nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2008‒02‒09
seven papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. The trend in female labour force participation By Rob Euwals; Marike Knoef; Daniel van Vuuren
  2. HIV/AIDS, Adult Mortality and Fertility: Evidence from Malawi By Durevall, Dick; Lindskog, Annika
  3. Sexual Orientation and Earnings in Sweden By Ahmed, Ali M.; Hammarstedt, Mats
  4. Income Distribution Determinants and Public Spending Efficiency By António Afonso; Ludger Schknecht; Vito Tanzi
  5. The Effect of Minimum Wages on Wages and Employment: County-Level Estimates for the United States By Addison, John T.; Blackburn, McKinley L.; Cotti, Chad D.
  6. Poverty, inequality and ethnic minorities in Vietnam By Katsushi Imai; Raghav Gaiha
  7. Earnings Functions and Rates of Return By James J. Heckman; Lance J. Lochner; Petra E. Todd

  1. By: Rob Euwals; Marike Knoef; Daniel van Vuuren
    Abstract: During the 1980s and 1990s, the Netherlands experienced a strong increase in the labour force participation of women. This study investigates the increase of participation over the successive generations of women, and produces an educated guess for future participation. For this purpose, we estimate a binary age-period-cohort model for the generations born between 1925 and 1986, using data from the Dutch Labour Force Survey 1992-2004. The results indicate that the increasing level of education, the diminishing negative effect of children, and unobserved cohort effects have played an important role. According to our estimates, the increase in unobserved cohort effects has stopped since the generation born in 1955. This result is in line with results of studies on social norms and attitudes towards the combination of female employment and family responsibilities, which show a similar pattern over the successive generations. We conclude that the growth of female participation is likely to slow down in the near future.
    Keywords: female labour force participation; age-period-cohort-analysis; future development
    JEL: J11 J21
    Date: 2007–12
  2. By: Durevall, Dick (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Lindskog, Annika (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyse the impact of HIV/AIDS on fertility in Malawi. The future course of fertility will have an impact on both macroeconomic variables, such as GDP per capita, and various socioeconomic factors like mother-to-child-transmission of HIV, child mortality, the number of orphans, and public expenditures on schooling. Data on both prime-age adult mortality and HIV prevalence rates at districts level are used to measure the impact of HIV/AIDS, exploiting the large geographical variation in the distribution of HIV/AIDS in Malawi. Fertility is estimated for individual women, and measured as the number of births given during the last five years. Estimations are also carried out for the desired number of children. The major finding is that HIV/AIDS reduces fertility. Uninfected women both give birth to and desire to have fewer children in districts where prime-age adult mortality and HIV-prevalence are high, and vice versa. However, for young women, aged 15-19, there is a positive relationship between fertility and prime-age adult mortality and HIV prevalence, possibly because they wish to have children while being uninfected. This is likely to have negative effects on both educational attainment and child mortality. As also shown by previous studies, HIV-infected women give birth to fewer children than uninfected women. This is probably due to changed fertility preferences, as well as to physiological factors.<p>
    Keywords: Adult mortality; Desired fertility; Fertility; HIV/AIDS; Malawi; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: I12 J13 O12
    Date: 2007–09–30
  3. By: Ahmed, Ali M. (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Hammarstedt, Mats (School of Management and Economics, Växjö University)
    Abstract: This paper presents a study of earnings differentials between homosexual individuals who are living in civil unions and married heterosexual individuals based on register data from Sweden. The results show that gay men are at an earnings disadvantage as compared to male heterosexuals. This earnings differential amounts to between 10 and 15 per cent. The earnings differential is smaller in metropolitan areas compared to nonmetropolitan areas. Regarding females, the results show that the earnings differential between lesbians and heterosexual women is very small. The existence of different kinds of discrimination as well as the fact that families specialize in market and household labour within households are put forward as plausible explanations for the results.<p>
    Keywords: Sexual orientation; Labour market; Earnings; Discrimination
    JEL: J15 J71
    Date: 2008–02–06
  4. By: António Afonso; Ludger Schknecht; Vito Tanzi
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the impact of public spending, education, and institutions on income distribution in advanced economies. We also assess the efficiency of public spending in redistributing income by using a DEA (Data Envelopment Analysis) nonparametric approach. We find that public policies significantly affect income distribution, notably via social spending, and indirectly via high quality education/human capital and via sound economic institutions. Moreover, for our set of OECD countries, and within a two-step approach, several so-called non-discretionary factors help explaining public social spending inefficiencies.
    Keywords: income redistribution; public spending; efficiency; DEA.
    JEL: C14 H40 H50
    Date: 2008–01
  5. By: Addison, John T. (University of South Carolina); Blackburn, McKinley L. (University of South Carolina); Cotti, Chad D. (University of South Carolina)
    Abstract: We use county-level data on employment and earnings in the restaurant-and-bar sector to evaluate the impact of minimum wage changes on low-wage labor markets. Our empirical approach is similar to the literature that has used state-level panel data to estimate minimum-wage impacts, with the difference that we focus on a particular sector rather than demographic group. Our estimated models are consistent with a simple competitive model of the restaurant-and-bar labor market in which supply-and-demand factors affect both the equilibrium outcome and the probability that a minimum wage will be binding in any given time period. Our evidence does not suggest that minimum wages reduce employment in the overall restaurant-and-bar sector, after controls for trends in sector employment at the county level are incorporated in the model. Employment in this sector appears to exhibit a downward long-term trend in states that have increased their minimum wages relative to states that have not, thereby predisposing fixed-effects estimates towards finding negative employment effects.
    Keywords: county-level data, wages and employment, minimum wages, spatial trends
    JEL: J23 J38
    Date: 2008–01
  6. By: Katsushi Imai; Raghav Gaiha
    Date: 2007
  7. By: James J. Heckman; Lance J. Lochner; Petra E. Todd
    Abstract: The internal rate of return to schooling is a fundamental economic parameter that is often used to assess whether expenditure on education should be increased or decreased. This paper considers alternative approaches to estimating marginal internal rates of return for different schooling levels. We implement a general nonparametric approach to estimate marginal internal rates of return that take into account tuition costs, income taxes and nonlinearities in the earnings-schooling-experience relationship. The returns obtained by the more general method differ substantially from Mincer returns in levels and in their evolution over time. They indicate relatively larger returns to graduating from high school than from graduating from college, although both have been increasing over time.
    JEL: C31
    Date: 2008–02

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