Orestes P. Hastings and Joe LaBriola. Forthcoming. "The Summer Parental Investment Gap? Socioeconomic Gaps in the Seasonality of Parental Expenditures and Time with School-Age Children." Research in Social Stratification and Mobility.

Abstract: Inequalities in parental investments can shape inequalities in children’s outcomes and life chances. Scholars have theorized how socioeconomic status (SES) may moderate how parents use parental investments to respond to the loss of the provision of public schooling during the summer. We investigate the seasonality of SES gaps in parental investments of both money and time in the United States using the 1996–2019 Consumer Expenditure Survey and the 2003–2019 American Time Use Survey. We find SES gaps in parental investments of both money and time during the summer, and that SES gaps in expenditures are larger in the summer than during non-summer months. We find little evidence that any of these gaps have grown substantially over time. Finally, we find evidence that SES gaps in summer paternal investments of time are driven by investments in younger rather than older school-aged children. Our findings contribute to debates regarding the link between public and parental investments in children, address a key mechanism in the debate about the summer learning gap, and provide new evidence on how parents may target investments in children towards the ages when they are most consequential.


Joe LaBriola and Daniel Schneider. 2021. "Class Inequality in Parental Childcare Time: Evidence from Synthetic Couples in the ATUS." Social Forces.

Abstract: The time that parents spend teaching and playing with their young children has important consequences for later life achievement and attainment. Previous research suggests that there are significant class inequalities in how much time parents devote to this kind of developmental childcare in the United States. Yet, due in part to data limitations, prior research has not accounted for how class inequalities in family structure, assortative mating, and specialization between partners may exacerbate or ameliorate these gaps. We match parental respondents within the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) to generate synthetic parental dyads, which we use to estimate, in turn, the contributions of family structure, assortative mating, and specialization to class gaps in parental time spent in developmental care of children aged 0–6. We find some evidence that accounting for class differences in family structure widens income gaps in total parental time in developmental childcare of young children. Further, we show that assortative mating of parents widens educational gaps in developmental childcare, whereas specialization between partners marginally widens these class divides. Although the net effect of these three processes on income-based gaps in childcare time is modest, accounting for these three processes more than doubles education-based gaps in total parental developmental childcare as compared to maternal time alone. Our findings from this novel empirical approach provide a more holistic view of the extent and sources of inequality in parental time investments in young children’s cognitive and social development.

(Journal webpage) (PDF) (Appendix) (Replication package)

Joe LaBriola. 2020. "Post-prison Employment Quality and Future Criminal Justice Contact." RSF: The Russell Sage Journal of the Social Sciences.

Abstract: Several theories linking post-prison employment to recidivism suggest that the quality of employment has a causal effect on future criminal justice contact. However, previous work testing these theories has not accounted for differential selection into high-quality employment. Using six years of post-release employment records, I document how post-prison job quality varies by industry. Then, I use inverse propensity score weighting to estimate the effect of job quality on future arrests and prison spells. Some evidence indicates that parolees who find high-quality employment experience fewer arrests or returns to prison than otherwise similar parolees who find low-quality employment, with the effects most evident when comparing employment in the highest- and lowest-quality industries. Low-quality employment does not appear to reduce future criminal justice contact relative to unemployment.

(Journal webpage) (PDF

Joe LaBriola and Daniel Schneider. 2020. “Worker Power and Class Polarization in Intra-Year Work Hour Volatility.” Social Forces.

Abstract: Precarious work, which has become more prevalent in the United States in recent decades, is disproportionately experienced by workers of lower socioeconomic classes, and research suggests that the erosion of worker power has contributed to this class polarization in precarity. One dimension of precarious work of growing interest to scholars and policymakers is instability faced by workers in the amount and regularity of their work hours. However, we know little about the magnitude of month-to-month or week-to-week (intra-year) volatility in hours worked, the extent of class-based polarization in this measure of job quality, and whether worker power moderates this polarization. In this paper, we make novel use of the panel nature of the nationally-representative Current Population Survey (CPS) to estimate intra-year volatility in the actual hours respondents report working in the previous week across four consecutive survey months. Using this new measure, we then show that, net of demographic characteristics and controls for occupation and industry, low-wage workers experience disproportionately greater work hour volatility. Finally, we find evidence that reductions in marketplace bargaining power—as measured by higher state-level unemployment rates—increase wage- and education-based polarization in work hour volatility, while increases in associational power—as measured by union coverage—reduce wage-based polarization in work hour volatility.

(Journal webpage) (PDF) (Appendix) (Replication package) (LSE blog post)

Joe LaBriola. 2019. “Risky Business: Institutional Logics and Risk-Taking at Large U.S. Commercial Banks.'' Social Science Quarterly.

Abstract: Objective--This article aims to answer whether increased securitization and/or increased shareholder value pressures at commercial banks have led to higher levels of risk. Methods--Using data on large U.S. commercial banks from several sources, I estimate linear partial-adjustment models to predict the effects of securitization, as well as CEO incentives to increase shareholder value, on leverage. Results--These models provide evidence that increases in the relative size of trading securities at a commercial bank are significantly associated with increases in leverage. Meanwhile, the relative size of total securities and CEO incentives to increase shareholder value do not appear to affect leverage. Conclusion--These findings suggest that limiting commercial bank speculation in securities markets may reduce the likelihood that commercial banks face large losses or become insolvent in financial downturns.

(Journal webpage) (PDF) (Appendix) (Replication package)

Martin Bodenstein, Luca Guerrieri, and Joe LaBriola. 2019. “Macroeconomic policy games.'' Journal of Monetary Economics.

Abstract: We develop a toolbox that characterizes the welfare-maximizing cooperative Ramsey policies under full commitment and open-loop Nash games between policymakers. We adopt the timeless perspective. Two examples for the use of our toolbox offer novel results. The first example revisits the case of monetary policy coordination in a two-country model to highlight sensitivity to the choice of policy instruments. For the second example, a central bank and a macroprudential policymaker are assigned distinct objectives in a model with financial frictions. Lack of cooperation can lead to large welfare losses even if technology shocks are the only source of fluctuations.

(Journal webpage) (Article) (Appendix) (Replication package)

Daniel Schneider, Orestes P. Hastings, and Joe LaBriola. 2018. “Income Inequality and Class Divides in Parental Investments.'' American Sociological Review

Abstract: Historic increases in income inequality have coincided with widening class divides in parental investments of money and time in children. These widening class gaps are significant because parental investment is one pathway by which advantage is transmitted across generations. Using over three decades of micro-data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey and the American Heritage Time Use Survey linked to state-year measures of income inequality, we test the relationship between income inequality and class gaps in parental investment. We find robust evidence of wider class gaps in parental financial investments in children—but not parental time investments in children—when state-level income inequality is higher. We explore mechanisms that may drive the relationship between rising income inequality and widening class gaps in parental financial investments in children. This relationship is partially explained by the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution in state-years with higher inequality, which gives higher-earning households more money to spend on financial investments in children. In addition, we find evidence for contextual effects of higher income inequality that reshape parental preferences toward financial investment in children differentially by class.

(Journal webpage) (Article) (Appendix) (Replication package)