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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Inefficient Short-Time Work

April 10, 2019
By: Pierre Cahuc (Département d’économie); Sandra Nevoux (Banque de France)
Abstract: This paper shows that the reforms which expanded short-time work in France after the great 2008-2009 recession were largely to the benefit of large firms which are recurrent short-time work users. We argue that this expansion of short-time work is an inefficient way to provide insurance to workers, as it entails cross-subsidies which reduce aggregate production. An efficient policy should provide unemployment insurance benefits funded by experience rated employers’ contributions instead of short-time work benefits. We find that short-time work entails significant production losses compared to an unemployment insurance scheme with experience rating.
Keywords: Short-time work; Unemployment insurance; Experience rating
JEL: J63 J65
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/68ufmnnh3j9vmblf03huqt18qe&r=ltv

When Short-Time Work Works

April 10, 2019
By: Pierre Cahuc (École polytechnique (X)); Francis Kramarz (Sciences Po); Sandra Nevoux (Banque de France)
Abstract: Short-time work programs were revived by the Great Recession. To understand their operating mechanisms, we first provide a model showing that short-time work may save jobs in firms hit by strong negative revenue shocks, but not in less severely-hit firms, where hours worked are reduced, without saving jobs. The cost of saving jobs is low because short-time work targets those at risk of being destroyed. Using extremely detailed data on the administration of the program covering the universe of French establishments, we devise a causal identification strategy based on the geography of the program that demonstrates that short-time work saved jobs in firms faced with large drops in their revenues during the Great Recession, in particular when highly levered, but only in these firms. The measured cost per saved job is shown to be very low relative to that of other employment policies.
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/6596a4s9af8lt872jnqvm5jg73&r=ltv

Men without work: Why are they so unhappy in the US compared to other places?

April 10, 2019
By: Sergio Pinto (University of Maryland); Carol Graham (The Brookings Institution)
Abstract: The global economy is full of paradoxes. Despite progress in technology, reducing poverty, and increasing life expectancy, the poorest states lag behind, and there is increasing inequality and anomie in the wealthiest ones. A key driver of such unhappiness in advanced countries is the decline in the status and wages of low-skilled labor. A related feature is the increase in prime-aged males (and to a lesser extent women) simply dropping out of the labor force, particularly in the U.S. This same group is over-represented in the “deaths of despair.” There is frustration among this same cohort in Europe and it is reflected in voting trends in both contexts. Prime-aged males out of the labor force in the U.S. are the least hopeful and most stressed and angry compared to the same group in other regions, including the Middle East. Our aim is to better understand this cohort as part of a broader need to rethink our growth models and to explore policies that encourage the participation of able workers in the new global economy and can provide incentives for community involvement and other forms of engagement for those who can no longer work.
Keywords: well-being, happiness, Inequality, gender, unemployment
JEL: I31 D63 E24 J68 J16
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hka:wpaper:2019-016&r=ltv

Wealth Disparities for Early Childhood Anthropometrics and Skills: Evidence from Chilean Longitudinal Data

April 1, 2019
By: Jere R. Behrman (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania); Dante Contreras (Department of Economics, University of Chile); Isidora Palma (Department of Economics, University of Chile); Esteban Puentes (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)
Abstract: We study wealth disparities in the formation of anthropometrics, cognitive skills and socio-emotional skills. We use a sample of preschool and early school children in Chile. We extend the previous literature by using longitudinal data, which allow us to study the dynamics of child growth and skills formation. Also, we include information on mother’s and father’s schooling attainment and mother’s cognitive ability. We find that there are no significant anthropometric differences favoring the better-off at birth (and indeed length differences at birth to the disadvantage of the better-off), but during the first 30 months of life wealth disparities in height-for-age z scores (HAZ) favoring the better-off emerge. Moreover, we find wealth disparities in cognitive skills favoring the better-off emerge early in life and continue after children turn 6 years of age. We find no concurrent wealth disparities for and socio-emotional skills. Thus, even though the wealth disparities in birth outcomes if anything favor the poor, significant disparities favoring the rich emerge in the early post-natal period. Mother’s education and cognitive ability also are significantly associated with disparities in skill formation.
Keywords: Wealth disparities, anthropometrics, cognitive skills, socio-emotional skills
JEL: I14 I31 D30
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pen:papers:17-019&r=ltv

Human Capital Inequality: Empirical Evidence

April 1, 2019
By: Brant Abbott (University of British Columbia); Giovanni Gallipoli (University of British Columbia)
Abstract: Wealth inequality has received considerable attention, with mounting evidence of steady and economically meaningful changes in the concentration of wealth ownership. By definition, wealth inequality captures disparity in the ownership of productive capital and other non-labor factors of production. In contrast, in this article we focus on the distribution of human capital and its implications for the accrual of economic resources to individuals and households. Human capital inequality can be thought of as measuring disparity in the ownership of labor factors of production, which are usually compensated in the form of wage income.
Keywords: Inequality, wealth distribution, human capital
JEL: J24 D31 I24
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hka:wpaper:2018-085&r=ltv

Born in the Family: Preferences for Boys and the Gender Gap in Math

March 27, 2019
By: Dossi, Gaia (Columbia University); Figlio, David N. (Northwestern University); Giuliano, Paola (University of California, Los Angeles); Sapienza, Paola (Northwestern University)
Abstract: We study the correlation between parental gender attitudes and the performance in mathematics of girls using two different approaches and data. First, we identify families with a preference for boys by using fertility stopping rules in a population of households whose children attend public schools in Florida. Girls growing up in a boy-biased family score 3 percentage points lower on math tests when compared to girls raised in other families. Second, we find similar strong effects when we study the correlations between girls’ performance in mathematics and maternal gender role attitudes, using evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. We conclude that socialization at home can explain a non-trivial part of the observed gender disparities in mathematics performance and document that maternal gender attitudes correlate with those of their children, supporting the hypothesis that preferences transmitted through the family impact children behavior.
Keywords: gender Differences, cultural transmission, math performance
JEL: A13 I20 J16 Z1
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12156&r=ltv

Children, Unhappiness and Family Finances: Evidence from One Million Europeans

March 27, 2019
By: David G. BlanchflowerAndrew E. Clark
Abstract: The common finding of a zero or negative correlation between the presence of children and parental well-being continues to generate research interest. We here consider over one million observations on Europeans from ten years of Eurobarometer surveys, and in the first instance replicate this negative finding, both in the overall data and then for most different marital statuses. Children are expensive, and controlling for financial difficulties turns almost all of our estimated child coefficients positive. We argue that financial difficulties explain the pattern of existing results by parental education and income, and country income and social support. Marital status matters. Kids do not raise happiness for singles, the divorced, separated or widowed. Last, we underline that all children are not the same, with step-children commonly having a more negative correlation than children from the current relationship.
JEL: D14 I31 J13
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25597&r=ltv