nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2005‒12‒14
eight papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Poverty and Fertility in Less Developed Countries: a comparative analysis By Arnstein Aassve; Henriette Engelhardt; Francesca Francavilla; Alexia Fuernkranz-Pskawetz; Abbi Kedir; Jungho Kim; Fabrizia Mealli; Letizia Mencarini; Stephen Pudney
  2. Childhood Family Structure and Schooling Outcomes: evidence for Germany By Marco Francesconi; Stephen P. Jenkins; Thomas Siedler
  3. Is There a Glass Ceiling Over Europe? An Exploration of Asymmetries in the Gender Pay Gap across the Wages Distribution By Wiji Arulampalam; Alison L. Booth; Mark L Bryan
  4. Decomposing Changes in Income Inequality into Vertical and Horizontal Redistribution and Reranking, with Applications to China and Vietnam By Adam Wagstaff
  5. A Poverty-Inequality Trade-off? By Martin Ravallion
  6. On the Contribution of Demographic Change to Aggregate Poverty Measures for the Developing World By Martin Ravallion
  7. Evaluating Anti-Poverty Programs By Martin Ravallion
  8. The Economic Consequences of Health Shocks By Adam Wagstaff

  1. By: Arnstein Aassve (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Henriette Engelhardt (Vienna Institute of Demography); Francesca Francavilla (University of Florence); Alexia Fuernkranz-Pskawetz (Vienna Institute of Demography); Abbi Kedir (University of Leicester); Jungho Kim (Vienna Institute of Demography); Fabrizia Mealli (University of Florence); Letizia Mencarini (University of Florence); Stephen Pudney (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: Just as poverty analysis has a central part in Development Economics, studies of fertility behaviour have an equally important standing in the Demography literature. Poverty and fertility are two important aspects of welfare that are closely related. In this paper we use unique longitudinal data sources to study the relationship between poverty and fertility at household level over a two to five year period. In particular we compare the relationship between fertility and poverty in four countries: Albania, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Vietnam. These countries differ greatly in their history, average income, social structure, economic institutions and demographic features. We find that there is a substantial difference in the relative importance of the determinants of poverty dynamics and fertility; the persistence of high levels of fertility and poverty in Ethiopia is driven by lack of economic growth and poor access to family planning; education and health provision are crucial elements in reducing poverty and fertility, as is clear from Vietnam, Indonesia and Albania.
    Date: 2005–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ese:iserwp:2005-13&r=ltv
  2. By: Marco Francesconi (Department of Economics, University of Essex); Stephen P. Jenkins (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Thomas Siedler (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: We analyse the impact on schooling outcomes of growing up in a family headed by a single mother. Growing up in a non-intact family in Germany is associated with worse outcomes in models that do not control for possible correlations between common unobserved determinants of family structure and educational performance. But once endogeneity is accounted for, whether by using sibling-difference estimators or two types of instrumental variable estimator, the evidence that family structure affects schooling outcomes is much less conclusive. Although almost all the point estimates indicate that non-intactness has an adverse effect on schooling outcomes, confidence intervals are large and span zero.
    Keywords: childhood family structure, education success, instrumental variables, lone parents, sibling differences, treatment effects
    Date: 2005–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ese:iserwp:2005-22&r=ltv
  3. By: Wiji Arulampalam (University of Warwick); Alison L. Booth (Department of Economics, University of Essex); Mark L Bryan (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: Using harmonised data from the European Union Household Panel, we analyse gender pay gaps by sector across the wages distribution for ten countries. We find first, that quantile regression estimates are preferred to the OLS estimates, which give a misleading picture of gender pay gaps. Second, gender pay gaps are typically bigger at the top and the bottom of the wage distribution than in the middle, a finding that is consistent with (whilst not proving) the existence of sticky floors and glass ceilings. Third, the gender pay gap is typically higher at the top than the bottom end of the wage distribution, suggesting that glass ceilings are more prevalent than sticky floors and that these prevail in the majority of our countries.
    Keywords: european union, gender, quantile regression, wage differentials
    Date: 2005–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ese:iserwp:2005-25&r=ltv
  4. By: Adam Wagstaff (The World Bank)
    Abstract: It is acknowledged that the lack of any systematic link between growth and income inequality does not necessarily mean that economic growth is not accompanied by major changes in the underlying income distribution. The author uses a method devised to decompose the redistributive effect of a tax to analyze the extent to which vertical redistribution associated with changing incomes over time is offset or reinforced by horizontal redistribution and re-ranking. He uses panel data from China and Vietnam over a period when both countries grew spectacularly as they transitioned from planned to market economies, and yet experienced smaller annual percentage increases in income inequality. The results suggest that substantial amounts of horizontal redistribution and re-ranking in both China-and to a lesser extent Vietnam-more than offset pro-poor vertical redistribution. Without the horizontal redistribution and re-ranking, the Gini coefficient for China might have fallen between 1989 and 1997-substantially so.
