nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2014‒12‒13
ten papers chosen by

  1. Long Workweeks and Strange Hours By Hamermesh, Daniel S.; Stancanelli, Elena G. F.
  2. Income inequality and health: Evidence from developed and developing countries By Herzer, Dierk; Nunnenkamp, Peter
  3. Youth unemployment in the OECD: The role of institutions By Sachs, Andreas; Smolny, Werner
  4. By Choice and by Necessity: Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment in the Developing World By David Margolis
  5. The Value of Postsecondary Credentials in the Labor Market: An Experimental Study By David J. Deming; Noam Yuchtman; Amira Abulafi; Claudia Goldin; Lawrence F. Katz
  6. Beyond Inequality Accounting: Marital Sorting and Couple Labor Supply By Pestel, Nico
  7. Welfare Effects of Short-Time Compensation By Braun, Helge; Brügemann, Björn
  8. Early Child Care and Child Outcomes: The Role of Grandparents By Del Boca, Daniela; Piazzalunga, Daniela; Pronzato, Chiara D.
  9. Early Maternal Time Investment and Early Child Outcomes By Del Bono, Emilia; Francesconi, Marco; Kelly, Yvonne; Sacker, Amanda
  10. Evidence-Based Scientific Policy Advice By Zimmermann, Klaus F.

