The NEP-LTV Blog

September 27, 2010

This blog is an experiment to explore the feasibility of scientific discussion on an Economics blog. NEP-LTV disseminates every week new working papers in the field of Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty. Among them, the NEP-LTV editor selects one to be discussed. Everyone is invited to comment. Try to stay civil, or your comments will be removed. And encourage others to read or join in the discussion.

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Social Norms, Labor Market Opportunities, and the Marriage Gap for Skilled Women

December 10, 2018
By: Bertrand, Marianne (University of Chicago); Cortes, Patricia (Boston University); Olivetti, Claudia (Boston College); Pan, Jessica (National University of Singapore)
Abstract: In most of the developed world, skilled women marry at a lower rate than unskilled women. We document heterogeneity across countries in how the marriage gap for skilled women has evolved over time. As labor market opportunities for women have improved, the marriage gap has been growing in some countries but shrinking in others. We discuss the comparative statics of a theoretical model in which the (negative) social attitudes toward working women might contribute to the lower marriage rate of skilled women, and might also induce a non-monotonic relationship between their labor market prospects and their marriage outcomes. The model delivers predictions about how the marriage gap for skilled women should react to changes in their labor market opportunities across economies with more or less conservative attitudes toward working women. We verify the key predictions of this model in a panel of 26 developed countries, as well as in a panel of US states.
Keywords: social norms, marriage gap, labor market opportunities
JEL: J12 J16
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11382&r=ltv

Crisis at Home: Mancession-induced Change in Intrahousehold Distribution

December 10, 2018
By: Olivier Bargain (GREQAM – Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d’Aix-Marseille – ECM – Ecole Centrale de Marseille – CNRS – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – AMU – Aix Marseille Université – EHESS – École des hautes études en sciences sociales); Laurine Martinoty (CES – Centre d’économie de la Sorbonne – CNRS – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – UP1 – Université Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Abstract: The Great Recessions was essentially a ‘mancession’ in countries like Spain, the UK or the US, i.e. it hit men harder than women for they were disproportionately represented in heavily affected sectors. We investigate how the mancession, and more generally women’s relative opportunities on the labor market, translate into within-household redistribution. Precisely, we estimate the spouses’ resource shares in a collective model of consumption, using Spanish data over 2006-2011. We exploit the gender-oriented evolution of the economic environment to test two original distribution factors: first the regional-time variation in spouses’ relative unemployment risks, then the gender-differentiated shock in the construction sector (having a construction sector husband after the outburst of the crisis). Both approaches conclude that the resource share accruing to Spanish wives increased by around 7-9 percent on average, following the improvement of their relative labor market positions. Among childless couples, we document a 5-11 percent decline in individual consumption inequality following the crisis, which is essentially due to intrahousehold redistribu tion.
Keywords: mancession,intrahousehold allocation,unemployment risk
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-01770180&r=ltv

Emigration, Remittances and the Subjective Well-Being of Those Staying Behind

December 10, 2018
By: Ivlevs, Artjoms (University of the West of England, Bristol); Nikolova, Milena (University of Groningen); Graham, Carol Lee (Brookings Institution)
Abstract: Despite growing academic and policy interest in the subjective well-being consequences of emigration for those left behind, existing studies have focused on single origin countries or specific world regions. Our study is the first to offer a global perspective on the well-being consequences of emigration for those staying behind using several subjective well-being measures (evaluations of best possible life, positive affect, stress, and depression). Drawing upon Gallup World Poll data for 114 countries during 2009-2011, we find that both having family members abroad and receiving remittances are positively associated with evaluative well-being (evaluations of best possible life) and positive affect (measured by an index of variables related to experiencing positive feelings at a particular point in time). Our analysis provides novel results showing that remittances are particularly beneficial for evaluative well-being in less developed and more unequal contexts; in richer countries, only the out-migration of family members is positively associated with life evaluations, while remittances have no additional association. We also find that having household members abroad is linked with increased stress and depression, which are not offset by remittances. The out-migration of family members appears more traumatic in contexts where migration is less common, such as more developed countries, and specific world regions, such as Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as among women. Relying on subjective well-being measures, which reflect both material and non-material aspects of life and are broad measures of well-being, allows us to provide additional insights and a more well-rounded picture of the possible consequences of emigration on migrant family members staying behind relative to standard outcomes employed in the literature, such as the left-behind’s consumption, income or labor market responses.
Keywords: migration, remittances, depression, stress, Cantril ladder of life, happiness, Gallup World Poll
JEL: F22 F24 I3 J61
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11437&r=ltv

Government education expenditures, pre-primary education and school performance: A cross-country analysis

