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.


Are Estimates of Early Education Programs Too Pessimistic? Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment that Causally Measures Neighbor Effects

December 18, 2019
By: List, JohnMomeni, FatemehZenou, Yves
Abstract: We estimate the direct and spillover effects of a large-scale early childhood intervention on the educational attainment of over 2,000 disadvantaged children in the United States. We show that failing to account for spillover effects results in a severe underestimation of the impact. The intervention induced positive direct effects on test scores of children assigned to the treatment groups. We document large spillover effects on both treatment and control children who live near treated children. On average, spillover effects increase a child’s non-cognitive (cognitive) scores by about 1.2 (0.6 to 0.7) standard deviations. The spillover effects are localized, decreasing with the spatial distance to treated neighbors. Our evidence suggests the spillover effect on non-cognitive scores are likely to operate through the child’s social network. Alternatively, parental investment is an important channel through which cognitive spillover effects operate. We view our results as speaking to several literatures, perhaps most importantly the role of public programs and neighborhoods on human capital formation at an early age.
Keywords: early education; field experiment; neighborhood; non-cognitive skills; spillover effects
JEL: C93 I21 R1
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13725&r=ltv

What might explain today’s conflicting narratives on global inequality?

December 18, 2019
By: Ravallion Martin
Abstract: How unequal is the world today? Is global income inequality falling, as many economists claim, or is it rising, as one often hears?This paper reviews the arguments and evidence. A number of concerns about the underlying data are identified, with biases going in both directions. Conceptual issues further cloud the picture. The claim that global inequality has been falling since 1990 can be defended for a subset of the admissible parameter values, but only a subset.Global inequality is found to be rising if one or more of the following conditions holds: (i) one attaches a high ethical weight to the poorest; (ii) one has a strong ethical aversion to high-end inequality; (iii) one takes a nationalistic perspective, emphasizing relative deprivation within countries; or (iv) one sees inequality as absolute rather than relative.Popular debates on this topic would benefit from greater clarity on the concepts used, and greater awareness of data limitations.
Keywords: Measurement,Axioms,Global inequality,Growth,Household surveys
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2018-141&r=ltv

Comparing global inequality of income and wealth

December 18, 2019
By: Shorrocks AnthonyDavies James
Abstract: This paper is the first to compare global trends in income and wealth inequality this century. It is based on large income and wealth microdata samples designed to be representative of all countries in the world.Measured by the Gini coefficient, inequality between countries accounts for about two-thirds of global income inequality, but noticeably less— around one half—of wealth inequality. Broadly similar results are found for different years and different inequality indices, bar the share of the top 1 per cent. Over time, changes in countries’ mean income and wealth, and population sizes, have reduced world inequality.Income inequality has changed little within countries, so the downward trend remains intact. However, within-country wealth inequality has risen, halting the downward shift in global wealth inequality and raising the share of the top 1 per cent after 2007.
Keywords: World,Distributions,Global,Income inequality,Inequality,Wealth
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2018-160&r=ltv

Crisis at Home: Mancession-induced Change in Intrahousehold Distribution

December 18, 2019
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 – UP1 – Université Panthéon-Sorbonne – CNRS – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
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 redistribution.
Keywords: mancession,intrahousehold allocation,unemployment risk
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01770180&r=ltv

Understanding Trends in Alternative Work Arrangements in the United States

December 18, 2019
By: Lawrence F. KatzAlan B. Krueger
Abstract: This paper describes and tries to reconcile trends in alternative work arrangements in the United States using data from the Contingent Worker Survey supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS) for 1995 to 2017, the 2015 RAND-Princeton Contingent Work Survey (CWS), and administrative tax data from the Internal Revenue Service for 2000 to 2016. We conclude that there likely has been a modest upward trend in the share of the U.S. workforce in alternative work arrangements during the 2000s based on the cyclically-adjusted comparisons of the CPS CWS’s, measures using self-respondents in the CPS CWS, and measures of self-employment and 1099 workers from administrative tax data. We also present evidence from Amazon Mechanical Turk that suggests that the basic monthly CPS question on multiple job holding misses many instances of multiple job holding
JEL: J21 J81
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25425&r=ltv

The Impact of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Households’ Well-Being

December 18, 2019
By: Daniela Del Boca (University of Turin and Collegio Carlo Alberto); Chiara Pronzato (University of Turin, CHILD and Collegio Carlo Alberto); Giuseppe Sorrenti (University of Zurich)
Abstract: We evaluate the impact of a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program that we designed on family well-being among low-income families with young children. Although most CCTs have been implemented in low-income countries, our research is in the context of a high-income country, Italy, where the recent economic crises have worsened the conditions of families with children, especially among immigrants. Our objective is to evaluate the introduction of conditionality (attendance of courses) into a pre-existing unconditional cash transfer program. Using a randomized controlled trial, we find that CCT families search more actively for work, and they work more hours and more regularity than the cash transfer and control groups. CCT families also are able to save more money and eat healthier foods. The CCT intervention appears to be more effective than cash transfer alone in changing households’ behavior in several dimensions of well-being. Our findings add to the accumulating evidence on the impact of conditional cash transfers versus unconditional ones and to the literature concerning multidimensional incentive programs.
Keywords: conditional cash transfers, poverty, use of money, Labor Supply, parenting
JEL: I10 I20 J24 I31
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hka:wpaper:2018-093&r=ltv

A Theory of Cultural Revivals

November 28, 2019
By: Murat Iyigun (University of Colorado, Boulder); Jared Rubin (Chapman University); Avner Seror (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, EHESS, Ecole Centrale, AMSE, Marseille, France)
Abstract: Why do some societies fail to adopt more efficient institutions? And why do such failures often coincide with cultural movements that glorify the past? We propose a model highlighting the interplay—or lack thereof—between institutional change and cultural beliefs. The main insight is that institutional change by itself will not lead to a more efficient economy unless culture evolves in tandem. This is because institutional change can be countered by changes in cultural values complementary to a more “traditional” economy. In our model, forward-looking elites, who benefit from a traditional, inefficient economy, may over-provide public goods that are complementary to the production of traditional goods. This encourages individuals to transmit cultural beliefs complementary to the provision of traditional goods. A horse race results between institutions, which evolve towards a more efficient (less traditional) economy, and cultural norms, which are pulled towards “tradition” by the elites. When culture wins the horse race, institutions respond by giving more political power to traditional elites—even if in doing so more efficient institutions are left behind. We call the interaction between these cultural and institutional dynamics a cultural revival.
Keywords: institutions, cultural beliefs, cultural transmission, institutional change
JEL: D02 N40 N70 O33 O38 O43 Z10
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:aim:wpaimx:1931&r=ltv