nep-lma New Economics Papers
on Labor Markets - Supply, Demand, and Wages
Issue of 2020‒08‒17
33 papers chosen by
Joseph Marchand
University of Alberta

  1. Long-Run Effects of Incentivizing Work After Childbirth By Elira Kuka; Na'ama Shenhav
  2. Confidence and career choices: An experiment By Barron, Kai; Gravert, Christina
  3. What Jobs are Being Done at Home During the Covid-19 Crisis? Evidence from Firm-Level Surveys By Alexander W. Bartik; Zoe B. Cullen; Edward L. Glaeser; Michael Luca; Christopher T. Stanton
  4. The Italian public sector workforce: recent evolution in the light of the rules on turnover By Lucia Rizzica
  5. Income-driven Labor Market Polarization By Diego A. Comin; Ana Danieli; Martí Mestieri
  6. Long-Run Returns to Field of Study in Secondary School By Gordon Dahl; Dan-Olof Rooth; Anders Stenberg
  7. Does Pay Transparency Affect the Gender Wage Gap? Evidence from Austria By Andreas Gulyas; Sebastian Seitz; Sourav Sinha
  8. My Home is My Castle - The Benefits of Working from Home During a Pandemic Crisis: Evidence from Germany By Jean-Victor Alipour; Harald Fadinger; Jan Schymik
  9. Marginal College Wage Premiums under Selection into Employment* By Matthias Westphal; Daniel A. Kamhöfer; Hendrik Schmitz
  10. The declining fortunes of (most) American workers By Laura A Harvey; James Rockey
  11. Safety at Work and Immigration By Cristina Bellés-Obrero; Nicolau Martin Bassols; Judit Vall Castello
  12. F.O.G. and Teleworking: Some Labor Economics of covid-19 By Jacques Bughin; Michele Cincera
  13. Young, Educated, Unemployed By Sena Coskun
  14. Dream jobs By Luca David Opromolla; Giordano Mion; Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano
  15. Waiting for recovery: The Canadian labour market in June 2020 By Jones, Stephen R. G.; Lange, Fabian; Riddell, William Craig; Warman, Casey
  16. Does the Actuarial Adjustment for Pension Delay Affect Retirement and Claiming Decisions? By Devon Gorry; Kyung Min Lee; Sita Slavov
  17. The effect of emigration and remittances on labour supply of the left-behind: Evidence from Nepal By Sharma, Hari
  18. Skill-Biased Imports, Human Capital Accumulation, and the Allocation of Talent By Lei Li
  19. Working during COVID-19: Cross-country evidence from real-time survey data By Vincenzo Galasso; Martial Foucault
  21. The new hazardous jobs and worker reallocation By Gaetano Basso; Tito Boeri; Alessandro Caiumi; Marco Paccagnella
  22. Age Discrimination across the Business Cycle By Gordon B. Dahl; Matthew Knepper
  23. The effects of shop opening hours deregulation: evidence from Italy By Lucia Rizzica; Giacomo Roma; Gabriele Rovigatti
  24. Young Children and Parents' Labor Supply during COVID-19 By Barkowski, Scott; McLaughlin, Joanne Song; Dai, Yinlin
  25. Can competitiveness predict education and labor market outcomes? Evidence from incentivized choice and survey measures By Thomas Buser; Muriel Niederle; Hessel Oosterbeek
  26. The Illusory Benefits of Working Longer on Financial Preparedness for Retirement By Teresa Ghilarducci; Michael Papadopoulos; Anthony Webb
  27. When there is no way up: Reconsidering low-paid jobs as stepping stones By Gail Pacheco; Alexander Plum
  28. The 2018-2021 working time reform in Korea: A preliminary assessment By Alexander Hijzen; Stefan Thewissen
  29. Entry Deregulation, Firm Organization and Wage Inequality By Dudley Cooke; Ana P. Fernandes; Priscila Ferreira
  30. Identifying and addressing employment barriers in Belgium, Korea and Norway: Implementing the OECD Jobs Strategy By Rodrigo Fernandez; Alexander Hijzen; Daniele Pacifico; Stefan Thewissen
  31. Italian workers at risk during the COVID-19 epidemic By Teresa Barbieri; Gaetano Basso; Sergio Scicchitano
  33. Updates of Empirical Estimates of Marxian Categories: The Philippines 1961-2012 By Victor S. Venida

  1. By: Elira Kuka; Na'ama Shenhav
    Abstract: This paper uses a panel of SSA earnings linked to the CPS to estimate the impact of increasing post-childbirth work incentives on mothers' long-run career trajectories. We implement a novel research design that exploits variation in the timing of the 1993 reform of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) around a woman's first birth and in eligibility for the credit. We find that single mothers exposed to the expansion immediately after a first birth ("early-exposed") have 3 to 4 p.p. higher employment in the 5 years after a first birth than single mothers exposed 3 to 6 years after a first birth ("late-exposed"). Ten to nineteen years after a first birth, early-exposed mothers have the same employment and hours as late-exposed mothers, but have accrued 0.5 to 0.6 more years of work experience and have 6 percent higher earnings. Incorporating long-run effects on EITC benefits and earnings increases the implied marginal value of public funds (MVPF) of the expansion. Our results suggest that there are steep returns to work incentives at childbirth that accumulate over the life-cycle.
