nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2009‒09‒11
nine papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Life Satisfaction and Relative Income: Perceptions and Evidence By Guy Mayraz; Gert G. Wagner; Jürgen Schupp
  2. The Effect of Motivations on Social Indirect Reciprocity: an Experimental Analysis By Luca Stanca; Luigino Bruni; Marco Mantovani
  3. Why are child poverty rates so persistently high in Spain? By Carlos Gradín; Olga Cantó
  4. Recent trends in income inequality in Latin America By Leonardo Gasparini; Guillermo Cruces; Leopoldo Tornarolli
  5. Gender, education and reciprocal generosity: Evidence from 1,500 experiment subjects By Pablo Brañas-Garza; Juan C. Cárdenas; Máximo Rossi
  6. Horizontal inequity in access to health care in four South American cities By Ana I. Balsa; Máximo Rossi; Patricia Triunfo
  7. Wage Dispersion in a Partially Unionized Labor Force By John T. Addison; Ralph W. Bailey; W. Stanley Siebert
  8. Subjectivity in Inductive Inference By Itzhak Gilboa; Larry Samuelson
  9. Induced Innovation and Social Inequality: Evidence from Infant Medical Care By David M. Cutler; Ellen Meara; Seth Richards

  1. By: Guy Mayraz; Gert G. Wagner; Jürgen Schupp
    Abstract: Using a unique dataset we study both the actual and self-perceived relationship between subjective well-being and income comparisons against a wide range of potential comparison groups, enabling us to investigate a broader range of questions than in previous studies. In questions inserted into a 2008 module of the German-Socio Economic Panel Study we ask subjects to report (a) how their income compares to various groups, such a co-workers, friends, and neighbours, and (b) how important these income comparisons are to them. We find substantial gender differences, with income comparisons being much better predictors of subjective well-being in men than in women. Generic (same-gender) comparisons are the most important, followed by within profession comparisons. Once generic and within-profession comparisons are controlled for, income relative to neighbours has a negative coefficient, implying that living in a high-income neighbourhood increases happiness. The perceived importance of income comparisons is found to be uncorrelated with its actual relationship to subjective well-being, suggesting that people are unconscious of its real impact. Subjects who judge comparisons to be important are, however, significantly less happy than subjects who see income comparisons as unimportant. Finally, the marginal effect of relative income on subjective well-being does not depend on whether a subject is below or above the reference group income.
    Keywords: Income Comparisons, Relative Income, Life Satisfaction, German Socio Economic Panel Study, SOEP
    JEL: D31 D62 D63 I3 I31 Z13
    Date: 2009
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp214&r=ltv
  2. By: Luca Stanca; Luigino Bruni; Marco Mantovani
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of motivations on the perceived kindness of an action within the context of strong social indirect reci- procity. We test experimentally the hypothesis that, for a given dis- tributional outcome, an action is perceived by a third party to be less kind if it can be strategically motivated. The results do not support this hypothesis: social indirect reciprocity is indeed found to be signif- icantly stronger when strategic motivations cannot be ruled out. We interpret these findings as an indication of the role played by team reasoning in explaining reciprocal behavior.
    Keywords: Indirect Reciprocity, Motivations, Social Preferences, Laboratory Experiments
    JEL: D63 C78 C91
    Date: 2009–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:mib:wpaper:169&r=ltv
  3. By: Carlos Gradín (Universidade de Vigo); Olga Cantó (Instituto de Estudios Fiscales and Universidade de Vigo)
    Abstract: Poverty rates among households with children in Spain have been shown to be persistently higher than those among households without children. These higher rates prevail for chronic, transitory and, most remarkably, for recurrent poverty. In order to study the dynamics of poverty transitions in Spain we estimate a dynamic random effects probit model that controls for unobserved heterogeneity and initial conditions using the European Community Household Panel. Our results show differential effects of several individual and household characteristics on the probability of being poor for households with and without children. Of special interest is how labour instability factors can help to explain the outstandingly higher recurrence in poverty among households with children in Spain, compared with other countries.
    Keywords: children, poverty dynamics, random-effects, Spain.
    JEL: D1 D31 I32
    Date: 2009
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2009-123&r=ltv
  4. By: Leonardo Gasparini (CEDLAS – Universidad Nacional de La Plata); Guillermo Cruces (CEDLAS – Universidad Nacional de La Plata); Leopoldo Tornarolli (CEDLAS – Universidad Nacional de La Plata)
    Abstract: This paper documents patterns and recent developments on income inequality in Latin America (LA). New comparative international evidence confirms that LA is a region of high inequality, although maybe not the highest in the world. Income inequality has fallen in the 2000s, suggesting a turning point from the substantial increases of the 1980s and 1990s. The fall in inequality is significant and widespread, but it does not seem to be based on strong fundamentals.
