nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2011‒11‒21
nine papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
University of the Republic

  1. Exploring the Impacts of Public Childcare on Mothers and Children in Italy: Does Rationing Play a Role? By Ylenia Brilli; Daniela Del Boca; Chiara Pronzato
  2. General Education, Vocational Education, and Labor-Market Outcomes over the Life-Cycle By Hanushek, Eric A.; Woessmann, Ludger; Zhang, Lei
  3. Anatomy of Welfare Reform Evaluation:Announcement and Implementation Effects By Richard Blundell; Marco Francesconi; Wilbert van der Klaauw
  4. Average and marginal returns to upper secondary schooling in Indonesia By Carneiro, Pedro; Lokshin, Michael; Ridao-Cano, Cristobal; Umapathi, Nithin
  5. The Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Exploring the Role of Skills and Health Using Data on Adoptees and Twins By Lundborg, Petter; Nordin, Martin; Rooth, Dan-Olof
  6. Economic Crises, Maternal and Infant Mortality, Low Birth Weight and Enrollment Rates: Evidence from Argentina's Downturns By Cruces, Guillermo; Glüzmann, Pablo; López-Calva, Luis Felipe
  7. Goodness of Fit: an axiomatic approach By Frank A. Cowell; Russell Davidson; Emmanuel Flachaire
  8. Building in an Evaluation Component for Active Labor Market Programs: A Practitioner's Guide By Card, David; Ibarrarán, Pablo; Villa, Juan Miguel
  9. Unemployment Benefits and Immigration: Evidence from the EU By Giulietti, Corrado; Guzi, Martin; Kahanec, Martin; Zimmermann, Klaus F.

