photo of M. Melinda Pitts

M. Melinda Pitts

Research Center Director, Center for Human Capital Studies
email :: 404-498-7009

To interview economists, press should contact Public Affairs at 404-498-8748.

  • Biography

    M. Melinda Pitts is the research center director of the Center for Human Capital Studies (CHCS) in the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Dr. Pitts is part of the applied microeconomics team. Her major fields of study are health and labor economics. She also contributes to the Atlanta Fed's macroblog, which provides commentary on economic topics, including monetary policy, macroeconomic developments, and the Southeast economy.

    Prior to joining the Bank in 2002, Dr. Pitts was an assistant professor of economics at Georgia State University, in Atlanta. She also worked as an assistant professor of economics at Salisbury State University in Salisbury, Maryland.

    Dr. Pitts has published in several journals, including Industrial Relations, the American Economic Review, Archives of Internal Medicine, and Research in Labor Economics.

    She is a member of the American Economic Association, International Health Economics Association, American Society of Health Economists, and the Society of Labor Economics.

    Dr. Pitts received her doctorate in economics in 1997 and her master's degree in economics in 1993, both from North Carolina State University. She received her bachelor of arts in economics in 1987 from Clemson University.

  • Working Papers


    Atlanta Fed Working Papers

    2016-14
    Killer Debt: The Impact of Debt on Mortality
    Laura M. Argys, Andrew I. Friedson, and M. Melinda Pitts
    November 2014
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (537 KB)

    2014-23
    Impact of First-Birth Career Interruption on Earnings: Evidence from Administrative Data
    Julie. L Hotchkiss, M. Melinda Pitts, and Mary Beth Walker
    November 2014
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (717 KB)

    2014-22
    The Gap between the Conditional Wage Distributions of Incumbents and the Newly Hired Employees: Decomposition and Uniform Ordering
    Esfandiar Maasoumi, M. Melinda Pitts, and Ke Wu
    November 2014
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (453 KB)

    2014-20
    Do Minimum Wages Really Increase Youth Drinking and Drunk Driving?
    Joseph J. Sabia, M. Melinda Pitts, and Laura Argys
    November 2014
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (888 KB)

    2012-10
    A Closer Look at Nonparticipants During and After the Great Recession
    Hotchkiss, Julie L., M. Melinda Pitts, and Fernando Rios-Ávila
    August 2012
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (2.19 MB)

    2011-2
    To Work or Not to Work: The Economics of a Mother's Dilemma
    Hotchkiss, Julie L., M. Melinda Pitts, and Mary Beth Walker.
    March 2011.
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (189 KB)

    2011-1
    A Decomposition of the Black-White Differential in Birth Outcomes
    Pitts, Melinda M., Mary Beth Walker, and Brian S. Armour.
    March 2011.
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (163 KB)

    2010-2
    Assessing the Impact of Education and Marriage on Labor Market Exit Decisions of Women
    Hotchkiss, Julie L., M. Melinda Pitts, and Mary Beth Walker.
    February 2010.
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (176 KB)

    2008-8
    Working with Children? The Probability of Mothers Exiting the Workforce at Time of Birth
    Hotchkiss, Julie L., M. Melinda Pitts, and Mary Beth Walker.
    February 2008.
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (224 KB)

    2007-19
    Cigarette Smoking and Food Insecurity among Low-Income Families in the United States, 2001
    Brian S. Armour, M. Melinda Pitts, and Chung-won Lee
    August 2007
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (216 KB)

    2007-18
    Does Disability Explain State-Level Differences in the Quality of Medicare Beneficiary Hospital Inpatient Care?
    Brian S. Armour and M. Melinda Pitts.
    August 2007
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (251 KB)

    2007-16
    Evidence of Demand Factors in the Determination of the Labor Market Intermittency Penalty
    Julie L. Hotchkiss and M. Melinda Pitts.
    July 2007
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (244 KB)

    2007-1
    The Role of Labor Market Intermittency in Explaining Gender Wage Differentials
    Julie L. Hotchkiss and M. Melinda Pitts.
    February 2007
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (462 KB)

    2006-12
    Smoking: Taxing Health and Social Security
    Brian S. Armour and M. Melinda Pitts
    September 2006
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (231 KB)

    2006-1
    The Push-Pull Effects of the Information Technology Boom and Bust: Insight from Matched Employer-Employee Data
    Julie L. Hotchkiss, M. Melinda Pitts, and John C. Robertson
    February 2006
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (245 KB)

    2005-22
    Freshman Learning Communities, College Performance, and Retention
    Julie L. Hotchkiss, Robert E. Moore, and M. Melinda Pitts
    September 2005
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (323 KB)

    2005-11
    Earnings on the Information Technology Rollercoaster: Insight from Matched Employer-Employee Data
    Julie L. Hotchkiss, M. Melinda Pitts, and John C. Robertson
    June 2005
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (255 KB)

    2004-19
    Wage Gains among Job Changers across the Business Cycle: Insight from State Administrative Data
    Julie L. Hotchkiss, M. Melinda Pitts, and John C. Robertson
    August 2004
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (1.1 MB)

    2002-30
    Why Choose Women's Work If It Pays Less? A Structural Model of Occupational Choice
    M. Melinda Pitts
    December 2002
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (274 KB)

    2002-29
    Incorporating Insurance Rate Estimates and Differential Mortality into Net Marginal Social Security Tax Rate Calculations
    Brian S. Armour and M. Melinda Pitts
    December 2002
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (263 KB)

  • Other Fed Work

    Articles

    Brian S. Armour and M. Melinda Pitts. "Smoking: Taxing Health and Social Security." Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Economic Review (2007 Q3).
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (108 KB)

    Jason DeBacker, Julie Hotchkiss, M. Melinda Pitts,and John Robertson. "It's Who You Are and What You Do: Explaining the IT Industry Wage Premium." Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Economic Review (2005 Q3).
    Abstract | Full text Adobe PDF file format (108 KB)

    Blog Posts

    Laura Argys, Andrew Friedson, and Melinda Pitts. "Bad Debt Is Bad for Your Health." macroblog. March 30, 2017.

    Rebekah Durham, Julie L. Hotchkiss, and Melinda Pitts. "How Will Employers Respond to New Overtime Regulations?." macroblog. July 15, 2016.

    M. Melinda Pitts, Richard Rogerson, and Robert Shimer. "A Closer Look at Changes in the Labor Market," macroblog. November 5, 2015.

    Podcast Episodes podcast

    M. Melinda Pitts. "A Conversation about the Health Effects of Delinquent Debt." Economy Matters podcast. March 2, 2017.

    M. Melinda Pitts. "The Relationship between the Minimum Wage and Rates of Youth Drinking and Driving." Economy Matters podcast. October 15, 2015.