Educational inequality and intergenerational mobility in Latin America: A new database

September 28, 2017
By: Neidhöfer, Guido ; Serrano, Joaquín ; Gasparini, Leonardo
The causes and consequences of the intergenerational persistence of inequality are a topic of great interest among various fields in economics. However, until now, issues of data availability have restricted a broader and cross-national perspective on the topic. Based on rich sets of harmonized household survey data, we contribute to filling this gap computing time series for several indexes of relative and absolute intergenerational education mobility for 18 Latin American countries over 50 years, and making them publicly available. We find that intergenerational mobility has been rising in Latin America, on average. This pattern seems to be driven by the high upward mobility of children from low-educated families; at the same time, there is substantial immobility at the top of the distribution. Significant cross-country differences are observed and are associated with income inequality, poverty, economic growth, public educational expenditures and assortative mating.
Keywords: inequality,intergenerational mobility,equality of opportunity,transition probabilities,assortative mating,education,human capital,Latin America
JEL: D63 I24 J62 O15

Gender: An Historical Perspective

September 28, 2017
By: Giuliano, Paola (University of California, Los Angeles)
Social attitudes toward women vary significantly across societies. This chapter reviews recent empirical research on various historical determinants of contemporary differences in gender roles and gender gaps across societies, and how these differences are transmitted from parents to children and therefore persist until today. We review work on the historical origin of differences in female labor-force participation, fertility, education, marriage arrangements, competitive attitudes, domestic violence, and other forms of difference in gender norms. Most of the research illustrates that differences in cultural norms regarding gender roles emerge in response to specific historical situations, but tend to persist even after the historical conditions have changed. We also discuss the conditions under which gender norms either tend to be stable or change more quickly.
Keywords: gender, cultural transmission, historical persistence
JEL: N0 Z1 J16

Women, Work, and Family

September 28, 2017
By: Francine D. Blau ; Anne E. Winkler
This chapter focuses on women, work, and family, with a particular focus on differences by educational attainment. First, we review long-term trends regarding family structure, participation in the labor market, and time spent in household production, including time with children. In looking at family, we focus on mothers with children. Next we examine key challenges faced by mothers as they seek to combine motherhood and paid work: workforce interruptions associated with childbearing, the impact of home and family responsibilities, and constraints posed by workplace culture. We also consider the role that gendered norms play in shaping outcomes for mothers. We conclude by discussing policies that have the potential to increase gender equality in the workplace and mitigate the considerable conflicts faced by many women as they seek to balance work and family.
JEL: J1 J12 J13 J16 J22

Urbanization and its Effects on the Happiness Domains

September 28, 2017
By: Cristina Bernini (University of Bologna) ; Alessandro Tampieri (University of Bologna and CREA, Université du Luxembourg)
We analyze the effects of urbanization on the specific components of the happiness function. We exploit the dataset HADL on Italian citizens over the period 2010-2013. A multilevel approach is used to take into account of regional heterogeneity in the happiness’s determinants. We find that, in line with much of the literature, urbanization is negatively related to subjective well-being. However, the impact of urbanization changes depending on the specific happiness spheres: while satisfaction with economic conditions is not affected by urbanization, job and family satisfaction increase with urbanization. Conversely, satisfaction with health, friendship, spare time and environment decrease with urbanization.
Keywords: subjective well-being, happiness function, urbanization, regions, multilevel models
JEL: I31 R10

The Uptick in Income Segregation: Real Trend or Random Sampling Variance

September 28, 2017
By: John R. Logan ; Andrew Foster ; Jun Ke ; Fan Li
Recent studies have reported a reversal of an earlier trend in income segregation in metropolitan regions, from a decline in the 1990s to an increase in the 2000-2010decade. This finding reinforces concerns about the growing overall income inequality in the U.S. since the 1970s. We re-evaluate the trend. Because the effective sample for the ACS is much smaller than it was for Census 2000, to which it is being compared, there is a possibility that the apparent changes in disparities across census tracts result partly from a higher level of sampling variation and bias due to the smaller sample. This study uses 100% microdata from the 1940 census to simulate the effect of different sampling rates on the observed measure of inequality, drawing from a population at a single point in time so that there is no change in actual income segregation. We find considerable variation in estimates across samples taken from the same population, particularly for smaller samples. The difference between the median estimate using sampling rates comparable to Census 2000 and the ACS is as large as the observed changes since 2000. We propose alternative approaches to calculate unbiased estimates of class segregation.
JEL: R23