nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2008‒10‒13
ten papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Gender inequality and female political participation in Great Britain By Di Bartolomeo Anna
  2. Parental Labor Market Success and Children's Education Attainment By Carsten Ochsen
  3. Subjective Measures of Economic Well-Being and the Influence of Income Uncertainty By Schwarze, Johannes
  4. The Transmission of Women's Fertility, Human Capital and Work Orientation across Immigrant Generations By Blau, Francine D.; Kahn, Lawrence M.; Liu, Albert Yung-Hsu; Papps, Kerry L.
  5. The Economics of Labor Market Intermediation: An Analytic Framework By Autor, David
  6. Polarisation and Health By Blanco Pérez, Cristina; Ramos, Xavi
  7. The Dynamics of Child Poverty in Sweden By Lindquist, Matthew J.; Sjögren Lindquist, Gabriella
  8. The Dynamics of Social Assistance Receipt: Measurement and Modelling Issues, with an Application to Britain By Lorenzo Cappellari; Stephen P. Jenkins
  9. Social Capital and Relative Income Concerns: Evidence from 26 Countries By Justina Fischer; Benno Torgler
  10. Social Capital and Urban Growth By Edward L. Glaeser; Charles Redlick

  1. By: Di Bartolomeo Anna
    Abstract: This paper aims to study the rationale of women’ political participation in Great Britain. In particular, we focus on the impact of family orientations about gender inequalities as people’s attitudes can often predict behavior patterns; we also consider other factors related to gender issues, e.g. employment status, job satisfaction and household structure. Specifically, by using the British Household Panel Survey, we evaluate the impact of these determinants on the transition of women from a politically active life to the abandon of it. We use panel data methodology by considering both fixed and random effect models and discriminate among them by the Hausman test. We found evidence that gender inequality-oriented women have a higher probability to abandon an active support to a political party than others; while women who declare “neutrality” in gender equality opinions tends to become more likely to be not political engaged than gender equality-oriented women.
    Date: 2008–09
  2. By: Carsten Ochsen (University of Rostock)
    Abstract: This study examines the effects of parental labor market activities on children's education attainment. In contrast to the existing literature we consider parental experiences until the children graduate from school. In addition, the effects of the regional economic environment during teacher's decision about the secondary school track are analyzed. Using data drawn from the German Socio-Economic Panel an ordered probit estimator is used to model children's education attainment. With respect to parental labor market participation we find that father's full-time and mother's part-time employment have significant positive effects on children's education attainment. Furthermore, we obtain evidence that the regional GDP growth rate and the regional unemployment rate when children are 10 years old are significantly related to the education that these children ultimately achieve. Our interpretation is that regional economic conditions affect teachers'recommendations for the secondary school track, which are given during the last year of primary school. The results reveal the less successful parents are on the labor market, the lower the average education level of their children. A second important conclusion is that children who live in regions which experience a poor economic performance over a longer period are, on average, less educated than children who live in more affluent regions.
    Keywords: education attainment, parental labor supply, macroeconomic uncertainty, family structure, intergenerational link
    JEL: I21 J22 E24 J10 J24
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Schwarze, Johannes (University of Bamberg)
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence that subjective measures of individual well being can be used to study the impact of income uncertainty from an ex ante point of view. Two different measures of subjective well being are under study: Satisfaction with household income and the income evaluation question as developed by Van Praag. It can be shown that satisfaction with income is more affected by ex ante than by ex post volatility of income. The ordinal version of the Van Praag approach might be biased if income uncertainty is essential. The paper was written in 1994.
    Keywords: income uncertainty, subjective well-being, satisfaction, income evaluation
    JEL: C23 D12 D81 I31
    Date: 2008–09
  4. By: Blau, Francine D. (Cornell University); Kahn, Lawrence M. (Cornell University); Liu, Albert Yung-Hsu (Cornell University); Papps, Kerry L. (Nuffield College, Oxford)
    Abstract: Using 1995–2006 Current Population Survey and 1970–2000 Census data, we study the intergenerational transmission of fertility, human capital and work orientation of immigrants to their US-born children. We find that second-generation women's fertility and labor supply are significantly positively affected by the immigrant generation's fertility and labor supply respectively, with the effect of mother's fertility and labor supply larger than that of women from the father's source country. The second generation's education levels are also significantly positively affected by that of their parents, with a stronger effect of father's than mother's education. Second-generation women's schooling levels are negatively affected by immigrant fertility, suggesting a quality-quantity tradeoff for immigrant families. We find higher transmission rates for immigrant fertility to the second generation than we do for labor supply or education: after one generation, 40-65% of any immigrant excess fertility will remain, but only 12-18% of any immigrant annual hours shortfall and 18-36% of any immigrant educational shortfall. These results suggest a considerable amount of assimilation across generations toward native levels of schooling and labor supply, although fertility effects show more persistence.
