September 26, 2011
Happiness, Habits and High Rank: Comparisons in Economic and Social Life
By: Clark, Andrew E. (Paris School of Economics)
The role of money in producing sustained subjective well-being seems to be seriously compromised by social comparisons and habituation. But does that necessarily mean that we would be better off doing something else instead? This paper suggests that the phenomena of comparison and habituation are actually found in a considerable variety of economic and social activities, rendering conclusions regarding well-being policy less straightforward.
Keywords: comparison, habituation, income, unemployment, marriage, divorce, health, religion, policy
September 21, 2011
By: Mizala, Alejandra (University of Chile) and Nopo, Hugo (Inter-American Development Bank)
This paper documents the extent to which teachers are underpaid vis-à-vis workers in other professional and technical occupations in Latin America circa 2007. These labor earnings differences, attributed to observable socio-demographic and job characteristics, are assessed using a matching methodology (Ñopo, 2008). Teachers’ underpayment is found to be stronger than what has been previously reported in the literature, especially among pre-school and primary teachers. Nonetheless, behind the region averages there is an important cross-country heterogeneity. Teachers’ underpayment is more pronounced among males, older workers, household heads, part-timers, formal workers, those who work in the private sector, and (mostly) among those with complete tertiary education. Two amenities of the teaching profession, namely the longer job tenure and the flexible job schedules within the year, are also explored. Even after accounting for the possible compensating differentials of these two amenities, teachers’ underpayment vis-à-vis that of other professional and technicians prevail.
Keywords: wage differentials, professional labor markets, Latin America
September 8, 2011
By: Edward N. Wolff and Maury Gittleman
We found that on average over the period from 1989 to 2007, 21 percent of American households at a given point of time received a wealth transfer and these accounted for 23 percent of their net worth. Over the lifetime, about 30 percent of households could expect to receive a wealth transfer and these would account for close to 40 percent of their net worth near time of death. However, there is little evidence of an inheritance ?boom.? In fact, from 1989 to 2007, the share of households reporting a wealth transfer fell by 2.5 percentage points. The average value of inheritances received among all households did increase but at a slow pace, by 10 percent, and wealth transfers as a proportion of current net worth fell sharply over this period from 29 to 19 percent or by 10 percentage points. We also found, somewhat surprisingly, that inheritances and other wealth transfers tend to be equalizing in terms of the distribution of household wealth. Indeed, the addition of wealth transfers to other sources of household wealth has had a sizeable effect on reducing the inequality of wealth.
Keywords: Inheritance, household wealth, inequality