nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2006‒09‒11
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. The Colonial Origins of Inequality: Exploring the Causes and Consequences of Land Distribution By Frankema, Ewout
  2. Summarizing Multiple Deprivation Indicators By Lorenzo Cappellari; Stephen P. Jenkins
  3. Who Are the Trustworthy, We Think? By Johansson-Stenman, Olof
  4. Life Cycle Employment and Fertility Across Institutional Environments By Daniela del Boca; Robert M. Sauer

  1. By: Frankema, Ewout (Groningen University)
    Abstract: The colonial heritage of high land inequality in Latin American countries is still, after nearly two centuries of independence, one of the crucial underpinnings of its persistent high levels of income inequality. This paper assesses the colonial strategy of land redistribution in a global comparative perspective using new and existing land inequality figures in an OLS regression framework. The two central questions addressed are 1) what explains the cross-country variation in land inequality at the end of the colonial age? 2) how does initial land inequality relate to current income inequality? The main conclusions of the paper are that geography and factor endowments play a less decisive role than often argued in literature. And second, controlling for regional fixed effects, initial land inequality explains a substantial part of the present cross-country variation in current income inequality.
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Lorenzo Cappellari (Universita Cattolica di Milano); Stephen P. Jenkins (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: Deprivation scales derived from multiple, typically dichotomous, indicators, are widely used to monitor households’ standards of living, and to complement measures of living standards based on income. We use an item response modelling (IRM) framework to address several issues concerning the derivation of deprivation scales in general and the use of sum-score deprivation indices in particular. Although we favour the IRM approach over the sum-score one in principle, we find in an illustrative analysis of basic lifestyle deprivation in Britain in the mid-1990s that both approaches provide very similar pictures of households’ circumstances. We conclude with further discussion of the relative merits of the two approaches and highlight some topics for future research.
    Keywords: deprivation, poverty
    Date: 2006–08
  3. By: Johansson-Stenman, Olof (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: In a representative Swedish sample people were asked to judge the relative extent that different groups of people are considered trustworthy in several dimensions, including their political views and reading habits. A statistically significant effect of similarity on perceived trustworthiness was found in each of the seven dimensions analyzed. For example, right-wing voters consider Social Democratic voters to be much less trustworthy than right-wing voters, and vice versa. Thus, it seems that perceived trustworthiness decreases quite generally with the social distance. It is argued that social identity theory offers a plausible explanation. Moreover, older people are generally considered more trustworthy than younger, and people living in small cities are considered more trustworthy than people living in big cities. <p>
    Keywords: social capital; trustworthiness; social distance; identity; social identity; self-signalling
    JEL: C42 Z13
    Date: 2006–07–22
  4. By: Daniela del Boca; Robert M. Sauer
    Abstract: In this paper, we formulate a dynamic utility maximization model of female labor force participation and fertility choices and estimate approximate decision rules using data on married women in Italy, Spain and France. The pattern of estimated state dependence e?ects across countries is consistent with aggregate patterns in part-time employment and child care availability, suggesting that labor market rigidities and lack of child care options are important sources of state dependence. Simulations of the model reveal that Italian and Spanish women would substantially increase their participation rates were they to face the French institutional environment.
    Keywords: Female Employment, Fertility, Child Care, Institutions, Decision Rules
    JEL: J2 C3 D1
    Date: 2006–08

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