    Keywords: immigration, second generation, gender, labor supply, fertility, human capital
    JEL: D10 J16 J22 J24 J61
    Date: 2008–09
  5. By: Autor, David (MIT)
    Abstract: Labor Market Intermediaries (LMIs) are entities or institutions that interpose themselves between workers and firms to facilitate, inform, or regulate how workers are matched to firms, how work is accomplished, and how conflicts are resolved. This paper offers a conceptual foundation for analyzing the economic role played by these understudied institutions, and to develop a qualitative and, in some cases, quantitative sense of their significance to market operation and welfare. Though heterogeneous, I argue that LMIs share a common function, which is to redress – and in some cases exploit – a set of endemic departures of labor market operation from the efficient neoclassical benchmark. At a rudimentary level, LMIs such as online job boards reduce search frictions by aggregating and reselling disparate information at a cost below which workers and firms could obtain themselves. Beyond passively supplying information, a set of LMIs forcibly redress adverse selection problems in labor markets by compelling workers and firms to reveal normally hidden credentials, such as criminal background, academic standing, or financial integrity. At their most forceful, LMIs such as labor unions and centralized job matching clearinghouses resolve coordination and collective action failures in markets by tightly controlling – even monopolizing – the process by which workers and firms meet, match and negotiate. A unifying observation of the analytic framework is that participation in the activities of a given LMI are typically voluntary for one side of the market and compulsory for the other; workers cannot, for example, elect to suppress their criminal records and firms cannot opt out of collective bargaining. I argue that the nature of participation in an LMI’s activities – voluntary or compulsory, and for which parties – is dictated by the market imperfection that it addresses and thus tells us much about its economic function.
    Keywords: intermediation, unions, job search, internet, temporary-help, adverse selection, collective action
    JEL: J2 J4 J5 J6 J8
    Date: 2008–09
  6. By: Blanco Pérez, Cristina (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona); Ramos, Xavi (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of income polarisation on individual health. We argue that polarisation captures much better the social tension and conflict that underlie some of the pathways linking income disparities and individual health, and which have been traditionally proxied by inequality. We test our premises with panel data for Spain. Results show that polarisation has a detrimental effect on health. We also find that the way the relevant population subgroups are defined is important: polarisation is only significant if measured between education-age groups for each region. Regional polarisation is not significant. Our results are obtained conditional on a comprehensive set of controls, including absolute and relative income.
    Keywords: polarisation, health, fixed-effects ordered logit model, conflict, psychosocial stress, social capital
    JEL: D31 I1
    Date: 2008–09
  7. By: Lindquist, Matthew J. (Dept. of Economics); Sjögren Lindquist, Gabriella (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to study (empirically) the dynamics of child poverty in Sweden, the quintessential welfare state. We find that 1 out of every 5 children is disposable income poor at least once during his or her childhood, while only 2 percent of all children are chronically poor. We also document a strong life-cycle profile for child poverty. Just over 20 percent of all children are born into poverty. The average poverty rate then drops dramatically to about 7.5 percent among 1-year old children. After which, it declines (monotonically) to about 3.9 percent among 17-year olds. Children in Sweden are largely protected (economically) from a number of quite serious events, such as parental unemployment, sickness and death. Family dissolution and longterm unemployment, however, do push children into poverty. But for most of these children, poverty is only temporary. Single mothers, for example, are overrepresented among the poor, but not among the chronically poor. Children with immigrant parents are strongly overrepresented among the chronically poor; as are children whose parents have unusually low educations. We argue that information about the dynamics of child poverty may help policy makers to construct more salient policies for fighting child poverty.
    Keywords: child poverty; chronic poverty; poverty dynamics
    JEL: I32 J13
    Date: 2008–10–01
  8. By: Lorenzo Cappellari; Stephen P. Jenkins
    Abstract: We model the dynamics of social assistance benefit receipt in Britain using data from the British Household Panel Survey, waves 1–15. First, we discuss definitions of social assistance benefit receipt, and present information about the trends between 1991 and 2005 in the receipt of social assistance benefits, and in annual rates of transition into and out of receipt. Second, we review potential multivariate modelling approaches especially the dynamic random effects probit models that are used in our empirical analysis and, third, discuss sample selection criteria and explanatory variables. Fourth, we present our regression estimation estimates and interpret them. The final section contains a summary of the substantive results, and highlights some lessons concerning application of the analysis for other countries and some methodological issues.
    JEL: C33 C35 I38
    Date: 2008–10–01
  9. By: Justina Fischer; Benno Torgler
    Keywords: Research on the effects of positional concerns on individuals’ attitudes and behaviour is sorely lacking. Therefore, using the International Social Survey Programme 1998 data on 25’000 individuals from 26 countries this paper investigates the impact of relative income position on facets of social capital, covering horizontal and vertical trust as well as norm compliance. Testing relative deprivation theory, we identify a deleterious positional income effect for persons below the reference income, the absolute size of which far outweighs that of relative income advantage. In contrast, social capital rises in absolute income, while distributional fairness perceptions partially mediate relative income effects.
    Date: 2008
  10. By: Edward L. Glaeser; Charles Redlick
    Abstract: Social capital is often place-specific while schooling is portable, so the prospect of migration may reduce the returns to social capital and increase the returns to schooling. If social capital matters for urban success, it is possible that an area can get caught in a bad equilibrium where the prospect of out-migration reduces social capital investment and a lack of social capital investment makes out-migration more appealing. We present a simple model of that process and then test its implications. We find little evidence to suggest that social capital is correlated with either area growth or rates of out-migration. We do, however, find significant differences in the returns to human capital across space, and a significant pattern of skilled people disproportionately leaving declining areas. For people in declining areas, the prospect of out-migration may increase the returns to investment in human capital, but it does not seem to impact investment in social capital.
    JEL: D0 H0 I0 J0 R0
    Date: 2008–10

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