Young

Cristobal Young

Affiliations
Assistant Professor of Sociology, Stanford University
Areas of Expertise:
  • Inequality & the Middle Class
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Economic Growth & Innovation
  • Jobs & Workers
  • Public Budgets & Taxes

Connect with Cristobal

About Cristobal

Young studies two core areas relating to economic inequality in America. From one end of the income spectrum, he studies the experience of unemployment and the effects of the Unemployment Insurance program. From the other end of the spectrum, he studies the demography of the elite, and the migration of millionaires in response to top tax rates. He has worked with tax administration officials in California, New Jersey, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury to access confidential tax return data on the economic elite.

Briefs

Why Public Transit Helps Young People Get Work

  • Anna Lunn
  • Christof Brandtner
  • Cristobal Young

Publications

"Spatial Mismatch and Youth Unemployment in US Cities: Public Transportation as a Labor Market Institution" (with Anna Lunn and Cristobal Young). Socio-Economic Review (2017).

Tests whether better public transit services reduce youth unemployment. 

"Millionaire Migration and Taxation of the Elite: Evidence from Administrative Data" (with Charles Varner, Ithai Z. Lurie, and Richard Prisinzano). American Sociological Review 81, no. 3 (2016): 421-446.

Advances two core analyses: (1) state-to-state migration of millionaires over the long-term, and (2) a sharply-focused discontinuity analysis of millionaire population along state borders. Finds that millionaire tax flight is occurring, but only at the margins of statistical and socioeconomic significance.

The Myth of Millionaire Tax Flight: How Place Still Matters for the Rich (Stanford University Press, 2017).

Examines a trove of data on millionaires and billionaires—confidential tax returns, Forbes lists, and census records—and distills down surprising insights. While economic elites have the resources and capacity to flee high-tax places, their actual migration is surprisingly limited. For the rich, ongoing economic potential is tied to the place where they become successful—often where they are powerful insiders—and that success ultimately diminishes both the incentive and desire to migrate.

"Millionaire Migration and State Taxation of Top Incomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment" (with Charles Varner). National Tax Journal 64, no. 2 (2011): 255-284.
Presents evidence of very little migration of elite income-earners in the wake of a new millionaire tax in New Jersey. The tax is estimated to raise $1 billion per year and modestly reduce income inequality.
"Millionaire Migration in California: The Impact of Top Tax Rates," (with Charles Varner), Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, 2012.
Examines the effect of the 2004 millionaire tax in California, and the 1996 tax cut for California’s top earners, and finds no migration response among elite income-earners.
"Losing a Job: The Non-Pecuniary Cost of Unemployment in the United States" Social Forces 91, no. 2 (2012): 609-634.
Presents evidence that the experience of losing a job is psychologically devastating. Other family income and unemployment insurance benefits do not alleviate the psychological impact. There are long-term scar effects of job loss that linger even after returning to work.
"Time as a Network Good: Evidence from Unemployment and the Standard Work Week" (with Chaeyoon Lim). Sociological Science 1 (February 2014).
Discusses how, empirically, there is little value to having so much extra “free time” during spells of unemployment, primarily because everyone else still has to go to work. The unemployed are much happier on weekends, to much the same degree as working people.
"Is Millionaire Tax Migration Small, or Very Small? A Response to Cohen, Lai, and Steindel" (with Charles Varner). Public Finance Review (forthcoming).
Responds to a replication and criticism of our study by Chris Christie’s Chief Economist of New Jersey. Despite the skeptical tone of their article, their analysis confirms our core conclusion of a small (or very small) migration effect of the millionaire tax.

In the News

Cristobal Young quoted on the myth of millionaire tax flight in Robert Frank, "800,000 People are About to Flee New York and California Because of Taxes, Say Economists" CNBC, April 26, 2018.
Cristobal Young quoted on whether the wealthy exploit tax advantages across state lines in Alain Sherter, "Do Higher Taxes Really Drive Millionaires to Flee?" Money Watch, May 26, 2016.
"You Don’t Need More Free Time," Cristobal Young, New York Times, January 8, 2016.
Cristobal Young's research on the effects of taxation on millionaires discussed in Adrienne Lu. Cristobal Young, "States Debate Millionaires' Taxes," USA Today, July 16, 2014.
"Call the Millionaire’s Bluff," Cristobal Young (with Charles Varner), New York Daily News, October 27, 2008.
"Momentum for a Millionaire’s Tax," Cristobal Young, Boston Review, December 7, 2011.
Cristobal Young's research on millionaire migration discussed in Michael Hiltzik. Cristobal Young, "Would Prop. 30 Really Drive Millionaires Out of California?," Los Angeles Times, October 28, 2012.
Cristobal Young's research on millionaire migration in California discussed in Melissa Pandika. Cristobal Young, "Millionaire Migration a Myth, Say Researchers at Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality," Stanford Report, November 2, 2012.
Cristobal Young's research on “time as a network good” discussed in Clifton B. Parker. Cristobal Young, "Stanford Research Explores Weekend Happiness, Unemployment Blues," Stanford Report, February 20, 2014.