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  • 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.

     Coronavirus Vaccine Refusal and Hesitancy: Metro versus Nonmetro Differences

    This paper highlights Covid-19 vaccine behavior among Medicare beneficiaries. Data are from the Winter 2021, Covid-19 supplement to the Medicare Beneficiary Survey. Results of data analysis suggest that slightly more than one-in-three metro and nonmetro residents do not want to get vaccinated; vaccine side effects are a major concern. It is recommended that marketing communications highlight that the vaccine is safe and effective.

    Supplier-Induced Demand and Telemedicine in Rural Illinois: An Exploratory Analysis

    This paper explores the market for telehealth in rural Illinois; specifically, the argument that medical practitioners have the ability to generate demand for telemedicine services is empirically tested using data from the Medicare Beneficiary Survey, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and telemedicine use data from Center for Medicare Services. Results suggest that telemedicine use in the rural Midwest is around 40%, Covid-19 made one-in-three Midwesterners aware about telemedicine, and the service is associated with communities that have fewer healthcare professionals.

    Unused Human Resources in Rural Illinois: A Profile of “Not in the Labor Force” Population, January – October 2021

    This paper uses the concept of ‘labor reserve’ to highlight the potential supply of labor in rural Illinois. Labor reserve encompasses those nonparticipants who are most likely to join the labor force under more favorable social conditions. For rural Illinois, this number is around 26,281 persons, majority of them female.

    The Dynamics of Rural Illinois’ Human Capital

    This paper shows educational attainment by race and gender for rural Illinois. Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) were used to calibrate a human capital metric for rural Illinois. Results show that White females contribute the most to the human capital stock for rural Illinois.

    Explaining Outmigration Intentions of Rural Population

    This study uses data from a recent Ipsos survey, Understanding Society: Wave 1 April 2021 2 , to explore the determinants of outmigration intentions of rural residents. Results of empirical analysis show that the odds of a person in the 18-24 age group liking to live in the city is 42 times higher than a person in the 25-34 age group, and 72,000 times higher than a person in the 50+ age category.

    Direct Mail Advertisements and Their Economic Contributions: The Case of Rural Illinois

    Any unsolicited advertising sent to potential customers through the mail is called “direct mail”. Illinois is home to 109 direct mail enterprises; the state is fifth largest in market concentration of direct mail businesses. In economics, advertising is considered a social waste. This paper is an empirical assessment of the contribution of direct mail to the GRP of rural Illinois. Results suggest that the share of direct mail in the GRP of rural Illinois is $1.549billion; 2% of rural Illinois’ GRP.

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