  1. By: Ylenia Brilli (DEFAP, Graduate School in Economics and Finance of Public Administration (Catholic University of Milan and University of Milano-Bicocca)); Daniela Del Boca (University of Turin, CHILD, Collegio Carlo Alberto and IZA); Chiara Pronzato (University of Turin, CHILD and Collegio Carlo Alberto)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of public childcare availability in Italy on mothers' working status and children's scholastic achievements. We use a newly available dataset containing individual standardized test scores of pupils attending second grade of primary school in 2008-09 in conjunction with data on public childcare availability. Public childcare coverage in Italy is scarce (12.7 percent versus the OECD average of 30 percent) and the service is "rationed": each municipality allocates the available slots according to eligibility criteria. We contribute to the existing literature taking into account rationing in public childcare access and the functioning of childcare market. Our estimates indicate that childcare availability has positive and significant effects on both mothers' working status and children's language test scores. The effects are stronger when the degree of rationing is high and for low educated mothers and children living in lower income areas of the country.
    Keywords: childcare, female employment, child cognitive outcomes
    JEL: J13 D1 H75
    Date: 2011–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hka:wpaper:2011-038&r=ltv
  2. By: Hanushek, Eric A. (Stanford University); Woessmann, Ludger (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Zhang, Lei (Tsinghua University)
    Abstract: Policy debates about the balance of vocational and general education programs focus on the school-to-work transition. But with rapid technological change, gains in youth employment from vocational education may be offset by less adaptability and thus diminished employment later in life. To test our main hypothesis that any relative labor-market advantage of vocational education decreases with age, we employ a difference-in-differences approach that compares employment rates across different ages for people with general and vocational education. Using micro data for 18 countries from the International Adult Literacy Survey, we find strong support for the existence of such a trade-off, which is most pronounced in countries emphasizing apprenticeship programs. Results are robust to accounting for ability patterns and to propensity-score matching.
    Keywords: vocational education, apprenticeship, employment, wages, life-cycle, adult education, International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS)
    JEL: J24 J64 J31 I20
    Date: 2011–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6083&r=ltv
  3. By: Richard Blundell; Marco Francesconi; Wilbert van der Klaauw
    Abstract: This paper formulates a simple model of female labor force decisions which embeds an in-work benefit reform and explicitly allows for announcement and implementation effects. We explore several mechanisms through which women can respond to the announcement of a reform that increases in-work benefits, including sources of intertemporal substitution, human capital accumulation, and labor market frictions. Using the model’s insights and information of the precise timing of the announcement and implementation of a major UK in-work benefit reform, we estimate its effects on single mothers’ behavior. We find large and positive announcement effects on employment decisions. We show that this finding is consistent with the presence of frictions in the labor market. The impact evaluations of this reform which ignore such effects produce implementation effect estimates that are biased downwards by 15 to 35 percent.
    Date: 2011–09–23
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:esx:essedp:698&r=ltv
  4. By: Carneiro, Pedro; Lokshin, Michael; Ridao-Cano, Cristobal; Umapathi, Nithin
    Abstract: This paper estimates average and marginal returns to schooling in Indonesia using a non-parametric selection model estimated by local instrumental variables, and data from the Indonesia Family Life Survey. The analysis finds that the return to upper secondary schooling varies widely across individual: it can be as high as 50 percent per year of schooling for those very likely to enroll in upper secondary schooling, or as low as -10 percent for those very unlikely to do so. Returns to the marginal student (14 percent) are well below those for the average student attending upper secondary schooling (27 percent).
    Keywords: Education For All,Secondary Education,Teaching and Learning,Primary Education,Population Policies
    Date: 2011–11–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5878&r=ltv
  5. By: Lundborg, Petter (Lund University); Nordin, Martin (Lund University); Rooth, Dan-Olof (Linneaus University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we focus on possible causal mechanisms behind the intergenerational transmission of human capital. For this purpose, we use both an adoption and a twin design and study the effect of parents' education on their children's cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills, and health. Our results show that greater parental education increases children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills, as well as their health. These results suggest that the effect of parents' education on children's education may work partly through the positive effect that parental education has on children's skills and health.
    Keywords: intergenerational transmission, human capital, education, health, cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills, adoptees, twins
    JEL: I12 I11 J14 J12 C41
    Date: 2011–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6099&r=ltv
  6. By: Cruces, Guillermo (CEDLAS-UNLP); Glüzmann, Pablo (CEDLAS-UNLP); López-Calva, Luis Felipe (World Bank)
    Abstract: This study investigates the impact of recent crises in Argentina (including the severe downturn of 2001-2002) on health and education outcomes. The identification strategy relies on both the inter-temporal and the cross-provincial co-variation between changes in regional GDP and outcomes by province. These results indicate significant and substantial effects of aggregate fluctuations on maternal and infant mortality and low birth weight, with countercyclical though not significant patterns for enrollment rates. Finally, provincial public expenditures on health and education are correlated with the incidence of low birth weight and school enrollment for teenagers, with worsening results associated with GDP declines.
    Keywords: crisis, infant mortality, maternal mortality, low birth weight, poverty, Argentina
    Date: 2011–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6096&r=ltv
  7. By: Frank A. Cowell (STICERD - London School of Economics); Russell Davidson (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - CNRS : UMR6579); Emmanuel Flachaire (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - CNRS : UMR6579)
    Abstract: An axiomatic approach is used to develop a one-parameter family of measures of divergence between distributions. These measures can be used to perform goodness-of-fit tests with good statistical properties. Asymptotic theory shows that the test statistics have well-defined limiting distributions which are however analytically intractable. A parametric bootstrap procedure is proposed for implementation of the tests. The procedure is shown to work very well in a set of simulation experiments, and to compare favourably with other commonly used goodness-of-fit tests. By varying the parameter of the statistic, one can obtain information on how the distribution that generated a sample diverges from the target family of distributions when the true distribution does not belong to that family. An empirical application analyses a UK income data set.
    Keywords: Goodness of fit; axiomatic approach; measures of divergence; parametric bootstrap
    Date: 2011–11–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00639075&r=ltv
  8. By: Card, David (University of California, Berkeley); Ibarrarán, Pablo (Inter-American Development Bank); Villa, Juan Miguel (University of Manchester)
    Abstract: The guide outlines the main evaluation challenges associated with ALMP’s, and shows how to obtain rigorous impact estimates using two leading evaluation approaches. The most credible and straightforward evaluation method is a randomized design, in which a group of potential participants is randomly divided into a treatment and a control group. Random assignment ensures that the two groups would have had similar experiences in the post-program period in the absence of the program intervention. The observed post-program difference therefore yields a reliable estimate of the program impact. The second approach is a difference in differences design that compares the change in outcomes between the participant group and a selected comparison group from before to after the completion of the program. In general the outcomes of the comparison group may differ from the outcomes of the participant group, even in the absence of the program intervention. If the difference observed prior to the program would have persisted in the absence of the program, however, then the change in the outcome gap between the two groups yields a reliable estimate of the program impact. This guideline reviews the various steps in the design and implementation of ALMP’s, and in subsequent analysis of the program data, that will ensure a rigorous and informative impact evaluation using either of these two techniques.
    Keywords: active labor market programs, policy evaluation, randomized trials, difference in difference, average treatment effect on the treated, development effectiveness
    JEL: C21 C93 H43 I38 J24
    Date: 2011–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6085&r=ltv
  9. By: Giulietti, Corrado (IZA); Guzi, Martin (IZA); Kahanec, Martin (Central European University, Budapest); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (IZA and University of Bonn)
    Abstract: The paper studies the impact of unemployment benefits on immigration. A sample of 19 European countries observed over the period 1993-2008 is used to test the hypothesis that unemployment benefit spending (UBS) is correlated with immigration flows from EU and non-EU origins. While OLS estimates reveal the existence of a moderate correlation for non-EU immigrants only, IV and GMM techniques used to address endogeneity issues yield, respectively, a much smaller and an essentially zero causal impact of UBS on immigration. All estimates for immigrants from EU origins indicate that flows within the EU are not related to unemployment benefit generosity. This suggests that the so-called "welfare migration" debate is misguided and not based on empirical evidence.
    Keywords: immigration, unemployment benefit spending, welfare magnets, European Union
    JEL: H53 J61
    Date: 2011–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6075&r=ltv

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