nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2011‒09‒22
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Measuring Poverty Without The Mortality Paradox By Mathieu Lefebvre; Pierre Pestieau; Grégory Ponthière
  2. Happiness, Habits and High Rank: Comparisons in Economic and Social Life By Clark, Andrew E.
  3. Women's Age at First Marriage and Marital Instability: Evidence from the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth By Lehrer, Evelyn L.; Chen, Yu
  4. Accounting for changes in the Spanish wage distribution: the role of employment Composition effects By Raquel Carrasco; Juan F. Jimeno; A. Carolina Ortega
  5. Religiosity as a determinant of happiness By Erich Gundlach; Matthias Opfinger
  6. Polarization and the Middle Class By Fernando Borraz; Nicolás Gonzalez Pampillón; Máximo Rossi

  1. By: Mathieu Lefebvre (CREPP - Center of Research in Public Economics and Population Economics - Université de Liège); Pierre Pestieau (CREPP - Center of Research in Public Economics and Population Economics - Université de Liège, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - INRA, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - Université Catholique de Louvain, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR); Grégory Ponthière (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - INRA, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: Under income-differentiated mortality, poverty measures reflect not only the "true" poverty, but, also, the interferences or noise caused by the survival process at work. Such interferences lead to the Mortality Paradox: the worse the survival conditions of the poor are, the lower the measured poverty is. We examine several solutions to avoid that paradox. We identify conditions under which the extension, by means of a fictitious income, of lifetime income profiles of the prematurely dead neutralizes the noise due to differential mortality. Then, to account not only for the "missing" poor, but, also, for the "hidden" poverty (premature death), we use, as a fictitious income, the welfare-neutral income, making indifferent between life continuation and death. The robustness of poverty measures to the extension technique is illustrated with regional Belgian data.
    Keywords: premature mortality ; income-differentiated mortality ; poverty measurement ; censored income profile
    Date: 2011–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00622325&r=ltv
  2. By: Clark, Andrew E. (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: The role of money in producing sustained subjective well-being seems to be seriously compromised by social comparisons and habituation. But does that necessarily mean that we would be better off doing something else instead? This paper suggests that the phenomena of comparison and habituation are actually found in a considerable variety of economic and social activities, rendering conclusions regarding well-being policy less straightforward.
    Keywords: comparison, habituation, income, unemployment, marriage, divorce, health, religion, policy
    JEL: D01 D31 H00 I31 J12 J28
    Date: 2011–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5966&r=ltv
  3. By: Lehrer, Evelyn L. (University of Illinois at Chicago); Chen, Yu (University of Illinois at Chicago)
    Abstract: One of the most salient demographic trends in the U.S. landscape in recent decades has been the pronounced increase in age at first marriage. This paper examines the implications of women's delayed entry to marriage for marital stability using data from the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth. The main finding is that the association between age at marriage and marital instability without holding constant the couple's characteristics at marriage is negative up to the late twenties, with the curve leveling off thereafter. Women who marry in the late twenties and thirties generally enter unconventional matches (e.g., the husband is more likely to have been married before, and to be younger than the wife by three years or more), suggestive of a "poor match" emerging as the biological clock begins to tick. However, the flattening out of the curve beyond the late twenties suggests that the stabilizing influence associated with greater maturity at older ages is strong enough to cancel out the poor match effect.
    Keywords: divorce, marriage dissolution, marital instability, marriage
    JEL: J12
    Date: 2011–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5954&r=ltv
  4. By: Raquel Carrasco (Universidad Carlos III); Juan F. Jimeno (Banco de España); A. Carolina Ortega (Universidad Nacional de Tucumán)
    Abstract: Despite a rapid decrease in unemployment and strong GDP and employment growth, real wages barely increased in Spain over the period 1995-2006. An explanation of this lack of growth may rely on employment composition effects derived from structural changes, such as the rise in the weights of employment in the construction and services sectors, the increase in female employment participation, and the arrival of large immigration inflows. Using data from three waves of the Structure of Earnings Survey, we break down observed wage changes into those due to varying worker and job characteristics and variations of the returns to those characteristics. Quantile regressions are used to estimate wage equations at different percentiles and to construct the counterfactual wage distributions that would have been observed had individual and job characteristics remain constant over time. Our main finding is that the lack of growth of Spanish real wages over the period 1995-2006 is mainly due to the decrease of returns to characteristics, specially education and labour market experience, which is more noticeable at the upper deciles of the wage distribution, and not to changes in employment composition, which when taken over a wide set of worker and job characteristics, had positive effects on wages.
    Keywords: keyword, Wage structure, quantile regressions, composition effects
    JEL: J31 J21
    Date: 2011–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bde:wpaper:1120&r=ltv
  5. By: Erich Gundlach; Matthias Opfinger
    Abstract: We find a U-shaped relation between happiness and religiosity in cross-country panel data after controlling for income levels. At a given level of income, the same level of happiness can be reached with high and low levels of religiosity, but not with intermediate levels. A rise in income causes an increase in happiness along with a decline of religiosity. Our interpretation of the empirical results is that the indifference curves for religiosity and other commodities of the utility function are hump-shaped.
    Keywords: Happiness, religiosity, utility function, long-run development
    Date: 2011–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:gig:wpaper:163&r=ltv
  6. By: Fernando Borraz (Banco Central del Uruguay y Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República); Nicolás Gonzalez Pampillón (Universidad de Montevideo); Máximo Rossi (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)
    Abstract: There is an increasing literature that discusses how to measure the middle class. Some approaches are based on an arbitrary deÖnition such as income quartiles or the poverty line. Recently, Foster and Wolfson developed a methodology which lacks of arbitrariness that enables us to compare the middle class of two di§erent income distributions. We apply this new tool jointly with a complementary method ñrelative distribution approach- to household income data in 1994-2004 and 2004-2010, to analyze the evolution of the middle class and polarization in Uruguay. During the Örst period, which is characterized by an increasing income inequality, we Önd that the middle class declined and income polarization increased. In the second one, where the Uruguayan economy experienced a recovery from the downturn su§ered in 2002, we Önd that the middle class rose and polarization decreased. However, this last result is attenuated when we do not consider the household income imputation because of the new health system implemented in 2008.
    Keywords: income polarization, middle class, inequality, social policies, bipolarization
    JEL: D3 D6 I3
    Date: 2011–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ude:wpaper:2011&r=ltv

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