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Austin Nichols


Senior Research Associate
Income and Benefits Policy Center

Austin Nichols is a Senior Research Associate in The Urban Institute's Income and Benefits Policy Center (and an affiliate of the Tax Policy Center and the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research) who specializes in applied econometrics, labor economics, and public finance. His research focuses on the well-being of families and social insurance programs, including work on child poverty, disability insurance, income volatility, and economic mobility (within and across generations). He also studies education, health, and labor market interventions, and determinants of poverty and economic inequality. He holds an MPP from Harvard and a PhD in Economics from the Unversity of Michigan.

Publications


Viewing 1-10 of 64. Most recent posts listed first.Next Page >>

Evolving Patterns in Diversity: Mapping America's Futures, Brief 2 (Research Report)
Steven Martin, Nan Astone, H. Elizabeth Peters, Rolf Pendall, Austin Nichols, Kaitlin Franks, Allison Stolte

From 2010 to 2030 the United States will become more racially and ethnically diverse, but demographic projections suggest the patterns of increasing diversity will vary widely across cities and regions. We project changes in the population shares across geographies for four major groups: Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic others. Though growing diversity across the United States will be welcome in many ways, it will also bring challenges to areas in which different groups increase in population share.

Posted to Web: January 20, 2015Publication Date: January 20, 2015

Children and Youth in an Aging America: Mapping America's Futures, Brief 3 (Research Report)
Nan Astone, Allison Stolte, Steven Martin, Kaitlin Franks, H. Elizabeth Peters, Rolf Pendall, Austin Nichols

Across the United States, both the elder population-those older than 64-and the younger population-those younger than 20-will grow over the next 15 years. The growth of the elder population is ubiquitous, and the growth of the younger population is more geographically variable. We consider the implications of this growth for generational balance across the United States, using an average scenario of America's future. Areas with growing populations will need to invest resources in a young population growing apace and an elder population growing faster than the overall population.

Posted to Web: January 20, 2015Publication Date: January 20, 2015

The Labor Force in an Aging and Growing America: Mapping America's Futures, Brief 4 (Research Report)
Austin Nichols, Steven Martin, Nan Astone, H. Elizabeth Peters, Rolf Pendall, Kaitlin Franks, Allison Stolte

From 2010 to 2030, patterns of labor force participation will change across regions of the United States. In some regions, the primary demographic effect will be changes in age structure, which will drive declines in labor force participation rates. In other regions, in-migration and changes in the racial and ethnic composition of the adult population will primarily increase the numbers of the "dependent population"-people not in the labor force. Still other regions will have to accommodate both sharply declining participation rates and sharply increasing nonparticipants. These diverse patterns of changes in labor force participation pose different challenges to regions.

Posted to Web: January 20, 2015Publication Date: January 20, 2015

Methodology and Assumptions for the Mapping America's Futures Project: Mapping America's Futures, Brief 5 (Research Report)
Austin Nichols, Steven Martin, Kaitlin Franks

The Mapping America's Futures project has developed multiple series of population projections for 740 commuting zones in the United States by age, race, and ethnicity. This brief explains the assumptions and methodology of our population projections.

Posted to Web: January 20, 2015Publication Date: January 20, 2015

2000-2010 Population Profiles: Atlanta, Las Vegas, Washington, DC, and Youngstown: Mapping America's Futures, Brief 6 (Research Report)
Allison Stolte, Kaitlin Franks, Nan Astone, Steven Martin, Rolf Pendall, H. Elizabeth Peters, Austin Nichols

The Mapping America’s Futures project has developed multiple series of population projections by age, race, and ethnicity for the 740 commuting zones in the United States. This brief examines the diverse population structures and growth patterns across four commuting zones in 2010 to illustrate the variances in populations across the United States that influence the 2030 projections.

Posted to Web: January 20, 2015Publication Date: January 20, 2015

Scenarios for Regional Growth from 2010 to 2030: Mapping America's Futures, Brief 1 (Research Report)
Rolf Pendall, Steven Martin, Nan Astone, Austin Nichols, Kaitlin Franks, Allison Stolte, H. Elizabeth Peters

National population projections from the Census Bureau foresee growth of nearly 49 million people between 2010 and 2030. We explore where in the United States that growth could occur using scenarios from Urban Institute's new "Mapping America’s Futures: Population" tool. The scenarios provide food for thought about how birth, mortality, and migration might play out differently across the nation. All three of these fundamental demographic drivers will affect a region's future age structure, labor force composition, and diversity. Conversely, a region's age structure, labor force composition, and diversity today will affect birth, death, and migration in the future.

Posted to Web: January 20, 2015Publication Date: January 20, 2015

Understanding the Implications of Raising the Minimum Wage in the District of Columbia (Research Report)
Gregory Acs, Laura Wheaton, Maria E. Enchautegui, Austin Nichols

The minimum wage establishes a lower bound on what employers must pay their workers. The federal minimum wage is currently set at $7.25 an hour, but 22 states and the District of Columbia (DC) have established minimum wages above the federal minimum. Today, DC’s minimum wage is set one dollar higher than the federal minimum ($8.25), while the minimum wage in the neighboring jurisdictions of Maryland and Virginia use the federal minimum wage. However, DC and two neighboring counties in Maryland (Prince George’s County and Montgomery County) have passed legislation raising their minimum wages to $11.50 an hour by 2016 and 2017, respectively. This report examines the potential effects of raising DC’s minimum wage on DC workers, their families, and on the government programs that serve them.

Posted to Web: August 12, 2014Publication Date: June 30, 2014

Effects of a Higher Minimum Wage in the District of Columbia (Research Report)
Austin Nichols, Jonathan Schwabish

Over the next two years, the minimum wage in DC will increase in stages, ultimately reaching $11.50 in July 2016, and thereafter DC’s minimum wage will increase with inflation. Based on historical patterns for the DC metro area and an analysis of workers in the food service industry nationwide, we find little evidence that even a substantial increase in minimum wages in DC would result in lower employment. Our estimates of the relationship are imprecise, however, and we cannot rule out modest negative impacts.

Posted to Web: August 12, 2014Publication Date: June 30, 2014

Self-Employment, Family-Business Ownership, and Economic Mobility (Research Report)
Elizabeth Brown, Austin Nichols

Surprisingly little is known about whether self-employment and family businesses promote mobility, despite a recurring theme in the policy discourse of families achieving upward economic and social mobility through entrepreneurship. The rewards of entrepreneurship can be great for those who succeed, but the risks are also greater. Looking over numerous decades of panel data on Americans, we document that family-business owners have more upward mobility and less downward mobility than wage-and-salary workers, but that the self-employed do not outperform other workers.

Posted to Web: May 28, 2014Publication Date: May 28, 2014

Promise Neighborhoods Restricted-Use Data Files: Technical Specification and Requirements (Research Report)
Peter A. Tatian, Christopher Hayes, Austin Nichols

Promise Neighborhoods is a U.S. Department of Education place-based initiative intended to turn neighborhoods of concentrated poverty into neighborhoods of opportunity using a continuum of services from early childhood through college and career. The Promise Neighborhoods model has a strong commitment to results-based planning and improvement using real-time data, and data on solutions implemented and participant outcomes will be collected over multiple years. This specification document details the format of data to be collected for a data file to eventually be made available to researchers via restricted use license from the Department of Education (the Restricted Use Data File).

Additional Research

Measuring Performance: A Guidance Document for Promise Neighborhoods on Collecting Data and Reporting Results
Promise Neighborhood Target Setting Guidance

Posted to Web: September 26, 2013Publication Date: September 26, 2013

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