    JEL: H20 H24 J16 J20 J22 J24
    Date: 2020–06
  2. By: Barron, Kai; Gravert, Christina
    Abstract: Confidence in one's own abilities is often seen as an important determinant of being successful. Empirical evidence about how such beliefs about one's own abilities causally influence choices is, however, sparse. In this paper, we use a stylized laboratory experiment to investigate the causal effect of an increase in confidence on two important choices made by workers in the labor market: (i) choosing between jobs with a payment scheme that depends heavily on ability [high earnings risk] and those that pay a fixed wage [low earnings risk], and (ii) the subsequent choice of how much effort to exert within the job. We find that an exogenous increase in confidence leads to an increase in subjects' propensity to choose payment schemes that depend heavily on ability. This is detrimental for low ability workers due to high baseline levels of confidence.
    Keywords: overconfidence,experiment,beliefs,real-effort,career choices
    JEL: C91 D03 M50 J24
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Alexander W. Bartik; Zoe B. Cullen; Edward L. Glaeser; Michael Luca; Christopher T. Stanton
    Abstract: The threat of COVID-19 has increased the health risks of going to an office or factory, leading more workers to do their jobs remotely. In this paper, we provide results from firm surveys on both small and large businesses on the prevalence and productivity of remote work, and expectations about the persistence of remote work once the COVID-19 crisis ends. We present four main findings. First, while overall levels of remote work are high, there is considerable variation across industries. The Dingel and Neiman (2020) measure of suitability for remote work does a remarkably good job of predicting the industry level patterns of remote work - highlighting the challenge of moving many industries to remote work. Second, remote work is much more common in industries with better educated and better paid workers. Third, in our larger survey, employers think that there has been less productivity loss from remote working in better educated and higher paid industries. Fourth, more than one-third of firms that had employees switch to remote work believe that remote work will remain more common at their company even after the COVID-19 crisis ends.
    JEL: J01 J24 M5 O3
    Date: 2020–06
  4. By: Lucia Rizzica (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The public sector represents the largest employer in all OECD countries, however the size of the public workforce varies significantly across countries and sectors and over time. This paper provides an analysis of the evolution of public sector employment in Italy over the past decade, combining an overview of the main legislative interventions that have shaped the recruitment and exit processes and an empirical descriptive analysis of the resulting trends and workforce composition. Finally, I provide an in depth analysis of the case of universities, where the contraction in the size of the workforce was most severe.
    Keywords: public employment, labour markets regulation, human capital and skills
    JEL: J21 J24 J45 L88
    Date: 2020–06
  5. By: Diego A. Comin; Ana Danieli; Martí Mestieri
    Abstract: We propose a mechanism for labor-market polarization based on the nonhomotheticity of demand that we call the income-driven channel. Our mechanism builds on a novel empirical fact: expenditure elasticities and production intensities in low- and high-skill occupations are positively correlated across sectors. Thus, as income grows, demand shifts towards expenditure-elastic sectors, and the relative demand for low- and high-skill occupations increases, causing labor-market polarization. A calibrated general-equilibrium model suggests this mechanism accounts for 90% and 35% of the increase in the wage-bill share of low- and high-skill occupations observed in the US during 1980-2016, and for 64% and 28% of the rise in the employment shares of low- and high-skill occupations. This mechanism is similarly important for the polarization of labor markets in Western Europe during 1980-2016, as well as in the US during earlier decades and, possibly, the near future.
