Rob Valletta is a Research Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, where he began working in 1995. Prior to that, he was an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of California, Irvine. In addition, he spent a year (2000-2001) as a consultant at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France. He holds an A.B. degree (1982) from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D (1987) from Harvard University, both in economics.

Dr. Valletta’s research is in the areas of labor economics and applied econometrics. His core research agenda has focused on topics such as job mobility and job security, unemployment, income inequality and poverty (including cross-national comparisons), and the effects of employer-provided health insurance on labor market outcomes. His published work has appeared in general interest journals such as The Review of Economics and Statistics, leading U.S. journals in labor economics (e.g., Journal of Labor Economics, Industrial and Labor Relations Review), and in European journals including Economica and the Review of Income and Wealth.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in February 2007.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 10194

Wage gaps between workers with a college or graduate degree and those with only a high school degree rose rapidly in the United States during the 1980s. Since then, the rate of growth in these wage gaps has progressively slowed, and though the gaps remain large, they were essentially unchanged...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9738
Robert G. Valletta, Leila Bengali, Catherine van der List

We examine the determinants of involuntary part-time employment, focusing on variation associated with the business cycle and variation attributable to more persistent structural features of the labor market. Our theoretical framework distinguishes between workers' decision to seek part-time work and employer demand for part-time work hours, emphasizing demand and supply...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8784
published in: American Economic Review, 2015, 105 (5), 171 - 176

Unemployment Insurance benefit durations were extended during the Great Recession, reaching 99 weeks for most recipients. The extensions were rolled back and eventually terminated by the end of 2013. Using matched CPS data from 2008-2014, we estimate the effect of extended benefits on unemployment exits separately during the earlier period...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8247
published in: IZA Journal of Labor Policy, 2014, 3

In response to the 2007-09 “Great Recession,” the maximum duration of U.S. unemployment benefits was increased from the normal level of 26 weeks to an unprecedented 99 weeks. I estimate the impact of these extensions on job search, comparing them with the more limited extensions associated with the milder 2001...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8022

Despite unprecedented extensions of available unemployment insurance (UI) benefits during the "Great Recession" of 2007-09 and its aftermath, large numbers of recipients exhausted their maximum available UI benefits prior to finding new jobs. Using SIPP panel data and an event-study regression framework, we examine the household income patterns of individuals...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7347
revised version published in: Journal of Human Resources, 2015, 50(4), 873-909

In response to the Great Recession and sustained labor market downturn, the availability of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits was extended to historical highs in the United States. We exploit variation in the timing and size of UI benefit extensions across states to estimate the overall impact of these extensions on...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7002
published in: Labour Economics, 2013, 25, 86–97

A recent decline in geographic mobility in the United States may have been caused in part by falling house prices, through the "lock in" effects of financial constraints faced by households whose housing debt exceeds the market value of their home. I analyze the relationship between such "house lock" and...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6946
published in: Review of Income and Wealth, 2014, 60 (S1)

This paper presents the Economic Security Index (ESI), a new, more comprehensive measure of economic insecurity. By combining data from multiple surveys, we create an integrated measure of volatility in available household resources, accounting for fluctuations in income and out-of-pocket medical expenses, as well as financial wealth sufficient to buffer...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6402
published in: Contemporary Economic Policy, 2014, 32(4)

Using data on 24 teachers and 982 students from a 2006 survey of California high school economics classes, we assess the effects of student and teacher characteristics on student achievement. We estimate value-added models of outcomes on multiple choice and essay exams, with matched classroom pairs for each teacher enabling...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5832
published as 'A Search and Matching Approach to Labor Markets: Did the Natural Rate of Unemployment Rise?' in: Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2012, 26 (3), 3-26

The U.S. economy is recovering from the financial crisis and ensuing deep recession, but the unemployment rate has remained stubbornly high. Some have argued that the persistent elevation of unemployment relative to historical norms reflects the fact that the shocks that hit the economy were especially disruptive to labor markets...