nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2007‒02‒03
three papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la Republica

  1. The effects of segregation and spatial mismatch on unemployment: evidence from France By GOBILLON Laurent; SELOD Harris
  2. Trade, Standards, and Poverty: Evidence from Senegal By Miet Maertens; Jo F.M. Swinnen
  3. Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History By Becker, Sascha O.; Wößmann, Ludger

  1. By: GOBILLON Laurent; SELOD Harris
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate how residential segregation and bad physical access to jobs contribute to urban unemployment in the Paris region. We first survey the general mechanisms according to which residential segregation and spatial mismatch can have adverse labor-market outcomes. We then discuss the extent of the problem with the help of relevant descriptive statistics computed from the 1999 Census of the Population and from the 2000 General Transport Survey. Finally, we estimate the effect of indices of segregation computed at the neighborhood and municipality levels, as well as job accessibility indices on the labor-market transitions out of unemployment using the 1990-2002 Labor Force Survey. Our results show that neighborhood segregation is a key factor that prevents unemployed workers from finding a job. These results are robust to potential location endogeneity biases.
    Keywords: residential segregation, spatial mismatch, urban unemployment, sensitivity analysis
    JEL: J64 R14
    Date: 2007–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:lea:leawpi:0702&r=ltv
  2. By: Miet Maertens; Jo F.M. Swinnen
    Abstract: An emerging literature on standards, global supply chains, and development argues that enhanced quality and safety standards are major trade barriers for developing country exports and cause the marginalization of small businesses and poor households in developing countries. This paper is the first to quantify income and poverty effects of such high-standards trade and to integrate labor market effects, by using company and household survey data from the vegetable export chain in Senegal. First, horticultural exports from Senegal to the EU have grown sharply over the past decade, despite strongly increasing food standards in the EU. Second, these exports have strong positive effects on poor households’ income. We estimate that these exports reduced regional poverty by around 12 percentage points and reduced extreme poverty by half. Third, tightening food standards induced structural changes in the supply chain including a shift from smallholder contract-based farming to large-scale integrated estate production. However, these changes mainly altered the mechanism through which poor households benefit: through labor markets instead of product markets. Moreover, the impact on poverty reduction is stronger as the poorest benefit relatively more from working on large-scale farms than from contract farming. These findings challenge several basic arguments in this research field.
    Date: 2006
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:lic:licosd:17706&r=ltv
  3. By: Becker, Sascha O.; Wößmann, Ludger
    Abstract: Max Weber attributed the higher economic prosperity of Protestant regions to a Protestant work ethic. We provide an alternative theory, where Protestant economies prospered because instruction in reading the Bible generated the human capital crucial to economic prosperity. County-level data from late 19th-century Prussia reveal that Protestantism was indeed associated not only with higher economic prosperity, but also with better education. We find that Protestants’ higher literacy can account for the whole gap in economic prosperity. Results hold when we exploit the initial concentric dispersion of the Reformation to use distance to Wittenberg as an instrument for Protestantism.
    Keywords: Human capital; Protestantism; economic history
    JEL: N33 Z12 I20
    Date: 2007–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:lmu:muenec:1366&r=ltv

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