    JEL: E21 E23 J23 J31
    Date: 2020–06
  6. By: Gordon Dahl; Dan-Olof Rooth; Anders Stenberg
    Abstract: This paper studies whether specialized academic fields of study in secondary school, which are common in many countries, affect earnings as an adult. Identification is challenging, because it requires not just quasi-random variation into fields of study, but also an accounting of individuals' next-best alternatives. Our setting is Sweden, where at the end of ninth grade students rank fields of study and admissions to oversubscribed fields is determined based on a student's GPA. We use a regression discontinuity design which allows for different labor market returns for each combination of preferred versus next-best choice, together with nationwide register data for school cohorts from 1977-1991 linked to their earnings as adults. Our analysis yields four main findings. First, Engineering, Natural Science, and Business yield higher earnings relative to most second-best choices, while Social Science and Humanities result in sizable drops, even relative to non-academic vocational programs. Second, the return to completing a field varies substantially as a function of a student's next-best alternative. The magnitudes are often as large as estimates of the return to two years of additional education. Third, the pattern of returns for individuals with different first and second best choices is consistent with comparative advantage for many field choice combinations, while others exhibit either random sorting or comparative disadvantage. Fourth, most of the differences in adult earnings can be attributed to differences in college major and occupation. Taken together, these results highlight that the field choices students make at age 16, when they may have limited information about their skills and the labor market, have effects which last into adulthood.
    JEL: I26 J24 J31
    Date: 2020–07
  7. By: Andreas Gulyas; Sebastian Seitz; Sourav Sinha
    Abstract: We study the 2011 Austrian Pay Transparency Law, which requires firms above a size threshold to publish reports on the gender pay gap. We exploit variation across firm size and time, to study the effects of transparency on the gender wage gap and individual wages, using the universe of Austrian social security records. Our results show that the policy had no discernible effects on male and female wages, and therefore no significant effects on the gender wage gap. The effects are precisely estimated and we can rule out that the policy narrowed the gender wage gap by more than half a percentage point. We find no evidence for wage compression at the establishment level. The policy led to an increase in the retention rate of workers, which points towards higher job satisfaction due to pay transparency.
    Keywords: Pay Transparency, Gender Wage Gap
    JEL: J08 J31 J38 J78
    Date: 2020–07
  8. By: Jean-Victor Alipour; Harald Fadinger; Jan Schymik
    Abstract: This paper studies the relation between work and public health during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. Combining administrative data on SARS-CoV-2 infections and short-time work registrations, firm- and worker-level surveys and cell phone tracking data on mobility patterns, we find that working from home (WFH) is very effective in economic and public health terms. WFH effectively shields workers from short-term work, firms from COVID-19 distress and substantially reduces infection risks. Counties whose occupation structure allows for a larger fraction of work to be done from home experienced (i) much fewer short-time work registrations and (ii) less SARS-CoV-2 cases. Health benefits of WFH appeared mostly in the early stage of the pandemic and became smaller once tight confinement rules were implemented. Before con- finement, mobility levels were lower in counties with more WFH jobs and counties experienced a convergence in traffic levels once confinement was in place.
    Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Working from Home, Labor Supply Shock, Infections, Mitigation, BIBB-BAuA
    JEL: J22 H12 I18 J68 R12 R23
    Date: 2020–06
  9. By: Matthias Westphal (TU Dortmund, RWI Essen, Leibniz Science Campus Ruhr); Daniel A. Kamhöfer (University of Düsseldorf, IZA); Hendrik Schmitz (Paderborn University, RWI Essen, Leibniz Science Campus Ruhr)
    Abstract: In this paper, we identify female long-term wage returns to college education using the educational expansion between 1960-1990 in West Germany as exogenous variation for college enrollment. We estimate marginal treatment effects to learn about the underlying behavioral structure of women who decide for or against going to college (e.g., whether there is selection into gains). We propose a simple partial identification technique using an adjusted version of the Lee bounds to account for women who select into employment due to having a college education, which we call college-induced selection into employment (CISE). We find that women are, on average, more than 17 percentage points more likely to be employed due to having a college education than without. Taking this CISE into account, we find wage returns of 6-12 percent per year of education completed (average treatment effects on the treated).
    Keywords: Marginal treatment effect, Partial identification, Returns to higher education, Female labor force participation
    JEL: C31 I26 J24
    Date: 2020–08
  10. By: Laura A Harvey (University of East Anglia); James Rockey (University of Leicester)
    Abstract: While real US GDP per capita has increased around 80% since 1980, median incomes have remained roughly constant. However, as this paper documents, this stagnation masks an important decline. Male median real incomes have been lower than that of their forebears, at every age, for the last 30 years. We show that this is true across the life cycle and across the wage distribution. Moreover, that younger generations have also had to wait longer to reach peak earnings. Further analysis shows that this decline is particularly concentrated on high school graduates. The same pattern is found for female high school graduates yet, African American and Hispanic American women are an important exception. Variance decompositions suggest that these intergenerational differences are quantitatively important. While reductions in hours worked cannot explain the decline, substantial decreases in the labour share are consistent with decreasing incomes in the face of productivity growth. Calculations suggest that hedonic improvements in the quality of goods and services would have to have been equivalent to 30% of lifetime consumption younger cohorts consumption levels to match those of their predecessors.
