Mike Zabek

Federal Reserve Board
Labor, Macro, and Urban/Regional Economics
Federal Reserve Board
Mailstop I-303
20th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20551

Working Papers

(With Katie Lim)

Increases in labor force exits during the COVID-19 pandemic were larger for Black women, Latinas, and women living with children. After controlling for detailed job and demographic characteristics, we estimate larger increases in labor force exits among women living with children under age 6 and among lower-earning women living with school-age children. Women of color also had larger increases in labor force exits during the pandemic, and one-quarter of these excess exits can be explained by differences in household structure. Our results suggest that caring for children contributed to persistent excess labor force exits among women during the pandemic.

Full text

FEDS Working Paper

Someone who lives in an economically depressed place was probably born there. And having workers with local ties – who prefer to live in their birthplaces – leads to smaller migration responses in depressed places. Smaller migration responses lead to lower real incomes and make incomes more volatile, a form of hysteresis. Local ties can also persist for generations. Additionally, subsidies to economically depressed places cause smaller distortions, since few people want to move to depressed places. Finally, subsidies to productive places increase aggregate productivity, since they induce more migration.

Full text, Online Appendix

FEDS Working Paper, FEDS Online Appendix, SocArXiv version

(With Aditya Aladangady and David Albouy)

Inequality in U.S. housing prices and rents both declined in the mid-20th century, even as home-ownership rates rose. Subsequently, housing-price inequality has risen to pre-War levels, while rent inequality has risen less. Combining both measures, we see inequality in housing consumption equivalents mirroring patterns in income across both space and time, according to an income elasticity of housing demand just below one. These patterns occur mainly within cities, and are not explained by observed changes in dwelling characteristics or locations. Instead, recent increases in housing inequality are driven most by changes in the relative value of locations, seen especially through land.

Full text

NBER Working Paper

Press (selected): Washington Post, Atlantic: City Lab


(With Pawel Krolikowski and Patrick Coate)

The earnings of young adults who live in the same neighborhoods as their parents completely recover after a job displacement, unlike the earnings of young adults who live farther away, which permanently decline. Nearby workers appear to benefit from help with childcare since grandmothers are less likely to be employed after their child’s job displacement and since the earnings benefits are concentrated among young adults who have children. The result also suggests that parental employment networks improve earnings. Differences in job search durations, transfers of housing services, and geographic mobility, however, are too small to explain the result.

Published version, pre-print version, replication code

FEDS Working Paper, Cleveland Fed Working Paper

Non-technical summaries: 2018 Economic Commentary, 2017 Economic Commentary

Press (selected): Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Time, Business Insider, MarketWatch

Formerly: Family Ties and Worker Displacement