December 10, 2018
By: Daniela Del Boca (University of Turin and Collegio Carlo Alberto); Chiara Monfardini (University of Bologna); Sarah Grace See (University of York)
Abstract: Using data from OECD’s PISA, Eurostat and World Bank’s WDI, we explore how child cognitive outcomes at the aggregate country level are related to macroeconomic conditions, specifically government education expenditures and early education experience. We find that both government expenditures in education and attendance to early child care are associated with better later school performance. We also consider different childcare characteristics such as duration and quality, which appear to have significant effects Our results may imply that policies encouraging childcare expansion should also take into account quality issues.
Keywords: early childcare and education, school performance, test scores, early childhood education
JEL: H52 J24
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hka:wpaper:2018-020&r=ltv

Self Confidence Spillovers and Motivated Beliefs

December 10, 2018
By: Ritwik Banerjee (Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and IZA); Nabanita Datta Gupta (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark);Marie Claire Villeval (University of Lyon)
Abstract: Is success in a task used strategically by individuals to motivate their beliefs prior to taking action in a subsequent, unrelated, task? Also, is the distortion of beliefs reinforced for individuals who have lower status in society? Conducting an artefactual field experiment in India, we show that success when competing in a task increases the performers’ self-confidence and competitiveness in the subsequent task. We also find that such spillovers affect the self-confidence of low-status individuals more than that of high-status individuals. Receiving good news under Affirmative Action, however, boosts confidence across tasks regardless of the caste status.
Keywords: Motivated beliefs, spillovers, self-confidence, competitiveness, Affirmative Action, experiment
JEL: C91 J15 M52
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:aah:aarhec:2018-02&r=ltv

The Returns to Schooling Unveiled

December 10, 2018
By: Cardoso, Ana Rute (IAE Barcelona (CSIC)); Guimaraes, Paulo (Banco de Portugal); Portugal, Pedro (Banco de Portugal); Reis, Hugo (Banco de Portugal)
Abstract: We bring together the strands of literature on the returns to education, its spillovers, and the role of the employer shaping the wage distribution. The aim is to analyze the labor market returns to education taking into account who the worker is (worker unobserved ability), what he does (the job title), with whom (the coworkers) and, also crucially, for whom (the employer). We combine data of remarkable quality – exhaustive longitudinal linked employer-employee data on Portugal – with innovative empirical methods, to address the homophily or reflection problem, selection issues, and common measurement errors and confounding factors. Our methodology combines the estimation of wage regressions in the spirit of Abowd, Kramarz, and Margolis (1999), Gelbach’s (2016) unambiguous conditional decomposition of the impact of various omitted covariates on an estimated coefficient, and Arcidiacono et al.’s (2012) procedure to identify the impact of peer quality. We first uncover that peer effects are quite sizeable. A one standard deviation increase in the measure of peer quality leads to a wage increase of 2.1 log points. Next, we show that education grants access to better-paying firms and job titles: one fourth of the overall return to education operates through the firm channel and a third operates through the job-title channel, while the remainder is associated exclusively with the individual worker. Finally, we unveil that an additional year of average education of coworkers yields a 0.5 log points increase in a worker’s wage, after we net out a 2.0 log points return due to homophily (similarity of own and peers’ characteristics), and 3.3 log points associated with worker sorting across firms and job titles.
Keywords: wage distribution, human capital spillovers, returns to education, peer effects, linked employer-employee data, high-dimensional fixed effects, firm, job title
JEL: J31 J24
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11419&r=ltv

Demographics and Automation

October 24, 2018
By: Daron AcemogluPascual Restrepo
Abstract: We argue theoretically and document empirically that aging leads to greater (industrial) automation, and in particular, to more intensive use and development of robots. Using US data, we document that robots substitute for middle-aged workers (those between the ages of 36 and 55). We then show that demographic change—corresponding to an increasing ratio of older to middle-aged workers—is associated with greater adoption of robots and other automation technologies across countries and with more robotics-related activities across US commuting zones. We also provide evidence of more rapid development of automation technologies in countries undergoing greater demographic change. Our directed technological change model further predicts that the induced adoption of automation technology should be more pronounced in industries that rely more on middle-aged workers and those that present greater opportunities for automation. Both of these predictions receive support from country-industry variation in the adoption of robots. Our model also implies that the productivity implications of aging are ambiguous when technology responds to demographic change, but we should expect productivity to increase and labor share to decline relatively in industries that are most amenable to automation, and this is indeed the pattern we find in the data.
JEL: J11 J23 J24 O33 O47 O57
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24421&r=ltv