    Keywords: Wages, Intergenerational Differences, Labour Share, Stagnation, Jobs
    JEL: E24 J24 J31 D33 D31
    Date: 2020–08–04
  11. By: Cristina Bellés-Obrero; Nicolau Martin Bassols; Judit Vall Castello
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of immigration on workplace safety, a new and previously unexplored outcome in the literature. We use a novel administrative dataset of the universe of workplace accidents reported in Spain from 2003 to 2015 and follow an IV strategy based on the distribution of early migrants settlements across provinces. Our results show that the massive inflow of immigrants between 2003 and 2009 reduced the number of workplace accidents by 10,980 for native workers (7% of the overall reduction during that period). This is driven by Spanish-born workers shifting away from manual occupations to those involving more interpersonal interactions. Immigrant flows during the economic crisis (2010-2015) had no impact on natives’ workplace safety. The scarcity of jobs during that period could have prevented shifts between occupations. Finally, we find no effects of immigration on the workplace safety of immigrants. These results add a previously unexplored dimension to the immigration debate that should be taken into account when evaluating the costs and benefits of migration flows.
    Keywords: Immigration, Workplace Accidents, Safety at Work
    JEL: J61 J28 I1
    Date: 2020–06
  12. By: Jacques Bughin; Michele Cincera
    Abstract: FOG (« fear of going back to work ») is a new acronym reflecting workers stress to become contamined by covid-19. In response, firms have been offering protections, extending teleworking as a way to continue to work during the pandemics. Leveraging a classical epidemiologic SIR model, we study how pandemics such as Covid 19 affect labor market, when the labor productivity is tied to the value of interactions, and under wage negotiations. Despite relatively schematic, our modelling highlights that workers participation during pandemics is dependent on reservation wages, and that the final dynamics are also critically dependent on a mix of health and wealth factors such as age, work interactions, workers power, and productivity of interactions. In general, teleworking may be a way to restore work participation, even if teleworking may be less productive, to the extent that the productivity gap can be compensated by a much higher protection of workers.
    Keywords: pandemics; covid-19; labor participation; teleworking
    JEL: I12 J22 J23 J33
    Date: 2020–07
  13. By: Sena Coskun
    Abstract: In a number of European countries, unemployment rates for young college graduates are higher than for young high school graduates. This presents a challenge for canonical models of unemployment that suggest that unemployment should decrease with education. I disentangle two potential explanations for the pattern: “labor market frictions” versus “relative productivity.” Here, labor market frictions are obstacles to labor market flows (such as employment protection regulation), whereas relative productivity refers to features that lower the output of educated workers already matched to firms (such as an education system that does not provide the right skills or a lack of jobs that make good use of workers’ skills). The analysis builds on a search and matching model with endogeneous productivity differences and the possibility of mismatch (educated workers working in low skilled jobs). I show that when young educated workers have productivity levels close to uneducated workers, they have higher unemployment rates, because firms create fewer skilled jobs. My counterfactual analysis shows that the relative productivity channel explains a substantial part in accounting for unemployment of young educated workers. The results suggest that improving education policy and fostering firms’ demand for skills may have important roles to play in addressing high unemployment among young workers.
    Keywords: unemployment, labor market frictions, European labor markets, education, productivity, skill premium
    JEL: E24 J21 J24 J31 J64
    Date: 2020–07
  14. By: Luca David Opromolla; Giordano Mion; Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano
    Abstract: Understanding why certain jobs are 'better' than others and what implications they have for a worker's career is clearly an important but still relatively unexplored question. We provide both a theoretical framework and a number of empirical results that help distinguishing 'good' from 'bad' jobs in terms of their impact on a worker's lifetime wage income profile through wage jumps occurring upon changing job ('static effects') or through increases in the wage growth rate ('dynamic effects'). We find that the distinction between internationally active firms and domestic firms is a meaningful empirical dividing line between employers providing 'good' and 'bad' jobs. First, in internationally active firms the experience-wage profile is much steeper than in domestic firms, especially for managers as opposed to blue-collar workers. Second, the higher lifetime wage income for managers in internationally active firms relies on the stronger accumulation of experience that these firms allow for and on the (almost) perfect portability of the accumulated dynamic wage gains to other firms. Static effects are instead much more important for blue-collar workers. Finally, the distinction between internationally active and domestic firms is relevant also at a more aggregate level to explain cross-sectional differences in wages among workers and spatial differences in average wages across regions within a country.
