nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2011‒07‒21
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Why Care? Social Norms, Relative Income and the Supply of Unpaid Care By Marina Della Giusta; Nigar Hashimzade; Sarah Jewell
  2. The UK Minimum Wage at Age 22: A Regression Discontinuity Approach By Richard Dickens; Rebecca Riley; David Wilkinson
  3. Child Wellbeing in Two-Parent Families: How Do Characteristics and Relationships Matter? By Lawrence M. Berger; Sara S. McLanahan
  4. Self-employment of rural-to-urban migrants in China By Giulietti, Corrado; Ning, Guangjie; Zimmermann, Klaus F

  1. By: Marina Della Giusta (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Nigar Hashimzade (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Sarah Jewell (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: We focus on the role of conformity with social norms and concern with relative income in the decision to supply unpaid care for parents. Individuals have different propensities to be influenced by both relative income and social norms, and face a time constraint on the provision of both paid work (which increases their income) and unpaid care. We estimate our model with a sample drawn from the British Household Panel Survey to assess these effects empirically, estimating both the supply of unpaid care and the effect on utility of different preferences for relative income and unpaid care. We find that providing care decreases individual utility: long care hours are bad for carers (and care recipients). Women feature disproportionately amongst care providers and their motivations for care provision differ to men's, both in respect to the importance attached to relative income and to conformity with social norms. After controlling for other factors, men are more envious than women (attach more weight to relative income) and indi¤erent to social norms in relation to caring, whereas the opposite holds for women, so status races are bad for the supply of care within families and particularly men's supply. This is an issue as caring (in right amounts) can be good for carers too if they agree with caring norms, even when they prefer paid work to caring (as men do). We discuss implications for care provision and working arrangements.
    Keywords: care, unpaid work, social norms, relative income
    JEL: J22 Z13 D01 D13
    Date: 2011–07–05
  2. By: Richard Dickens (Department of Economics, University of Sussex; Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics); Rebecca Riley (National Institute of Economic and Social Research; LLAKES, Institute of Education); David Wilkinson (National Institute of Economic and Social Research)
    Abstract: A regression discontinuity approach is used to analyse the effect of the legislated increase in the UK National Minimum Wage (NMW) that occurs at age 22 on various labour market outcomes. Using data from the Labour Force Survey we find a 2- 4% point increase in the employment rate of low skilled individuals. Unemployment declines among men and inactivity among women. We find no such effect before the NMW was introduced and no robust impacts at age 21 or 23 years. Our results are robust to a range of specification tests.
    Keywords: Minimum Wage Legislation, Low Wage
    JEL: J31 J38
    Date: 2011–03
  3. By: Lawrence M. Berger (University of Wisconsin, Madison); Sara S. McLanahan (Princeton University)
    Abstract: We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine the role of individual and family characteristics, as well as mother-father and parent-child relationships, with regard to differences in wellbeing for children living with their biological mother and either their biological father or a social father. We find that accounting for these factors produces a large decrease in the association between two-parent family type and cognitive skills, but does little to explain the association between family type and externalizing behavior problems, given suppressor effects of several of the father characteristics and relationship measures. Furthermore, results from Blinder-Oaxaca decompositions suggest that differences in cognitive skills can largely be explained by differences in the characteristics and behaviors of the individuals comprising biological- and social-father families, whereas differences in externalizing behavior problems predominantly reflect differences in returns to (effects of) these characteristics and behaviors for children in the two family types.
    Keywords: parents, children, relationships, welfare, wellbeing, martial status
    JEL: D19 D69 H31 I30 J13
    Date: 2011–06
  4. By: Giulietti, Corrado; Ning, Guangjie; Zimmermann, Klaus F
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the determinants of self-employment among rural to urban migrants in China. Two self-selection mechanisms are analysed: the first relates to the manner in which migrants choose self-employment or paid work based on the potential gains from either type of employment; the second takes into account that the determinants of the migration decision can be correlated with employment choices. Using data from the 2008 Rural-Urban Migration in China and Indonesia (RUMiCI) survey, a selection model with endogenous switching is estimated. Earnings estimates are then used to derive the wage differential, which in turn is used to model the employment choice. The procedure is extended to account for migration selectivity and to compare individuals with different migration background and employment histories. The results indicate that self-employed individuals are positively selected with respect to their unobserved characteristics. Furthermore, the wage differential is found to be an important driver of the self-employment choice.
    Keywords: European Union; rural to urban migration; selection bias magnets; self-employment; wages
    JEL: J23 J61 O15
    Date: 2011–07

This nep-ltv issue is ©2011 by Maximo Rossi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.