Socioeconomic Inequality and Opportunity
High School and Beyond: Human Capital over the Life Cycle as a Foundation for Working Longer
Principal Investigator: Chandra Muller
Co-Principal Investigators: Sandra E. Black, Eric Grodsky (University of Wisconsin), and John Robert Warren (University of Minnesota)
Additional Investigators: Robert Hummer, Kelly Raley, Catherine Riegle-Crumb, Debra Umberson
Funded by: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
This project is re-contacting and studying the lives of the nationally representative High School and Beyond (HSB) sophomore sample members just before most turn 50 years old. Rich information about respondents' cognitive and non-cognitive skills and other aspects of their lives collected in the high school and postsecondary years will be linked to newly collected information about their current cognitive and non-cognitive skills, work, health, family roles, and retirement planning at midlife. The new database will be used to study a number of issues related to the consequences for midlife labor force participation of adolescent and early adult circumstances and characteristics. The project will increase our knowledge of the relationships among work, aging, and cognitive and non-cognitive functioning over the life cycle. The historical period occupied by the HSB cohort provides a unique opportunity to study the effects of labor market demand shocks (including the Great Recession) and technological change and computerization on employment patterns for different population subgroups. Re-contacting respondents will provide crucial proof-of-concept and baseline measures for future data collection as respondents' age. The new data infrastructure, composed of a robust database and a multidisciplinary community of users, will support cutting-edge research in a broad set of disciplines, from economics, sociology and demography to health and aging, family studies, education, organizational behavior, psychology, and even extending to more distal fields of genetics, medicine (general and disease specific), criminology and other areas that touch on labor force concerns among older workers.
Using O*NET to Investigate Sources of Educational and Racial Variation in Marriage
Principal Investigator: Kelly Raley
Funded by: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Educational and racial differences in a variety of health related outcomes are large and as yet unexplained. Work characteristics, such as stress, recognition, and autonomy, serve as under-explored mechanisms that may connect education and race to wide-ranging aspects of well being such as mental health, family stability, physical health, and mortality. The newly revamped Dictionary of Occupational Titles (now called O*NET), linked to a data source with measures of health-related outcomes, provides an opportunity to evaluate the utility of occupational characteristics for understanding the mechanisms underlying health disparities. As a test case, we propose to investigate the potential for work characteristics to explain educational and racial disparities in marriage and cohabitation by linking data from the O*NET, 2000 Census, and the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. First, this project will use these sources to create a data set describing work demands, rewards, and demographic composition that can be linked to the NLSY using 2002 census codes. Second, it will link these data to the NLSY to document racial and educational in occupational characteristics in early adulthood. Third, the project will investigate the association between occupational characteristics and women's union formation and whether attributes of occupations are linked to educational and/or racial disparities in marriage and cohabitation. Finally, after having refined our data set through the specific aims 1-3, we will make data set describing occupational demands, rewards, and demographic composition publicly available through the NLSY. This project will serve as a foundation for a larger study exploring the influence of men's and women's work characteristics on family formation and stability.