    JEL: F16 J30 J62 M12
    Date: 2020
  15. By: Jones, Stephen R. G.; Lange, Fabian; Riddell, William Craig; Warman, Casey
    Abstract: The Canadian labour market is currently emerging from a holding pattern with unusually high numbers in temporary (or "recall") unemployment, those "employed but absent from work" for unspecified reasons, or not in the labour force while waiting to be recalled. Two encouraging signs are evident. New postings of vacancies have recovered from 50% percent to about 80% of their pre-crisis level. Also, data suggest that the increase in employment in May 2020 is due to some of those waiting to be recalled re-entering employment. These patterns suggest that a reasonably quick rebound of the labour market may be possible. Warning signs are that the shares of the unemployed without job attachment as well as those on recall engaged in job search are beginning to increase.
    Keywords: COVID-19,Vacancies,Unemployment,Employment
    JEL: J21 J22 J23 J63
    Date: 2020
  16. By: Devon Gorry; Kyung Min Lee; Sita Slavov
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of more generous terms for delaying state pensions on claiming and labor supply in the United Kingdom using a 2005 policy change. First, we find that the more generous delay terms reduced the fraction of males receiving pensions at the earliest eligibility age and shortly after. While there are also post-policy changes in women’s claiming behavior, further investigation reveals that these changes do not coincide with the start of the policy and are therefore less likely to be causal effects. Second, we find post-policy increases in labor supply around the earliest pension eligibility age, followed by post-policy decreases in labor supply at older ages. While these labor supply changes cannot easily be separated from longer-term trends, they are consistent with some individuals choosing to work longer to finance pension delay, followed by some individuals retiring earlier due to the income effect from more generous pension benefits. Finally, we find that among individuals who delayed pensions for up to 5 years, about 3 percent of individuals took their gains from delay as lump sums, an option made available under the policy changes.
    JEL: H55 J26
    Date: 2020–07
  17. By: Sharma, Hari
    Abstract: Rapid increases in work-related emigration and subsequent inflows of remittances have raised policy concerns about impacts on labour supply in emigration-source countries. The growing literature in this area ignores spillover effects from emigration and remittances in one locality affecting outcomes in nearby localities. A two-wave panel of 500 localities in Nepal is used here, along with destination driven exogenous changes in predicted emigration rates, to identify impacts of emigration and remittances on labour supply. There is a positive impact on labour supply, but just for females. Also, emigration and remittances are associated with labour shifting out of agriculture as farm work is less preferred in remittance receiving households. While the spillover effect of emigration is as large as the direct effect, spillovers are limited to rural localities. Given the typical nature of rural labour markets, emigration-driven remittances help to overcome borrowing constraints and boost local activity that increases local wage rates and creates additional employment opportunities for the non-emigrants.
    Keywords: labour supply; emigration; spillovers; remittances; Nepal
    JEL: D1 J22 O13 O15
    Date: 2020–07–28
  18. By: Lei Li
    Abstract: This paper proposes that imported capital goods, which embody skill-complementary technologies, can lead to an increase in the supply of skill in developing countries like China. By exploiting the cross-prefecture variation in imported capital goods, I show that the surge in imported capital goods encourages human capital accumulation and migration in China. To tackle causality, I instrument a prefecture's import growth of capital goods with that in other regions. There are three main findings. Firstly, the regional difference in imported capital goods can explain 27 percent of the regional difference in college share between 2000 and 2010. A prefecture with a $100 increase in imported capital goods per capita had a 1.4 percentage points increase in college share. Secondly, this paper quantifies the importance of the three channels, namely skill acquisition of local stayers, immigration of skilled workers, and emigration of skilled workers, through which imported capital goods increase college share. I find that the first channel is the most important. Thirdly, I trace out the responses of skill supply to the demand shift. I find that imported capital goods increase college wage premium and the effect attenuates over time with the increase in skill supply. with model: it is fine to mention that K import first increase the demand for for skill by moving the demand curve, and then increase the supply by moving the supply curve?
    Keywords: Imported Capital Goods, Demand for Skill, Supply of Skill, Human Capital Accumulation, Migration
    JEL: F14 F16 F66 J24 J61
    Date: 2020–06
  19. By: Vincenzo Galasso (Sciences Po, Paris); Martial Foucault (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: The outbreak of COVID-19 and the unprecedented measures taken by many countries to slow down the spread of the coronavirus caused large economic and psychological costs. This paper uses real time survey data from two waves run at the end of March and in mid-April to provide a snapshot of the actual labour market outcomes in twelve countries. Our study reveals large cross-country differences. At the end of March, when large disparity existed in the diffusion of the pandemic and in the lockdown measures, a large share of employed individuals had stopped working in France (38%) and Italy (47%), but much less in Australia (13%) and the US (10%). Large differences remained in mid-April. Yet, some common patterns emerge. Labour market outcomes varied according to workers’ educational attainments and occupation types. College graduates and white collars worked more from home and less from the regular workplace. Instead, low educated workers and blue collars were more likely to remain in the regular work place or to stop working. Similar patterns emerge with respect to the workers’ (family) income. This evidence suggests that initial labour market effects of COVID-19 (and of the lockdown measures) may have contributed to increase pre-existing inequalities.
