New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2011‒11‒01
seven papers chosen by

  1. The French Unhappiness Puzzle: the Cultural Dimension of Happiness By Senik, Claudia
  2. Lost in Transition? The returns to education acquired under communism 15 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall By Lorenzo Rocco; Giorgio Brunello; Elena Crivellaro
  3. Teaching Practices and Social Capital By Algan, Yann; Cahuc, Pierre; Shleifer, Andrei
  4. An International Comparison of Lifetime Inequality: How Continental Europe Resembles North America By Audra J. Bowlus; Jean-Marc Robin
  5. A Multidimensional Approach to Measuring Child Poverty By Sharmila Kurukulasuriya; Solrun Engilbertsdottir
  6. A New Episode of Increased Urban Income Inequality in China By Quheng Deng; Bjorn Gustafsson
  7. Minimum Wage Increases Under Straightened Circumstances By Addison, John T.; Blackburn, McKinley L.; Cotti, Chad

  1. By: Senik, Claudia
    Abstract: This article sheds light on the important differences in self-declared happiness across countries of equivalent affluence. It hinges on the different happiness statements of natives and immigrants in a set of European countries to disentangle the influence of objective circumstances versus psychological and cultural factors. The latter turns out to be of non- negligible importance in explaining international heterogeneity in happiness. In some countries, such as France, they are mainly responsible for the country’s unobserved idiosyncratic source of (un-)happiness.
    Keywords: Happiness; Subjective Well-Being; International Comparisons; France; Immigration; European Social Survey
    JEL: I31 H52 O15 O52 Z10
    Date: 2011–10
  2. By: Lorenzo Rocco (University of Padova); Giorgio Brunello (University of Padova, Cesifo; IZA); Elena Crivellaro (University of Padova and LSE)
    Abstract: Using data for 23 economies in Eastern and Western Europe, we find evidence that having studied under communism is relatively penalized in the economies of the late 2000s. This evidence, however, is limited to males and to primary and secondary education, and holds for eight CEE economies but not for the East Germans who have studied in the former German Democratic Republic. We also find that post-secondary education acquired under communism yields higher, not lower, payoffs than similar education in Western Europe.
    Date: 2011–09
  3. By: Algan, Yann; Cahuc, Pierre; Shleifer, Andrei
    Abstract: We use several data sets to consider the effect of teaching practices on student beliefs, as well as on organization of firms and institutions. In cross-country data, we show that teaching practices (such as copying from the board versus working on projects together) are strongly related to various dimensions of social capital, from beliefs in cooperation to institutional outcomes. We then use micro-data to investigate the influence of teaching practices on student beliefs about cooperation and students’ involvement in civic life. A two-stage least square strategy provides evidence that teaching practices have an independent sizeable effect on student social capital. The relationship between teaching practices and student test performance is nonlinear. The evidence supports the idea that progressive education promotes social capital.
    Keywords: Education; Social Capital; Teaching Practices
    JEL: I2 Z1
    Date: 2011–10
  4. By: Audra J. Bowlus (University of Western Ontario); Jean-Marc Robin (Sciences Po, Paris and University College London)
    Abstract: We compare earnings inequality and mobility across the U.S., Canada, France, Germany and the U.K. during the late 1990s. A flexible model of earnings dynamics that isolates positional mobility within a stable earnings distribution is estimated. Earnings trajectories are then simulated, and lifetime annuity value distributions are constructed. Earnings mobility and employment risk are found to be positively correlated with base-year inequality. Taken together they produce more equalization in countries with high cross-section inequality such that the countries in our sample have more similar lifetime inequality levels than crosssection measures suggest.
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Sharmila Kurukulasuriya; Solrun Engilbertsdottir (Division of Policy and Practice,UNICEF)
    Abstract: There is a growing consensus that children experience poverty in ways that are different from adults; and looking at child poverty through an income-consumption lens only is inadequate. The 2005 State of the World’s Children presented the following definition of child poverty: “Children living in poverty experience deprivation of the material, spiritual and emotional resources needed to survive, develop and thrive, leaving them unable to enjoy their rights, achieve their full potential or participate as full and equal members of society”. Using evidence from UNICEF’s ongoing Global Study on Child Poverty in Disparities, this Brief illustrates the importance of looking beyond traditional methods of measuring poverty based on income or consumption levels, and emphasizes the importance of seeking out the multidimensional face of child poverty. This approach further recognizes that the method used in depicting child poverty is crucial to the policy design and implementation of interventions that address children’s needs, especially among the most deprived.
    Keywords: child poverty, child disparities, policy design, measuring poverty, State of the World’s Children,Global Study on Child Poverty
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Quheng Deng (Beijing Normal University); Bjorn Gustafsson (University of Goteborg)
    Abstract: Not available.
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Addison, John T. (University of South Carolina); Blackburn, McKinley L. (University of South Carolina); Cotti, Chad (University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh)
    Abstract: Do apparently large minimum wage increases in an environment of recession produce clearer evidence of disemployment effects than is typically observed in the new minimum wage literature? This paper augments the sparse literature on the most recent increases in the U.S. minimum wage, using three different data sets and the two main estimation strategies for handling geographically-disparate trends. The evidence is generally unsupportive of negative employment effects, still less of a 'recessionary multiplier.' Minimum wage workers seem to be concentrated in sectors of the economy for which the labor demand response to wage mandates is minimal.
    Keywords: minimum wages, disemployment, earnings, low-wage sectors, geographically-disparate employment trends, recession
    JEL: J2 J3 J4 J8
    Date: 2011–10

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