New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2010‒11‒20
eight papers chosen by

  1. Fertility, Female Labor Supply, and Family Policy By Hans Fehr; Daniela Ujhelyiova
  2. BSocial preferences during childhood and the role of gender and age – An experiment in Austria and Sweden By Peter Martinsson; Katarina Nordblom; Daniela Rützler; Matthias Sutter
  3. Trends in Quality-Adjusted Skill Premia in the United States, 1960-2000 By Carneiro, Pedro; Lee, Sokbae
  4. Relative income and happiness in Asia: Evidence from nationwide surveys in China, Japan, and Korea By Oshio, Takashi; Nozaki, Kayo; Kobayashi, Miki
  5. Conditional Cash Transfer: a Vaccine against Poverty and Inequality? By Fabio Veras Soares
  6. Identification of Social Interactions By Blume, Lawrence E.; Brock, William A.; Durlauf, Steven N.; Ioannides, Yannis M.
  7. The happiness - suicide paradox By Mary C. Daly; Andrew J. Oswald; Daniel Wilson; Stephen Wu
  8. ARE GOOD-LOOKING PEOPLE MORE EMPLOYABLE? By Bradley J. Ruffle; Ze’ev Shtudiner

  1. By: Hans Fehr; Daniela Ujhelyiova
    Abstract: The present paper develops a general equilibrium model with overlapping generations and endogenous fertility in order to analyze the interaction between public policy and household labor supply and fertility decisions. The model's benchmark equilibrium reflects the current family policy as well as the differential fertility pattern of educational groups in Germany. Then we simulate alternative reforms of child benefits and family taxation that increase the long-run fertility and growth rate of the economy. Our simulations indicate two central results: First, although households are typically hurt by the first-order effects of family policy, it is possible to generate long-run welfare gains due to positive second-order effects from induced changes in the population structure. Second, specific family policies could be designed that yield a joint increase of the fertility rate and female employment rate as observed in cross-country studies.
    Keywords: stochastic fertility, general equilibrium life cycle model
    JEL: J12 J22
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Peter Martinsson; Katarina Nordblom; Daniela Rützler; Matthias Sutter
    Abstract: We examine social preferences of Swedish and Austrian children and adolescents using the experimental design of Charness and Rabin (2002). We find that difference aversion decreases while social-welfare preferences increase with age.
    Keywords: social preferences; children; adolescents; distributional experiment; Austria; Sweden.
    JEL: C91 D63 D64
    Date: 2010–11
  3. By: Carneiro, Pedro (University College London); Lee, Sokbae (Seoul National University)
    Abstract: This paper presents new evidence that increases in college enrollment lead to a decline in the average quality of college graduates between 1960 and 2000, resulting in a decrease of 6 percentage points in the college premium. We show that although a standard demand and supply framework can qualitatively account for the trend in the college and age premia over this period, substantial quantitative adjustments still need to be made to account for changes in quality.
    Keywords: inequality, college premium, composition effects
    JEL: J0
    Date: 2010–10
  4. By: Oshio, Takashi; Nozaki, Kayo; Kobayashi, Miki
    Abstract: This study attempts to examine relative income effects on perceived happiness in three major Asian countries -- China, Japan, and Korea -- in comparison with the United Sates, on the basis of largely comparable nationwide surveys in these countries. Consistent with the results from previous studies in Western countries, comparisons with an individual's own income and average income of the reference group are significantly associated with the individual's perceived happiness in Asia. The associations between relative income and happiness are stronger for individual income than family income in China, while the opposite is true in Japan and Korea. Even after controlling for the subjective assessment of family income or personal class identification within the society as a whole, income comparisons within the reference group matter for assessing happiness, especially when using family income for comparisons. Moreover, relative deprivation within the reference group, which is measured by the Yitzhaki index, is negatively related to happiness, providing more evidence for the validity of the relative income hypothesis.
    Keywords: Relative income, Relative deprivation, Asia
    Date: 2010–10
  5. By: Fabio Veras Soares (International Poverty Centre)
    Keywords: Conditional Cash Transfer: a Vaccine against Poverty and Inequality?
    Date: 2010–10
  6. By: Blume, Lawrence E. (Cornell University, and Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, and Santa Fe Institute); Brock, William A. (University of Wisconsin); Durlauf, Steven N. (Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison); Ioannides, Yannis M. (Tufts University)
    Abstract: While interest in social determinants of individual behavior has led to a rich theoretical literature and many efforts to measure these influences, a mature “social econometrics” has yet to emerge. This chapter provides a critical overview of the identification of social interactions. We consider linear and discrete choice models as well as social networks structures. We also consider experimental and quasi-experimental methods. In addition to describing the state of the identification literature, we indicate areas where additional research is especially needed and suggest some directions that appear to be especially promising.
    Keywords: Social interactions, social networks, identification
    JEL: C21 C23 C31 C35 C72 Z13
    Date: 2010–10
  7. By: Mary C. Daly; Andrew J. Oswald; Daniel Wilson; Stephen Wu
    Abstract: Suicide is an important scientific phenomenon. Yet its causes remain poorly understood. This study documents a paradox: the happiest places have the highest suicide rates. The study combines findings from two large and rich individual-level data sets—one on life satisfaction and another on suicide deaths—to establish the paradox in a consistent way across U.S. states. It replicates the finding in data on Western industrialized nations and checks that the paradox is not an artifact of population composition or confounding factors. The study concludes with the conjecture that people may find it particularly painful to be unhappy in a happy place, so that the decision to commit suicide is influenced by relative comparisons.
    Keywords: Happiness ; Suicide
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Bradley J. Ruffle (Department of Economics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel); Ze’ev Shtudiner (Department of Economics, Ariel University Center, Israel)
    Abstract: Job applicants in Europe and in Israel increasingly imbed a headshot of them- selves in the top corner of their CVs. We sent 5312 CVs in pairs to 2656 advertised job open- ings. In each pair, one CV was without a picture while the second, otherwise almost identical CV contained a picture of either an attractive male/female or a plain-looking male/female. Employer callbacks to attractive men are significantly higher than to men with no picture and to plain-looking men, nearly doubling the latter group. Strikingly, attractive women do not enjoy the same beauty premium. In fact, women with no picture have a significantly higher rate of callbacks than attractive or plain-looking women. We explore a number of explanations and provide evidence that female jealousy of attractive women in the workplace is a primary reason for the punishment of attractive women.
    Keywords: beauty, discrimination, experimental economics.
    JEL: C93 J71
    Date: 2010

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