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Baker, Michael 1959-

Works: 57 works in 293 publications in 1 language and 2,171 library holdings
Genres: Longitudinal studies 
Roles: Author
Classifications: HB1, 330
Publication Timeline
Publications about Michael Baker
Publications by Michael Baker
Most widely held works by Michael Baker
Earnings dynamics and inequality among Canadian men, 1976-1992 : evidence from longitudinal income tax records by Michael Baker( Book )
19 editions published between 1997 and 1999 in English and held by 123 libraries worldwide
Several recent studies have found that earnings inequality in Canada has grown considerably since the late 1970's. Using an extraordinary data base drawn from longitudinal income tax records, we decompose this growth in earnings inequality into its persistent and transitory components. We find that the growth in earnings inequality reflects both an increase in long-run inequality and an increase in earnings instability. The large size of our earnings panel allows us to estimate and test richer models of earnings dynamics than could be supported by the relatively small panel surveys used in U.S. research. The Canadian data strongly reject several restrictions commonly imposed in the U.S. literature, and they also suggest that imposing these evidently false restrictions may lead to distorted inferences about earnings dynamics and inequality trends
Gender composition and wages : why is Canada different from the United States? by Michael Baker( Book )
13 editions published between 1998 and 2000 in English and held by 102 libraries worldwide
The retirement behavior of married couples : evidence from the Spouse's Allowance by Michael Baker( Book )
12 editions published in 1999 in English and held by 81 libraries worldwide
I examine the effects of the introduction of the Spouse's Allowance to the Canadian Income Security (IS) system on the retirement behavior of couples. This program was effectively targeted at females in couples attempting to live on a single pension. It allowed qualifying spouses to receive the age related benefits of the IS system at age 60, up to five years earlier than other members of the population. This policy intervention provides an excellent opportunity to investigate how income security programs affect the timing of retirement, and how programs targeted at one spouse can affect the behavior of the other. The results indicate that the introduction of the Allowance is associated with a relative increase in the labor force rates of 6 to 7 percentage points among males in eligible couples. Eligible females did not share the rising employment rates over the 1970s experienced by their counterparts (of the same age) who were not eligible for the Spouse's Allowance
Occupational gender composition and wages in Canada, 1987-1988 by Michael Baker( Book )
15 editions published between 1999 and 2000 in English and held by 66 libraries worldwide
The relationship between occupational gender composition and wages is the basis of pay equity/comparable worth legislation. A number of previous studies have examined this relationship in US data, identifying some of the determinants of low wages in female jobs'' well as important limitations of public policy in this area. There is little evidence, however, from other jurisdictions. This omission is particularly disturbing in the case of Canada, which now has some of the most extensive pay equity legislation in the world. In this paper we provide a comprehensive picture, circa the late 1980's, of the occupational gender segregation in Canada and its consequences for wages. The sample period precedes many provincial pay equity initiatives and thus the results should provide a baseline for the evaluation of this legislation. We find that the estimated wage penalties in female jobs in Canada are generally much smaller than the estimates for the United States. Although there is some heterogeneity across worker groups on average, the link between female wages and gender composition is small and not statistically significant
The retirement incentive effects of Canada's income security programs by Michael Baker( Book )
15 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 66 libraries worldwide
Like most other developed nations, Canada has a large income security system for retirement that provides significant and widely varying disincentives to work at older ages. Empirical investigation of their effects has been hindered by lack of appropriate data. We provide an empirical analysis of the retirement incentives of the Canadian Income Security (IS) system using a new and comprehensive administrative data base. We find that the work disincentives inherent in the Canadian IS system have large and statistically significant impacts on retirement. This suggests that program reform can play some role in responses to the fiscal crises these programs periodically experience. We also demonstrate the importance of controlling for lifetime earnings in retirement models. Specifications without these controls overestimate the effects of the IS system. Finally, our estimates vary in sensible ways across samples lending greater confidence to our estimates
What do self-reported, objective, measures of health measure? by Michael Baker( Book )
13 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 65 libraries worldwide