    JEL: J21 I30
    Date: 2020–07–29
  20. By: Stijn Baert (Department of Economics, Ghent University); Matteo Picchio (Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (Italy))
    Abstract: This article contributes to the nascent literature on the effect of grade retention in school on later labour market success. A field experiment is conducted to rule out the endogeneity of both outcomes. More concretely, various treatments of grade retention are randomly assigned to fictitious resumes sent in application to real vacancies. Overall, grade retention does not significantly affect positive call-back by employers. However, when narrowing in on vacancies for occupations where on-the-job training is important, job candidates with a record of grade retention are 16% less likely to receive a positive reaction. This finding is consistent with Queuing theory.
    Keywords: Grade retention; hiring youth; training; signalling; queuing
    JEL: I21 J23 J70 C93
    Date: 2020–08
  21. By: Gaetano Basso (Bank of Italy); Tito Boeri (Bocconi University); Alessandro Caiumi (Bocconi University); Marco Paccagnella (OECD)
    Abstract: This paper analyses several dimensions of workers’ safety that are relevant in the context of a pandemic. We provide a classification of occupations according to the risk of contagion: by considering a wider range of job characteristics and a more nuanced assessment of infection risk, we expand on the previous literature that almost exclusively looked at feasibility of working from home. We apply our classification to the United States and to European countries and we find that roughly 50% of jobs in our sample can be considered safe, although a large cross-country variation exists, notably in the potential incidence of remote working. We find that the most economically vulnerable workers (low-educated, low-wage workers, immigrants, workers on temporary contracts, and part-timers) are over-represented in unsafe jobs, notably in non-essential activities. We assess the nature of the reallocation of workers from unsafe to safe jobs that is likely to take place in the years to come, and the policies that could mitigate the social cost of this reallocation.
    Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, workers’ reallocation, working conditions
    JEL: J28 J23 J81
    Date: 2020–07–29
  22. By: Gordon B. Dahl; Matthew Knepper
    Abstract: A key prediction of discrimination models is that competition in the labor market serves as a moderating force on employer discrimination. In the presence of market frictions, however, recessions create excess labor supply and thus generate opportunities to engage in discriminatory behaviors far more cheaply. A natural question arises: does discrimination increase during recessions? We focus on age discrimination and test this hypothesis in two ways. We first use employee discrimination charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), along with an objective measure of the quality of those charges. For each one percentage point increase in a state-industry’s monthly unemployment rate, the volume of age discrimination firing and hiring charges increases by 4.8% and 3.4%, respectively. Even though the incentive to file weaker claims is stronger when unemployment is high, the fraction of meritorious claims also increases significantly when labor market conditions deteriorate. This is a sufficient condition for real (versus merely reported) discrimination to be increasing under mild assumptions. Second, we repurpose data from a correspondence study in which fictitious resumes of women were randomly assigned older versus younger ages and circulated across different cities and time periods during the recovery from the Great Recession. Each one percentage point increase in the local unemployment rate reduces the relative callback rate for older women by 14%.
    Keywords: age discrimination, recessions
    JEL: J71 J64 J23
    Date: 2020
  23. By: Lucia Rizzica (Bank of Italy); Giacomo Roma (Bank of Italy); Gabriele Rovigatti (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of the deregulation of shop opening hours on the market structure of the retail sector and on the size and composition of the labour force employed there. To identify these effects, we exploit the staggered implementation of a reform that allowed Italian municipalities to adopt fully flexible opening hours in the late 1990s. Our findings indicate that the possibility of opening shops 24/7 increased employment in the retail sector by about three per cent and raised the number of shops in the affected municipalities by about two per cent. The effects were concentrated amongst workers employed in larger commercial outlets that were better able to exploit the flexibility introduced by the new regime. An analysis of individual-level evidence suggests that the deregulation also produced a recomposition of employment towards regular employees rather than self-employed workers.
