nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2009‒03‒28
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Measuring Inequality Using Censored Data : A Multiple Imputation Approach By Stephen P. Jenkins; Richard V. Burkhauser; Shuaizhang Feng; Jeff Larrimore
  2. Labor Mobility and the Integration of European Labor Markets By Klaus F. Zimmermann
  3. Implementing physical and virtual food reserves to protect the poor and prevent market failure: By von Braun, Joachim; Torero, Maximo
  4. Linking Conflict to Inequality and Polarization By Joan Esteban; Debraj Ray
  5. Long-Term Economic Consequences of Vietnam-Era Conscription: Schooling, Experience and Earnings By Joshua D. Angrist; Stacey H. Chen

  1. By: Stephen P. Jenkins; Richard V. Burkhauser; Shuaizhang Feng; Jeff Larrimore
    Abstract: To measure income inequality with right censored (topcoded) data, we propose multiple imputation for censored observations using draws from Generalized Beta of the Second Kind distributions to provide partially synthetic datasets analyzed using complete data methods. Estimation and inference uses Reiter's (Survey Methodology 2003) formulae. Using Current Population Survey (CPS) internal data, we find few statistically significant differences in income inequality for pairs of years between 1995 and 2004. We also show that using CPS public use data with cell mean imputations may lead to incorrect inferences about inequality differences. Multiply-imputed public use data provide an intermediate solution.
    Keywords: Income inequality, topcoding, partially synthetic data, CPS, current population survey, generalized beta of the second kind distribution
    JEL: D31 C46 C81
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Klaus F. Zimmermann
    Abstract: This paper outlines the importance of labor mobility for the improvement in allocating and distributing economic resources. We are faced with an increasing lack of skilled workers and a growing tendency of unemployment amongst the low-skilled. A central political objective for the future will not only be education policy but also the recruitment of high-skilled workers from international and European labor markets. Additional skilled labor increases well-being and reduces inequality. However, internal European barriers to mobility are difficult to break through. An improved transparency of the European labor market, a greater command of languages and a standardization of the social security system can strengthen mobility. The key to mobility is in promoting the integration of international workers in the European migration process, which can be strengthened through circular migration. The European "blue card" initiative and the opening of labor markets to foreign graduates who have been trained in Europe could set a new course.
    Keywords: Migration, migration effects, EU Eastern enlargement, free movement of workers
    JEL: F22 J15 J61
    Date: 2009
  3. By: von Braun, Joachim; Torero, Maximo
    Abstract: "The 2007–08 international food price crisis caused hardship on a number of fronts. The steep rise in food prices led to economic difficulties for the poor and generated political turmoil in many countries. The crisis could also result in long-term, irreversible nutritional damage, especially among children. There is a global interest in preventing such events from recurring. The price crisis was triggered by a complex set of long-term and short-term factors, including policy failures and market overreactions. One important factor in the crisis was the entry of significant financial resources into futures markets, including food commodity markets, which contributed to a price spike during the first six months of 2008. This episode highlights the need to modify the architecture of international financial and agricultural markets to address the problem of price spikes, especially their effects on the livelihoods of the poor. Although a set of guiding principles for regulating agricultural and commodity futures markets should be developed and recent inappropriate trade policy instruments such as export bans should be reviewed, these actions are not sufficient to avoid extreme price spikes and to ensure that the world can respond to emergency needs for food. We propose two global collective actions to meet these goals. First, a small physical food reserve should be established to facilitate a smooth response to food emergencies. Second, an innovative virtual reserve should be set up to help prevent market price spikes and to keep prices closer to levels suggested by long-run market fundamentals like supply and demand. This brief offers some specifics on implementing a proposal described in our earlier IFPRI policy brief titled Physical and Virtual Global Food Reserves to Protect the Poor and Prevent Market Failure (June 2008). Price instability is a general feature of agricultural markets. The proposals made here are designed not to stabilize prices generally, but to prevent damaging price spikes. The proposed actions will entail costs, but the modest costs of the required organizational elements must be balanced against the benefits of more effective international financial architecture. These benefits will include prevention of economic hardship, improved market efficiency, stronger incentives for long-term investment in agriculture, and prevention of political instability." from Author's text
    Keywords: Food prices, Food policy, Markets,
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Joan Esteban; Debraj Ray
    Abstract: In this paper we study a behavioral model of conflict that provides a basis for choosing certain indices of dispersion as indicators for conflict. We show that the (equilibrium) level of conflict can be expressed as an (approximate) linear function of the Gini coefficient, the Herfindahl-Hirschman fractionalization index, and a specific measure of polarization due to Esteban and Ray
    Keywords: conflict, polarization, inequality
    JEL: D74 D31
    Date: 2009–03–15
  5. By: Joshua D. Angrist (MIT Department of Economics); Stacey H. Chen (Department of Economics, Royal Holloway, University of London)
    Abstract: Military service reduces the civilian work experience of veterans but subsidizes their college attendance through the GI Bill. Estimates of veteran effects using the Vietnam-era draft-lottery show a post-service earnings impact close to zero in 2000, coupled with a marked increase in college attendance. Viewed through the lens of a Minser wage equation, these results are explained by a flattening of the experimence profile in middle age and a modest return to GI Bill schooling. Consistent with Roy-type selection into college for veterans, IV estimates of the returns to GI Bill-funded schooling are well below OLS estimates. These results are unchanged in more general models that allow for nonlinear returns to schooling and possible effects of military service on health.
    Date: 2009–03

This nep-ltv issue is ©2009 by Maximo Rossi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.