Flipping Burgers In High School Not The Career-Starter It Used To Be

Teenage fast food worker

We examine whether the benefits of high school work experience have changed over the last 20 years by comparing effects for the 1979 and 1997 cohorts of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Our main specifications suggest that the future wage benefits of working 20 hours per week in the senior year of high school have fallen from 8.3 percent for the earlier cohort, measured in 1987-1989, to 4.4 percent for the later one, in 2008-2010. Moreover, the gains of work are largely restricted to women and have diminished over time for them. We are able to explain about five-eighths of the differential between cohorts, with most of this being attributed to the way that high school employment is related to subsequent adult work experience and occupational attainment.

The Changing Benefits of Early Work Experience

When It’s Good To Be The Little Guy

DSC01157

We explore the effects of having a large dominant competitor and show conditions under which focusing on a competitive threat, rather than hiding it, can actually help a brand. We demonstrate through lab and field studies that highlighting a large competitor’s size and close proximity can help smaller brands instead of harming them. We find that support for small brands goes up when faced with a competitive threat from large brands, versus when they are in competition with brands that are similar to them, or when consumers view them outside of a competitive context. This support translates into purchase intention, real purchase, and more favorable online reviews in a study of over 10,000 Yelp posts. We argue that this “framing the game effect” is mediated by consumers’ motivation to express their views and have an impact in the marketplace through their purchasing.

Positioning Brands Against Large Competitors to Increase Sales

Mobile Is Different

ghana_farmer on cell phone

Mobile is different. It started, like PCs, as a toy for rich people, but in the last 20 years it has spread such that 85% of the earth’s population is under cellular coverage – more than mains electricity (80%) and close to the same as access to improved water (90%). 3G networks cover around 60% and will grow to 90% by 2019. Somewhere between 3.5bn and 4bn people now have a phone, depending on your assumptions (there are several billion more SIMs but much duplication). This continues to grow fast, pushing into some very low income groups: the average monthly spend in India is $3-4. In the last decade we’ve discovered that the value of a phone actually increases as income falls – in the developed markets they sit at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, but for a poor farmer in rural Africa or an Indian fisherman they solve problems much further down the scale.

Benedict Evans

August Consumer Confidence

U.S. consumer confidence increased to a reading of 92.4 (1985=100) in August, as published this morning by The Conference Board. This compares to a revised reading of 90.3 in July, and is the highest consumer confidence has been since October 2007.

The Present Situation Index component increased to 94.6 from 89.7, while the Expectations Index component decreased to 90.9 from 91.9.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: “Consumer confidence increased for the fourth consecutive month as improving business conditions and robust job growth helped boost consumers’ spirits. Looking ahead, consumers were marginally less optimistic about the short-term outlook compared to July, primarily due to concerns about their earnings. Overall, however, they remain quite positive about the short-term outlooks for the economy and labor market.”

CB Confidence

The U.S. consumer sentiment index, reported by the University of Michigan, decreased to 79.2 in August from 81.8 in July.

Michigan Sentiment

The Conference Board’s index has been trending upwards in 2014 while the University of Michigan’s index has been relatively flat.

Consumer Confidence

House Prices Tick Up In June

S&P Case-Shiller Home Prices increased in June, with the 10-City composite and 20-city composite indices both ticking up 1.0% (not seasonally adjusted).

Year over year, the 20-City Composite is up 8.1%. This is a rapid growth rate, but is considerably lower than the 9.4% Y/Y rate in May and the 13.6% Y/Y rate in October 2013.

20-City

The national house price level is now roughly equal to where it stood in October 2004.

National Index

Of the 20 cities tracked in the index, Los Angeles has had the greatest increase in home prices since 2000, while Detroit has been the only city where prices have declined over the past 14 years.

Case-Shiller Cities 100

From a year ago, house prices have increased the most in Las Vegas, where they rose 15.2%. Cleveland has had the slowest rate of annual increase, rising only 0.8%.

Case-Shiller Cities Annual Change

Dallas and Denver are the only cities whose prices have increased beyond their pre-recession peak. Las Vegas remains the furthest below its peak.

Case-Shiller Table

The U.S.Federal Housing Finance Agency also released its June House Price Index figures today. They saw national house prices increasing 0.4% in June (not seasonally adjusted), and increasing 5.1% from a year ago.

The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages either sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

FHFA Change

The U.S. index is 6.4% below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as its July 2005 index level.

FHFA Index Level

The FHFA tracks 9 different geographic census divisions.

Census Dividions

In both the Case-Shiller index and the FHFA index house prices continue to increase, but the pace is slowing.