    Keywords: regulation, retail sector, employment
    JEL: J21 K20 L51 L81
    Date: 2020–06
  24. By: Barkowski, Scott; McLaughlin, Joanne Song; Dai, Yinlin
    Abstract: We study the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the labor supply of parents with young children. Using the monthly Current Population Survey, and following a pre-analysis plan, we use three variations of difference-in-differences to compare workers with childcare needs to those without. The first compares parents with young children and those without young children, while the second and third rely on the presence of someone who could provide childcare in the household: a teenager in one and a grandparent in the other. We analyze three outcomes: whether parents were “at work” (not sick, on vacation, or otherwise away from his or her job); whether they were employed; and hours worked. Contrary to expectation, we find the labor supply of parents with young children was not negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, some evidence suggests they were more likely to be working after the pandemic unfolded. For the outcomes of being at work and employed, our results are not systematically different for men and women, but some findings suggest women with young children worked almost an hour longer per week than those without. These results suggest that factors like employers allowing employees to work at home and informal sources of childcare aided parents in avoiding negative shocks to their labor supply during the pandemic.
    Keywords: Labor supply; COVID-19; Childcare; School closures; Coronavirus
    JEL: H12 I1 J22
    Date: 2020–06–19
  25. By: Thomas Buser (University of Amsterdam); Muriel Niederle (Stanford University); Hessel Oosterbeek (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We assess the predictive power of two measures of competitiveness for education and labor market outcomes using a large, representative survey panel. The first is incentivized and is an online adaptation of the laboratory-based Niederle-Vesterlund measure. The second is an unincentivized survey question eliciting general competitiveness on an 11-point scale. Both measures are strong and consistent predictors of income, occupation, completed level of education and field of study. The predictive power of the new unincentivized measure for these outcomes is robust to controlling for other traits, including risk attitudes, confidence and the Big Five personality traits. For most outcomes, the predictive power of competitiveness exceeds that of the other traits. Gender differences in competitiveness can explain 5-10 percent of the observed gender differences in education and labor market outcomes.
    Keywords: competitiveness, career decisions, validated survey measures
    JEL: C9 I20 J24 J16
    Date: 2020–08–11
  26. By: Teresa Ghilarducci; Michael Papadopoulos; Anthony Webb (Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA))
    Abstract: Older workers with insufficient savings are advised to delay retirement. Using Health and Retirement Study data, we compare outcomes of those who delay retirement, a possibly select group, with the predictions of a typical spreadsheet model. Work to age 70 is associated with an 18 percentage-point increase in the share financially prepared for retirement, compared with a predicted 46 percentage points because most older workers claim Social Security and retirement wealth barely increases. Drawing down retirement wealth while working makes sense for most, because earnings are lower than post-retirement income, in part because many older workers voluntarily work part time.
    Keywords: Retirement income, Social Security claiming, Older worker labor supply
    JEL: H55 J26 J32
    Date: 2020–07
  27. By: Gail Pacheco (NZ Work Research Institute, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law at AUT University); Alexander Plum (NZ Work Research Institute, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law at AUT University)
    Abstract: Several studies have shown significant persistence in low pay, along with a greater probability of moving out of low pay and into higher pay in the future. Low-paid jobs are therefore often deemed stepping stones, rather than dead-ends. However, using point-in-time information past literature has usually only considered changes in labour market status at the annual level and not accounted for within-year changes of an individual’s low pay position. Using population-wide administrative data with monthly earnings information, this study accounts for changes in an individual’s low pay position and shows that attachment to the low pay sector is highly heterogeneous. The empirical evidence points to workers that have a strong attachment to the low pay sector facing a very high probability of staying low-paid employed; and the likelihood of their low pay jobs being stepping stones towards higher pay are found to be negligible.
    Keywords: low pay, pay persistence, dynamic random effects models, administrative data
    JEL: J62 J31 C33 C55
    Date: 2020–07
  28. By: Alexander Hijzen; Stefan Thewissen
    Abstract: To reduce the incidence of very long working hours, Korea is gradually implementing a major working-time reform, which lowers the statutory limit on total weekly working hours from 68 to 52 between 2018-2021. This paper provides a preliminary assessment of the reform with three key insights. First, the ongoing reform will bring Korea’s working time regulation in line with the dominant OECD practice. Second, the implementation of the 52-hour limit among large firms reduced the incidence of working more than 52 hours by 5 percentage points or about a fifth of its pre-reform level among employees working overtime. While these results are encouraging, they also suggest that working very long hours remains common, even among large firms that are subject to the new 52-hour limit. Third, two in five workers will remain exempt from the 52-hour limit once it is fully implemented in 2021. The main conclusion is that the reform represents an important step in the right direction, but that further efforts are needed to effectively change Korea’s long working-hour culture.
