Research

My research focuses on health economics and the economics of education as detailed in my research statementResearch Statement as pdf. I will update the papers below with the latest drafts as they become available. Please mail me for copies of any of my papers or to obtain the underlying code.


Working Papers



The emerging college hours premium for men.The emerging college hours premium for men - Draft

Venkatesh S (revision asked for by Education Economics).

Abstract : This paper uniquely documents the emerging role of education in the well known decline in U.S. male working hours. An insignificant hours difference between high school and college graduates becomes a highly significant 2 hours/week advantage for college graduates within a generation. This growing college hours premium is confirmed in alternate data over a longer time period. Moreover, the growing premium exists throughout the distribution and is not generated by the tails. The increasing premium persists across a wide variety of robustness checks and presents as a widespread phenomenon. The emerging college hours premium increases the overall college earnings premium despite recent trends in the college wage premium.



The Returns to Drinking: Social Workers or Social Jobs?

(Under Review) Adams SJ, Heywood JS, Ullman D, Venkatesh S.

Abstract : We uniquely show that the returns to drinking in social jobs exceed those in non-social jobs. While workers' social skills yield higher returns in social jobs, controlling for these skills does not change the returns to drinking. This suggests a return beyond sorting on measured social skills. Including individual fixed effects increases the returns to drinking in social jobs again indicating a genuine return. Our findings fit the hypothesis that drinking assists the formation of social capital in social jobs. We show that the social capital associated with drinking represents both general and specific capital with a higher return to each in social jobs.



Changes in education's effect on job sorting.

Venkatesh S.

Abstract : I show that while college increased the likelihood of working in jobs that required either social skills or cognitive ability in the NLSY79, in the NLSY97 college only increases the likelihood of working in jobs that require both math and social skills. This is despite the fact that the largest returns to working in both cognitive and cognitive-social jobs are similar in the NLSY97.



Estimating the effects of TPP

Adams SJ, Doering JJ, Venkatesh S.

Abstract : We use claims data from medicaid and private health insurance providers across wisconsin to estimate the effects of the Periscope project on the health outcomes of patients, health expenditures and provider changes.



Are the Returns to Education Still Rising?

Venkatesh S.

Abstract : I confirm the findings of Castex & Dechter (2014) that the returns to an undergraduate degree increase for workers aged 19-28 between the NLSY79 and NLSY97. I then expand this to ages 19-35. The increase in the returns disappears. I also follow Ashworth et.al. (2019) and split the NLSY79 into those born before and after 1960 again confirming increasing returns to an undergraduate degree between the two groups for those 19-28. Yet, even in this earlier time period the returns do not increase for workers 29-35.



Changes in the Returns to Education : Evidence from Three Cohorts of the NLSY

Venkatesh S.

Abstract : I study the changes in the returns to education for men over time using three cohorts of the NLS. I find an increase in the college wage premium conditional on cognitive ability and occupation, from 35% for those born between 1941 and 1952 to 56% for those born between 1957 and 1964 followed by a fall to 41% for those born between 1980 and 1984. This fall is in contrast to previous research on the topic. I also find a similar pattern for high school graduates and those with some college. I find that this drop in the returns to education seems to come from those in the bottom half of the wage distribution. I also decompose the change in unconditional returns to education over this time and find that cognitive ability plays a larger role than occupational sorting and non-cognitive ability in these changes but collectively don't account for all of the change.