nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2006‒06‒17
three papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. True Health vs. Response Styles : Exploring Cross-country Differences in Self-reported Health By Hendrik Jürges
  2. Working Women, Men's Home Time and Lowest-Low Fertility By Almudena Sevilla Sanz; Joost J. de Laat
  3. Home Production and the Macro Economy-Some Lessons from Pollak and Wachter and from Transition Russia By Reuben Gronau

  1. By: Hendrik Jürges
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to decompose cross-national differences in self-reported general health into parts explained by differences in "true" health, measured by diagnosed conditions and measurements, and parts explained by cross-cultural differences in response styles. The data used were drawn from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe 2004 (SHARE), using information from 22,000 individuals aged 50 and over from 10 European countries. Self-rated general health shows large cross-country variations. According to their self-reports, the healthiest respondents live in the Scandinavian countries and the least healthy live in Southern Europe. Counterfactual self-reported health distributions that assume identical response styles in each country show much less variation in self-reports than factual selfreports. Danish and Swedish respondents tend to largely over-rate their health (relative to the average) whereas Germans tend to under-rate their health. If differences in reporting styles are taken into account, cross-country variations in general health are reduced but not eliminated. Failing to account for differences in reporting styles may yield misleading results.
    Keywords: Self-assessed health, response bias, cross-national study
    JEL: C42 I12
    Date: 2006
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp588&r=ltv
  2. By: Almudena Sevilla Sanz (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Joost J. de Laat (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Southern Europe's rapid fertility decline has resulted in a positive cross-country correlation between female labor force participation and fertility. We develop a model with heterogeneity in attitudes towards women's home time and a social externality associated to men's home production to explain (1) this positive correlation and (2) its intertemporal reversal. Implications of the theory are tested using the multi-country ISSP94 household survey. We find that, within countries, households with less egalitarian attitudes have more children but lower female labor force participation. However, consistent with the presence of social externalities, countries with less egalitarian views have lower average fertility.
    Keywords: attitudes, domestic labour, female labour supply, fertility, gender, household, housework, social dynamics
    Date: 2006–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ese:iserwp:2006-23&r=ltv
  3. By: Reuben Gronau
    Abstract: Recent years witnessed a flourishing of literature on the implication of shifts from home- production to market production on the macro economy, and in particular, the real business cycle. This literature employs calibration techniques to emulate the fluctuations in market output, labor and capital inputs and productivity over the business cycle, assuming a representative consumer and using stylized parameters of the substitution elasticity between home and market goods, and of the home production function. This paper argues that the parameters used in this literature cannot be verified empirically because of econometric identification problems. Furthermore, using data from the late 90s from transition Russia, it is argued that one cannot capture the fluctuation between the home and the market by using a representative consumer, since there is a distinct difference between males and females in their reaction to loss of employment: men shift most of the time released from market work to leisure while women divide it almost equally between work at home and leisure. Finally it is shown that the switch from a controlled economy to a market economy resulted in significant increase in home productivity and an increase in the free time enjoyed by both Russian men and women.
    JEL: D13 E32 J22 P36
    Date: 2006–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12287&r=ltv

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