Is the US Social Security System Helping the Economy? (May 2018)

On the macro-level, frugality or extreme saving is not always a good thing because the economy needs a certain level of consumption to work properly. In this essay, I show that the US retirement plan system, where current earners make contribution to the collective “savings” account (the Social Security Trust Funds) rather than to their individual savings account, keeps people from over-saving their earnings. This is because as the mandatory social security contribution reduces the amount of private saving, which is only true when the certain conditions are met. I reviewed various financial indicators to show that the US public pension plan is keeping the saving rate at the level to maintain the sound consumption level.

Does Higher Education Imply a Longer Unemployment Duration in the US? (Summer 2017)

Average Unemployment Duration by Education Level in the US (2015-2017)
Data Source: Author’s Calculation Based on Current Population Survey

I show that a person with an advanced degree, such as a Master’s or Doctorate degree, tends to experience longer unemployment durations in the United States, compared to high-school or college graduates. It is because highly-educated populations tend to have a higher reservation wage, the lowest wage rate at which they’re willing to take the offer, and companies with a high level of wage or salary are selective in their hiring decision.

Social and Economic Factors Behind Mental Health Disorders Among Asian American Women (2016)

Source: BU Today

Professor Hyeouk “Chris” Hahm and I had a chance to speak with Rich Barlow (BU Today) about the book chapter that I had an honor to co-author. The chapter is an attempt to understand contextual factors that affect the parents of Asian American women with a history of self-harm and suicidal attempts. The chapter concludes that the parents demonstrate common socio-economic backgrounds, such as having one or more health concern(s), marital discord and traumatic experience(s) in their country of origin. The full text is available upon request.