nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2016‒11‒20
nine papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Does postponing minimum retirement age improve healthy behaviours before retirement? Evidence from middle-aged Italian workers By Bertoni, Marco; Brunello, Giorgio; Mazzarella, Gianluca
  2. Reservation wages of first- and second-generation migrants By Constant, Amelie F.; Krause, Annabelle; Rinne, Ulf; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  3. Labour Productivity and the Distribution of Real Earnings in Canada, 1976 to 2014 By James Uguccioni, Andrew Sharpe and Alexander Murray
  4. What Grades and Achievement Tests Measure By Borghans, Lex; Golsteyn, Bart H.H.; Heckman, James J.; Humphries, John Eric
  5. Infant Health, Cognitive Performance and Earnings: Evidence from Inception of the Welfare State in Sweden By Bhalotra, Sonia R.; Karlsson, Martin; Nilsson, Therese; Schwarz, Nina
  6. A 'healthy immigrant effect' or a 'sick immigrant effect'? Selection and policies matter By Constant, Amelie F.; Garcia-Munoz, Teresa; Neuman, Shoshana; Neuman, Tzahi
  7. Taxation of Temporary Jobs: Good Intentions with Bad Outcomes? By Cahuc, Pierre; Charlot, Olivier; Malherbet, Franck; Benghalem, Helène; Limon, Emeline
  8. The Effect of Schooling on Teenage Fertility: Evidence from the 1994 Education Reform in Ethiopia By Elina Pradhan; David Canning
  9. Three decades of publishing research in population economics By Brown, Alessio J.G.; Zimmermann, Klaus F.

  1. By: Bertoni, Marco (university of padova); Brunello, Giorgio (university of padova); Mazzarella, Gianluca (university of padova)
    Abstract: By increasing the residual working horizon of employed individuals, pension reforms that raise minimum retirement age are likely to affect the returns to investments in healthpromoting behaviours before retirement, with consequences for individual health. Using the exogenous variation in minimum retirement age induced by a sequence of Italian pension reforms during the 1990s and 2000s, we show that Italian males aged 40 to 49 reacted to the longer time to retirement by raising regular exercise and by reducing smoking and regular alcohol consumption. Dietary habits were also affected, with positive consequences on obesity and self-reported satisfaction with health.
    Keywords: retirement, working horizon, healthy behaviours, pension reforms
    JEL: H55 I12 J26
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Constant, Amelie F. (UNU-MERIT, and Princeton University); Krause, Annabelle (IZA Bonn); Rinne, Ulf (IZA Bonn); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (UNU-MERIT, and Princeton University)
    Abstract: We analyse the reservation wages of first- and second-generation migrants, based on rich survey data of the unemployed in Germany. Our results confirm the hypothesis that reservation wages increase over migrant generations and over time, suggesting that the mobility benefit of immigration may be limited in time.
    Keywords: Migration, Unemployment, Job Search, Reservation Wages
    JEL: J15 J61 J64
    Date: 2016–09–14
  3. By: James Uguccioni, Andrew Sharpe and Alexander Murray
    Abstract: Canadian labour is more productive than ever before, but there is a pervasive sense among Canadians that the living standards of the 'middle class' have been stagnating. Indeed, between 1976 and 2014, median real hourly earnings grew by only 0.09 per cent per year, compared to labour productivity growth of 1.12 per cent per year. We decompose this 1.03 percentage-point growth gap into four components: rising earnings inequality; changes in employer contributions to social insurance programs; rising relative prices for consumer goods, which reduces workers' purchasing power; and a decline in labour's share of aggregate income. Our main result is that rising earnings inequality accounts for half the 1.03 percentagepoint gap, with a decline in labour's income share and a deterioration of labour's purchasing power accounting for the remaining half. Employer social contributions played no role. Further analysis of the inequality component reveals that real wage growth in recent decades has been fastest at the top and at the bottom of the earnings distribution, with relative stagnation in the middle. Our findings are consistent with a 'hollowing out of the middle' story, rather than a 'super-rich pulling away from everyone else' story.
    Keywords: Productivity, Wages, Income Distribution, Labour Productivity, Canada, Income, Inequality
    JEL: J24 J31 O38 O47 O51
    Date: 2016–11
  4. By: Borghans, Lex (Maastricht University); Golsteyn, Bart H.H. (Maastricht University); Heckman, James J. (University of Chicago); Humphries, John Eric (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: Intelligence quotient (IQ), grades, and scores on achievement tests are widely used as measures of cognition, yet the correlations among them are far from perfect. This paper uses a variety of data sets to show that personality and IQ predict grades and scores on achievement tests. Personality is relatively more important in predicting grades than scores on achievement tests. IQ is relatively more important in predicting scores on achievement tests. Personality is generally more predictive than IQ of a variety of important life outcomes. Both grades and achievement tests are substantially better predictors of important life outcomes than IQ. The reason is that both capture personality traits that have independent predictive power beyond that of IQ.
