Revealing Stereotypes: Evidence from Immigrants in Schools

January 21, 2019
By: Alberto Alesina (Department of Economics, Harvard University, IGIER Bocconi, NBER and CEPR); Michela Carlana (Harvard Kennedy School and IZA); Eliana La Ferrara (Department of Economics, IGIER and LEAP, Bocconi University);Paolo Pinotti (Department of Social and Political Sciences at Bocconi University, DONDENA, and Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti)
Abstract: If individuals become aware of their stereotypes, do they change their behavior? We study this question in the context of teachers’ bias in grading immigrants and native children in middle schools. Teachers give lower grades to immigrant students compared to natives who have the same performance on standardized, blindly-graded tests. We then relate differences in grading to teachers’ stereotypes, elicited through an Implicit Association Test (IAT). We find that math teachers with stronger stereotypes give lower grades to immigrants compared to natives with the same performance. Literature teachers do not differentially grade immigrants based on their own stereotypes. Finally, we share teachers’ own IAT score with them, randomizing the timing of disclosure around the date on which they assign term grades. All teachers informed of their stereotypes before term grading increase grades assigned to immigrants. Revealing stereotypes may be a powerful intervention to decrease discrimination, but it may also induce a reaction from individuals who were not acting in a biased way.
Keywords: immigrants, teachers, implicit stereotypes, IAT, bias in grading
JEL: I24 J15

On the Possibility of Progress

January 21, 2019
By: Romer, Paul M. (New York University)
Abstract: Paul M. Romer delivered his Prize Lecture on 8 December 2018 at the Aula Magna, Stockholm University.
Keywords: long-term growth;
JEL: O00

Strikes, Employee Workplace Representation, Unionism, and Industrial Relations Quality in European Establishments

January 21, 2019
By: John T. AddisonPaulino Teixeira
Abstract: Using cross-country data, this paper investigates the relationship between workplace representation and strikes. Works councils are associated with reduced strike activity. However, where union members make up a majority of works councillors, such union-dominated councils experience greater strike activity than do their counterparts with minority union membership, and also more strikes than establishments with union workplace representation where union members are in a minority. Dissonance between the parties as to the state of industrial relations is associated with elevated strike activity. Finally, union density at the workplace, if not the presence of collective bargaining, is directly associated with strike incidence.
Keywords: works councils, employee representation, union density, level of collective bargaining, industrial relations quality/dissonance, strike incidence, strike duration, strike frequency, strike intensity
JEL: J51 J52 J53 J83

Inequality and Well-Being

January 21, 2019
By: Borooah, Vani
Abstract: This chapter investigates a neglected area in the study of human development relating differences in human development between social groups in a country. Failure to take account of such inter-group inequalities might lead one to exaggerate a country’s developmental achievements. Conversely, one would get a more accurate picture of a country’s achievements with respect to human development only after one had taken cognisance of the fact that the fruits of development were unequally distributed between its various communities. There is a further issue. Not only are developmental fruits unequally distributed between groups, but these fruits may be unequally distributed within the groups. This chapter uses the methodology of “equity adjusted achievement” to compute human development indices and “extended” human development indices for a number of social groups in India.
Keywords: Inequality, Well Being, Social Groups
JEL: I31 I32

Segregation of women into low-paying occupations in the United States

December 18, 2018
By: Carlos Gradín
We extend the conventional framework for measuring segregation to consider stratification of occupations by gender, i.e. when women or men are predominantly segregated into low-paying jobs. For this, we propose to use concentration curves and indices. Our empirical analysis using this approach shows that the decline over time in occupational gender segregation in the US has been accompanied by a deeper, longer reduction in gender stratification. We further investigate the role of workers’ characteristics, showing that gender differences cannot explain the levels of segregation/stratification in any year. However, changes over time for each gender do help to explain their trends.

Ageing Poorly? Accounting for the Decline in Earnings Inequality in Brazil, 1995-2012

December 18, 2018
By: Ferreira, Francisco H. G. (World Bank) ; Firpo, Sergio (Insper, São Paulo) ; Messina, Julián (Inter-American Development Bank)
The Gini coefficient of labor earnings in Brazil fell by nearly a fifth between 1995 and 2012, from 0.50 to 0.41. The decline in earnings inequality was even larger by other measures, with the 90-10 percentile ratio falling by almost 40 percent. Although the conventional explanation of a falling education premium did play a role, an RIF regression-based decomposition analysis suggests that the decline in returns to potential experience was the main factor behind lower wage disparities during the period. Substantial reductions in the gender, race, informality and urban-rural wage gaps, conditional on human capital and institutional variables, also contributed to the decline. Although rising minimum wages were equalizing during 2003-2012, they had the opposite effects during 1995-2003, because of declining compliance. Over the entire period, the direct effect of minimum wages on inequality was muted.
Keywords: earnings inequality, Brazil, RIF regressions
JEL: D31 J31

Do Equal Rights for a Minority Affect General Life Satisfaction?

December 18, 2018
By: Berggren, Niclas (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)) ; Bjørnskov, Christian (Aarhus University) ; Nilsson, Therese (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
While previous research examines how institutions matter for general life satisfaction and how specific institutions embodying equal rights for gay people matter for the life satisfaction of gays, we combine these two issues to analyze how the latter type of institutions relates to general life satisfaction. The question is how people in general are affected by laws treating everyone equally irrespective of sexual orientation. We find that legal recognition of partnership, marriage and adoption rights, as well as an equal age of consent, relate positively to general life satisfaction. Consequently, same-sex marriage and similar reforms come at no “welfare” cost to society at large – if anything, the opposite appears to hold. We further build on previous research showing positive effects of economic freedom on happiness and on tolerance towards gay people and interact our rights measure with economic freedom. This reveals that the positive effect on general happiness of equal rights mainly appears in countries with low economic freedom. This likely follows because minority rights are perceived to indicate openness to much-desired reforms in other areas.
Keywords: Life satisfaction; Same-sex marriage; Rights; Institutions; Culture; Immigration; Tolerance; Gays and lesbians; Minorities; Integration
JEL: I31 Z13 Z18