nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2015‒05‒16
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Changing Income Inequality and Panel Income Changes By Duval Hernández, Robert; Fields, Gary S.; Jakubson, George H.
  2. The Occupational Segregation of Black Women in the United States: A Look at its Evolution from 1940 to 2010 By Olga Alonso-Villar; Coral del Río
  3. When Should Governments Subsidize Health? The Case of Mass Deworming By Amrita Ahuja; Sarah Baird; Joan Hamory Hicks; Michael Kremer; Edward Miguel; Shawn Powers
  4. The Impact of Disability Benefits on Labor Supply: Evidence from the VA's Disability Compensation Program By David H. Autor; Mark Duggan; Kyle Greenberg; David S. Lyle

  1. By: Duval Hernández, Robert (University of Cyprus); Fields, Gary S. (Cornell University); Jakubson, George H. (Cornell University)
    Abstract: When economic growth (or economic decline) takes place, who benefits and who is hurt how much? The more traditional way of answering this question is to compare two or more comparable cross sections and gauge changing income inequality among countries or individuals. A newer way is to utilize data on a panel of countries or a panel of people and assess the pattern of panel income changes. How do these two approaches relate to one another? This paper shows, first, that it is possible to have all four combinations – rising or falling inequality and divergent or convergent panel income changes, and second, under what conditions, for various measures of rising/falling inequality and various measures of divergent/convergent income changes, each of the four possible combinations can arise.
    Keywords: income inequality, economic mobility
    JEL: J31 D63
    Date: 2015–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9022&r=ltv
  2. By: Olga Alonso-Villar; Coral del Río
    Abstract: Based on detailed occupation titles and making use of measures that do not require pairwise comparisons among demographic groups, this paper shows that the occupational segregation of Black women declined dramatically in 1940-1980, decreased slightly in 1980-2000, and remained stagnant in 2000-2010. An important contribution of this paper is the quantification of the well-being losses that these women derive from their occupational sorting. The segregation reduction was indeed accompanied by well-being improvements, especially in the 1960s and 1970s. Regarding the role that education has played, this study highlights that, only from 1990 onward, Black women with either some college or university degrees had lower segregation (as compared with their peers) than those with lower education. Nevertheless, the well-being loss that Black women with university degrees derived in 2010 for being segregated from their peers in education was not too different from that of Black women with lower education.
    Keywords: occupational segregation measurement, race, gender, Black women, wages, United States
    JEL: J15 J16 J71
    Date: 2015–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:vig:wpaper:1502&r=ltv
  3. By: Amrita Ahuja; Sarah Baird; Joan Hamory Hicks; Michael Kremer; Edward Miguel; Shawn Powers
    Abstract: We discuss how evidence and theory can be combined to provide insight on the appropriate subsidy level for health products, focusing on the specific case of deworming. Although intestinal worm infections can be treated using safe, low-cost drugs, some have challenged the view that mass school-based deworming should be a policy priority. We review well-identified research which both uses experimental or quasi-experimental methods to demonstrate causal relationships and adequately accounts for epidemiological externalities from deworming treatment, including studies of deworming campaigns in the Southern United States, Kenya, and Uganda. The existing evidence shows consistent positive impacts on school participation in the short run and on academic test scores, employment, and income in the long run, while suggesting that most parents will not pay for deworming treatment that is not fully subsidized. There is also evidence for a fiscal externality through higher future tax revenue, which may exceed the cost of the program. Our analysis suggests that the economic benefits of school-based deworming programs are likely to exceed their costs in places where worm infestations are endemic. This would likely be the case even if the benefits were only a fraction of estimates in the existing literature.
    JEL: H2 H51 I1 I12 I15 I2 I20 I25 I3 O1
    Date: 2015–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21148&r=ltv
  4. By: David H. Autor; Mark Duggan; Kyle Greenberg; David S. Lyle
    Abstract: Combining administrative data from the U.S. Army, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Social Security Administration, we analyze the effect of the VA’s Disability Compensation (DC) program on veterans’ labor force participation and earnings. The largely unstudied Disability Compensation program currently provides income and health insurance to almost four million veterans of military service who suffer service-connected disabilities. We study a unique policy change, the 2001 Agent Orange decision, which expanded DC eligibility for Vietnam veterans who had served in-theatre to a broader set of conditions such as type 2 diabetes. Exploiting the fact that the Agent Orange policy excluded Vietnam era veterans who did not serve in-theatre, we assess the causal effects of DC eligibility by contrasting the outcomes of these two Vietnam-era veteran groups. The Agent Orange policy catalyzed a sharp increase in DC enrollment among veterans who served in-theatre, raising the share receiving benefits by five percentage points over five years. Disability ratings and payments rose rapidly among those newly enrolled, with average annual non-taxed federal transfer payments increasing to $17K within five years. We estimate that benefits receipt reduced labor force participation by 18 percentage points among veterans enrolled due to the policy, though measured income net of transfer benefits rose on average. Consistent with the relatively advanced age and diminished health of Vietnam era veterans in this period, we estimate labor force participation elasticities that are somewhat higher than among the general population.
    JEL: J22
    Date: 2015–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21144&r=ltv

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