nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2016‒07‒16
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. The perception of inequality of opportunity in Europe By Paolo Brunori
  2. Effects of the Minimum Wage on Infant Health By Wehby, George; Dave, Dhaval M.; Kaestner, Robert
  3. Home sweet home? Macroeconomic conditions in home countries and the well-being of migrants. By Akay, Alpaslan; Bargain, Olivier; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  4. Learning Dynamics Based on Social Comparisons By Juan I Block; Drew Fudenberg; David K Levine

  1. By: Paolo Brunori (Università degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro")
    Abstract: Does the way scholars measure inequality of opportunity correspond to how people perceive it? What other factors influence individual perception of this phenomenon? To answer these questions we must first clarify how scholars define and measure inequality of opportunity. We discuss the possible mechanisms linking objective measures to subjective perception of the phenomenon, then propose a measure of perceived inequality of opportunity, and finally test our hypothesis by merging data coming from two sources: the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (2011) and the International Social Survey Programme (2009). We suggest that the prevailing perception of the degree of unequal opportunity in a large sample of respondents is only weakly correlated with its objective measure. We estimate a multilevel model considering both individual and country level controls to explain individual perception of unequal opportunity. Our estimates suggest that the two most adopted measures of inequality of opportunity have not clear role in explaining its perception. Conversely, other country level variables and personal experiences of intergenerational social mobility are important determinants of how inequality of opportunity is perceived.
    Keywords: Inequality of opportunity, inequality perception, intergenerational mobility, attribution theory
    JEL: D63 A14 D31
    Date: 2016–06
  2. By: Wehby, George (University of Iowa, NBER); Dave, Dhaval M. (Bentley University); Kaestner, Robert (University of Illinois at Chicago)
    Abstract: The minimum wage has increased in multiple states over the past three decades. Research has focused on effects on labor supply, but very little is known about how the minimum wage affects health, including children's health. We address this knowledge gap and provide an investigation focused on examining the impact of the effective state minimum wage rate on infant health. Using data on the entire universe of births in the US over 25 years, we find that an increase in the minimum wage is associated with an increase in birth weight driven by increased gestational length and fetal growth rate. The effect size is meaningful and plausible. We also find evidence of an increase in prenatal care use and a decline in smoking during pregnancy, which are some channels through which minimum wage can affect infant health. Labor market policies that enhance wages can thus affect wellbeing in broader ways, and such health effects should enter into any cost‐benefit calculus of such policies.
    Keywords: minimum wage, health, infant, prenatal care, smoking, income, pregnant women
    JEL: I1 I3 J2 J3
    Date: 2016–07
  3. By: Akay, Alpaslan (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, and University of Gothenburg); Bargain, Olivier (Aix-Marseille University); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, and Harvard University)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether the subjective well-being of migrants is responsive to fluctuations in macroeconomic conditions in their country of origin. Using the German Socio-Economic Panel for the years 1984 to 2009 and macroeconomic variables for 24 countries of origin, we exploit country-year variation for identification of the effect and panel data to control for migrants' observed and unobserved characteristics. We find strong evidence that migrants' well-being responds negatively to an increase in the GDP of their home country. That is, migrants seem to regard home countries as natural comparators, which grounds the idea of relative deprivation underlying the decision to migrate. The effect declines with years-since-migration and with the degree of assimilation in Germany.
    Keywords: Migrants, well-being, GDP, unemployment, relative concerns/deprivation
    JEL: C90 D63 F22 O15
    Date: 2016–06–28
  4. By: Juan I Block; Drew Fudenberg; David K Levine
    Date: 2016–06–30

This nep-ltv issue is ©2016 by Maximo Rossi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.