    Keywords: IQ, achievement tests, grades, personality traits
    JEL: J24 D03
    Date: 2016–11
  5. By: Bhalotra, Sonia R. (University of Essex); Karlsson, Martin (University of Duisburg-Essen); Nilsson, Therese (Lund University); Schwarz, Nina (University of Duisburg-Essen)
    Abstract: We estimate impacts of exposure to an infant health intervention trialled in Sweden in the early 1930s using purposively digitised birth registers linked to school catalogues, census files and tax records to generate longitudinal microdata that track individuals through five stages of the life-course, from birth to age 71. This allows us to measure impacts on childhood health and cognitive skills at ages 7 and 10, educational and occupational choice at age 16-20, employment, earnings and occupation at age 36-40, and pension income at age 71. Leveraging quasi-random variation in eligibility by birth date and birth parish, we estimate that an additional year of exposure was associated with improved reading and writing skills in primary school, and increased enrolment in university and apprenticeship in late adolescence. These changes are larger and more robust for men, but we find increases in secondary school completion which are unique to women. In the longer run, we find very substantial increases in employment (especially in the public sector) and income among women, alongside absolutely no impacts among men. We suggest that this may be, at least in part, because these cohorts were exposed to a massive expansion of the Swedish welfare state, which created more jobs for women than for men.
    Keywords: infant health, early life interventions, cognitive skills, education, earnings, occupational choice, programme evaluation, Sweden
    JEL: I15 I18 H41
    Date: 2016–11
  6. By: Constant, Amelie F. (UNU-MERIT, and Princeton University); Garcia-Munoz, Teresa (University of Granada); Neuman, Shoshana (Bar-Ilan University); Neuman, Tzahi (Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center)
    Abstract: Previous literature in a variety of countries has documented a "healthy immigrant effect" (HIE). Accordingly, immigrants arriving in the host country are, on average, healthier than comparable natives. However, their health status dissipates with additional years in the country. HIE is explained through the positive self-selection of the healthy immigrants as well as the positive selection, screening and discrimination applied by host countries. In this paper we study the health of immigrants within the context of selection and migration policies. Using SHARE data we examine the HIE comparing Israel and sixteen countries in Europe that have fundamentally different migration policies. Israel has virtually unrestricted open gates for Jewish people around the world, who in turn have ideological rather than economic considerations to move. European countries have selective policies with regards to the health, education and wealth of migrants, who also self-select themselves. Our results provide evidence that a) immigrants to Israel have compromised health and suffer from many health ailments, making them less healthy than comparable natives. Their health does not improve for up to 20 years of living in Israel, after which they become similar to natives; b) immigrants to Europe have better health than natives and their health advantage persists up to six years from their arrival, after which they are not significantly different than natives except in one case in which the health of immigrants became worse than that of natives after 21 years. Our results are important for migration policy and relevant for domestic health policy.
    Keywords: self-reported health status, immigration, Europe, Israel, older population, multilevel regression, SHARE
    JEL: C22 J11 J12 J14 O12 O15 O52
    Date: 2016–09–14
  7. By: Cahuc, Pierre (Ecole Polytechnique, Paris); Charlot, Olivier (University of Cergy-Pontoise); Malherbet, Franck (CREST (ENSAE)); Benghalem, Helène (CREST); Limon, Emeline (University of Cergy-Pontoise)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the consequences of the taxation of temporary jobs recently introduced in several European countries to induce firms to create more open-ended contracts and to increase the duration of jobs. The estimation of a job search and matching model on French data shows that the taxation of temporary jobs does not reach its objectives: it reduces the mean duration of jobs and decreases job creation, employment and welfare of unemployed workers. We find that a reform introducing an open-ended contract without layout costs for separations occurring at short tenure would have opposite effects.
    Keywords: temporary jobs, employment protection legislation, taxation
    JEL: J63 J64 J68
    Date: 2016–11
  8. By: Elina Pradhan (Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health); David Canning (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Department of Global Health and Population)
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of female schooling on teenage fertility using an education reform in Ethiopia in 1994 as a natural experiment that led to a jump in female school enrollment and about 0.74 years of additional schooling for the first two exposed cohorts. Using a regression discontinuity approach we find that each additional year of schooling lowers the probability of both teenage marriage and teenage childbearing by about six percentage points. This casual estimate is consistent with the steep gradient of teenage marriage and fertility with education observed in the data. JEL Codes:
    Keywords: Ethiopia; Education Policy; Fertility; Female Education; Age at Marriage; Regression Discontinuity.
    Date: 2016–10
  9. By: Brown, Alessio J.G. (UNU‐MERIT); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (UNU-MERIT, and Harvard University)
    Abstract: The Journal of Population Economics is celebrating its thirtieth birthday. When the first issue was published, population economics was non-existent as a field. Hence, the aim has been to provide a high quality outlet to publishing excellent theoretical and applied research in all areas of population economics. The article summarises key developments in the Journal's editorial process, thematic orientation, international reach and successes. Furthermore, we discuss the benefits of working papers in economics and investigate the impacts of the present working paper culture on journal citations. Finally, we try to identify the citation impacts in the Journal itself. The Journal of Population Economics has established itself as the leader in its field. Publishing in working papers and in the Journal seem to be complementary activities.
    Keywords: Demographical economics, population economics, working papers, Kuznets prize, citation impacts
    JEL: A11 A14 B20 J10
    Date: 2016–10–11

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.