nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2009‒12‒05
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Religion, Religiosity and Educational Attainment of Immigrants to the USA By Sankar Mukhopadhyay
  2. Creative Destruction, Economic Insecurity, Stress and Epidemic Obesity By Jon D. Wisman; Kevin Capehart
  3. Vignettes and health systems responsiveness in crosscountry comparative analyses By Nigel Rice; Silvana Robone; Peter Smith
  4. Work status and family planning: insights from the Italian puzzle By Sabatini, Fabio

  1. By: Sankar Mukhopadhyay (Department of Economics, University of Nevada, Reno)
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the association between religions, religiosity and educational attainment of new lawful immigrants to the U.S. This paper considers a broad set of religions that includes most of the major religions of the world. Using data from the New Immigrant Survey (2003), we show that affiliation with religion is not necessarily associated with an increase in educational attainment. Muslim and “Other religion” immigrants have less education compared to the immigrants who are not affiliated with any religion. However, affiliation with the Jewish religion is associated with higher educational attainment for males. With regard to religiosity, our results show that high religiosity is associated with lower educational attainment, especially for females. We also outline alternative frameworks that provide insight about the mechanisms that link religion and religiosity with educational attainment.
    Keywords: Immigration; Religion; Religiosity; Education
    JEL: I21 Z12
    Date: 2009–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:unr:wpaper:09-003&r=ltv
  2. By: Jon D. Wisman; Kevin Capehart
    Abstract: The percentage of Americans who are obese has doubled since 1980. Most attempts to explain this "obesity epidemic" have been found inadequate, including the "Big Two" (the increased availability of inexpensive food and the decline of physical exertion). This article explores the possibility that the obesity epidemic is substantially due to growing insecurity, stress, and a sense of powerlessness in modern society where high-sugar and high-fat foods are increasingly omnipresent. Those suffering these conditions may suffer less control over other domains of their lives. Insecurity and stress have been found to increase the desire for high-fat and high sugar foods. After exploring the evidence of a link between stress and obesity, the increasing pace of capitalism's creative destruction and its generation of greater insecurity and stress are addressed. The article ends with reflections on how epidemic obesity is symptomatic of a social mistake –- the seeking of maximum efficiency and economic growth even in societies where the fundamental problem of material security has been solved.
    Keywords: Social gradient obesity, endogenous preferences, cortisol, inequality, thrifty genes, rational choice model
    Date: 2009–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:amu:wpaper:2009-13&r=ltv
  3. By: Nigel Rice; Silvana Robone; Peter Smith
    Abstract: This paper explores the use of anchoring vignettes as a means to adjust survey reports of health system performance for differential reporting behaviour using data contained within the World Health Survey (WHS). Survey respondents are asked to rate their experiences of health systems across a number of domains on a five-point categorical scale. Using data provided through a set of vignettes we investigate variations in reporting of interactions with health services across both socio-demographic groups and countries. We show how the method of anchoring vignettes can be used to enhance cross-country comparability of performance. Our results show large differences in the rankings of country performance once adjustment for systematic country-level reporting behaviour has been undertaken compared to a ranking based on raw unadjusted data.
    Keywords: Anchoring vignettes; Cross-country comparison; Health care responsiveness; Health system performance
    Date: 2009–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:yor:hectdg:09/29&r=ltv
  4. By: Sabatini, Fabio
    Abstract: This paper uses a dataset built by the author on the basis of raw data taken from different national surveys to carry out an investigation into the socio-economic determinants of couples’ childbearing decisions in Italy. Since having children is in most cases a “couple matter”, the analysis accounts for the characteristics of both the aspiring parents. Our results contradict theoretical predictions according to which the increase in the opportunity cost of motherhood connected to higher female labour participation is responsible for the fall in fertility. On the contrary, the instability of the women’s work status (i.e. their being occasional, precarious, and low-paid workers) reveals to be a significant and strong dissuasive deterrent discouraging the decision to have children. Couples with unemployed women are less likely to plan childbearing as well. Other relevant explanatory variables are age, current family size, and the strength of family ties.
    Keywords: Fertility; Family planning; Childbearing; Labour market; Female participation; Labour precariousness; Social capital; Italy
    JEL: J13 J21 Z13 J24
    Date: 2009–11–24
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:18851&r=ltv

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