New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2007‒01‒28
nine papers chosen by

  1. Active Labour Market Policy Effects for Women in Europe - A Survey By Bergemann, Annette; van den Berg, Gerard J
  2. Comprehensive Adult Education as a Means of Reducing Unemployment By Lindquist, Torbjörn
  3. Living to Save Taxes By Eliason, Marcus; Ohlsson, Henry
  4. The Role of School Improvement in Economic Development By Eric A. Hanushek; Ludger Woessmann
  5. The Technology of Skill Formation By Flavio Cunha; James Heckman
  6. A Review of Human Capital Theory: Microeconomics By Kai-Joseph Fleischhauer
  7. Pushing the limit: long-term trends in late fertility in Sweden By Francesco C. Billari; Hans-Peter Kohler; Gunnar Andersson; Hans Lundström
  8. Income and Happiness: Evidence, Explanations and Economic Implications. Working paper #5 By Andrew E. Clark; Paul Frijters; Michael A. Shields
  9. Workplace Segregation in the United States: Race, Ethnicity, and Skill By Judith Hellerstein; David Neumark

  1. By: Bergemann, Annette; van den Berg, Gerard J
    Abstract: We survey the recent literature on the effects of active labour market policies on individual labour market outcomes like employment and income, for adult female individuals without work in European countries. We consider skill-training programs, monitoring and sanctions, job search assistance, and employment subsidies. The results are remarkably uniform across studies. We relate the results to the relevant level of female labour force participation.
    Keywords: female labor supply; job search; monitoring; participation; schooling; training; unemployment; wages
    JEL: J16 J21 J22 J64 J68 J82
    Date: 2007–01
  2. By: Lindquist, Torbjörn (Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates whether general education is better than traditional vocational training as a means of reducing the time individuals remain in unemployment and the risk for the individual of becoming unemployed. The empirical analysis is built on longitudinal data from Sweden. Postprogram unemployment for unemployed participants in comprehensive adult education and participants in labor market training is compared. Generally, the results indicate no substantial di¤erence between the two programs regarding their e¤ects on post-program unemployment.
    Keywords: Proportions; unemployment; adult education
    JEL: I29 J64
    Date: 2005–12–19
  3. By: Eliason, Marcus (Centre for European Labour Market Studies); Ohlsson, Henry (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Does taxation affect the timing of death? This is important as an example of how behavior might be affected by economic incentives. We study how three changes in Swedish inheritance taxation 2004-2005 have affected daily all-cause mortality. Our first main result is that mortality decreased by 16 percent the day before the beginning of expected tax reductions. Second, there was no corresponding effect before an unexpected tax reduction.
    Keywords: Behavioral responses to taxation; estate tax; inheritance tax; tax avoidance; timing of death
    JEL: D64 H24 I19
    Date: 2007–01–08
  4. By: Eric A. Hanushek; Ludger Woessmann
    Abstract: The role of improved schooling, a central part of most development strategies, has become controversial because expansion of school attainment has not guaranteed improved economic conditions. This paper reviews the role of education in promoting economic well-being, with a particular focus on the role of educational quality. It concludes that there is strong evidence that the cognitive skills of the population - rather than mere school attainment - are powerfully related to individual earnings, to the distribution of income, and to economic growth. New empirical results show the importance of both minimal and high level skills, the complementarity of skills and the quality of economic institutions, and the robustness of the relationship between skills and growth. International comparisons incorporating expanded data on cognitive skills reveal much larger skill deficits in developing countries than generally derived from just school enrollment and attainment. The magnitude of change needed makes clear that closing the economic gap with developed countries will require major structural changes in schooling institutions.
    JEL: H4 I2 J0 O1 O4
    Date: 2007–01
  5. By: Flavio Cunha; James Heckman
    Abstract: This paper develops a model of skill formation that explains a variety of findings established in the child development and child intervention literatures. At its core is a technology that is stage-specific and that features self productivity, dynamic complementarity and skill multipliers. Lessons are drawn for the design of new policies to alleviate the consequences of the accident of birth that is a major source of human inequality.
    JEL: I38 J13 J24
    Date: 2007–01
  6. By: Kai-Joseph Fleischhauer
