nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2007‒05‒26
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Are Urban Children really healthier? By Ellen van de Poel; Owen O'Donnell; Eddy van Doorslaer
  2. The Public-Private Sector Wage Differential for Full-Time Male Employees in Britain: A Preliminary Analysis By Monojit Chatterji; Karen Mumford
  3. Post-Secondary Education in Canada: Can Ability Bias Explain the Earnings Gap Between College and University Graduates? By Vincenzo Caponi; Miana Plesca
  4. On Gender Inequality and Life Satisfaction: Does Discrimination Matter? By Christian Bjørnskov; Axel Dreher; Justina A.V. Fischer

  1. By: Ellen van de Poel (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam); Owen O'Donnell (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece); Eddy van Doorslaer (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)
    Abstract: On average, child health outcomes are better in urban than in rural areas of developing countries. Understanding the nature and the causes of this rural-urban disparity is essential in contemplating the health consequences of the rapid urbanization taking place throughout the developing world and in targeting resources appropriately to raise population health. We use micro data on child health taken from the most recent Demographic and Health Surveys for 47 developing countries. First, we document the magnitude of rural-urban disparities in child nutritional status and under-five mortality across all 47 developing countries. Second, we adjust these disparities for differences in population characteristics across urban and rural settings. Third, we examine rural-urban differences in the degree of socioeconomic inequality in these health outcomes. We find considerable rural-urban differences in mean child health outcomes. The rural-urban gap in stunting does not entirely mirror the gap in under-five mortality. The most striking difference between the two is in the Latin American and Caribbean region, where the gap in stunting is more than 1.5 times higher than that in mortality. On average, the rural-urban risk ratios of stunting and under-five mortality fall by respectively 53% and 59% after controlling for household wealth. Controlling thereafter for socio-demographic factors reduces the risk ratios by another 22% and 25%. In a considerable number of countries, the urban poor actually have higher rates of stunting and mortality than their rural counterparts. The findings imply that there is a need for programs that target the urban poor, and that this is becoming more necessary as the size of the urban population grows.
    Keywords: child health; urban-rural inequality; nutrition; child mortality
    JEL: I12 I31 O53
    Date: 2007–04–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20070035&r=ltv
  2. By: Monojit Chatterji (University of Dundee); Karen Mumford (University of York and IZA)
    Abstract: Relative employment conditions have changed across the public and private sectors in Britain over the last decade with the former becoming a more attractive earnings option. Using new linked employee-employer data for Britain in 2004, this paper shows that, on average, full-time male public sector employees earn 11.7 log wage points more than their private sector counterparts. Decomposition analysis reveals that the majority of this pay premium is associated with public sector employees having individual characteristics associated with higher pay and to their working in higher paid occupations. Whilst there is some evidence of workplace segregation in the private sector, there is little indication that rates of return vary across the earnings distribution for either public or private sector employees. It no longer appears to be the case that the public sector provides a refuge for the low skilled at the expense of the highly educated. Furthermore, working conditions appear more uniform in the public sector and, unlike the private sector, there is no significant penalty associated with ethnic background.
    Keywords: public sector earnings, male, earnings-gap, interquantile, segregation
    JEL: J3 J7
    Date: 2007–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2781&r=ltv
  3. By: Vincenzo Caponi (Ryerson University, Rimini Center for Economic Analysis and IZA); Miana Plesca (University of Guelph)
    Abstract: Using the Canadian General Social Survey we compute returns to post-secondary education relative to high-school. Unlike previous research using Canadian data, our dataset allows us to control for ability selection into higher education. We find strong evidence of positive ability selection into all levels of post-secondary education for men and weaker positive selection for women. Since the ability selection is stronger for higher levels of education, particularly for university, the difference in returns between university and college or trades education decreases slightly after accounting for ability bias. However, a puzzling large gap persists, with university-educated men still earning over 20% more than men with college or trades education. Moreover, contrary to previous Canadian literature that reports higher returns for women, we document that the OLS hourly wage returns to university education are the same for men and women. OLS returns are higher for women only if weekly or yearly wages are considered instead, because university-educated women work more hours than the average. Nevertheless, once we account for ability selection into post-secondary education, we generally find higher returns for women than for men for all wage measures as a result of the stronger ability selection for men.
    Keywords: returns to university, returns to college, returns to trades, unobserved ability, selection bias
    JEL: J24 J31 I2 C31
    Date: 2007–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2784&r=ltv
  4. By: Christian Bjørnskov (Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics, Aarhus C, Denmark); Axel Dreher (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich Switzerland and CESifo, Germany); Justina A.V. Fischer (Hoover Institution, Stanford University Stanford, CA)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of gender discrimination on individual life satisfaction using a cross-section of 66 countries. We employ measures of discrimination of women in the economy, in politics, and in society more generally. According to our results, discrimination in politics is important to individual well-being. Overall, men and women are more satisfied with their lives when societies become more equal. Disaggregated analysis suggests that our results for men are driven by the effect of equality on men with middle and high incomes, and those on the political left. To the contrary, women are more satisfied with increasing equality independent of income and political ideology. Equality in economic and family matters does overall not affect life satisfaction. However, women are more satisfied with their lives when discriminatory practices have been less prevalent in the economy 20 years ago.
    Keywords: Gender gap, happiness, well-being, discrimination, life satisfaction
    JEL: I31 J16
    Date: 2007–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:kof:wpskof:07-161&r=ltv

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