New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2008‒01‒12
six papers chosen by

  1. Job Satisfaction and Quits By Louis Lévy-Garboua; Claude Montmarquette; Véronique Simonnet
  2. The persistence of urban poverty in Ethiopia: A tale of two measurements By Bigsten, Arne; Shimeles, Abebe
  3. The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels By James J. Heckman; Paul A. LaFontaine
  4. Sweden’s Pensioners: How They Have Fared in the Roller Coaster Ride through the Past Decade and a Half of Deep Recession and Economic Exuberance By Björn Gustafsson; Mats Johansson; Edward Palmer
  5. Are there lessons for africa from China ' s success against poverty ? By Ravallion, Martin
  6. Social Capital and the Labour Market By Sabatini, Fabio

  1. By: Louis Lévy-Garboua (Ecole d'économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, CIRANO - Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations - Université du Québec à Montréal); Claude Montmarquette (CIRANO - Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations - Université du Québec à Montréal, Université de Montréal - Département de Sciences Economique - Université de Montréal); Véronique Simonnet (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: We test the wealth maximization theory of quitting behavior on the German Socioeconomic Panel (1985-2003). With the interpretation of job satisfaction as an expression of the experienced preference for the present job against available alternatives, the propensity to stay in the present job is simply related to the residual of a job satisfaction equation. We show that this residual is a better predictor of quits than the overall level of satisfaction. Furthermore, we validate a dynamic extension of the economic theory of quits for which uncertainty in the expectation of future events plays a decisive role.
    Keywords: Voluntary quit, job satisfaction, surprises, wealth maximization model
    Date: 2007–04
  2. By: Bigsten, Arne (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Shimeles, Abebe (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates dynamics of poverty in urban Ethiopia using both subjective and objective definitions of poverty. The two sets of estimates of persistence and recurrence of poverty are similar, suggesting that consumption-based mobility estimates are not seriously distorted by measurement error.<p>
    Keywords: Subjective poverty; poverty spells; state dependence
    JEL: I32
    Date: 2008–01–08
  3. By: James J. Heckman (University of Chicago and IZA); Paul A. LaFontaine (American Bar Association)
    Abstract: This paper uses multiple data sources and a unified methodology to estimate the trends and levels of the U.S. high school graduation rate. Correcting for important biases that plague previous calculations, we establish that (a) the true high school graduation rate is substantially lower than the official rate issued by the National Center for Educational Statistics; (b) it has been declining over the past 40 years; (c) majority/minority graduation rate differentials are substantial and have not converged over the past 35 years; (d) the decline in high school graduation rates occurs among native populations and is not solely a consequence of increasing proportions of immigrants and minorities in American society; (e) the decline in high school graduation explains part of the recent slowdown in college attendance; and (f) the pattern of the decline of high school graduation rates by gender helps to explain the recent increase in male-female college attendance gaps.
    Keywords: high school dropout rate, high school graduation rates, educational attainment
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2007–12
  4. By: Björn Gustafsson (University of Göteborg and IZA); Mats Johansson (Swedish Social Insurance Agency); Edward Palmer (Uppsala University and Swedish Social Insurance Agency)
    Abstract: This study analyses the development of the economic well-being of the elderly in Sweden since 1990 - a period characterized by increased influence from the financial market and extreme economic events - using data from the Household Income Survey. The elderly were not isolated as pensions were cut, full indexation abandoned and taxes increased during Sweden’s deep recession in the 1990s. Instead, relatively, pensioners fared better than the working age population. On the other hand, poverty increased in absolute terms. In contrast in the following years of rapid economic growth, the growth in the income of the pensioners fell behind that of workers and relative poverty increased. The analysis shows that the limited resources of many of the elderly put them close to a socially interesting poverty line. Income inequality among the elderly has increased with an increase in the importance of capital income for the better off among the elderly, with a clear tendency towards delineation between the better and worse off, which we conclude has implications for public expenditures for the elderly. Overall, poverty among the elderly in Sweden remains low in an international perspective and our analysis leads us to conclude that the Swedish welfare state has maintained its resilience.
    Keywords: Sweden, pensions, income, poverty, income inequality
    JEL: D31 H55 I32 J14
    Date: 2007–12
  5. By: Ravallion, Martin
    Abstract: At the outset of China ' s reform period, the country had a far higher poverty rate than for Africa as a whole. Within five years that was no longer true. This paper tries to explain how China escaped from a situation in which extreme poverty persisted due to failed and unpopular policies. While acknowledging that Africa faces constraints that China did not, and that context matters, two lessons stand out. The first is the importance of productivity growth in smallholder agriculture, which will require both market-ba sed incentives and public support. The second is the role played by strong leadership and a capable public administration at all levels of government.
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Population Policies,Achieving Shared Growth,Services & Transfers to Poor
    Date: 2008–01–01
  6. By: Sabatini, Fabio
    Abstract: The main question of this paper is: what type of social capital is able to mitigate labour precariousness and to foster human development? This issue has been addressed through a review of the literature and an empirical investigation on the Italian regions. The analysis shows that only bonding social capital mitigates precariousness on the labour market, while the weak ties shaping voluntary organizations are the only type of social capital that nourish human development, thereby fostering sustainable growth.
    Keywords: Social capital; Labour market; Precariousness; Precariato
    JEL: Z13 J0
    Date: 2008–01–04

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