Abstract: Survey reports of the incidence of chronic conditions are considered by many researchers to be more objective, and thus preferable, measures of unobserved health status than self-assessed measures of global well being. The former are 1) responses to specific questions about different ailments, which may constrain the likelihood that respondents rationalize their own behavior through their answers, and 2) more comparable across respondents. In this paper we evaluate this hypothesis by exploring measurement error in these 'objective, self-reported' measures of health. Our analysis makes use of a unique data set that matches a variety of self-reports of health with respondents' medical records. Our findings are striking. For example, the ratio of the error variance to the total variance ranges from just over 30 percent for the incidence of diabetes to over 80 percent for the incidence of arthritis. Furthermore, for many conditions the error is significantly related to individuals' labor market activity, as hypothesized in the literature. In the final section of the paper we compare estimates of the effect of these different measures of health on labor market activity
Does comparable worth work in a decentralized labor market? by Michael Baker( Book )
18 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 65 libraries worldwide
We investigate the effect of pro-active comparable worth legislation covering both the public and private sectors on wages, the gender wage gap and the gender composition of employment. The focus is the pay equity initiative of the Canadian province of Ontario in the early 1990s. We document substantial lapses in compliance and problems with the implementation of the law among smaller firms where the majority of men and women work. This evidence provides important lessons of the obstacles to extending pay equity to the private sector of a decentralized labor market. When we focus on those sectors of the labor market where compliance was relatively strict, our results suggest that any positive effects on the wages of women in female jobs were very modest. Our most consistently estimated effects of the law on wages are negative: slower wage growth for women in male jobs and for men in female jobs
Simulating the response to reform of Canada's income security programs by Michael Baker( Book )
11 editions published in 2003 in English and held by 60 libraries worldwide
Abstract: We explore the fiscal implications of reforms to the Canadian retirement income system by decomposing the fiscal effect of reforms into two components. The mechanical effect captures the change in the government's budget assuming no behavioral response to the reform. The second component is the fiscal implication of the behavioral effect, which captures the influence of any induced changes in elderly labor supply on government budgets. We find that the behavioral response can account for up to half of the total impact of reform on government budgets. The behavioral response affects government budgets not only in the retirement income system but also through increased income, payroll, and consumption tax revenue on any induced labor market earnings among the elderly. We show that fully accounting for the behavioral response to reforms can change the cost estimates and distributive impact of retirement income reforms
The married widow : marriage penalties matter! by Michael Baker( Book )
11 editions published in 2003 in English and held by 59 libraries worldwide
Marriage penalties are a controversial feature of many government policies. Empirical evidence of their behavioral effects is quite mixed. This is surprising because economic theory predicts that they should have an impact on the headship decision. We investigate the removal of marriage penalties from the surviving spouse pensions of the Canadian public pension system in the 1980s. These reforms provide a simple and transparent source of identification. Our results indicate that marriage penalties can have large and persistent effects on marriage decisions. We also present evidence suggesting that it is individuals with characteristics correlated with greater wealth who respond to the penalties
Unemployment in the stock and flow by Michael Baker( Book )
4 editions published in 1996 in English and held by 44 libraries worldwide
A framework for the dynamic analysis of unemployment is presented, and applied to Canadian and U.S. data. The focus of the analysis is upon the distinction between being unemployed and becoming unemployed, that is, between the stock and the flow of unemployment. The share of a particular group in the stock of unemployed will differ from its share in the flow into unemployment to the extent that the average duration of unemployment for the group differs from the economy wide average. An analysis of Canadian and U.S. data leads to a series of stylized facts that permit a deeper understanding of unemployment in the two countries, and of the differences between them. Significant differences in the average duration of unemployment imply that stock shares are not good indicators of flow shares, changes in the stock share of some groups are due to changes in the flow share, while for others they are due to changes in the length of unemployment spells. Explanations of the Canada - U.S. unemployment rate gap should try to accommodate at least three facts uncovered by the analysis: (1) that employer initiated permanent separations are the primary means of entry into unemployment in Canada, while labour force entry plays a more important role in the US; (2) unemployment spells are significantly longer in Canada than in the U.S. because of longer spells for most groups regardless of reason for unemployment, not because of a compositional difference in the make up of the unemployed; and (3) that longer spell duration and a higher incidence of unemployment contribute about equally to the trend increase in the Canada-U.S. unemployment differential during the 1980s
Universal childcare, maternal labor supply, and family well-being by Michael Baker( Book )
11 editions published between 2005 and 2006 in English and held by 42 libraries worldwide