    Keywords: inequality, distribution, education, Latin America
    JEL: C15 D31 I21 J23 J31
    Date: 2009
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2009-132&r=ltv
  5. By: Pablo Brañas-Garza (Universidad de Granada); Juan C. Cárdenas (Universidad de los Andes); Máximo Rossi (Universidad de la República, Uruguay)
    Abstract: There is not general consensus about if women are more or less generous than men. Although the number of papers supporting more generous females is a bit larger than the opposed it is not possible to establish any definitive and systematic gender bias. This paper provides new evidence on this topic using a unique experimental dataset. We used data from a field experiment conducted under identical conditions (and monetary payoffs) in 6 Latin American cities, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Lima, Montevideo and San José. Our dataset amounted to 3,107 experimental subjects who played the Trust Game. We will analyze the determinants of behavior of second movers, that is, what determines reciprocal generosity. In sharp contrast to previous papers we found that males are more generous than females. In the light of this result, we carried out a systematic analysis of individual features (income, education, age, etc.) for females and males separately. We found differential motivations for women and men. Third, we see that (individual) education enhances pro-social behavior. Lastly, we see that subjects’ expectations are crucial.
    Keywords: Reciprocal altruism, gender, education
    JEL: C93 D64 J16
    Date: 2009
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2009-128&r=ltv
  6. By: Ana I. Balsa (University of Miami); Máximo Rossi (Universidad de la República (Uruguay)); Patricia Triunfo (Universidad de la República (Uruguay))
    Abstract: This paper analyzes and compares socioeconomic inequalities in the use of healthcare services by the elderly in four South-American cities: Buenos Aires (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Montevideo (Uruguay) and San Pablo (Brazil). We use data from SABE, a survey on Health, Well-being and Aging administered in several Latin American cities in 2000. After having accounted for socioeconomic inequalities in healthcare needs, we find socioeconomic inequities favoring the rich in the use of preventive services (mammograms, pap tests, breast examinations, and prostate exams) in all of the studied cities. We also find inequities in the likelihood of having a medical visit in Santiago and Montevideo, and in some measures of quality of access in Santiago, Sao Paulo, and Buenos Aires. Santiago depicts the highest inequities in medical visits and Uruguay the worse indicators in mammograms and pap scans tests. For all cities, inequities in preventive services at least double inequities in other services. We do not find evidence of a trade-off between levels of access and equity in access to healthcare services. The decomposition of healthcare inequalities suggests that inequities within each health system (public or private) are more important than between systems.
    Keywords: inequalities, healthcare, medical visit, preventive services.
    JEL: I1 I11 I12 I18
    Date: 2009
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2009-131&r=ltv
  7. By: John T. Addison (University of South Carolina (U.S.A.), GEMF (Portugal), and IZA); Ralph W. Bailey (University of Birmingham (U.K.)); W. Stanley Siebert (University of Birmingham (U.K.) and IZA)
    Abstract: Wage Dispersion in a Partially Unionized Labor Force This paper critiques Card’s (2001) method for analyzing wage dispersion in a partially unionized labor market based on a disaggregation of the population into skill categories. We argue that disaggregation is a good idea, the use of skill categories less so. We offer a modified model in which each worker is assigned a union-membership probability, a predicted union wage, and a predicted nonunion wage. Our model provides a natural three-way decomposition of variance, and is also suited to counterfactual analysis. By way of an application, we examine the effect of de-unionization on wage dispersion in the United Kingdom between 1983 and 1995, reporting that the decline in membership accounts for only about one-fifth of the observed increase in wage dispersion.
    Keywords: wage dispersion, three-way variance decomposition, bivariate kernel density smoothing, union membership, deunionization.
    JEL: D3 J31 J51
    Date: 2009–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:gmf:wpaper:2009-09&r=ltv
  8. By: Itzhak Gilboa; Larry Samuelson
    Date: 2009–08–28
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cla:levarc:814577000000000324&r=ltv
  9. By: David M. Cutler; Ellen Meara; Seth Richards
    Abstract: We develop a model of induced innovation where research effort is a function of the death rate, and thus the potential to reduce deaths in the population. We also consider potential social consequences that arise from this form of induced innovation based on differences in disease prevalence across population subgroups (i.e. race). Our model yields three empirical predictions. First, initial death rates and subsequent research effort should be positively correlated. Second, research effort should be associated with more rapid mortality declines. Third, as a byproduct of targeting the most common conditions in the population as a whole, induced innovation leads to growth in mortality disparities between minority and majority groups. Using information on infant deaths in the U.S. between 1983 and 1998, we find support for all three empirical predictions. We estimate that induced innovation predicts about 20 percent of declines in infant mortality over this period. At the same time, innovation that occurred in response to the most common causes of death favored the majority racial group in the U.S., whites. We estimate that induced innovation contributed about one third of the rise in the black-white infant mortality ratio during our period of study.
    JEL: I1 I12 J1 J15
    Date: 2009–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15316&r=ltv

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