Michael Ransom completed his Ph. D. in Economics at Princeton University in 1983. He began his career at the University of Arizona. He is currently Professor of Economics at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where he has taught since 1988. He has also taught at Princeton University as a visiting professor. He currently serves on the editorial board of Contemporary Economic Policy. He formerly served on the editorial boards of American Economic Review and Economic Inquiry.

His recent research examines a variety of topics, including male/female differences in labor market outcomes, monopsony in the labor market, retirement savings, and issues related to the academic labor market.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in November 2003.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 11110
Published in: Economics of Education Review, 2018, 64 (1), 75-89

We examine the extent to which participation in high school athletics has beneficial effects on future education, labor market, and health outcomes. Due to the absence of plausible instruments in observational data, we use recently developed methods that relate selection on observables with selection on unobservables to estimate bounds on...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10193
published in: Research in Labor Economics, 2017, 45, 129-171

In this paper we examine the occupational distribution of individuals who hold bachelor degrees in particular fields in the United States using data from the various waves of the National Survey of College Graduates. We propose and calculate indexes that describe two related aspects of the occupational distribution by major...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7001
published in: Journal of Economic Inequality, 2014, 12(3), 315-338.

Our study evaluates and extends existing wage decomposition methodologies that seek to measure the contributions of endowments, pure wage discrimination, and job segregation. Of particular interest is the model of hierarchical segregation in Baldwin, Butler, and Johnson (2001). We employ data from a regional supermarket that faced a Title VII...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6960
revised version published in: Southern Economic Journal, 2015, 82(2), 430–452

We analyze the pay and position of 1,009 faculty members who teach in doctoral-granting economics departments at fifty-three large public universities in the United States. Using the Web of Science, we have identified the journal articles published by these scholars and the number of times each of these articles has...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5437
published in Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2013, 66 (2), 346-379.

Using nine years of personnel records from a regional grocery store chain in the United States, this study examines the effect of manager ethnicity on the ethnic composition of employment at the firm's 73 stores. We estimate separate models with store fixed effects for several departments and job titles at...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4915
published as 'Labor Market Monopsony' in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2010, 28 (4), 203 - 210

This brief survey contains a review of several new empirical papers that attempt to measure the extent of monopsony in labor markets. As noted originally by Joan Robinson, monopsonistic exploitation represents the gap between the value of a worker's marginal product and the worker's wage, and it represents both a...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4271
published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2010, 28 (2), 331 - 335

In the context of certain dynamic models, it is possible to infer the elasticity of labor supply to the firm from the elasticity of the quit rate with respect to the wage. Using this property, we estimate the average labor supply elasticity to public school districts in Missouri. We take...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 2939
published in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2011, 93 (1), 228 - 243

In this paper we document the importance of framing effects in the retirement savings decisions of college professors. Pensions in many post-secondary institutions are funded by a combination of an employer contribution and a mandatory employee contribution. Employees can also make tax-deferred contributions to a supplemental savings account. A standard...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 1870
published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2010, 28(2), 267-289

We use a simple framework, adopted from general equilibrium search models, to estimate the extent to which monopsony power (or labor market frictions) can account for gender differences in pay, using data from a chain of regional grocery stores. In this framework, the elasticity of labor supply to the firm...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 704
published in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2005, 58 (2), 219-237

In this paper we analyze eight years of employment data of a regional grocery store chain in the U.S. The data include job titles, wage rates, and earnings for all employees. We examine initial job assignments, mobility between departments, and mobility into supervisory and management positions in the firm. We...