2022 Publications


Restaurant Inspections in Illinois: A Control Theory Analysis

Market-regulation is often imposed on industries that generate substantial external costs; restaurants are responsible for majority of foodborne illness in the nation. Data on restaurant inspections for the years 2020, 2021, and January 1, 2022 – May 10, 2022, were processed to gain insights into firm behavior. An analysis of 23,683 cases reveals that 56% of the inspections reported illness-risk-factor violations and retail-practices violations; only 15% of the inspections had no violations.

Labor Mobility in Illinois: Industry by Occupation Analysis

This paper explores whether Covid-19 could have increased the likelihood of job changes of an extreme sort; Illinoisans may have taken jobs outside their interests and below their capacities. Employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Census Bureau were used to gain insights into the issue. Results of data analysis suggest that job-to-job moves declined in 2021, from 240,747 moves in 1st quarter, 2020 to 219,949 moves in 1st quarter, 2021, but the Covid-19 pandemic did not result in random job changes. Another outcome of the research is the transition matrix for occupations by industry; it shows, for example, the likelihood of one moving from an “outdoor” job to a “technology” job.

Job-to-Job Flows in Illinois, 2000-2021

This paper explores the dynamics of labor movements in Illinois using data from the US Census Bureau. Empirical analysis reveals that Covid-19 has altered the level of job-to-job movements, from a pre Covid-19 average of 285,000 moves to 221,610 moves.

Rural Education in Charts, 2000-2022

This paper provides a snapshot of rural educational attainment as at January 2022. Apart from crosstabulations of educational attainment with demographic variables such as gender and age, the paper also estimates Covid-19 impacts on median earnings of the college-educated population, the respiratory illness has increased median earnings by $8,350.

Discouraged Workers in the Nonmetro

This paper explores the personal characteristics of those discouraged over job prospects. Microdata from the Current Population Survey, for three monthly periods, January 2020, January 2021, and January 2022, were compiled to gain insights into the discouraged worker. Results suggest that he number of discouraged workers has declined in the nonmetro, but has increased in the metro and during phase 4 of the Covid-19 pandemic, January 2021, more Blacks than Whites believed that they couldn’t find work.

Rural Residents’ Evaluation of their College Education: Insights from the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Household Economics and Decision Making

This paper explores metro nonmetro differences in value perceptions of college degrees. Responses from 11,648 adults, a nationally representative sample of 18+ year old individuals, were used to gain insights into cost-benefit evaluations of associate / bachelor’s degrees. Results of data analysis suggest that rural residents value a degree in education more than a degree in science & engineering or business studies. Contrary to the common belief that rural residents view higher education as a threat to their chances of retaining their young people, this research shows that rural residents stake their self-esteem on higher education.

Demographics of High-Income Households in Rural Illinois, 2021

This paper presents the profile of high-income households in rural Illinois. Salient findings include: (1) Households in the top quintile accounted for 52% of total household income in rural Illinois; and (2) A typical top-5% household is a single family, two-member household with a female head of household.
To attain a more equitable personal distribution of income, it is recommended that governments focus on motivating individuals to attain positions that are scarce and valued by the society.

Interpreting the Recent Decline in Illinois’ Labor Force: April 2020 – December 2021

This paper focuses on the effects of extraneous factors such as Covid-19 on Illinoisans’ nonparticipation in the labor market. During the early weeks of the pandemic, April 23, 2020 to June 23, 2020, Covid-19 was the main reason for not working for pay or profit.  Later, retirement became the main reason for nonparticipation in the labor force, median value = 38.5%. Family & friends were a major source of financial support for persons whose employer has shut down because of Covid-19. Since April 2020, the retirement rate of the Illinois labor force is 1% per 1-2 weeks’ time period. Nevertheless, there is good news; the labor market is tight. If an Illinoisan needs a job, there is one available.

Telemedicine use in Illinois during the weeks leading to the spread of Covid-19, omicron variant: Insights from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey

Based on the reasoning that behavior is adaptable to changing circumstances, this paper explores whether telemedicine has become common among Illinoisans, since the emergence of Covid-19 in January 2020. Micro data from the US Census’ Household Pulse Survey were analyzed, comparative statics analysis was performed. Results suggest that telemedicine use has declined in Illinois, but college educated population and households with income above $75,000 are using the service more. These clusters or segments should be the target for marketing the service.