Welcome to Bespoke Brunch Reads — a linkfest of the favorite things we read over the past week. The links are mostly market related, but there are some other interesting subjects covered as well. We hope you enjoy the food for thought as a supplement to the research we provide you during the week.

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Labor Markets

Employed in a SNAP? The Impact of Work Requirements on Program Participation and Labor Supply by Colin Gray, Adam Leive, Elena Prager, Kelsey B. Pukelis & Mary Zaki (NBER Working Papers)

Work requirements do little to increase employment among recipients, while pushing out beneficiaries who are entitled to benefits; the authors estimate that simply eliminating work requirements would be a more effective step than new programs to target low-income adults. [Link; soft paywall]

How Does the Dramatic Rise of CPS Non-Response Impact Labor Market Indicators? by Robert Bernhardt, David Munro, and Erin Wolcott (FRB Chicago/Middlebury College Working Paper)

Declining response rates for the Census Current Population Survey explain a significant share of the decline in labor force participation rates reported over the last couple of decades. [Link; 26 page PDF]


Summer Job Market for Teens Is Sweet by Patrick Thomas (WSJ)

With labor markets tight, employers are reaching down the age ladder to fill low prerequisite positions and have driven teen labor force participation to the highest levels since 2008. [Link; paywall]

Sixteen Years Old, $1.7 Million in Revenue: Max Hits It Big as a Pandemic Reseller by Sarah E. Needleman (WSJ)

Huge disruptions in supply chains and massive consumer demand have sent goods markets into a wild frenzy benefitting re-sellers and middlemen that can move quickly to arbitrage prices. [Link; paywall]

Big Shifts

On the Crisis and Inflation, Barron’s Shows How the Past Can Be Prologue by Matthew C. Klein (Barron’s)

A look at a pre-COVID analogue to the pent-up demand and tight supply chains which have sent prices of some goods soaring in recent months, using both data and the words of contemporaries in media reporting. [Link; paywall]

Farewell, Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy by Kevin Roose (NYT)

The combination of high demand, tight labor markets, and wind-downs of investor subsidies are turning the various on-demand apps which fueled a labor-intensive luxury lifestyle for young adults over the past decade into pricey options. [Link; soft paywall]

Cash Management

Banks to Companies: No More Deposits, Please by Nina Trentmann and David Benoit (WJS)

QE purchases have left the banking system flush with cash, and the liability on the other side of that asset is an ocean of deposits which have jammed bank balance sheets. [Link; paywall]

Cryptocurrency Comes to Retirement Plans as Coinbase Teams Up With 401(k) Provider by Anne Tergesen (WSJ)

A small 401(k) provider is partnering with Coinbase to allow workers to allocate up to 5% of their retirement savings to crypto assets. [Link; paywall]

Don’t Forget To Flush

This man spent last year flushing hundreds of toilets. The new fear as the pandemic wanes: Legionnaires’ disease by Elizabeth Weise (USA Today)

A side effect of emptied out buildings during the pandemic: stagnant water. Maintenance staff has spent untold hours simply running faucets and flushing toilets to prevent standing water from becoming a breeding ground for pathogens even deadlier than COVID. [Link]


Plug In or Gas Up? Why Driving on Electricity is Better than Gasoline by David Reichmuth (The Equation)

As the US grid shifts to renewables, the emissions advantages of electric vehicles are extending their lead over gasoline-powered cars even accounting for the CO2 intensity of electrical generation. [Link]

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Have a great weekend!

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