nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2007‒03‒10
eight papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Fertility and Women’s Education in the UK: A Cohort Analysis By Anita Ratcliffe; Sarah Smith
  2. Poverty and Productivity in Female-Headed Households in Zimbabwe By Sara Horrell; Pramila Krishnan
  3. Long-Run Changes in the Concentration of Wealth: An Overview of Recent Findings By Waldenström, Daniel; Ohlsson, Henry; Roine, Jesper
  4. A Note on Decomposing Differences in Poverty Incidence Using Regression Estimates: Algorithm and Example By Sumon Kumar Bhaumik; Ira N. Gang; Myeong-Su Yun
  5. Income and Body Mass Index in Europe By Jaume Garcia Villar; Climent Quintana-Domeque
  6. Extending health insurance to the rural population : an impact evaluation of China ' s new cooperative medical scheme By Wagstaff, Adam; Lindelow, Magnus; Gao Jun; Xu Ling; Qian Juncheng
  7. New Unit-Consistent Intermediate Inequality Indices By Coral del Río; Olga Alonso-Villar
  8. House prices and employment reallocation: internacional evidence By Olympia Bover; Juan F. Jimeno

  1. By: Anita Ratcliffe; Sarah Smith
    Abstract: Against a background of falling and low fertility, this paper presents an analysis of trends in fertility in the UK across cohorts born between 1935 and 1975. The decline in fertility is shown to have two distinct phases – first, a fall in third and higher-order births (affecting cohorts born 1935-45) and second, a delay in childbearing and a rise in childlessness (affecting cohorts born since 1945). The delay in childbearing and rise in childlessness cannot all be explained by the rise in female participation in higher education, rather there has been increasing polarization in fertility and employment by education.
    Keywords: cohort fertility trends, education
    JEL: J13
    Date: 2006–12
  2. By: Sara Horrell; Pramila Krishnan
    Abstract: A household survey conducted in rural Zimbabwe in 2001 is used to compare the position of de facto and de jure female-headed households to those with a male head. These households are characterised by different forms of poverty that impinge on their ability to improve agricultural productivity. However, once inputs are accounted for, it is only for growing cotton that female-headed households’ productivity is lower than that found for male-headed households. General poverty alleviation policies will benefit the female-headed household but specific interventions via extension services and access to marketing consortia are also indicated.
    Keywords: Africa, Zimbabwe, gender, poverty, female-headed households, agriculture
    JEL: O12
    Date: 2006–07
  3. By: Waldenström, Daniel (Research Institute of Industrial Economics); Ohlsson, Henry (Department of Economics); Roine, Jesper (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to study the dynamics of the wealth distribution over the path of economic development. More specifically, we are interested in distinguishing between changes which seem to be country specific and characteristics shared by all countries. A historical account of the evolution of the wealth distribution in developed countries is interesting in itself, but it can also hold implications for countries that are currently in an early stage of development or in transition. The data used originates from the taxation of wealth and estates.
    Keywords: Wealth Concentration; Inequality; Income Distribution; Wealth Distribution; Sweden
    JEL: D31 H20 J30 N30
    Date: 2007–02–22
  4. By: Sumon Kumar Bhaumik (Brunel University); Ira N. Gang (Rutgers University); Myeong-Su Yun (Tulane University)
    Abstract: This paper decomposes differences in poverty incidence (head count ratio) using estimates from a regression equation, synthesizing the approaches proposed in World Bank (2003) and Yun (2004). A significance test is developed for characteristics and coefficients effects when decomposing differences in poverty incidence. The proposed method is implemented for studying differences in poverty incidence between Serbians and Albanians in Kosovo using Living Standard Measurement Survey.
    Keywords: poverty incidence, decomposition, headcount, probit
    JEL: C20 I30
    Date: 2006–12–01
  5. By: Jaume Garcia Villar; Climent Quintana-Domeque
    Abstract: Obesity is alarming public health authorities around the world. Given this situation it is important to study its determinants. This paper focuses on the economic determinants of obesity. More specifically, we explore the empirical relationship between lifetime income and body mass index (BMI) in seven European Union countries in the short run. To study such a relationship, we make use of an accounting identity that relates current BMI to last year's BMI and current levels of both food consumption and physical activity. We estimate a reduced-form version of such an identity which relates current BMI to last year's BMI and lifetime income. Theoretically, lifetime income should affect contemporaneous BMI through its effect on both current consumption of food and current physical activity. Our results indicate that, once last year BMI's is taken into account, the relationship between lifetime income and BMI is at most weak. Such a finding suggests that income-based public policies are not likely to be effective in the fight against obesity in the short run.
    Keywords: Europe, obesity, permanent income, short run
    JEL: I12 I18
    Date: 2006–12
  6. By: Wagstaff, Adam; Lindelow, Magnus; Gao Jun; Xu Ling; Qian Juncheng
    Abstract: In 2003, after over 20 years of minimal health insurance coverage in rural areas, China launched a heavily subsidized voluntary health insurance program for rural residents. The authors use program and household survey data, as well as health facility census data, to analyze factors affecting enrollment into the program and to estimate its impact on households and health facilities. They obtain estimates by combining differences-in-differences with matching methods. The authors find some evidence of lower enrollment rates among poor households, holding other factors constant, and higher enrollment rates among households with chronically sick members. The household and facility data point to the scheme significantly increasing both outpatient and inpatient utilization (by 20-30 percent), but they find no impact on utilization in the poorest decile. For the sample as a whole, the authors find no statistically significant effects on average out-of-pocket spending, but they do find some-albeit weak-evidence of increased catastrophic health spending. For the poorest decile, by contrast, they find that the scheme increased average out-of-pocket spending but reduced the incidence of catastrophic health spending. They find evidence that the program has increased ownership of expensive equipment among central township health centers but had no impact on cost per case.
    Keywords: Health Monitoring & Evaluation,Housing & Human Habitats,Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping,Regional Rural Development,Health Economics & Finance
    Date: 2007–03–01
  7. By: Coral del Río (Universidade de Vigo); Olga Alonso-Villar (Universidade de Vigo)
    Abstract: This paper introduces a class of intermediate inequality indices, I(?, ?), that is at the same time ray-invariant and unit-consistent. These measures permit us to keep some of the good properties of Krtscha’s (1994) index while keeping the same “centrist” attitude whatever the income increase is. In doing so, we approach the intermediate inequality concept suggested by Del Río and Ruiz-Castillo (2000) and generalize it in order to extend the range of income distributions which are comparable according to the ray-invariance criterion..
    Keywords: Income distribution; Intermediate inequality indices; Unit-consistency; Ray-invariance.
    JEL: D63
    Date: 2007
  8. By: Olympia Bover (Banco de España; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)); Juan F. Jimeno (Banco de España; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))
    Abstract: Over the last decade house prices increased remarkably in many countries. However, while in several countries there was an employment boom in the construction sector, in others the share of employment in this sector did not significantly change. In this paper we estimate a model of labor demand in the construction sector, featuring building constraints, which explains many of the international differences in the response of sectoral reallocation of employment to house prices. Countries with more building possibilities (Spain, Sweden and the US) have a high sectoral reallocation of employment, and display larger elasticities of labor demand in the construction sector with respect to house prices than countries that seem to have fewer building possibilities (Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK). Nevertheless, our estimates imply that, for the whole economy, the elasticity of labor demand with respect to house prices is broadly similar across countries.
    Keywords: house prices, labor demand, sectoral reallocation of labor
    JEL: R32 J23
    Date: 2007–03

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