nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2007‒06‒02
nine papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. A Comparison of Polarization Measures By Joan Esteban; Debraj Ray
  2. A Model of Ethnic Conflict By Joan Esteban; Debraj Ray
  3. The Social Contract with Endogenous Sentiments By Matteo Cervellati; Joan Esteban; Laurence Kranich
  4. Fertility in Developing Countries By T. Paul Schultz
  5. Population Policies, Fertility, Women's Human Capital, and Child Quality By T. Paul Schultz
  6. Acculturation Identity and Labor Market Outcomes By Nekby, Lena; Rödin, Magnus
  7. Foreign Aid, Income Inequality, and Poverty By María Cecilia Calderón; Alberto Chong; Mark Gradstein
  8. Explaining Women's Success: Technological Change and the Skill Content of Women's Work By Sandra E. Black; Alexandra Spitz-Oener
  9. The Time and Timing Costs of Market Work By Daniel S. Hamermesh; Stephen Donald

  1. By: Joan Esteban; Debraj Ray
    Abstract: This paper provides a systematic classification of the different measures of polarization based on their properties. Together with the axioms proposed in Duclos, Esteban and Ray (2004) and in Wang and Tsui (2000) we consider three additional properties. We examine which properties are common to all indices and which set them apart.
    Date: 2007–05–22
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:aub:autbar:700.07&r=ltv
  2. By: Joan Esteban; Debraj Ray
    Abstract: We present a model of conflict, in which discriminatory government policy or social intolerance is responsive to various forms of ethnic activism, including violence. It is this perceived responsiveness ? captured by the probability that the government gives in and accepts a proponed change in ethnic policy?that induces individuals to mobilize in support for their cause. Yet, mobilization is costly and demonstrators have to be compensated accordingly. Individuals have to weigh their ethnic radicalism with their material well-being to determine the size of their money contribution to the cause. Our main results are: (i) a one-sided increase in radicalism or in population size increases conflict; (ii) a one-sided increase in income has ambiguous effects depending on the elasticity of contributions to income; (iii) an increase in within-group inequality increases conflict; and (iv) an increase in the correlation between ethnic radicalism and inequality also increases conflict.
    Date: 2007–05–22
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:aub:autbar:701.07&r=ltv
  3. By: Matteo Cervellati; Joan Esteban; Laurence Kranich
    Abstract: Moral values influence individual behavior and social interactions. A specially significant instance is the case of moral values concerning work effort. Individuals determine what they take to be proper behaviour and judge the others, and themselves, accordingly. They increase their esteem -and self-esteem- for those who perform in excess of the standard and decrease their esteem for those who work less. These changes in self-esteem result from the self-regulatory emotions of guilt or pride extensively studied in Social Psychology. We examine the interactions between sentiments, individual behaviour and the social contract in a model of rational voting over redistribution where individual self-esteem and relative es-teem for others are endogenously determined. Individuals differ in their productivities. The desired extent of redistribution depends both on individual income and on individual attitudes toward others. We characterize the politico-economic equilibria in which s
    Keywords: Social Contract, Endogenous Sentiments, Voting over Taxes, Moral Work
    JEL: D64 D72 Z13 H3 J2
    Date: 2007–03–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:aub:autbar:702.07&r=ltv
  4. By: T. Paul Schultz (Yale University)
    Abstract: The associations between fertility and outcomes in the family and society have been treated as causal, but this is inaccurate if fertility is a choice coordinated by families with other life-cycle decisions, including labour supply of mothers and children, child human capital, and savings. Estimating how exogenous changes in fertility that are uncorrelated with preferences or constraints affect others depends on our specifying a valid instrumental variable for fertility. Twins have served as such an instrument and confirm that the cross-effects of fertility estimated on the basis of this instrument are smaller in absolute value than their associations.
    Keywords: Fertility Determination, Malthus,Household Demands, Fertility Effects
    JEL: D13 J13 N30 O15
    Date: 2007–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:egc:wpaper:953&r=ltv
  5. By: T. Paul Schultz (Yale University)
    Abstract: Population policies are defined here as voluntary programs which help people control their fertility and expect to improve their lives. There are few studies of the long-run effects of policy-induced changes in fertility on the welfare of women, such as policies that subsidize the diffusion and use of best practice birth control technologies. Evaluation of the consequences of such family planning programs almost never assess their long-run consequences, such as on labor supply, savings, or investment in the human capital of children, although they occasionally estimate the short-run association with the adoption of contraception or age-specific fertility. The dearth of long-run family planning experiments has led economists to consider instrumental variables as a substitute for policy interventions which not only determine variation in fertility but are arguably independent of the reproductive preferences of parents or unobserved constraints that might influence family life cycle behaviors. Using these instrumental variables to estimate the effect of this exogenous variation in fertility on family outcomes, economists discover these Across effects@ of fertility on family welfare outcomes tend to be substantially smaller in absolute magnitude than the OLS estimates of partial correlations referred to in the literature as evidence of the beneficial social externalities associated with the policies that reduce fertility. The paper summarizes critically the empirical literature on fertility and development and proposes an agenda for research on the topic.
