nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on All new papers
Issue of 2014‒09‒08
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Socioeconomic Gradients in Children's Cognitive Skills: Are Cross-Country Comparisons Robust to Who Reports Family Background? By Jerrim, John; Micklewright, John
  2. The Distance between Perception and Reality in the Social Domains of Life By Eduardo Lora
  3. Transfers to Households with Children and Child Development By Del Boca, Daniela; Flinn, Christopher; Wiswall, Matthew
  4. An Exploration of the Determinants of the Subjective Well-being of Americans During the Great Recession By Aida Caldera Sánchez; Caroline Tassot
  5. Policies for Making the Chilean Labour Market More Inclusive By Aida Caldera Sánchez
  6. The Effects of Paid Family Leave in California on Labor Market Outcomes By Baum, Charles L.; Ruhm, Christopher J.

  1. By: Jerrim, John (Institute of Education, University of London); Micklewright, John (Institute of Education, University of London)
    Abstract: The international surveys of pupil achievement – PISA, TIMSS, and PIRLS – have been widely used to compare socioeconomic gradients in children's cognitive abilities across countries. Socioeconomic status is typically measured drawing on children's reports of family or home characteristics rather than information provided by their parents. There is a well established literature based on other survey sources on the measurement error that may result from child reports. But there has been very little work on the implications for the estimation of socioeconomic gradients in test scores in the international surveys, and especially their variation across countries. We investigate this issue drawing on data from PISA and PIRLS, focusing on three socioeconomic indicators for which both child and parental reports are present for some countries: father's occupation, parental education, and the number of books in the family home. Our results suggest that children's reports of their father's occupation provide a reliable basis on which to base comparisons across countries in socioeconomic gradients in reading test scores. The same is not true, however, for children's reports of the number of books in the home – a measure commonly used – while results for parental education are rather mixed.
    Keywords: educational inequality, socioeconomic status, measurement error, international comparisons, PISA, PIRLS
    JEL: C21 C81 I24
    Date: 2014–08
  2. By: Eduardo Lora
    Abstract: The distance between perception and reality with respect to the social domains of life is often striking. Using survey data collected on Latin American countries, this paper provides an overview of the main empirical findings on the gaps between perception and reality in four social domains-health, employment, the perception of security, and social ranking. The overview emphasizes the psychological biases that may explain the gaps. Biases associated with cultural values are very relevant with respect to health and job satisfaction. Cultural differences across countries are pronounced in perceptions of health, while cultural differences across socioeconomic groups are more apparent with respect to job satisfaction. Affect and availability heuristics are the dominant sources of bias in the case of perceptions of security. The formation of subjective social rankings appears to be less culturally dependent but more dependent on the socioeconomic development in the country. The gaps between objective and subjective indicators in the social domains of life are a rich source of data to help understand how perceptions are formed, identify important aspects of people's lives that do not appear in official indicators, inform public debate on social policy, and shed light on public attitudes on key social issues.
    JEL: I19 J28 Z13
    Date: 2013–08
  3. By: Del Boca, Daniela (University of Turin); Flinn, Christopher (New York University); Wiswall, Matthew (Arizona State University)
    Abstract: In this paper we utilize a model of household investments in the development of children to explore the impact of various transfer policies on the distribution of child outcomes. We develop a cost criterion that can be used to compare the cost effectiveness of unrestricted, restricted, and conditional cash transfer systems, and find that an optimally chosen conditional cash transfer program is the most cost efficient way to attain any given gain in average child quality. We explore several design elements for the conditional cash transfer system and discuss the role of production function uncertainty and measurement error.
