nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2017‒03‒05
three papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Exposure to poverty and productivity By Dalton, Patricio; Gonzalez Jimenez, Victor; Noussair, Charles
  2. The Labor Market Consequences of Refugee Supply Shocks By George J. Borjas; Joan Monras
  3. El Impacto del Sistema Tributario y el Gasto Social en la Distribución del Ingreso y la Pobreza en América Latina: Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Perú y Uruguay By Nora Lustig

  1. By: Dalton, Patricio (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Gonzalez Jimenez, Victor (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management); Noussair, Charles (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: We study whether exposure to poverty can induce affective states that decrease productivity. In a controlled laboratory setting, we find that subjects randomly assigned to a treatment, in which they view a video featuring individuals that live in extreme poverty, exhibit lower subsequent productivity compared to subjects assigned to a control treatment. Questionnaire responses, as well as facial recognition software, provide quantitative measures of the affective state evoked by the two treatments. Subjects exposed to images of poverty experience a more negative affective state than those in the control treatment. Further analysis shows that individuals in a more positive emotional state exhibit less of a treatment effect. Also, those who exhibit greater attentiveness upon viewing the poverty video are less productive. The results are consistent with the notion that exposure to poverty can induce a psychological state in individuals that adversely affects productivity.
    Date: 2017
  2. By: George J. Borjas (Harvard University); Joan Monras (CEMFI, Centro de Estudios Monetarios y Financieros)
    Abstract: The continuing inflow of hundreds of thousands of refugees into many European countries has ignited much political controversy and raised questions that require a fuller understanding of the determinants and consequences of refugee supply shocks. This paper revisits four historical refugee shocks to document their labor market impact. Specifically, we examine: The influx of Marielitos into Miami in 1980; the influx of French repatriates and Algerian nationals into France at the end of the Algerian Independence War in 1962; the influx of Jewish émigrés into Israel after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s; and the exodus of refugees from the former Yugoslavia during the long series of Balkan wars between 1991 and 2001. We use a common empirical approach, derived from factor demand theory, and publicly available data to measure the impact of these shocks. Despite the differences in the political forces that motivated the various flows, and in economic conditions across receiving countries, the evidence reveals a common thread that confirms key insights of the canonical model of a competitive labor market: Exogenous supply shocks adversely affect the labor market opportunities of competing natives in the receiving countries, and often have a favorable impact on complementary workers. In short, refugee flows can have large distributional consequences.
    Keywords: Immigration, refugees, supply shocks, labor demand.
    JEL: J2 J15
    Date: 2016–12
  3. By: Nora Lustig (Stone Center for Latin American Studies, Department of Economics, Tulane University. Commitment to Equity Institute (CEQI).)
    Abstract: Using standard fiscal incidence analysis, this paper estimates the impact of fiscal policy on inequality and poverty in thirteen countries in Latin America around 2010.Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay are the countries which redistribute the most and El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras redistribute the least. Contributory pensions are significantly equalizing in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay and also in Chile, Costa Rica and Ecuador but, in the latter, their effect is small. In the rest of the countries, contributory pensions are unequalizing but their effect is also small. More unequal countries tend to redistribute more. Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru redistribute below the trend; Chile, Ecuador and Mexico are on trend; and, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica and Uruguay redistribute above the trend. Fiscal policy reduces poverty in nine countries. However, in Brazil, Bolivia, Guatemala and Honduras, the incidence of poverty after taxes, subsidies and transfers (excluding spending on education and health) is higher than market income poverty, even though fiscal policy is equalizing. In Brazil and Mexico, a third of the post-fiscal poor were impoverished by fiscal policy and, in Bolivia and Guatemala, two thirds were. Public spending on pre-school and primary education is always equalizing and also pro-poor (i.e., per capita spending falls with per capita income). Spending on secondary education is always equalizing but pro-poor only in some countries. Spending on tertiary education is never pro-poor; however, it is always equalizing except for Guatemala. Government spending on public health is always progressive in relative terms and equalizing. Resumen. Este artículo presenta resultados sobre el impacto de la política fiscal en la desigualdad y la pobreza en trece países de América Latina para alrededor del año 2010. Los países que más redistribuyen son Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Costa Rica y Uruguay, y los que menos, El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras. Las pensiones contributivas tienen un efecto igualador, de magnitud significativa, en Argentina, Brasil y Uruguay. En Chile, Costa Rica y Ecuador el efecto es igualador pero pequeño. En el resto de los países, el efecto es desigualador pero también pequeño. Estos resultados son importantes porque indican que no se puede afirmar de manera general que las pensiones contributivas en América Latina son regresivas y desigualadoras. Si las pensiones contributivas se consideran un ingreso diferido, el efecto redistributivo es 4.1 puntos porcentuales mayor en la Unión Europea pero 15.4 puntos porcentuales mayor cuando las pensiones contributivas se consideran una transferencia. Los resultados para los trece países latinoamericanos muestran que los países más desiguales tienden a dedicar una proporción mayor del PIB al gasto social y que a mayor gasto social, mayor redistribución. Los países más desiguales también tienden a redistribuir más. Entre los países que redistribuyen por debajo de lo que predice la tendencia, se encuentran Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y Perú.Chile, Ecuador y México prácticamente se encuentran sobre la línea de tendencia.Argentina, Brasil, Costa Rica y Uruguay lo hacen por encima de la tendencia. Países con un nivel de gasto social similar muestran diferentes niveles de redistribución lo cual sugiere que otros factores tales como la composición y focalización del gasto intervienen en determinar el efecto redistributivo más alla del tamaño. La política fiscal reduce la pobreza extrema en nueve países: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, México, Perú y Uruguay. Sin embargo, la incidencia de la pobreza después de impuestos, subsidios y transferencias monetarias es mayor que la incidencia para el ingreso de mercado en Bolivia, Brasil, Guatemala y Honduras, aun cuando la política fiscal reduce la desigualdad. Además, aun cuando la incidencia de la pobreza y la desigualdad se reducen, con la nueva medida de Empobrecimiento Fiscal se puede observar que en Brasil y México un tercio y en Bolivia y Guatemala dos tercios de la población pobre medida con el ingreso consumible fue empobrecida: es decir, pasó de pobre a ser más pobre o de no pobre a ser pobre. El gasto en educación pre-escolar y primaria es igualador y pro-pobre en todos los países. El gasto en educación secundaria es igualador en todos los países y también pro-pobre en algunos pero no en todos. El gasto en educación terciaria nunca es pro-pobre pero es igualador a excepción de Guatemala. El gasto en salud siempre es igualador pero es pro-pobre solamente en Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador y Uruguay.
    Keywords: incidencia fiscal, desigualdad, pobreza, impuestos, transferencias, América Latina
    JEL: D31 H22 I38
    Date: 2016

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