    Keywords: Consequences of Fertility Decline, Child Quality, Evaluation of Population Policies
    JEL: J13 J24 O15
    Date: 2007–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:egc:wpaper:954&r=ltv
  6. By: Nekby, Lena (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University); Rödin, Magnus (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: This paper explores the identity formation of a cohort of students with immigrant backgrounds in Sweden and the consequences of identity for subsequent labor market outcomes. Unique for this study is that identity is defined according to a two-dimensional acculturation framework based on both strength of identity to the (ethnic) minority and to the (Swedish) majority culture. Results indicate that what matters for labor market outcomes is strength of identification with the majority culture regardless of strength of (ethnic) minority identity. Labor market outcomes vary little between the assimilated and the integrated who have in common a strong majority identity but varying minority identity. Correlations between identity and labor market outcomes are however, an entirely male phenomenon.
    Keywords: Ethnic Identity; Acculturation; Ethnic minorities; Employment; Income
    JEL: J15 J16 J21 Z13
    Date: 2007–05–27
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2007_0007&r=ltv
  7. By: María Cecilia Calderón (University of Pennsylvania); Alberto Chong (Inter-American Development Bank); Mark Gradstein (Ben Gurion University)
    Abstract: This paper’s goal is to examine the effect of foreign aid on income inequality and poverty reduction for the period 1971-2002. Since simple cross-country regressions cannot be taken as “true” time series findings we focus on dynamic panel data techniques, which allow accounting for potential simultaneity and heterogeneity problems. We find some weak evidence that foreign aid is conducive to the improvement of the distribution of income when the quality of institutions is taken into account, however, this result is not robust. This finding is consistent with recent empirical research on aid ineffectiveness in achieving economic growth or promoting democratic institutions.
    Keywords: Inequality; Poverty; Foreign Aid; Panel Data; Governance
    JEL: I3 O1
    Date: 2006–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:wpaper:1044&r=ltv
  8. By: Sandra E. Black; Alexandra Spitz-Oener
    Abstract: The closing of the gender wage gap is an ongoing phenomenon in industrialized countries. However, research has been limited in its ability to understand the causes of these changes, due in part to an inability to directly compare the work of women to that of men. In this study, we use a new approach for analyzing changes in the gender pay gap that uses direct measures of job tasks and gives a comprehensive characterization of how work for men and women has changed in recent decades. Using data from West Germany, we find that women have witnessed relative increases in non-routine analytic tasks and non-routine interactive tasks, which are associated with higher skill levels. The most notable difference between the genders is, however, the pronounced relative decline in routine task inputs among women with little change for men. These relative task changes explain a substantial fraction of the closing of the gender wage gap. Our evidence suggests that these task changes are driven, at least in part, by technological change. We also show that these task changes are related to the recent polarization of employment between low and high skilled occupations that we observed in the 1990s.
    JEL: J01 J16 J2 J31
    Date: 2007–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13116&r=ltv
  9. By: Daniel S. Hamermesh; Stephen Donald
    Abstract: With the American Time Use Survey of 2003 and 2004 we first examine whether additional market work has neutral impacts on the mix of non-market activities. The estimates indicate that fixed time costs of market work alter patterns of non-market activities, reducing leisure time and mostly increasing time devoted to household production. Similar results are found using time-diary data for Australia, Germany and the Netherlands. Direct estimates of the utility derived from goods consumption and two types of non-market time in the presence of these fixed costs indicate that they generate a utility-equivalent of as much as 8 percent of income that must be overcome before market work becomes an optimizing choice. Market work also alters the timing of a fixed amount of non-market activities during the day, away from the schedule chosen when market work imposes no timing constraints. All of these effects are mitigated by higher family income. The results provide a new supply-side explanation for the frequently observed discrete drop from full-time work to complete retirement.
    JEL: D13 J22 J26
    Date: 2007–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13127&r=ltv

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