    Keywords: Poverty, Macroeconomics and growth
    Date: 2005–04–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3559&r=ltv
  5. By: Martin Ravallion (The World Bank)
    Abstract: The idea that developing countries face a trade-off between poverty and inequality has had considerable influence on thinking about development policy. The experience of developing countries in the 1990s does not, however, reveal any sign of a systematic trade-off between measures of absolute poverty and relative inequality. Indeed, falling inequality tends to come with falling poverty incidence. And rising inequality appears more likely to be putting a brake on poverty reduction than to be facilitating it. However, there is evidence of a trade-off for absolute inequality, suggesting that those who want a lower absolute gap between the rich and the poor must in general be willing to see lower absolute levels of living for poor people.
    Keywords: Poverty
    Date: 2005–04–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3579&r=ltv
  6. By: Martin Ravallion (The World Bank)
    Abstract: Recent literature and new data help determine plausible bounds to some key demographic differences between the poor and non-poor in the developing world. The author estimates that selective mortality-whereby poorer people tend to have higher death rates-accounts for 10-30 percent of the developing world's trend rate of "$1 a day" poverty reduction in the 1990s. However, in a neighborhood of plausible estimates, differential fertility-whereby poorer people tend also to have higher birth rates-has had a more than offsetting poverty-increasing effect. The net impact of differential natural population growth represents 10-50 percent of the trend rate of poverty reduction.
    Keywords: Poverty, Health and population
    Date: 2005–04–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3580&r=ltv
  7. By: Martin Ravallion (The World Bank)
    Abstract: The author critically reviews the methods available for the ex-post counterfactual analysis of programs that are assigned exclusively to individuals, households, or locations. The discussion covers both experimental and non-experimental methods (including propensity-score matching, discontinuity designs, double and triple differences, and instrumental variables). Two main lessons emerge. First, despite the claims of advocates, no single method dominates; rigorous, policy-relevant evaluations should be open-minded about methodology. Second, future efforts to draw more useful lessons from evaluations will call for more policy-relevant measures and deeper explanations of measured impacts than are possible from the classic ("black box") assessment of mean impact.
    Keywords: Governance, Poverty, Rural development, Social Development, Education, Health and population
    Date: 2005–06–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3625&r=ltv
  8. By: Adam Wagstaff (The World Bank)
    Abstract: While there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence on the economic effects of adverse health shocks, there is relatively little hard empirical evidence. The author builds on recent empirical work to explore in the context of postreform Vietnam two related issues: (1) how far household income and medical care spending responds to health shocks, and (2) how far household consumption is protected against health shocks. The results suggest that adverse health shocks - captured by negative changes in body mass index (BMI) - are associated with reductions in earned income. This appears to be only partly - if at all - due to a reverse feedback from income changes to BMI changes. By contrast, there is a hint - the relevant coefficient is not significant - that adverse BMI shocks may result in increases in unearned income. This may reflect additional gifts, remittances, and so on, from family and friends following the health shock. Medical spending is found to increase following an adverse health shock, but not among those with health insurance. The impact for the uninsured is large, equal in absolute size to the income loss associated with a BMI shock. The lack of impact for the insured points to complete insurance against the medical care costs associated with health shocks, and is consistent with the very generous coverage of Vietnam's health insurance program in this period. The question arises: have Vietnamese households been able to hold their food and nonfood consumption constant in the face of these income reductions and extra medical care outlays? The results suggest not. For the sample as a whole, both food and nonfood consumption are found to be responsive to health shocks, indicating an inability to smooth nonmedical consumption in the face of health shocks. Further analysis reveals some interesting differences across different groups within the sample. Households with insurance come no closer to smoothing nonmedical consumption than uninsured households. Furthermore, and somewhat counterintuitively, better-off households - including insured households - fare worse than poorer households in smoothing their nonmedical consumption in the face of health shocks, despite the fact that in the case of insured households there are no medical bills associated with an adverse health event. Why the poor rely on dissaving and borrowing to such an extent, and do not apparently reduce their food and nonfood consumption following an adverse health shock while the better-off do, may be because the levels of food and nonfood consumption of the poor are simply too low relative to basic needs to enable them to cut back in the face of an adverse BMI shock.
    Keywords: Poverty, Health and population
    Date: 2005–06–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3644&r=ltv

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