The growing labor force participation of women with small children in both the U.S. and Canada has led to calls for increased public financing for childcare. The optimality of public financing depends on a host of factors, such as the "crowd-out" of existing childcare arrangements, the impact on female labor supply, and the effects on child well-being. The introduction of universal, highly-subsidized childcare in Quebec in the late 1990s provides an opportunity to address these issues. We carefully analyze the impacts of Quebec's "$5 per day childcare" program on childcare utilization, labor supply, and child (and parent) outcomes in two parent families. We find strong evidence of a shift into new childcare use, although approximately one third of the newly reported use appears to come from women who previously worked and had informal arrangements. The labor supply impact is highly significant, and our measured elasticity of 0.136 is slightly smaller than previous credible estimates. Finally, we uncover striking evidence that children are worse off in a variety of behavioral and health dimensions, ranging from aggression to motor-social skills to illness. Our analysis also suggests that the new childcare program led to more hostile, less consistent parenting, worse parental health, and lower-quality parental relationships
How does job-protected maternity leave affect mothers' employment and infant health? by Michael Baker( Book )
12 editions published between 2004 and 2005 in English and held by 40 libraries worldwide
Maternity leaves can affect mothers' and infants' welfare if they first affect the amount of time working women stay at home post birth. We provide new evidence of the labor supply effects of these leaves from an analysis of the introduction and expansion of job-protected maternity leave in Canada. The substantial variation in leave entitlements across mothers by time and space is likely exogenous to their unobserved characteristics. This is important because unobserved heterogeneity correlated with leave entitlement potentially biases many previous studies of this topic. We find that modest mandates of 17-18 weeks do not increase the time mothers spend at home. The physical demands of birth and private arrangements appear to render short mandates redundant. These mandates do, however, decrease the proportion of women quitting their jobs, increase leave taking, and increase the proportion returning to their pre-birth employers. In contrast, we find that expansions of job-protected leaves to lengths up to 70 weeks do increase the time spent at home (as well as leave-taking and job continuity). We also examine whether this increase in time at home affects infant health, finding no evidence of an effect on the incidence of low birth weight or infant mortality
Maternal employment, breastfeeding, and health : evidence from maternity leave mandates by Michael Baker( Book )
9 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 30 libraries worldwide
"Public health agencies around the world have renewed efforts to increase the incidence and duration of breastfeeding. Maternity leave mandates present an economic policy that could help achieve these goals. We study their efficacy focusing on a significant increase in maternity leave mandates in Canada. We find very large increases in mothers' time away from work post-birth and in the attainment of critical breastfeeding duration thresholds. However, we find little impact on the self-reported indicators of maternal and child health captured in our data."--Abstract
Evidence from maternity leave expansions of the impact of maternal care on early child development by Michael Baker( Book )
8 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 20 libraries worldwide
We study the impact of maternal care on early child development using an expansion in Canadian maternity leave entitlements. Following the leave expansion, mothers who took leave spent between 48 and 58 percent more time not working in the first year of their children's lives. We find that this extra maternal care primarily crowded out home-based care by unlicensed non-relatives, and replaced mostly full-time work. However, the estimates suggest a weak impact of the increase in maternal care on indicators of child development. Measures of family environment and motor-social development showed changes very close to zero. Some improvements in temperament were observed but occurred both for treated and untreated children
Retirement income security and well-being in Canada by Michael Baker( Book )
9 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 16 libraries worldwide
A large international literature has documented the labor market distortions associated with social security benefits for near-retirees. In this paper, we investigate the "other side" of social security programs, seeking to document improvements in wellbeing arising from the provision of public pensions. To the extent households adjust their savings and employment behavior to account for enhanced retirement benefits, the positive impact of the benefits may be crowded out. We proceed by using the large variation across birth cohorts in income security entitlements in Canada that arise from reforms to the programs over the past 35 years. This variation allows us to explore the effects of benefits on elderly well-being while controlling for other factors that affect well-being over time and by age. We examine measures of income, consumption, poverty, and happiness. For income, we find large increases in income corresponding to retirement benefit increases, suggesting little crowd out. Consumption also shows increases, although smaller in magnitude than for income. We find larger retirement benefits diminish income poverty rates, but have no discernable impact on consumption poverty measures. This could indicate smoothing of consumption through savings or other mechanisms. Finally, our limited happiness measures show no definitive effect
