nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2006‒08‒19
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. Superstars and Renaissance Men: Specialization, Market Size and the Income Distribution By Richard Walker
  2. Changes in Returns to Education in Latin America: the Role of Demand and Supply of Skills By M Manacorda; Carolina Sanchez-Paramo; Norbert Schady
  3. What Voice Do British Workers Want? By Alex Bryson; Richard Freeman
  4. Settlement size and fertility in the Nordic countries By Hill Kulu; Andres Vikat; Gunnar Andersson
  5. Social Cohesion, Institutions, and Growth By William Easterly; Jozef Ritzan; Michael Woolcock
  6. Governance and Corruption in Public Health Care Systems By Maureen Lewis

  1. By: Richard Walker
    Abstract: A general equilibrium model of individual specialization is presented in which agents tradeoff the productivity and price implications of producing a narrower range of goods. Agentswith highly specific skills turn out to benefit most from large markets. The model is able toreplicate features of the long-term evolution of the US income distribution, withspecialization-biased technical change and the increase in employed population playing keyroles. Among the results is that, at least along one dimension of ability, the skill premium isincreasing in the relative supply of skills.
    Keywords: specialization, aggregate demand, inequality, market size
    JEL: O11 E23 E25
    Date: 2005–11
  2. By: M Manacorda; Carolina Sanchez-Paramo; Norbert Schady
    Abstract: Changes in the relative wages of workers with different amounts of education have profound implications fordeveloping countries, where initial levels of inequality are often very high. In this paper we use micro data forfive Latin American countries over the 1980s and 1990s to document trends in men's returns to education, andto estimate whether the changes in skill premia we observe can be explained by supply or demand factors. Wepropose a model of demand for skills with three production inputs, and we allow the elasticity of substitutionbetween the different educational inputs to be different using a nested CES function. Using this model, weshow that the dramatic expansion in secondary school in many countries in Latin America depressed the wagesof workers with secondary school. We also show that there have been sharp increases in the demand for moreskilled workers in the region.
    Keywords: returns to education, demand and supply of skills
    JEL: J23 J24 O15
    Date: 2005–12
  3. By: Alex Bryson; Richard Freeman
    Abstract: The problems/need for representation and participation reported by workers vary acrossworkplaces and by types of jobs. Workers with greater workplace needs are more desirous ofunions but their preferences are fine-grained. Workers want unions to negotiate wages andwork conditions and for protection but do not see unions as helping them progress in theircareers. Many workers see no major workplace problems that would impel them to form orjoin unions. Unionism raises reported problems while firm-based non-union channels ofvoice reduce reported problems, but unions that work effectively with management and thosethat have sufficient strength to be taken seriously by management reduce the number ofproblems at union workplaces.
    Keywords: trades unions, worker voice, employment relations
    JEL: J51 J52 J53 J58
    Date: 2006–07
  4. By: Hill Kulu (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Andres Vikat (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Gunnar Andersson (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: There is a growing body of literature that looks at the causes of below-replacement fertility in developed countries. While the variation in childbearing patterns across countries and between socio-economic groups within a country has been studied in detail, little is known about the differences in fertility patterns across settlements within a country. A few recent studies suggest that there are persistent differentials between high- and low-fertility settlements in contemporary Europe. This study examines fertility variation across settlements in four Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. We base our study on aggregate and individual-level register data. We first examine annual total and parity-specific fertility across settlement type from the mid-1970s to the early twenty-first century. We proceed to study the relative contribution of the socio-economic characteristics of the local populations and the characteristics of the settlements to this variation, using hazard regression models.
    Keywords: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, event history analysis, fertility, urbanization
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2006–08
  5. By: William Easterly; Jozef Ritzan; Michael Woolcock
    Abstract: We present evidence that measures of “social cohesion,” such as income inequality and ethnic fractionalization, endogenously determine institutional quality, which in turn casually determines growth.
    Keywords: Political institutions, social cohesion, poverty, economic policy
    JEL: H5 O1
    Date: 2006–08
  6. By: Maureen Lewis
    Abstract: What factors affect health care delivery in the developing world? Anecdotal evidence of lives cut tragically short and the loss of productivity due to avoidable diseases is an area of salient concern in global health and international development. This working paper looks at factual evidence to describe the main challenges facing health care delivery in developing countries, including absenteeism, corruption, informal payments, and mismanagement. The author concludes that good governance is important in ensuring effective health care delivery, and that returns to investments in health are low where governance issues are not addressed.
    Keywords: governance, corruption, health care, disease, absenteeism
    JEL: H0 O0 I1
    Date: 2006–01

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