nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2014‒08‒16
nine papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Are Teams Less Inequality Averse than Individuals? By He, Haoran; Villeval, Marie Claire
  2. Earnings Inequality By Peichl, Andreas; Pestel, Nico
  3. Improving Well-Being in the United States By Aida Caldera Sánchez; Patrick Lenain; Sarah Flèche
  4. Changes in Family Policies and Outcomes: Is there Convergence? By Willem Adema; Nabil Ali; Olivier Thévenon
  5. New Evidence on the Relationship between Risk Attitudes and Self-Employment By Skriabikova, Olga; Dohmen, Thomas; Kriechel, Ben
  6. Does the marginal tax rate affect activity in the informal sector? By Søren Leth-Petersen; Peer Ebbesen Skov
  7. Unobservable, but Unimportant? The Influence of Personality Traits (and Other Usually Unobserved Variables) for the Evaluation of Labor Market Policies By Caliendo, Marco; Mahlstedt, Robert; Mitnik, Oscar A.
  8. From Bolsa Família to Brasil Sem Miséria: a Summary of Brazil?sRecent Journey towards Overcoming Extreme Poverty By Luis Henrique Paiva; Tiago Falcão; Letícia Bartholo
  9. The Labor Supply Of Self-Employed Workers: The Choice Of Working Hours In Worker Co-Ops By John Pencavel

  1. By: He, Haoran (Beijing Normal University); Villeval, Marie Claire (CNRS, GATE)
    Abstract: We compare inequality aversion in individuals and teams by means of both within- and between-subject experimental designs, and we investigate how teams aggregate individual preferences. We find that team decisions reveal less inequality aversion than individual initial proposals in team decision-making. However, teams are no more selfish than individuals who decide in isolation. Individuals express strategically more inequality aversion in their initial proposals in team decision-making because they anticipate the selfishness of other members. Members with median social preferences drive team decisions. Finally, we show that social image has little influence because guilt and envy are almost similar in anonymous and non-anonymous interactions.
    Keywords: team, inequity aversion, preference aggregation, social image, experiment
    JEL: C91 C92 D03 D63 D72
    Date: 2014–05
  2. By: Peichl, Andreas (ZEW Mannheim); Pestel, Nico (IZA)
    Abstract: Inequality has increased considerably in many Western countries over the past decades. When dealing with economic inequality as a research subject the question "inequality of what among whom" arises. Analyses of inequality are typically concerned with the distribution of wages, earnings or income and have been performed by different strands in the literature, mainly in public and in labor economics. We summarize these strands with a special focus on earnings which itself is the product of hourly wages and labor supply in terms of hours and weeks worked. In addition to inequality in labor market outcomes, we additionally pay special attention to equality of opportunity.
    Keywords: earnings inequality, wages, labor supply, equality of opportunity
    JEL: D31 D33 D63 J21 J31
    Date: 2014–07
  3. By: Aida Caldera Sánchez; Patrick Lenain; Sarah Flèche
    Abstract: Life is quite good in the United States compared to other OECD countries, thanks to strong economic growth and technological progress having lifted average income to high levels. Nonetheless, there is evidence that the benefits from growth have not been sufficiently broad based. Self-reported happiness increases with income, an issue particularly resonant in a country with among the highest levels of income inequality in the OECD and a pattern of inequality that appears to be moving toward even more concentration at the very top at the expense of the middle class and the poor. Working hours that remain among the longest in the OECD are also creating challenges for work-life balances, child education, personal care and leisure. These pressures are contributing to higher job strain and work-related stress with unhealthy consequences, including for mental health, and a detrimental impact on employability and medical costs. While these trends cannot be easily reversed, a number of policy options are being usefully rolled out and other initiatives are being considered: federal-level policies improving access to health care and early-childhood education, state-level initiatives favouring workplace flexibility, firm-level investments in job quality and greater attention to the health consequences of job-stress. If successfully adopted, they would go a long way toward improving the well-being of American working families. This Working Paper relates to the 2014 OECD Economic Survey of United States ( States). Améliorer le bien-être aux États-Unis Par comparaison avec d’autres pays de l'OCDE, il fait relativement bon vivre aux États-Unis grâce à une croissance économique soutenue et des progrès technologiques qui ont porté le revenu moyen à un niveau élevé. Néanmoins, des pans entiers de la population américaine n’ont pas tiré avantage de ces améliorations. Après deux décennies de stagnation des revenus du travail pour une majorité des travailleurs, à laquelle s’ajoutent les conséquences de la Grande récession, les familles de la classe moyenne doivent faire à des difficultés financières. La durée du travail aux États-Unis reste en outre l’une des plus longues de la zone OCDE, ce qui accentue les difficultés rencontrées par les Américains pour concilier vie professionnelle et vie privée, élever leurs enfants et se libérer du temps pour leurs loisirs et activités personnelles. Ces pressions contribuent à une augmentation des tensions et du stress au travail, qui ont des effets négatifs sur la santé, y compris mentale, ainsi que des conséquences néfastes sur l’employabilité et les coûts médicaux. S’il est difficile d’inverser ces tendances, plusieurs moyens d’action utiles sont actuellement mis en oeuvre, tandis que d’autres initiatives sont à l’étude : politiques fédérales améliorant l’accès aux soins de santé et à l’éducation préscolaire, initiatives menées par les États en faveur de la flexibilité au travail, investissements consentis par les entreprises pour améliorer la qualité des emplois et attention accrue accordée aux effets du stress au travail sur la santé. Si ces mesures sont effectivement adoptées, elles pourraient grandement contribuer à améliorer le bien-être des ménages américains qui travaillent. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique de l'OCDE de États-Unis 2014 ( Unis).
