Work of the Past, Work of the Future

March 27, 2019
By: David Autor
Abstract: Labor markets in U.S. cities today are vastly more educated and skill-intensive than they were five decades ago. Yet, urban non-college workers perform substantially less skilled work than decades earlier. This deskilling reflects the joint effects of automation and international trade, which have eliminated the bulk of non-college production, administrative support, and clerical jobs, yielding a disproportionate polarization of urban labor markets. The unwinding of the urban non-college occupational skill gradient has, I argue, abetted a secular fall in real non-college wages by: (1) shunting non-college workers out of specialized middle-skill occupations into low-wage occupations that require only generic skills; (2) diminishing the set of non-college workers that hold middle-skill jobs in high-wage cities; and (3) attenuating, to a startling degree, the steep urban wage premium for non-college workers that prevailed in earlier decades. Changes in the nature of work—many of which are technological in origin—have been more disruptive and less beneficial for non-college than college workers.
JEL: J23 J24 J31 J6 O33 R12
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25588&r=ltv
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Toward an Understanding of the Development of Time Preferences: Evidence from Field Experiments

March 27, 2019
By: James AndreoniMichael A. KuhnJohn A. ListAnya SamekKevin SokalCharles Sprenger
Abstract: Time preferences have been correlated with a range of life outcomes, yet little is known about their early development. We conduct a field experiment to elicit time preferences of over 1,200 children ages 3-12, who make several intertemporal decisions. To shed light on how such primitives form, we explore various channels that might affect time preferences, from background characteristics to the causal impact of an early schooling program that we developed and operated. Our results suggest that time preferences evolve substantially during this period, with younger children displaying more impatience than older children. We also find a strong association with race: black children, relative to white or Hispanic children, are more impatient. Finally, assignment to different schooling opportunities is not significantly associated with child time preferences.
JEL: C9 C93 D03
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25590&r=ltv

Inequality and globalization: A review essay

March 27, 2019
By: Martin Ravallion (Georgetown University, U.S.A.)
As normally measured, “global inequality” is the relative inequality of incomes found among all people in the world no matter where they live. Francois Bourguignon and Branko Milanovic have written insightful and timely books on global inequality, emphasizing the role of globalization. The books are complementary; Milanovic provides an ambitious broad-brush picture, with some intriguing hypotheses on the processes at work; Bourguignon provides a deep and suitably qualified, economic analysis. The paper questions the thesis of both books that globalization has been a major driving force of inequality between or within countries. The paper also questions the robustness of the evidence for declining global inequality, and notes some conceptual limitations of standard measures in capturing the concerns of many observers in the ongoing debates about globalization and the policy responses.
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2017-435&r=ltv

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

March 27, 2019
By: Francisco H. G. Ferreira ; Sergio P. Firpo ; Julián Messina
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 urbanrural 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: Wage Gap, Household Income, Human Capital, Income Inequality, Wage Disparity, Wage Growth, Wage Premium, Informal Employment, Formal Employment, income inequality, household income, human capital, wage gaps
JEL: J31 D31
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:brikps:98197&r=ltv

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
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:crm:wpaper:1817&r=ltv

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
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ris:nobelp:2018_004&r=ltv

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
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7360&r=ltv