Speakers:  Who’s Minding the Store? Firm-Level Characteristics and Worker Outcomes

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Uneven Outcomes in the Labor Market

Understanding Trends and Identifying Solutions

A chef plating food, a construction worker reviewing blue prints, a librarian

Who’s Minding the Store? Firm-Level Characteristics and Worker Outcomes
Speakers | February 7, 2024

Michelle Bowman

Federal Reserve Board of Governors

Michelle W. Bowman took office as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on November 26, 2018, to fill an unexpired term ending January 31, 2020. She was reappointed to the Board on January 23, 2020, and sworn in on January 30, 2020, for a term ending January 31, 2034.

Prior to her appointment to the Board, Ms. Bowman served as the state bank commissioner of Kansas from January 2017 to November 2018. She also served as vice president of Farmers & Drovers Bank in Kansas from 2010 to 2017.

In addition to her experience in the banking industry, Ms. Bowman worked in Washington, D.C. for Senator Bob Dole of Kansas from 1995 to 1996 and served as a counsel to the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight between 1997 and 2002. In 2002, Ms. Bowman became director of congressional and intergovernmental affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. From 2003 to 2004, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary and policy advisor to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.

Following her time in Washington, D.C., Ms. Bowman led a government and public affairs consultancy based in London before returning to Kansas in 2010.

Ms. Bowman received a BS in advertising and journalism from the University of Kansas and a JD from the Washburn University School of Law. She is a member of the New York Bar.

Sara Chaganti

Deputy Director, Community Development
Regional & Community Outreach
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Sara Chaganti is deputy director of Community Development Research, where she conducts applied quantitative and qualitative research to inform public policy. She has expertise in labor market disparities, job quality, and career pathways, as well as racial equity and the racial wealth divide. She has published in peer-reviewed journals as well as reports and briefs, and has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Sara holds a PhD in Social Policy and Sociology from Brandeis University.

Andrew Joung

PhD Candidate
University of Michigan

Andrew Joung is a fifth-year PhD Candidate in the Economics Department at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (expected 2025). His research interests are broadly in labor economics, with a focus on unions, the minimum wage, and crime. Andrew is originally from New York and graduated with a BA from Vassar College. Prior to beginning his PhD, he worked at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania as a research coordinator.

Wenting Ma

Assistant Professor of Finance
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Wenting Ma is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research focuses on the intersection of corporate finance and labor economics. Using micro-level data from the Census, the Bureau of Labor Economics, and private data providers, her research investigates how changes in firm ownership or financing affect labor market outcomes and explores factors contributing to earnings disparities among workers. Her research has been featured in outlets such as the Harvard Law School Forum and Harvard Business Review. In 2019, Wenting earned her PhD in Economics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Paige Ouimet

Professor of Finance & Associate Dean of the PhD Program and Executive Director of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise
University of North Carolina

Paige Ouimet’s research agenda sits at the intersection of labor and finance. She is interested in how decisions studied in finance impact employee stakeholders as well as how changes in the U.S. labor force impact corporate finance decisions. Dr. Ouimet has several research projects looking at inequality and the role of firms. She is interested in income inequality as well as broader measures of inequality that reflect differences in non-wage benefits and other job characteristics across workers. Dr. Ouimet has also researched employee share ownership plans (ESOP) and employee stock options and their impact on labor productivity, wages, and turnover.

Her work has been published in the American Economic Review, Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies and Journal of Financial Economics. She received her PhD and MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and her BA from Dartmouth College.

Adria Scharf

Associate Director, Institute for Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing
Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations 

Adria Scharf, PhD, is Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations. Her research examines how different structures of employee ownership affect employee economic security, wealth accumulation, and job quality. She directs the Curriculum Library for Employee Ownership at cleo.rutgers.edu. Scharf earned a PhD in sociology at the University of Washington after graduating from Swarthmore College.

Douglas A. Webber

Senior Economist
Federal Reserve Board of Governors

Dr. Webber is a Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. He has published on a wide variety of topics in the fields of labor economics and the economics of higher education, including: earnings inequality, expenditures in higher education, the gender pay gap, the economic returns to college major, and student loan debt. His research has appeared in scholarly journals such as the Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and Economics of Education Review, as well as popular press outlets such as the New York Times and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He has testified in front of both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives on the topic of student loan policy and higher education finance. 

Dr. Webber holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics and Mathematics from the University of Florida, as well as Masters and PhD Degrees in Economics from Cornell University. Prior to joining the Federal Reserve, Dr. Webber worked as an economist at the Center for Economic Studies at the U.S. Census Bureau, and as a tenured professor at Temple University. 

Nathan Wilmers

Associate Professor
MIT Sloan School of Management

Nathan Wilmers is the Sarofim Family Career Development Associate Professor of Work and Organizations at MIT Sloan. He researches wage and earnings inequality, economic sociology and the sociology of labor. His work has been published in sociology, economics, management, and general science journals. He is currently studying recent trends in US earnings inequality, with a focus on the sources of increasing pay for low-wage workers.

About the Conference

In 2024, community development staff from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and St. Louis are hosting a conference, Uneven Outcomes in the Labor Market: Understanding Trends and Identifying Solutions. The conference will convene a diverse network of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to examine inequities in labor market outcomes and explore the implications of disparities on aggregate economic performance, individual workers, and communities. They will also discuss new directions for policy and research.