nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2007‒11‒24
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Income Distribution Dynamics and Pro-Poor Growth in the World from 1970 to 2003 By Hajo Holzmann; Sebastian Vollmer; Julian Weisbrod
  2. House Prices and Employment Reallocation: International Evidence By Olympia Bover; Juan F. Jimeno
  3. Death, Happiness, and the Calculation of Compensatory Damages By Andrew J. Oswald; Nattavudh Powdthavee
  4. Time Allocation between Work and Family over the Life-Cycle: A Comparative Gender Analysis of Italy, France, Sweden and the United States By Dominique Anxo; Lennart Flood; Letizia Mencarini; Ariane Pailhé; Anne Solaz; Maria Letizia Tanturri
  5. How relevant is targeting to the success of an antipoverty program ? By Ravallion, Martin

  1. By: Hajo Holzmann (Institute of Stochastics, University of Karlsruhe / Germany); Sebastian Vollmer (Ibero-America Institute, University of Goettingen / Germany); Julian Weisbrod (Department of Economics, University of Goettingen / Germany)
    Abstract: We estimate and analyze the global income distribution from national log-normal income distributions for the years 1970 to 2003, as well as the income distribution of seven regional subsamples. From these distributions we obtain measures for global and regional inequality and poverty, and find decreasing global poverty and inequality during the time period. By decomposing inequality into within and between country inequality using Theils’ measure of inequality, we observe declining inequality between countries whereas overall inequality within countries increased. Furthermore, we calculate growth incidence curves for five year periods between 1970 and 2003, as well as a growth incidence curve for the entire period and corresponding rates of pro-poor growth. In the global income distribution, the 8.5th to 63.5th global income percentiles experienced above average percentile growth rates, while the remaining very lowest quantiles experienced also the lowest percentile growth rates. Using the regional decomposition we find that while in 1970 more than half of the worlds extreme poor and poor people lived in East Asia, it is Sub-Saharan Africa where nowadays two thirds of the extreme poor and half of the worlds poor live.
    Keywords: Global income distribution, poverty, inequality, growth incidence curves, pro-poor growth convergence
    JEL: I32 I31 O47 F01
    Date: 2007–09–11
  2. By: Olympia Bover (Bank of Spain, IFS, CEPR and IZA); Juan F. Jimeno (Bank of Spain, CEPR and 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: 2007–10
  3. By: Andrew J. Oswald (University of Warwick and IZA); Nattavudh Powdthavee (IoE, University of London)
    Abstract: This paper studies the mental distress caused by bereavement. The largest emotional losses are from the death of a spouse; the second-worst in severity are the losses from the death of a child; the third-worst is the death of a parent. The paper explores how happiness regression equations might be used in tort cases to calculate compensatory damages for emotional harm and pain-and-suffering. We examine alternative well-being variables, discuss adaptation, consider the possibility that bereavement affects someone’s marginal utility of income, and suggest a procedure for correcting for the endogeneity of income. Although the paper’s contribution is methodological, and further research is needed, some illustrative compensation amounts are discussed.
    Keywords: bereavement, damages, happiness, compensation, well-being, GHQ scores
    JEL: D1 I3 I31 K0
    Date: 2007–11
  4. By: Dominique Anxo (Vaxjo University); Lennart Flood (Göteborg University and IZA); Letizia Mencarini (University of Florence); Ariane Pailhé (INED, Paris); Anne Solaz (INED, Paris); Maria Letizia Tanturri (University of Pavia)
    Abstract: This article analyses the extent to which changes in household composition over the life course affect the gender division of labour. It identifies and analyses cross-country disparities between France, Italy, Sweden and United States, using most recent data available from the Time Use National Surveys. We focus on gender differences in the allocation of time between market work, domestic work and leisure over the life-cycle. In order to map the lifecycle, we distinguish between nine key cross-country comparable life stages according to age and family structure such as exiting parental home, union formation, parenthood, and retiring from work. By using appropriate regression techniques (Tobit with selection, Tobit and OLS), we show large discrepancies in the gender division of labour at the different life stages. This gender gap exists in all countries at any stage of the life course, but is usually smaller at the two ends of the age distribution, and larger with parenthood. Beyond social norms, the impact of parenthood on time allocation varies across countries, being smaller in those where work-family balance policies are more effective and traditionally wellestablished.
    Keywords: time use, gender, life-cycle, paid and unpaid work
    JEL: D13 J22 O17
    Date: 2007–11
  5. By: Ravallion, Martin
    Abstract: Policy-oriented discussions often assume that " better targeting " implies larger impacts on poverty or more cost-effective interventions. The literature on the economics of targeting warns against that assumption, but evidence has been scarce. The paper begins with a critical review of the strengths and weaknesses of the targeting measures found in practice. It then exploits an unusually large micro data set for China to estimate aggregate and local-level poverty impacts of the country ' s main urban antipoverty program. Standard measures of targeting are found to be uninformative, or even deceptive, about impacts on poverty and cost-effectiveness in reducing poverty. In program design and evaluation, it would be better to focus directly on the program ' s outcomes for poor people than to rely on prevailing measures of targeting.
    Keywords: Services & Transfers to Poor,Poverty Monitoring & Analysis,Population Policies,Poverty Impact Evaluation,Poverty Reduction Strategies
    Date: 2007–11–01

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