nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2016‒06‒14
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Violence and Birth Outcomes: Evidence from Homicides in Brazil By Koppensteiner, Martin; Manacorda, Marco
  2. Family Disadvantage and the Gender Gap in Behavioral and Educational Outcomes By David Autor; David Figlio; Krzysztof Karbownik; Jeffrey Roth; Melanie Wasserman
  3. Returns to Education: The Causal Effects of Education on Earnings, Health and Smoking By James J. Heckman; John Eric Humphries; Gregory Veramendi
  4. Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal By Bhalotra, Sonia R.; Chakravarty, Abhishek; Mookherjee, Dilip; Pino, Francisco J.
  5. Human Capital, Inequality and Growth By Torben M Andersen, Department of Economics and Business Economics Aarhus University, CEPR, CESifo and IZA

  1. By: Koppensteiner, Martin; Manacorda, Marco
    Abstract: This paper uses microdata from Brazilian vital statistics on births and deaths between 2000 and 2010 to estimate the impact of in-utero exposure to local violence - measured by homicide rates - on birth outcomes. The estimates show that exposure to violence during the first trimester of pregnancy leads to a small but precisely estimated increase in the risk of low birthweight and prematurity. Effects are found both in small municipalities, where homicides are rare, and in large municipalities, where violence is endemic, and are particularly pronounced among children of poorly educated mothers, implying that violence compounds the disadvantage that these children already suffer as a result of their households' lower socioeconomic status.
    Keywords: Birth Outcomes; Birthweight; Brazil.; Homicides; Stress
    JEL: I12 I15 I39 J13 K42
    Date: 2016–05
  2. By: David Autor; David Figlio; Krzysztof Karbownik; Jeffrey Roth; Melanie Wasserman
    Abstract: Using birth certificates matched to schooling records for Florida children born 1992 - 2002, we assess whether family disadvantage disproportionately impedes the pre-market development of boys. We find that, relative to their sisters, boys born to disadvantaged families have higher rates of disciplinary problems, lower achievement scores, and fewer high-school completions. Evidence supports that this is a causal effect of the post-natal environment; family disadvantage is unrelated to the gender gap in neonatal health. We conclude that the gender gap among black children is larger than among white children in substantial part because black children are raised in more disadvantaged families.
    JEL: I24 J12 J13 J16
    Date: 2016–05
  3. By: James J. Heckman; John Eric Humphries; Gregory Veramendi
    Abstract: This paper estimates returns to education using a dynamic model of educational choice that synthesizes approaches in the structural dynamic discrete choice literature with approaches used in the reduced form treatment effect literature. It is an empirically robust middle ground between the two approaches which estimates economically interpretable and policy-relevant dynamic treatment effects that account for heterogeneity in cognitive and non-cognitive skills and the continuation values of educational choices. Graduating college is not a wise choice for all. Ability bias is a major component of observed educational differentials. For some, there are substantial causal effects of education at all stages of schooling.
    JEL: C32 C38 I12 I14 I21
    Date: 2016–05
  4. By: Bhalotra, Sonia R. (University of Essex); Chakravarty, Abhishek (University of Essex); Mookherjee, Dilip (Boston University); Pino, Francisco J. (University of Chile)
    Abstract: While land reforms are typically pursued in order to raise productivity and reduce inequality across households, an unintended consequence may be increased within-household gender inequality. We analyse a tenancy registration programme in West Bengal, and find that it increased child survival and reduced fertility. However, we also find that it intensified son preference in families without a first-born son to inherit the land title. These families exhibit no reduction in fertility, an increase in the probability that a subsequent birth is male, and a substantial increase in the survival advantage of subsequent sons over daughters.
    Keywords: land reform, property rights, gender, infant mortality, sex ratio, fertility
    JEL: I14 I24 J71 O15
    Date: 2016–05
  5. By: Torben M Andersen, Department of Economics and Business Economics Aarhus University, CEPR, CESifo and IZA
    Abstract: Income inequality is increasing in most countries at the same time as traditional redistribution policies are under pressure, not least due to strained public finances. What are the underlying causes, and what is the scope to turn the trend? This is discussed from the perspective of the link between inequality and growth running via education and human capital formation. It is argued that imperfections arising from both capital market imperfections and social barriers imply that inequality may be a barrier to education, which in turn makes inequality persistent and reduces growth. In discussing redistribution it is thus important to distinguish between the traditional passive means of redistribution via taxes and transfers to repair on the distribution of market incomes, and active means which affect the distribution of market incomes. The latter may both lead to more income equality and efficiency improvements reflected in higher incomes or income growth. Policy options to improve educational outcomes and their distribution are discussed.
    JEL: I24 E02
    Date: 2015–09

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