nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2011‒07‒27
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. The Colonial Origins of the Divergence in the Americas: A Labour Market Approach By Robert C. Allen; Tommy E. Murphy; Eric B. Schneider
  2. Monitoring Child Well-being in the European Union: Measuring cumulative deprivation By Geranda Notten; Keetie Roelen; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
  3. The Spanish survey of household finances (eff): description and methods of the 2008 wave By Olympia Bover
  4. Inequality among the Wealthy By Frank A Cowell
  5. The Effects of Health Shocks on Employment and Health Insurance: The Role of Employer-Provided Health Insurance By Cathy J. Bradley; David Neumark; Meryl I. Motika

  1. By: Robert C. Allen; Tommy E. Murphy; Eric B. Schneider
    Abstract: Part of a long-run project to put together a systematic database of prices and wages for the American contingents, this paper takes a first look at standards of living in a series of North American and Latin American cities. From secondary sources we collected price data that - with diverse degrees of quality - covers various years between colonization and independence and, following the methodology now familiar in the literature, we built estimations of price indexes for Boston, Philadelphia, and the Chesapeake Bay region in North America and Bogota, Mexico, and Postosi in Latin America exploring alternative assumptions on the characteristics of the reference basket. We use these indexes to deflate the (relatively more scarce) figures on wages, and compare the results with each other, and with the now widely known series for various European and Asian cities. We find that real wages were higher in North America than in Latin America from the very early colonial period: four times the World Bank Poverty Line (WBPL) in North America while only two times the WBPL in Latin America. These wages place the North American colonies among the most advanced countries in the world alongside Northwestern European countries and the Latin American colonies among the least developed countries at a similar level to Southern European and Asian countries. These wage differences existed from the early colonial period because wages in the American colonies were determined by wages in the respective metropoles and by the Malthusian population dynamics of indigenous peoples. Settlers would not migrate unless they could maintain their standard of living, so wages in the colonies were set in the metrople. Political institutions, forced labour regimes, economic geography, disease environments and culture shaped the size of the economy of each colony but did not affect income levels.
    Keywords: Economic history, Real wages, Standard of living, Labour market, Population, Great Divergence, North America, Latin America
    JEL: N16 N31 N36 J2 J4 I32
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Geranda Notten; Keetie Roelen; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
    Abstract: This paper describes and empirically tests a number of candidate measures of cumulative deprivation to monitor child well-being in the EU.The authors posit that the ideal measure should be sensitive to changes in the depth of cumulative deprivation and, given its broad use in the policy community, has an intuitive interpretation. Using the 2007 wave of the EU-SILC data, the authors constructed several measures of cumulative deprivation from a set of 13 deprivation indicators for Germany, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
    Keywords: child poverty; poverty reduction;
    JEL: C0 C12
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Olympia Bover (Banco de España)
    Abstract: This paper describes the methods of the third wave of the Spanish Survey of Household Finances (EFF2008), paying special attention to the innovations relative to the previous waves. The EFF2008 was designed to give continuity to the information on household finances collected through the EFF2002 and the EFF2005. A desirable characteristic present in all three waves is the oversampling of wealthy households. This is achieved on the basis of the wealth tax through a blind system of collaboration between the National Statistics Institute and the Tax Office which preserves stringent tax confidentiality. An additional important characteristic of the EFF is that the second and third waves have a full panel component. Further, a refreshment sample by wealth stratum has been incorporated in those two waves to preserve cross-sectional representativity and overall sample size. The EFF is the only statistical source in Spain that allows the linking of incomes, assets, debts, and consumption at the household level. The usefulness of the information contained in a survey such as the EFF has led to the decision from the European system of central banks to conduct a household wealth survey in all euro area countries following a methodology similar to the EFF. Therefore, the EFF2008 will allow harmonized comparisons with the new European wealth surveys.
    Keywords: wealth survey, oversampling of the rich, panel, refreshment sample, imputation
    JEL: C81 D31
    Date: 2011–07
  4. By: Frank A Cowell
    Abstract: Using the evidence from the Luxembourg Wealth Study it appears that the distribution of wealth in the UK is considerably less than in Canada, the US or Sweden. But does this result come from an underestimate of inequality among the wealthy and of the wealth differential between the rich and the rest? Using a Pareto model for the upper tail of the distribution we can see that the inequality of comparisons of the UK with the other countries is indeed robust.
    Keywords: wealth distribution
    JEL: D31
    Date: 2011–06
  5. By: Cathy J. Bradley; David Neumark; Meryl I. Motika
    Abstract: We study how men’s dependence on their own employer for health insurance affects labor supply responses and loss of health insurance coverage when faced with a serious health shock. Men with employment-contingent health insurance (ECHI) are more likely to remain working following some kinds of adverse health shocks, and are more likely to lose insurance. With the passage of health care reform, the tendency of men with ECHI as opposed to other sources of insurance to remain employed following a health shock may be diminished, along with the likelihood of losing health insurance.
    JEL: I18 J22 J38
    Date: 2011–07

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