nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2006‒11‒25
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. The Economics of Obesity-Related Mortality Among High Income Countries By Huffman, Wallace; Huffman, Sonya K.; Tegene, Abebayehu; Rickertsen, Kyrre
  2. The Aggregate Labor Market Effects of the Swedish Knowledge Lift Program By James Albrecht; Gerard J. van den Berg; Susan Vroman
  3. Comparing the Effectiveness of Employment Subsidies By Alessio J. G. Brown,; Christian Merkl; Dennis J. Snower
  4. The Impact of Nutrition during Early Childhood on Education among Guatemalan Adults By John Maluccio; John Hoddinott, International Food Policy Research Institute; Jere R. Behrman, University of Pennsylvania; Reynaldo Martorell, Emory University; Agnes R. Quisumbing, International Food Policy Research Institute; Aryeh D. Stein, Emory University
  5. Born to be mild? Cohort effects don't explain why well-being is U-shaped in age. By Andrew E. Clark

  1. By: Huffman, Wallace; Huffman, Sonya K.; Tegene, Abebayehu; Rickertsen, Kyrre
    Abstract: Health production and supply functions based on models for productive households are established. Data for 18 high income countries over 1971-2001 are used in the empirical analysis. In the health production function, mortality from cardiovascular diseases and diabetes is positively related to inputs of calories and sweeteners but not to input of fat or to national health care. In the health supply function, a high real price of food, real wage rate and non-labor income, a modest level of socialized medicine, and a low labor force participation rate decrease mortality. A cheap food policy erodes gains from reduced smoking and better treatments for high cholesterol levels and hypertension that have occurred over the last three decades.
    Keywords: health, household production, food prices, obesity, mortality, high income countries
    JEL: D1 I1 Q1
    Date: 2006–11–17
  2. By: James Albrecht (Georgetown University, IFAU Uppsala, CESifo and IZA Bonn); Gerard J. van den Berg (Free University Amsterdam, IFAU Uppsala, CEPR, IFS and IZA Bonn); Susan Vroman (Georgetown University, IFAU Uppsala, CESifo and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: The Swedish adult education program known as the Knowledge Lift (1997-2002) was unprecedented in its size and scope, aiming to raise the skill level of large numbers of lowskill workers. This paper evaluates the potential effects of this program on aggregate labor market outcomes. This is done by calibrating an equilibrium search model with heterogeneous worker skills using pre-program data and then forecasting the program impacts. We compare the forecasts to observed aggregate labor market outcomes after termination of the program.
    Keywords: job search, returns to education, program evaluation, wages, unemployment, Swedish labor market, calibration
    JEL: J21 J64 J31 J24 I21 C31
    Date: 2006–10
  3. By: Alessio J. G. Brown,; Christian Merkl; Dennis J. Snower
    Abstract: This paper provides a theoretical and quantitative analysis of various types of wellknown employment subsidies. Two important questions are addressed: (i) How should employment subsidies be targeted? (ii) How large should the subsidies be? We consider measures involving targeting workers with low incomes/abilities and targeting the unemployed. To make our analysis particularly useful to policy makers, we focus on policies that are "approximately welfare efficient," i.e. policies that (a) improve employment and welfare, (b) do not raise earnings inequality and (c) are self-financing. This criterion enables us to identify policies which satisfy these favorable properties and to determine the size of the subsidies required for this purpose. We construct a simple, dynamic model of hiring and separations, derived from microfoundations, and calibrate it with German data. The calibration shows that hiring vouchers targeted at the long-term unemployed and low-income/ability workers can be approximately welfare efficient, while low-wage subsidies do not satisfy this criterion. Even in terms of inequality reduction low-wage subsidies are outperformed by targeted hiring vouchers. Furthermore, hiring vouchers targeted at the long-term unemployed are more effective than hiring vouchers targeted at low-income/ability workers. These subsidy rankings also hold if the self-financing constraint is relaxed and the government spends a given additional amount on the subsidies.
    Keywords: low wage subsidy; hiring voucher; targeting; employment; unemployment; duration; self-financing
    JEL: J23 J24 J38 J64 J68
    Date: 2006–11
  4. By: John Maluccio; John Hoddinott, International Food Policy Research Institute; Jere R. Behrman, University of Pennsylvania; Reynaldo Martorell, Emory University; Agnes R. Quisumbing, International Food Policy Research Institute; Aryeh D. Stein, Emory University
    Abstract: Early childhood nutrition is thought to have important effects on education, broadly defined to include various forms of learning. We advance beyond previous literature on the effect of early childhood nutrition on education in developing countries by using unique longitudinal data begun during a nutritional experiment during early childhood with educational outcomes measured in adulthood. Estimating an intent-to-treat model capturing the effect of exposure to the intervention from birth to 36 months, our results indicate significantly positive, and fairly substantial, effects of the randomized nutrition intervention a quarter century after it ended: increased grade attainment by women (1.2 grades) via increased likelihood of completing primary school and some secondary school; speedier grade progression by women; a one-quarter SD increase in a test of reading comprehension with positive effects found for both women and men; and a one-quarter SD increase on nonverbal cognitive tests scores. There is little evidence of heterogeneous impacts with the exception being that exposure to the intervention had a larger effect on grade attainment and reading comprehension scores for females in wealthier households. The findings are robust to an array of alternative estimators of the standard errors and controls for sample attrition
    Date: 2006
  5. By: Andrew E. Clark
    Abstract: The statistical analysis of cross-section data very often reveals a U-shaped relationship between subjective well-being and age. This paper uses fourteen waves of British panel data to distinguish between a pure life-cycle or aging effect, and a fixed cohort effect that depends on year of birth. Panel analysis controlling for fixed effects continues to produce a U-shaped relationship between well-being and age, although this U-shape is flatter for life satisfaction than for the GHQ measure of mental well-being. The pattern of the estimated cohort effects differs between the two well-being measures and, to an extent, by demographic group. In particular, those born earlier report more positive GHQ scores, controlling for their current age; this phenomenon is especially found for women.
    Date: 2006

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