    Keywords: child development, time allocation, income transfers, conditional cash transfers
    JEL: J13 D1
    Date: 2014–08
  4. By: Aida Caldera Sánchez; Caroline Tassot
    Abstract: This paper uses data from the American Life Panel to understand the determinants of well-being in the United States during the Great Recession. It investigates how various dimensions of subjective wellbeing reflected in the OECD Better Life Framework impact subjective well-being. The results show that income is an important determinant of subjective well-being. The unemployed and the disabled are significantly less satisfied with their lives than the working population, while the retired and the homemakers are more satisfied. The paper expands the existing evidence by showing that homeowners, registered voters and those with access to health insurance have higher levels of subjective well-being. Time spent walking or exercising is positively correlated with happiness, while working more than 50 hours per week or spending time on health-related activities is negatively correlated with subjective well-being, and higher levels of anxiety. This Working Paper relates to the 2014 OECD Economic Survey of United States ( Examen des déterminants du bien-être subjectif des Américains pendant la récession Le présent document utilise les données de l’enquête American Life Panel afin de comprendre les déterminants du bien-être aux États-Unis pendant la récession, l’objectif étant de déterminer comment les diverses dimensions du bien-être subjectif définies dans le cadre de mesure de l’initiative « Vivre mieux » de l’OCDE influent sur le sentiment subjectif de bien-être. Les résultats montrent que le revenu constitue un facteur important de bien-être subjectif. Les chômeurs et les personnes handicapées sont nettement moins satisfaits de leur vie que les actifs occupés, alors que les retraités et les femmes au foyer affichent des niveaux de satisfaction plus élevés. Les données existantes sont élargies et montrent que les propriétaires, les électeurs inscrits et les personnes pouvant bénéficier d’une assurance-maladie présentent des niveaux plus élevés de bien-être subjectif. Le temps consacré à la marche ou à l’exercice physique est associé à une hausse du niveau de bonheur, tandis que le fait de travailler plus de 50 heures par semaine ou de consacrer du temps à sa santé est associé à une baisse du niveau de bien-être subjectif et à des niveaux plus élevés d’anxiété. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE des États-Unis ( tm)
    Keywords: wage level and structure, quality of life, provision and effects of welfare programmes, job satisfaction, education, time allocation and labour supply, provision et effets des programmes sociaux, éducation, qualité de vie, satisfaction au travail, allocation du temps, niveau et structure des salaires, offre de travail
    JEL: I24 I30 I38 J22 J28 J31
    Date: 2014–08–26
  5. By: Aida Caldera Sánchez
    Abstract: Economic growth and recent policy reforms have increased employment and reduced overall poverty in Chile. Yet there are some groups that remain at the margins of the labour market and could benefit from and contribute more to growth. Women and young people have entered the labour force in greater numbers, but their participation rates remain low compared to most OECD and Latin American countries. The participation of women in the labour market is held down by economic, cultural and regulatory barriers. For youth, poor basic skills acquired through compulsory education and the weak linkages between secondary education and job related skills often limit their employment prospects. Among lowskilled workers, a high minimum wage and strict employment protection pose a barrier to employment. At the same time, education and training policies do not sufficiently reach those with poor skills and the public employment services lack the capacity to deliver high quality job-search services. The paper discusses a number of policies that could help to make the Chilean labour market more inclusive and broaden the benefits of growth. These include expanding childcare, promoting a more flexible labour market and strengthening education and skills policies, among others. This Working Paper relates to the 2013 OECD Economic Survey of Chile ( Des politiques pour rendre le marché du travail chilien plus inclusif La croissance économique et les réformes récentes ont accru le niveau d’emploi et réduit la pauvreté globale au Chili. Pourtant, il y a certains groupes qui restent en marge du marché du travail. Les femmes et les jeunes sont de plus en plus nombreux à investir le marché du travail, mais leur taux d’activité reste faible par rapport à ceux de la plupart des pays de l’OCDE et d’Amérique latine. La participation des femmes sur le marché du travail est tenu par des obstacles économiques, culturels et réglementaires. Pour les jeunes, les faibles compétences de base acquises par l'éducation obligatoire et la faiblesse des liens entre l'enseignement secondaire ainsi que les compétences professionnelles limitent souvent leurs perspectives d'emploi. S’agissant des travailleurs peu qualifiés, l’existence d’un salaire minimum élevé et d’une protection de l’emploi rigide freinent l’accès à l’emploi. Dans le même temps, les politiques d'éducation et de formation ne parviennent pas suffisamment à ceux ayant de faibles capacités et les services publics de l'emploi n'ont pas la capacité de fournir des services de recherche d'emploi de haute qualité. Cette étude examine un certain nombre de politiques qui pourraient contribuer à rendre le marché du travail chilien plus inclusif et à élargir les bénéfices de la croissance. Il s'agit notamment de l’extension des services d’accueil des enfants, l’assouplissement du marché du travail et le renforcement des politiques éducatives et de développement des compétences, parmi d’autres mesures. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique de l'OCDE de Chili 2013 ( tm).
    Keywords: female employment, youth employment, low-skilled workers, labour market policies, Chile, Chili, travailleurs peu qualifiés, emploi des femmes, emploi des jeunes, politique du marché du travail
    JEL: J1 J16 J21 J24 J3 J7
    Date: 2014–06–02
  6. By: Baum, Charles L. (Middle Tennessee State University); Ruhm, Christopher J. (University of Virginia)
    Abstract: Using data from the 1997 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY-97), we examine the effects of California's paid family leave program (CA-PFL) on mothers' and fathers' use of leave during the period surrounding child birth, and on the timing of mothers' return to work, the probability of eventually returning to pre-childbirth jobs, and subsequent labor market outcomes. Our results show that CA-PFL raised leave-taking by around three weeks for the average mother and approximately one week for the average father. The timing of the increased leave use – immediately after birth for men and around the time that temporary disability insurance benefits are exhausted for women – is consistent with causal effects of CA-PFL. Rights to paid leave are also associated with higher work and employment probabilities for mothers nine to twelve months after birth, possibly because they increase job continuity among those with relatively weak labor force attachments. We also find positive effects of California's program on hours and weeks of work during their child's second year of life and possibly also on wages.
    Keywords: parental leave, paid leave, family leave, employment, wages, leave-taking, return-to-work decisions
    JEL: J1 J2 J3 J13 J18
    Date: 2014–08

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