    Keywords: quality of life, provision and effects of welfare programmes, job satisfaction, education, wage level and structure, time allocation and labour supply, éducation, répartition du temps et offre de main d'oeuvre, qualité de vie, satisfaction au travail, allocation et effets des programmes sociaux, niveau et structure des salaires
    JEL: I24 I30 I38 J22 J28 J31
    Date: 2014–07–21
  4. By: Willem Adema; Nabil Ali; Olivier Thévenon
    Abstract: This paper presents new information on trends in family and child outcomes and policies over the past decades, in order to assess whether there has been any convergence over time across OECD and EU countries. Important drivers of population structure such as life expectancy and fertility rates are becoming more similar across countries as are marriage and divorce rates. Increased educational attainment has contributed to greater female employment participation and convergence therein across countries. Child well-being outcomes show a more mixed pattern with improvements and convergence in infant mortality, but varying trends in child poverty across countries.
    Keywords: female employment, Taxes and Benefits, Child Care and Parental leave, Family and Child outcomes
    JEL: D1 J12 J13 J18
    Date: 2014–07–11
  5. By: Skriabikova, Olga (Maastricht University); Dohmen, Thomas (University of Bonn); Kriechel, Ben (Economix Research & Consulting)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of risk attitudes on the decision to become self-employed among individuals who grew up under the communist regime in Ukraine, which banned self-employment so that individuals could not observe what it is like to be self-employed. Since the intra-family transmission of self-employment experiences was largely shut down, the observed correlation between risk preferences and self-employment after transition is unlikely to be driven by parents transmitting self-employment experience and risk preferences to their children. Robustness checks on a sample of East Germans confirm that such a third factor explanation is implausible, thus shedding light on the causal nature of the relation between risk preferences and the decision to become self-employed.
    Keywords: self-employment, risk attitudes, intergenerational transmission of self-employment and risk attitudes, SOEP, ULMS
    JEL: J24 D81 P3
    Date: 2014–07
  6. By: Søren Leth-Petersen (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); Peer Ebbesen Skov (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: This paper measures the effect of changing the marginal tax rate on earned income on the supply of labor to the informal sector with the purpose of evading taxation. Unlike any previous study, we do this by directly measuring the effect of a Danish 2010 tax reform that changed the marginal rate of taxation of earned income from 63 percent to 56 percent. The analysis is based on longitudinal survey data collected over the period 2009–2012. In each survey round we asked people about their activity in the informal sector. The effect of the tax reform on informal sector activity is measured by comparing the evolution of informal sector activity from 2009 to 2012 for people who in 2009 paid the middle and top rate of tax with people who did not. We find that there is no connection between the marginal tax rate and the supply of labor to the informal sector. As part of the survey we asked people about their perceived marginal net-of-tax income, and we show that the survey participants did not change their perception of their marginal net-of-tax income from before to after the reform. This suggests that the respondents in our survey were not aware of the implications of the reform. We also investigate the effect of the introduction of a tax deduction for the purchase of selected services on the supply of labor to the informal sector. Here again we are unable to detect any effect. Overall, our results indicate the changing the after-tax price of services is not an effective way of reducing undeclared work.
    Date: 2014–05
  7. By: Caliendo, Marco (University of Potsdam); Mahlstedt, Robert (IZA); Mitnik, Oscar A. (University of Miami)
    Abstract: Many commonly used treatment effects estimators rely on the unconfoundedness assumption ("selection on observables") which is fundamentally non-testable. When evaluating the effects of labor market policies, researchers need to observe variables that affect both treatment participation and labor market outcomes. Even though in many countries it is possible to access (very) informative administrative data, concerns about the validity of the unconfoundedness assumption remain. The main concern is that the observed characteristics of the individuals may not be enough to properly address potential selection bias. This is especially relevant in light of the research on the influence of personality traits and attitudes on economic outcomes. We exploit a unique dataset that contains a rich set of administrative information on individuals entering unemployment in Germany, as well as several usually unobserved characteristics like personality traits, attitudes, expectations, and job search behavior. This allows us to empirically assess how estimators based on the unconfoundedness assumption perform when alternatively including or not these usually unobserved variables. Our findings indicate that these variables play a significant role for selection into treatment and labor market outcomes, but do not make for the most part a significant difference in the estimation of treatment effects, compared to specifications that include detailed labor market histories. This suggests that rich administrative data may be good enough to draw policy conclusions on the effectiveness of active labor market policies.
    Keywords: active labor market policy, personality traits, heterogeneity, selection bias, unobervables, unconfoundedness, matching
    JEL: C21 D04 J68
    Date: 2014–07
  8. By: Luis Henrique Paiva (Ministry of Development and Fight against Hunger, Brazil); Tiago Falcão (Ministry of Development and Fight against Hunger, Brazil); Letícia Bartholo (Ministry of Development and Fight against Hunger, Brazil)
    Abstract: From Bolsa Família to Brasil Sem Miséria: a Summary of Brazil?sRecent Journey towards Overcoming Extreme Poverty
    Date: 2014–05
  9. By: John Pencavel (Stanford University)
    Abstract: If workers in cooperatives are like workers in conventional workplaces, they care about the length of their working hours. In this paper, their choice of hours is characterized as a conventional labor supply decision and a familiar hours-wage relationship is derived. This is estimated using mill-year observations on the plywood co-ops in the Pacific Northwest. The results are compared with those from the labor supply behavior of self-employed workers and with those in capitalist plywood mills.
    Keywords: labor supply, hours, worker co-ops
    JEL: J22 J54
    Date: 2014–08

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