nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2009‒04‒13
ten papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Endogeneous Household Interaction By Daniela Del Boca; Christopher Flinn
  2. Children and parents time use: Empirical evidence on investment in human capital in France, Italy and Germany By Ana Rute Cardoso; Elsa Fontainha; Chiara Monfardini
  3. Are Lone Mothers Responsive to Policy Changes? The Effects of a Norwegian Workfare Reform on Earnings, Education and Poverty. By Chiara Pronzato; Magne Mogstad
  4. Is Bigger Still Better? The Decline of the Wage Premium at Large Firms By Even, William E.; Macpherson, David A.
  5. Atypical Work and Employment Continuity By Addison, John T.; Surfield, Christopher J.
  6. Preferences for Redistribution By Alesina, Alberto; Giuliano, Paola
  7. Religion and Intimate Partner Violence in Chile: Macro- and Micro-Level Influences By Lehrer, Evelyn L.; Lehrer, Vivian L.; Krauss, Ramona
  8. Eliminating Gender Inequalities Reduces Poverty. How? By Joana Costa; Elydia Silva
  9. Migrant Entrepreneurship and New Urban Economic Opportunities By Peter Nijkamp; Mediha Sahin; Tüzin Baycan-Levent
  10. The U-Shape without Controls By Blanchflower, David G.; Oswald, Andrew J.

  1. By: Daniela Del Boca; Christopher Flinn
    Abstract: There is a long history of the theoretical and empirical investigation of the labor supply decisions of married women. Perhaps the starting point for modern econometric analysis of this question is Heckman (1974), in which a neoclassical model of wives’ labor supply was estimated using disaggregated data. He explicitly estimated the parameters characterizing a household utility function, which included as arguments the leisure levels of wives and household consumption. With the addition of a wage function, Heckman was able to consistently estimate household preference parameters and the wage function in a manner that eliminated the types of endogenous sampling problems known to create estimator bias when the participation decision is ignored....
    Keywords: Household Time Allocation, Grim Trigger Strategy, Household Production, Method of Simulated Moments
    JEL: C79 D19 J22
    Date: 2009–02
  2. By: Ana Rute Cardoso; Elsa Fontainha; Chiara Monfardini
    Abstract: We analyze a mechanism that has been disregarded in the literature on parental investment in children, as little attention has been devoted to the choices made by children themselves. We model directly time use by youngsters into activities related to the acquisition of human capital, considering not just the decision on study time, but also on socialization/networking at young age, which can enhance personal interaction skills. We provide new empirical evidence for three European countries (France, Italy and Germany) on the link between time allocation by parents and time allocation by youngsters, highlighting country-specific patterns as well as cross-country differences. We run fractional regression models and double hurdle models on multi-member household micro data on time use. Countries diverge concerning the association between parents and youngsters allocation of time to socializing and to reading and studying activities, with Italy standing out as the country where that association, in particular between youngster and mother, is strongest. Our results are consistent with different mechanisms: parental role model directly influencing children behavior, intergenerational transmission of preferences, or network effects, as individuals adapt their behavior to social patterns.
    Keywords: study time; socializing, networking, youth, intergenerational transmission of preferences, fractional regression models, double hurdle models
    JEL: J22 J24 J13 C21 C24
    Date: 2008–10
  3. By: Chiara Pronzato; Magne Mogstad
    Abstract: High welfare dependency and poverty rate among lone mothers prompted a workfare reform of the Norwegian welfare system for lone parents: activity requirements were brought in, time limits imposed and benefit levels raised. To evaluate the reform we introduce an estimator that, unlike the much used difference-in-difference approach, accounts for the fact that policy changes are typically phased in gradually rather than coming into full effect immediately. We find that the reform has not only led to increased earnings and educational attainment – in the process lowering welfare caseloads and therefore easing the government’s financial burden – but also reduced poverty.
    Keywords: Welfare, lone mothers, workfare reform, difference-in-difference, activity requirements, time limits, earnings, education, poverty
    JEL: C23 I32 I38 J00
    Date: 2008–09
  4. By: Even, William E. (Miami University); Macpherson, David A. (Florida State University)
    Abstract: This study shows that the wage premium paid by large firms fell over the past 20 years and that the decline in the size premium has been most pronounced among the least educated work force. Empirical evidence supports several explanations for the decline in the size premium. First, there has been a convergence in the returns to worker characteristics at large and small firms over time. Second, there has been a convergence in the types of workers employed at small and large firms. Particularly important have been changes in the distribution of workers across industries and the greater rate of decline in unionism at large firms.
