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