing descriptive statistics about internal migration at the county, commuting zone, and region levels, this chapter uses an event study design to examine how mass layoff events effect outcomes at the commuting zone level.

Subject Area

Economics|Labor economics

Recommended Citation

Bernard, Jennifer, "Regional Effects of Job Growth, Unemployment, and Taxation" (2020). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI27835920.