    Abstract: With the beginning of the new millennium it has become more and more apparent that education and human capital constitute a key element of modern economies. Despite the important role of human capital in modern societies, there are still many unknowns about the process of educational production as well as individual and collective decisions concerning how much and what kind of education to obtain. This literature review aims at providing a better understanding of the process of human capital formation and educational attainment. Although human capital plays an important role in both microeconomics and macroeconomics, we focus on the former branch of literature in order to analyze the individual incentives to acquire skills. This review is divided into six parts each of them representing an important stream of human capital literature. First, we introduce the basic concept of human capital that models individuals as investing in skills in response to the expected returns to education. After this, we investigate the different implications of investments in general and specific human capital and then provide an overview of various empirical studies measuring the rate of return to education. Because educational attainment may also be affected by other factors such as school characteristics or family background, we review the literature on educational production functions and discuss the significance of potential inputs into the process of educational production. Subsequently, we refer to models of human capital accumulation over the life-cycle that manage to replicate the empirical life-cycle patterns with respect to the age-earnings profile of individuals. Finally, we analyze the effects of taxation and education subsidies on the formation of human capital. Length: 50 pages
    Keywords: Human Capital, Return to Education, Education Production Function, Life-Cycle of Earnings, Education Subsidies
    JEL: H24 H52 I20 I21 I28 J24 J31 J41
    Date: 2007–01
  7. By: Francesco C. Billari (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Hans-Peter Kohler (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Gunnar Andersson (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Hans Lundström
    Abstract: In this paper we discuss trends in the limits to late childbearing, their determinants and potential implications from an empirical long-term perspective. Although the high levels observed in non-contracepting populations have not been reached, fertility in Europe at ages 40+ and 45+ has increased substantially in recent years. This trend received considerable attention, especially in combination with the emergence of new reproductive technologies and often low levels of general fertility. Nevertheless, physiological studies agree on the fact that age limits to childbearing, at least for women, have not shifted to later ages. Our empirical analyses of high-quality long-term data from Sweden document an increase in the absolute and relative number of births at ages 40+ and 45+, together with an increase in first birth occurrence-exposure rates at ages close to 40. While extreme age at birth seems to move upwards, evidence for a rectangularization of the transition to motherhood is still weak.
    Keywords: Sweden, fertility
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2007–01
  8. By: Andrew E. Clark; Paul Frijters; Michael A. Shields (National Centre for Econometric Research)
    Date: 2006–09
  9. By: Judith Hellerstein (Department of Economics, University of Maryland); David Neumark (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)
    Abstract: We study workplace segregation in the United States using a unique matched employer-employee data set that we have created. We present measures of workplace segregation by education and language, and by race and ethnicity, and ­ since skill is often correlated with race and ethnicity ­ we assess the role of education- and language-related skill differentials in generating workplace segregation by race and ethnicity. We define segregation based on the extent to which workers are more or less likely to be in workplaces with members of the same group, and we measure segregation as the observed percentage relative to maximum segregation. Our results indicate that there is considerable segregation by education and language in the workplace. Among whites, for example, observed segregation by education is 17% (of the maximum), and for Hispanics, observed segregation by language ability is 29 percent. Racial (black-white) segregation in the workplace is of a similar magnitude to education segregation (14%), and ethnic (Hispanic-white) segregation is somewhat higher (20%). Only a tiny portion (3%) of racial segregation in the workplace is driven by education differences between blacks and whites, but a substantial fraction of ethnic segregation in the workplace (32 percent) can be attributed to differences in language proficiency. Finally, additional evidence suggests that segregation by language likely reflects complementarity among workers speaking the same language
    Keywords: Segregation; Language; Skill; Race; Ethnicity
    JEL: J15 J16 J24
    Date: 2006–10

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