nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2015‒11‒21
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Correlating Social Mobility and Economic Outcomes By Maia Güell; Michele Pellizzari; Giovanni Pica; Josè V. Rodríguez Mora
  2. Appraising cross-national income inequality databases : an introduction By Ferreira,Francisco H. G.; Lustig,Nora-451471; Teles,Daniel Chaim
  3. Declining Wages for College-Educated Workers in Mexico: Are Younger or Older Cohorts Hurt the Most? By Raymundo M. Campos-Vazquez; Luis F. Lopez-Calva; Nora Lustig
  4. The contribution of increased equity to the estimated social benefits from a transfer program: An illustration from PROGRESA: By Alderman, Harold; Behrman, Jere R.; Tasneem, Afia

  1. By: Maia Güell (University of Edinburgh, CEPR, FEDEA and IZA); Michele Pellizzari (University of Geneva, CEPR, fRDB and IZA); Giovanni Pica (Università degli Studi di Milano, LdA, CSEF, Baffi and fRDB); Josè V. Rodríguez Mora (University of Edinburgh and CEPR)
    Abstract: We apply a novel measure of intergenerational mobility (IM) developed by Güell, Rodríguez Mora, and Telmer (2014) to a rich combination of Italian data allowing us to produce comparable measures of IM of income for 103 Italian provinces. We then exploit the large heterogeneity across Italian provinces in terms of economic and social outcomes to explore how IM correlates with a variety of outcomes. We find that (i) higher IM is positively associated with a variety of "good" economic outcomes, such as higher value added per capita, higher employment, lower unemployment, higher schooling and higher openness and (ii) that also within Italy the "the Great Gatsby Curve" exists: in provinces in which mobility is lower cross-sectional income inequality is larger. We finally explore the correlation between IM and several socio-political outcomes, such as crime and life expectancy, but we do not find any clear systematic relationship on this respect.
    Keywords: Surnames, intergenerational mobility, cross-sectional data analysis.
    JEL: C31 E24 R10
    Date: 2015–04–14
  2. By: Ferreira,Francisco H. G.; Lustig,Nora-451471; Teles,Daniel Chaim
    Abstract: In response to a growing interest in comparing inequality levels and trends across countries, several cross-national inequality databases are now available. These databases differ considerably in purpose, coverage, data sources, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and quality of documentation. A special issue of the Journal of Economic Inequality, which this paper introduces, is devoted to an assessment of the merits and shortcomings of eight such databases. Five of these sets are microdata-based: CEPALSTAT, Income Distribution Database, Luxembourg Income Study, PovcalNet, and Socio-Economic Database for Latin America and the Caribbean. Two are based on secondary sources: All the Ginis and the World Income Inequality Database; and one is generated entirely through multiple-imputation methods: the Standardized World Income Inequality Database. Although there is much agreement across these databases, there is also a nontrivial share of country/year cells for which substantial discrepancies exist. In some cases, different databases would lead users to radically different conclusions about inequality dynamics in certain countries and periods. The methodological differences that lead to these discrepancies often appear to be driven by a fundamental trade-off between a wish for broader coverage on the one hand, and for greater comparability on the other hand. These differences across databases place considerable responsibility on both producers and users: on the former, to better document and explain their assumptions and procedures, and on the latter, to understand the data they are using, rather than merely taking them as true because available.
    Keywords: E-Business,Services&Transfers to Poor,Inequality,Information and Communication Technologies,Poverty Impact Evaluation
    Date: 2015–11–12
  3. By: Raymundo M. Campos-Vazquez (Centro de Estudios Economicos, El Colegio de Mexico); Luis F. Lopez-Calva (Development Economics Vice Presidency, World Bank); Nora Lustig (Department of Economics, Tulane University)
    Abstract: Wage inequality has declined in Mexico since 2000. Using data from Mexican labor surveys for the period between 2000 and 2014, we investigate if the decline was driven by wages declining more sharply for younger or older workers. We find that wages of older workers declined and the decline was more pronounced in the older the cohort. This would seem to support the hypothesis that older workers' skills have become obsolete.
    Keywords: education, college, cohort, inequality, Mexico
    JEL: I24 I25 J20 J31 O54
    Date: 2015–11
  4. By: Alderman, Harold; Behrman, Jere R.; Tasneem, Afia
    Abstract: Most impact evaluations of conditional cash transfers and unconditional cash transfers focus on the returns to increased human capital investments that will be reaped largely or exclusively in the future (that is, when current children have increased productivity as adults). But such programs aim not only to increase human capital investments with implications on future distributions of income but also to alleviate current poverty and reduce current inequality. This paper considers the current distributional gains from such programs and how those depend on the degree of inequality aversion in the social welfare function. Simulations show that for a range of inequality aversion parameters, the welfare gains from current redistribution for the Mexican PROGRESA conditional cash transfer program are as large, or possibly much larger, than the estimated present discounted value of future earnings from human capital investments in lower and upper secondary schooling. These, moreover, are an underestimate of the gains from redistribution because, in addition to current gains, such gains will be augmented in the future through the distribution of the returns on the human capital investments induced by cash transfer programs. Therefore, to fully evaluate such programs, it is critical to incorporate the distributional gains, not only the impacts on human capital investments.
    Keywords: poverty, welfare, economic development, social protection, conditional cash transfer,
    Date: 2015

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