    JEL: J22 J28 J21
    Date: 2020–08–11
  29. By: Dudley Cooke (University of Exeter); Ana P. Fernandes (University of Exeter); Priscila Ferreira (NIPE and University of Minho)
    Abstract: This paper identifies a causal link between changes in product market competition, firm reorganization and within-firm wage inequality. We exploit a unique episode of comprehensive firm entry deregulation as a quasi-natural experiment and use exceptionally detailed linked employer-employee data for the universe of private sector firms and workers. We find that following deregulation affected firms flatten their hierarchies: the number of layers is reduced and managers´spans of control increased. Dropping a hierarchy layer is accompanied by a significant reduction in wage inequality within the firm, by 10% for the average pay ratio between the top and the bottom layer, showing that there are real changes arising from firm reorganization. Overall dispersion is also reduced. We discuss mechanisms and interpretations for these changes.
    Keywords: Firm entry deregulation, Hierarchical layers, Internal organization, Product Market Competition, Span of control, Wage Inequality
    JEL: L22 L23 M12 J31
    Date: 2020
  30. By: Rodrigo Fernandez; Alexander Hijzen; Daniele Pacifico; Stefan Thewissen
    Abstract: This paper documents joblessness in OECD countries, provides a detailed diagnosis of structural employment barriers in Belgium, Korea and Norway by applying the OECD Faces of Joblessness methodology to the situation just before the COVID-19 crisis and discusses the policy implications. It shows that individuals experiencing major employment difficulties often face a combination of barriers related to work availability, readiness and incentives. It suggests a number of avenues for enhancing the effectiveness of public support: i) make greater use of statistical profiling tools to adapt programmes to the needs of the jobless and target resources to those at the highest risk of long-term joblessness; ii) better coordinate support provided by employment, health and education services; iii) place a greater emphasis on preventive policies (equal opportunities, life-long learning).
    JEL: J21 J22 J68
    Date: 2020–08–11
  31. By: Teresa Barbieri (INAPP); Gaetano Basso (Bank of Italy); Sergio Scicchitano (INAPP)
    Abstract: We analyse the content of Italian occupations operating in about 600 sectors with a focus on the dimensions that expose workers to risks during the COVID-19 epidemics. We leverage detailed information from ICP, the Italian equivalent of O*Net and find that several sectors need physical proximity to operate: the workers employed in sectors whose physical proximity index is above the national average are more than 6.5 million (mostly in retail trade). Groups at risk of complications from COVID-19 (mainly male above the age of 50) work in sectors that are little exposed to physical proximity, currently under lockdown or can work remotely. The sectoral lockdowns put in place by the Italian Government in March 2020 targeted sectors who operate in physical proximity, but not those directly exposed to infections (the health industry is not subject to lockdown). Most of the workforce who can operate from home have not been put under lockdown.
    Keywords: working conditions, safety, crisis policies, COVID-19 epidemics
    JEL: J28 J81 H12 I18
    Date: 2020–06
  32. By: Emiliano Brancaccio (Universita' degli studi del Sannio); Fabiana De Cristofaro (Institute of Economics and EMbeDS Department, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa); Raffaele Giammetti (Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (Italy))
    Abstract: The so-called 'IMF-OECD consensus' suggests that labour market deregulations increase employment and reduce unemployment. We present a first meta-analysis on the subject based on MAER-NET guidelines. We examine the relation between Employment Protection Legislation indexes on one hand and employment and unemployment on the other. Among 53 academic papers published between 1990 and 2019 and contained in the Web of Science, only 28% supports the 'consensus' while the remaining 72% report results that are controversial (21%) or contrary to the 'consensus' (51%). The decline in 'consensus' is particularly evident in the last decade. Results are independent of the citations of the papers examined, the impact factor of the journals and the techniques used. A FAT-PET meta-regression model confirms these outcomes.
    Keywords: Labour market, Employment protection legislation, Unemployment, Meta-analysis, Meta-Regression
    JEL: B5 C83 E24 J48 K31
    Date: 2020–07
  33. By: Victor S. Venida (Economics Department, Ateneo de Manila University)
    Abstract: The economies of developing countries have a dualist structure in which feudal and capitalist modes coexist and interact. For the Philippines, this dualism is evident. This paper analyzes the Philippines’s economic structure through a theoretical framework that draws on a Marxian theory interpreted by Wolff (1977, 1979): the model of social disarticulation and the creation of relative surplus value. Adding on to estimates for 1961–2000 for further analysis, this paper updates the estimated Marxian categories for the Philippines using the Input-Output tables from 1961 to 2012 and the formal model used by Venida (2007, 2011). Results of the estimates show labor productivity improvements from 2000 to 2012, which point to the possibility that the Philippine economy could have begun to transition to further capitalist expansion.
    Keywords: input-output, labor productivity, Marxian theory, Philippines, relative surplus value
    JEL: D57 E11 E24 J24
    Date: 2020–07

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