nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2007‒08‒18
seven papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Wage differences between women and men in Sweden - the impact of skill mismatch By Johansson, Mats; Katz, Katarina
  2. Institutions and Training Inequality By Wolfgang Lechthaler; Dennis J. Snower
  3. "On Various Ways of Measuring Unemployment, with Applications to Switzerland " By Joseph Deutsch; Yves Flückiger; Jacques Silber
  4. Did the Decline in Social Capital Decrease American Happiness? A Relational Explanation of the Happiness Paradox By Stefano Bartolini; Ennio Bilancini; Maurizio Pugno
  5. Always Poor or Never Poor and Nothing in Between? Duration of Child Poverty in Germany By Michael Fertig; Marcus Tamm
  6. Social Capital And Relative Income Concerns: Evidence From 26 Countries By Justina Fischer; Benno Thorgler
  7. Economic Determinants of Participation in Physical Activity and Sport By Brad R. Humphreys; Jane E. Ruseski

  1. By: Johansson, Mats (Institute for Futures Studies); Katz, Katarina (Karlstad University)
    Abstract: Since the early 2000s regional enlargement (“regionförstoring”) has become an important objective in the Swedish regional policy. Smaller regions are intended to be functionally integrated into larger neighbours through intensified commuting. This strive is facilitated by the fact that the coveted process seems self-propelled and already running. The number of functional regions is reported to have halved during the three last decades of the 20th century and are expected to half again until 2030. However, it has been difficult to confirm this fast development in other data. In this paper a set of explanations to this seemingly contradictory condition are suggested. The conclusion is that the Swedish regional enlargement partly might be fictitious, an effect of flaws and errors in the data and the way used to measure the process. The unfortunate message is that regional enlargement might not be such an easily practicable way to regional development it seems to be and that the assumption of a future Sweden of only 55-60 functional regions might have defective grounds.
    Keywords: gender differences in wage; overeducation; undereducation
    JEL: J10 J16 J24
    Date: 2006–10–17
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hhs:ifswps:2007_008&r=ltv
  2. By: Wolfgang Lechthaler; Dennis J. Snower
    Abstract: We analyze the interaction among important institutional variables in the labor market (firing costs, minimum wages and unemployment benefits) in determining firm-provided training. We find that the institutional interactions - specifically, their degree of complementarity and substitutability - depends on employees' abilities. On this account, the institutional interactions influence skills inequality. We derive how the influence of one of the institutional variables above is affected by other institutional variables with respect to inequality skills arising from firm-provided training. We derive several striking results, such as: (a) the minimum wage and unemployment benefits generate increasing skills inequality whereas firing costs generate diminishing skills inequality; (b) unemployment benefits and firing costs are complements in their effects on skills disequalization, (c) firing costs and the minimum wage are complements in their effects on skills equalization, and (d) unemployment benefits and the minimum wage are substitution in their effects on skills inequality.
    Keywords: Firm Training, Skills Inequality, Institutions
    JEL: H32 J24
    Date: 2007–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:kie:kieliw:1372&r=ltv
  3. By: Joseph Deutsch; Yves Flückiger; Jacques Silber
    Abstract: This paper begins with an examination of various ways of measuring unemployment and, borrowing ideas from the poverty measurement literature, proposes four new general unemployment indices. The first of these is parallel to the Sen poverty index; the second, to the Sen index’s generalization by Shorrocks; the third, to the FGT poverty index; and the fourth, to the Watts poverty index. The authors then present an empirical illustration based on Swiss data compiled at the state, or canton, level, using the so-called Shapley decomposition to determine the contribution of three components—the traditional unemployment rate, the average unemployment duration, and the inequality in the unemployment durations—to the differences between the values of the four proposed indices, both within a given canton and within Switzerland as a whole. The paper concludes with a discussion of the assumptions made about the maximum unemployment duration for the purposes of the study, and their impact on the results
    Date: 2007–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_509&r=ltv
  4. By: Stefano Bartolini; Ennio Bilancini; Maurizio Pugno
    Abstract: Most popular explanations of the happiness paradox cannot fully account for the lack of growth in U.S. reported well-being during the last thirty years (Blanchflower and Oswald (2004)). In this paper we test an alternative hypothesis, namely that the decline in U.S. social capital is responsible for what is left unexplained by previous research. We provide three main findings. First, we show that the inclusion of social capital does improve the account of reported happiness. Second, we provide evidence of a decline in social capital indicators for the period 1975-2004, confirming Putnam's claim (Putnam (2000)). Finally, we show that failed growth of happiness is largely due to the decline of social capital and, in particular, to the decline of its relational and intrinsically motivated component.
    Keywords: happiness, social capital, economic growth, relational goods, instrinsic motivations
    JEL: I3 O1
    Date: 2007–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:usi:wpaper:513&r=ltv
  5. By: Michael Fertig (RWI Essen and IZA Bonn); Marcus Tamm (RWI Essen and Ruhr-University Bochum)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the duration of child poverty in Germany. In our sample, we observe the entire income history from the individuals' birth to their coming of age at age 18. Therefore we are able to analyze dynamics in and out of poverty for the entire population of children, whether they become poor at least once or not. Using duration models, we allow poverty exit and re-entry to be correlated even after controlling for observable characteristics and also account for correlations with initial conditions. Our results indicate that household composition, most importantly single parenthood, and the labour market status as well as level of education of the household head are the main driving forces behind exit from and re-entry into poverty and thus determine the (long-term) experience of child poverty. However, unobserved heterogeneity seems to play an important role as well.
    Keywords: Child poverty, duration analysis, unobserved heterogeneity.
    JEL: C41 D31 I32
    Date: 2007
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2007-65&r=ltv
  6. By: Justina Fischer; Benno Thorgler
    Abstract: Research evidence on the impact of relative income position on individuals’ attitudes and behaviour is sorely lacking. Therefore, using the International Social Survey Programme 1998 data from 26 countries this paper investigates the impact of relative income on 14 measurements of social capital. We find support for a considerable deleterious positional concern effect of persons below the reference income. This effect is more sizeable by far than the beneficial impact of a relative income advantage. Most of the results indicate that such an effect is non-linear. Lastly, changing the reference group (regional versus national) produces no significant differences in the results.
    Keywords: Relative income, positional concerns, social capital, social norms, happiness.
    JEL: Z13 I30 D31
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:qut:auncer:2007-94&r=ltv
  7. By: Brad R. Humphreys (Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, University of Illinois); Jane E. Ruseski (Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois)
    Abstract: This paper examines the economic determinants of participation in physical activity by developing and analyzing a consumer choice model of participation and by testing the predictions of this model using data drawn from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS). Both emphasize that individuals face two distinct decisions: (1) should I participate in sport?; and (2) how much time should I spend participating in sport? The evidence highlights the importance of selectivity. The economic factors that affect these two decisions work in opposite directions; factors that increase the likelihood of participation generally decrease the amount of time spent participating.
    Keywords: physical activity, time allocation, health production
    JEL: I20 I12 I18 L83
    Date: 2006–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:spe:cpaper:0619&r=ltv

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