nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2010‒05‒22
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Do Ethnic Minorities "Stretch" Their Time?: Evidence from the UK Time Use Survey By Anzelika Zaiceva; Klaus F. Zimmermann
  2. The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement By Hanushek, Eric A.; Woessmann, Ludger
  3. The Distribution of Top Incomes in Five Anglo-Saxon Countries over the Twentieth Century By Atkinson, Anthony B.; Leigh, Andrew
  4. The Shape of Temptation: Implications for the Economic Lives of the Poor By Abhijit Banerjee; Sendhil Mullainathan
  5. Social protection in Latin America : achievements and limitations By Ferreira , Francisco H.G.; Robalino, David

  1. By: Anzelika Zaiceva; Klaus F. Zimmermann
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of ethnicity on time spent on overlapped household production, work and leisure activities employing the 2000-2001 UK Time Use Survey. We find that, unconditionally, white females manage to "stretch" their time the most by an additional 233 minutes per day and non-white men "stretch" their time the least. The three secondary activities that are most often combined with other (primary) activities in terms of time spent on them are social activities including resting, passive leisure and childcare. Regression results indicate that non-white ethnic minorities engage less in multitasking than whites, with Pakistani and Bangladeshi males spending the least time. The gap is present for both ethnic minority males and females, although females in general engage more in multitasking. The effect is also heterogeneous across different sub-groups. We then discuss several potential interpretations and investigate whether these differences in behavior may also relate to opportunity costs of non-market time, different preferences and tastes of ethnic minorities, integration experience, family composition, household productivity and other.
    Keywords: Time use, multitasking, ethnic minorities, UK
    JEL: J22 J15
    Date: 2010
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp999&r=ltv
  2. By: Hanushek, Eric A. (Stanford University); Woessmann, Ludger (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: An emerging economic literature over the past decade has made use of international tests of educational achievement to analyze the determinants and impacts of cognitive skills. The cross-country comparative approach provides a number of unique advantages over national studies: It can exploit institutional variation that does not exist within countries; draw on much larger variation than usually available within any country; reveal whether any result is country-specific or more general; test whether effects are systematically heterogeneous in different settings; circumvent selection issues that plague within-country identification by using system-level aggregated measures; and uncover general-equilibrium effects that often elude studies in a single country. The advantages come at the price of concerns about the limited number of country observations, the cross-sectional character of most available achievement data, and possible bias from unobserved country factors like culture. This chapter reviews the economic literature on international differences in educational achievement, restricting itself to comparative analyses that are not possible within single countries and placing particular emphasis on studies trying to address key issues of empirical identification. While quantitative input measures show little impact, several measures of institutional structures and of the quality of the teaching force can account for significant portions of the large international differences in the level and equity of student achievement. Variations in skills measured by the international tests are in turn strongly related to individual labor-market outcomes and, perhaps more importantly, to cross-country variations in economic growth.
    Keywords: human capital, cognitive skills, international student achievement tests, education production function
    JEL: I20 O40 O15 H40 H52 J24 J31 P50
    Date: 2010–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4925&r=ltv
  3. By: Atkinson, Anthony B. (Nuffield College, Oxford); Leigh, Andrew (Australian National University)
    Abstract: Taxation data have been used to create long-run series for the distribution of top incomes in quite a number of countries. Most of these studies have focused on the national experience of individual countries, but we can also learn from cross-country comparisons. Comparative analysis is therefore the next stage in the research program. At the same time, we know from other fields that there are dangers in simply pooling all available time series, without regard to the specific nature of data and reality. In this paper, we therefore adopt an intermediate approach, taking five Anglo-Saxon countries that have relatively similar backgrounds and tax systems: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US. The first part of the paper tackles the challenge of comparability of income-tax based estimates across countries and across time. The second part summarizes the evidence about top income shares. Across these five countries, the shares of the very richest exhibit a strikingly similar pattern, falling in the three decades after World War II, before rising sharply from the mid-1970s onwards. The share of the top 1 percent is highly correlated across Anglo-Saxon countries, more so than the share of the next 4 percent. The third part of the paper looks at the relationship between taxes and top income shares. Controlling for country and year fixed effects, we find that a reduction in the marginal tax rate on wage income is associated with an increase in the share of the top percentile group. Likewise, a fall in the marginal tax rate on investment income (based on a lagged moving average) is associated with a rise in the share of the top percentile group.
    Keywords: inequality, taxation, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States
    JEL: D31 H23 N30
    Date: 2010–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4937&r=ltv
  4. By: Abhijit Banerjee; Sendhil Mullainathan
    Abstract: This paper argues that the relation between temptations and the level of consumption plays a key role in explaining the observed behaviors of the poor. Temptation goods are defined to be the set of goods that gen- erate positive utility for the self that consumes them, but not for any previous self that anticipates that they will be consumed in the future.
    Keywords: consumption, poor, temptation goods, interest rates, investment, savings, borrowing, risk-behavior, Euler inequality
    Date: 2010
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:2484&r=ltv
  5. By: Ferreira , Francisco H.G.; Robalino, David
    Abstract: Social protection systems in Latin America have been transformed in the past two decades. Until the 1980s, those who were not covered by the social security arrangements available primarily in the urban formal sector received little public assistance beyond universal subsidies for some food or fuel purchases. Since the 1990s, the introduction of non-contributory social insurance programs (including"social pensions") and conditional cash transfers has substantially extended the coverage and improved the incidence of social assistance. However, the organic growth of subsidized social assistance in parallel to the older social insurance system, financed largely out of taxes on formal sector employment, has led to a dual system that is neither properly equitable nor efficient. The twin challenges that now face social protection in Latin America are to better integrate those two halves of the system, and to develop programs that promote sustainable self-reliance, by moving from"safety nets"to"opportunity ropes."
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Services&Transfers to Poor,Debt Markets,Insurance Law,Health Monitoring&Evaluation
    Date: 2010–05–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5305&r=ltv

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