Boy-girl differences in parental time investments : evidence from three countries by Michael Baker( Book )
5 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 12 libraries worldwide
We study differences in the time parents spend with boys and girls at preschool ages in Canada, the UK and the US. We refine previous evidence that fathers commit more time to boys, showing this greater commitment emerges with age and is not present for very young children. We next examine differences in specific parental teaching activities such as reading and the use of number and letters. We find the parents commit more of this time to girls, starting at ages as young as 9 months. We explore possible explanations of this greater commitment to girls including explicit parental preference and boy-girl differences in costs of these time inputs. Finally, we offer evidence that these differences in time inputs are important: in each country the boy-girl difference in inputs can account for a non-trivial proportion of the boy-girl difference in preschool reading and math scores
Industrial actions in schools : strikes and student achievement by Michael Baker( Book )
7 editions published in 2011 in English and held by 9 libraries worldwide
While many jurisdictions ban teacher strikes on the assumption that they harm students, there is surprisingly little research on this question. The majority of existing studies make cross section comparisons of students who do or do not experience a strike, and report that strikes do not affect student performance. I present new estimates from a sample of strikes in the Canadian province of Ontario over the period 1998-2005. The empirical strategy controls for fixed student characteristics at the school cohort level. The results indicate that teacher strikes in grades 2 or 3 have on average a small, negative and statistically insignificant effect on grade 3 through grade 6 test score growth, although there is some heterogeneity across school boards. The effect of strikes in grades 5 and 6 on grade 3 through grade 6 score growth is negative, much larger and statistically significant. The largest impact is on math scores: 29 percent of the standard deviation of test scores across school/grade cohorts
Maternity leave and children's cognitive and behavioral development by Michael Baker( Book )
6 editions published in 2011 in English and held by 8 libraries worldwide
We investigate the impact of maternity leave on the cognitive and behavioral development of children at ages 4 and 5. The impact is identified by legislated increases in the duration of maternity leave in Canada, which significantly increased the amount of maternal care children received in the second half of their first year. We carefully document that other observable inputs to child development do not vary across cohorts of children exposed to different maternity leave regimes. Our results indicate that these changes had no positive effect on indices of children's cognitive and behavioral development. We uncover a small negative impact on PPVT and Who Am I? scores, which suggests the timing of the mother/child separation due to the mother's return to work may be important
Non-cognitive deficits and young adult outcomes the long-run impacts of a universal child care program by Michael Baker( Book )
6 editions published in 2015 in English and held by 5 libraries worldwide
Past research has demonstrated that positive increments to the non-cognitive development of children can have long-run benefits. We test the symmetry of this contention by studying the effects of a sizeable negative shock to non-cognitive skills due to the introduction of universal child care in Quebec. We first confirm earlier findings showing reduced contemporaneous non-cognitive development following the program introduction in Quebec, with little impact on cognitive test scores. We then show these non-cognitive deficits persisted to school ages, and also that cohorts with increased child care access subsequently had worse health, lower life satisfaction, and higher crime rates later in life. The impacts on criminal activity are concentrated in boys. Our results reinforce previous evidence on the central role of non-cognitive skills for long-run success
Mortality inequality in Canada and the U.S. : divergent or convergent trends? by Michael Baker( file )
3 editions published in 2017 in English and held by 0 libraries worldwide
Abstract: Mortality is a crucial dimension of wellbeing and inequality in a population, and mortality trends have been at the core of public debates in many Western countries. In this paper, we provide the first analysis of mortality inequality in Canada and compare its development to trends in the U.S. We find strong reductions in mortality rates across both genders and at all ages, with the exception of middle ages which only experienced moderate improvements. Inequality in mortality, measured across Canadian Census Divisions, decreased for infants and small children, while it increased slightly at higher ages. In comparison to the U.S., mortality levels in Canada improved at a similar rate despite lower initial levels. Inequality at younger ges, however, fell more strongly in the U.S., implying converging mortality gradients between the two countries
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Alternative Names
Baker, M. J.
Baker, Michael.
Baker, William Michael Douglas 1959-
English (207)
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