  1. By: Hamermesh, Daniel S. (University of Texas at Austin, Royal Holloway); Stancanelli, Elena G. F. (CNRS, Sorbonne Economics Research Center (CES))
    Abstract: American workweeks are long compared to other rich countries'. Much less well-known is that Americans are more likely to work at night and on weekends. We examine the relationship between these two phenomena using the American Time Use Survey and time-diary data from 5 other countries. Adjusting for demographic differences, Americans' incidence of night and weekend work would drop by about 10 percent if European workweeks prevailed. Even if no Americans worked long hours, the incidence of unusual work times in the U.S. would far exceed those in continental Europe.
    Keywords: night work, weekend work, shorter hours
    JEL: J22 J08
    Date: 2014–08
  2. By: Herzer, Dierk; Nunnenkamp, Peter
    Abstract: We assess the effect of income inequality on life expectancy by performing separate estimations for developed and developing countries. Our empirical analysis challenges the widely held view that inequality matters more for health in richer countries than for health in poorer countries. Employing panel cointegration and conventional panel regressions, we find that income inequality increases life expectancy in developed countries. By contrast, the effect on life expectancy is significantly negative in developing countries. While the quantitative effects are small, the striking contrast between the two country groups proves to be robust to modifications in measurement, specification and methodological choices.
    Keywords: Health,Inequality,Panel cointegration
    JEL: I14 C23
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Sachs, Andreas; Smolny, Werner
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of labor market institutions for youth unemployment, as contrasted to total unemployment. The empirical results are basically consistent with an insider view of labor market institutions. Labor market institutions tend to protect (older) employees but might harm (young) entrants. Remarkable is especially the significant and very high effect of employment protection for regular jobs on youth unemployment. In addition, the combined effects of powerful unions and a coordinated wage bargaining system are beneficial for older people and detrimental to youth. Finally, the paper establishes significant labor supply effects and effects of the education system on youth and total unemployment.
    Keywords: Youth unemployment,labor market institutions,age-specific unemployment
    JEL: E02 E24 J21 J68
    Date: 2014
  4. By: David Margolis (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris School of Economics - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor)
    Abstract: Over half of all workers in the developing world are self-employed. Although some self-employment is chosen by entrepreneurs with well-defined projects and ambitions, roughly two thirds results from individuals having no better alternatives. The importance of self-employment in the overall distribution of jobs is determined by many factors, including social protection systems, labor market frictions, the business environment, and labor market institutions. However, self-employment in the developing world tends to be low productivity employment, and as countries move up the development path, the availability of wage employment grows and the mix of jobs changes.
    Keywords: self-employment, entrepreneurship, development
    Date: 2014–06
  5. By: David J. Deming; Noam Yuchtman; Amira Abulafi; Claudia Goldin; Lawrence F. Katz
    Abstract: We study employers' perceptions of postsecondary degrees using a field experiment. We randomly assign the sector and selectivity of institution to fictitious resumes and send them to real vacancy postings on a large online job board. According to our results, a bachelor's degree in business from a for-profit "online" institution is 22 percent less likely to receive a callback than a similar degree from a non-selective public institution. Degrees from selective public institutions are relatively more likely to receive callbacks from employers posting higher-salaried jobs, suggesting that employers value college quality and the likelihood of a successful match when contacting applicants.
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2014–09
  6. By: Pestel, Nico (IZA)
    Abstract: This paper examines to what extent non-random sorting of spouses affects earnings inequality while explicitly disentangling effects from increasing assortativeness in couple formation from changing patterns of couples' labor supply behavior. Using German micro data, earnings distributions of observed and randomly matched couples are compared to each other. Earnings of hypothetical couples are adjusted for changes in hours worked given the differences in the household context using predictions based on a structural model of labor supply. The main finding is that the impact of marital sorting on earnings inequality has been underestimated in previous approaches. Predicting hours worked for hypothetical couples reveals a strong disequalizing impact of nonrandom sorting on inequality which is stable since the 1980s. Taking labor supply choices as given would suggest a smaller effect. This suggests that increasing earnings correlation among couples is to a considerable extent driven by changing patterns of labor market behavior rather than changes in the assortativeness in couple formation.
    Keywords: earnings inequality, sorting, labor supply, Germany
    JEL: D31 D63 J12 J22
    Date: 2014–09
  7. By: Braun, Helge (University of Cologne); Brügemann, Björn (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We study welfare effects of public short-time compensation (STC) in a model in which firms respond to idiosyncratic profitability shocks by adjusting employment and hours per worker. Introducing STC substantially improves welfare by mitigating distortions caused by public unemployment insurance (UI), but only if firms have access to private insurance. Otherwise firms respond to low profitability by combining layoffs with long hours for remaining workers, rather than by taking up STC. Optimal STC is substantially less generous than UI even when firms have access to private insurance, and equally generous STC is worse than not offering STC at all.
    Keywords: short-time compensation, unemployment insurance, welfare
    JEL: J65
    Date: 2014–10
  8. By: Del Boca, Daniela (University of Turin); Piazzalunga, Daniela (University of Turin); Pronzato, Chiara D. (University of Turin)
    Abstract: In this paper, we focus on the impact of early grandparents' care on child cognitive outcomes, in the short and medium term, using data from the Millennium Cohort Study (UK). Compared with children looked after in a formal care centre, children cared by grandparents (as well as parents) are better in naming objects, but worse in tests concerning basic concepts development, problem-solving, mathematical concepts and constructing ability. In order to assess a causal link between early care and child outcomes, we employ panel methods and instrumental variables techniques that confirm that grandparental care matters more for naming ability while formal care is more important for problem-solving ability and basic concepts development. These results hide strong heterogeneities: on the one hand, the positive association between grandparents' care and child outcomes is stronger for children in more advantaged households; on the other hand, the negative association is significant only for children in more disadvantaged households.
    Keywords: grandparents, childcare, child cognitive outcomes
    JEL: J13 D1 I21
    Date: 2014–10
  9. By: Del Bono, Emilia (ISER, University of Essex); Francesconi, Marco (University of Essex); Kelly, Yvonne (University College London); Sacker, Amanda (University College London)
    Abstract: Using large longitudinal survey data from the UK Millennium Cohort Study, this paper estimates the effect of maternal time inputs on early child development. We find that maternal time is a quantitatively important determinant of skill formation and that its effect declines with child age. There is evidence of a long shadow of the effect of early maternal time inputs on later outcomes, especially in the case of cognitive skill development. In the case of non-cognitive development, this effect disappears when we account for skill persistence.
    Keywords: education production functions, early interventions, cognitive and non-cognitive skill formation
    JEL: J24 J15 I20
    Date: 2014–10
  10. By: Zimmermann, Klaus F. (IZA and University of Bonn)
    Abstract: While policy measures affect the welfare of nations, the practice of policy advice is determined by complex rules. Evidence-based scientific policy advice gives weight to hard empirical facts and restrictions. The lecture discusses challenges and conditions for success and provides suggestions to improve the implementation of such a strategy
    Keywords: role of economists, methodology of policy advice, labor reform policies
    JEL: A11 B4 J48
    Date: 2014–09

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