    Keywords: firm size, wages, fringe benefits
    JEL: J31 J32 J33
    Date: 2009–03
  5. By: Addison, John T. (University of South Carolina); Surfield, Christopher J. (Saginaw Valley State University)
    Abstract: Atypical employment arrangements such as agency temporary work and contracting have long been criticized as offering more precarious and unstable work than regular employment. Using data from two datasets – the CAEAS and the NLSY79 – we determine whether workers who take such jobs rather than regular employment, or the alternative of continued job search, subsequently experience greater or lesser employment continuity. Observed differences between the various working arrangements are starkest when we do not account for unobserved individual heterogeneity. Controlling for the latter, we report that the advantage of regular work over atypical work and atypical work over continued joblessness dissipates.
    Keywords: atypical work, open-ended work, employment continuity, unemployment, inactivity
    JEL: J40 J60 J63 M50
    Date: 2009–03
  6. By: Alesina, Alberto (Harvard University); Giuliano, Paola (University of California, Los Angeles)
    Abstract: This paper discusses what determines the preferences of individuals for redistribution. We review the theoretical literature and provide a framework to incorporate various effects previously studied separately in the literature. We then examine empirical evidence for the US, using the General Social Survey, and for a large set of countries, using the World Values Survey. The paper reviews previously found results and provides several new ones. We emphasize, in particular, the role of historical experiences, cultural factors and personal history as determinants of preferences for equality or tolerance for inequality.
    Keywords: preferences for redistribution
    JEL: H1
    Date: 2009–03
  7. By: Lehrer, Evelyn L. (University of Illinois at Chicago); Lehrer, Vivian L. (Urban Justice Center); Krauss, Ramona (University of Illinois at Chicago)
    Abstract: The Catholic Church has had a strong influence on the Chilean legal and social landscape in ways that have adversely affected victims of intimate partner violence; e.g., it succeeded until just five years ago in blocking efforts to legalize divorce. At the same time, quantitative studies based on survey data from the United States and other countries show a generally favorable influence of religion on health and many other domains of life, including intimate partner violence. The present study explores the puzzle posed by these seemingly opposing macro- and micro- level forces. Results based on data from the 2005 Survey of Student Well-Being, a questionnaire on gender based violence administered to students at a large public university in Chile, show that moderate or low levels of religiosity are associated with reduced vulnerability to violence, but high levels are not. This non-linearity sheds light on the puzzle, because at the macro level the religious views shaping Chile's legal and social environment have been extreme.
    Keywords: intimate partner violence, religion
    JEL: Z12 J12 J16
    Date: 2009–03
  8. By: Joana Costa (International Poverty Centre); Elydia Silva (International Poverty Centre)
    Abstract: There are many ways in which gender inequalities are present in society. Those inequalities, like any other, are intrinsically unfair and should be fought against. In this One Pager, we show how gender inequalities in the labour market determine poverty levels. We answer the following question: which aspect of gender inequalities should be considered priority in the design of public policies that seek to reduce gender inequalities and poverty?
    Keywords: Eliminating Gender Inequalities Reduces Poverty. How?
    Date: 2008–11
  9. By: Peter Nijkamp (VU University Amsterdam); Mediha Sahin (VU University Amsterdam); Tüzin Baycan-Levent (Istanbul Technical University)
    Abstract: Nowadays, migrants form a significant share of the urban population, and their business is critical for urban economic growth. This paper addresses the key factors determining the position of migrant entrepreneurs in the urban economy in the Netherlands. In order to develop a solid assessment of CSFs for migrant entrepreneurs, and to understand business performance in a competitive urban environment, this study will investigate the entrepreneurial behaviour of migrants in Dutch cities from a micro-economic perspective by paying attention to the entrepreneurial behaviour of migrants, the role of their social networks, and the innovative potential of new growth markets in a city. Our research employs a comparative statistical analysis of empirical findings in order to map out opportunities, success conditions and bottlenecks for migrant entrepreneurs. Given our largely categorical database, we will employ a qualitative causal pattern recognition technique, viz. rough set analysis, to systematically assess the conditions for successful entrepreneurship of migrants.
    Keywords: Migrant entrepreneurship; rough set analysis; critical success factors; categorical pattern recognition analysis
    JEL: J61 L26
    Date: 2009–03–18
  10. By: Blanchflower, David G. (Dartmouth College, USA and University of Stirling, UK.); Oswald, Andrew J. (University of Warwick, UK.)
    Abstract: This paper is a continuation of results in Blanchflower and Oswald (2008). It provides new evidence that well-being follows a curve through life. We use data on half a million randomly sampled individuals across eight major European nations. Importantly, we show that in this set of countries there is a U-shape even in unadjusted data, that is, without the inclusion of control variables. But we also advise against a focus on elementary bivariate associations.
    Keywords: Happiness ; aging ; well-being ; mental-health ; depression ; life-course
    JEL: D1 I3
    Date: 2009

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