nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2017‒05‒07
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Two decades of income inequality in Britain: the role of wages, household earnings and redistribution By Chris Belfield; Richard Blundell; Jonathan Cribb; Andrew Hood; Robert Joyce
  2. The Bilateral Relationship between Depressive Symptoms and Employment Status By Bubonya, Melisa; Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.; Ribar, David C.
  3. Life-cycle consumption patterns at older ages in the US and the UK: can medical expenditures explain the difference? By James Banks; Richard Blundell; Peter Levell; James Smith
  4. Ageing Poorly? Accounting for the Decline in Earnings Inequality in Brazil, 1995-2012 By Ferreira, Francisco H. G.; Firpo, Sergio; Messina, Julián
  5. Glass Ceiling in Research: Evidence from a National Program in Uruguay By Daniel Bukstein; Néstor Gandelman
  6. Segregation of women into low-paying occupations in the United States By Carlos Gradín

  1. By: Chris Belfield (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Richard Blundell (Institute for Fiscal Studies and IFS and UCL); Jonathan Cribb (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Andrew Hood (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Robert Joyce (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: We study earnings and income inequality in Britain over the past two decades, including the period of relatively “inclusive” growth from 1997-2004 and the Great Recession. We focus on the middle 90%, where trends have contrasted strongly with the “new inequality” at the very top. Household earnings inequality has risen, driven by male earnings – although a ‘catch-up’ of female earnings did hold down individual earnings inequality and reduce within-household inequality. Nevertheless, net household income inequality fell due to deliberate increases in redistribution, the tax and transfer system’s insurance role during the Great Recession, falling household worklessness, and rising pensioner incomes.
    Keywords: Inequality, labour market, household earnings, social security
    JEL: D31 E24 J3
    Date: 2017–01–13
  2. By: Bubonya, Melisa (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research); Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. (University of Sydney); Ribar, David C. (University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the bilateral relationship between depressive symptoms and employment status. We find that severe depressive symptoms are partially a consequence of economic inactivity. The incidence of depressive symptoms is higher if individuals have been out of a job for an extended period. Men's mental health falls as they exit the labor force, while women's worsens only after they have been out of the labor force for a period of time. Entering unemployment is also associated with a substantial deterioration in mental health, particularly for men. We also find that severe depressive symptoms, in turn, lead to economic inactivity. Individuals are less likely to be labor force participants or employed if they experience severe depressive symptoms. Men's probability of being unemployed rises dramatically with the onset of depressive symptoms; women's unemployment is increased by protracted depressive symptoms.
    Keywords: mental health, unemployment, labor market status, HILDA survey, depressive symptoms, depression
    JEL: J01 J64 I14
    Date: 2017–03
  3. By: James Banks (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Manchester); Richard Blundell (Institute for Fiscal Studies and IFS and UCL); Peter Levell (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); James Smith (Institute for Fiscal Studies and RAND)
    Abstract: In this paper we document significantly steeper declines in nondurable expenditures in the UK compared to the US, in spite of income paths being similar. We explore several possible causes, including different employment paths, housing ownership and expenses, levels and paths of health status, number of household members, and out-of -pocket medical expenditures. Among all the potential explanations considered, we find that those to do with healthcare—differences in levels and age paths in medical expenses—can fully account for the steeper declines in nondurable consumption in the UK compared to the US.
    Keywords: Life-Cycle, Consumption, Medical Expenditures
    JEL: D10 D11 D12 D14 D91
    Date: 2016–09–09
  4. By: Ferreira, Francisco H. G. (World Bank); Firpo, Sergio (Insper, São Paulo); Messina, Julián (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: The Gini coefficient of labor earnings in Brazil fell by nearly a fifth between 1995 and 2012, from 0.50 to 0.41. The decline in earnings inequality was even larger by other measures, with the 90-10 percentile ratio falling by almost 40 percent. Although the conventional explanation of a falling education premium did play a role, an RIF regression-based decomposition analysis suggests that the decline in returns to potential experience was the main factor behind lower wage disparities during the period. Substantial reductions in the gender, race, informality and urban-rural wage gaps, conditional on human capital and institutional variables, also contributed to the decline. Although rising minimum wages were equalizing during 2003-2012, they had the opposite effects during 1995-2003, because of declining compliance. Over the entire period, the direct effect of minimum wages on inequality was muted.
    Keywords: earnings inequality, Brazil, RIF regressions
    JEL: D31 J31
    Date: 2017–03
  5. By: Daniel Bukstein; Néstor Gandelman
    Abstract: This paper presents evidence that female researchers have 7.1 percentage points lower probability of being accepted into the largest national research support program in Uruguay than male researchers. They also have lower research productivity than their male counterparts. Differences in observable characteristics explain 4.9 of the 7.1 percentage point gap. The gender gap is wider at the higher ranks of the program consistent with the existence of a glass ceiling. The results are robust to issues of bidirectionality (impact of research productivity on the probability of accessing the program and impact of the program on research productivity), joint determination and correlation of variables (e.g. having a Ph.D., publishing, and tutoring), and initial productivity effects (positive results at early stages may have long-term effects on career development). The paper presents three hypotheses for the gender gap (an original sin in the organization of the system, biases in the composition of evaluation committees, and differences in field of concentration) and finds some evidence for each. Glass ceilings are stronger in the fields where women are overrepresented among the applicants to the system: medical sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. Finally, it presents a counterfactual distribution of the program in the absence of discriminatory treatment of women and discusses the economic costs of the gender gap.
    Keywords: Female Researchers, gender discrimination, gender gap, Science and Technology Policy, Human Capital, Wage Gap, Wage Distribution, gender gap, female researchers, research
    JEL: J71 J4 J16
    Date: 2017–04
  6. By: Carlos Gradín
    Abstract: We extend the conventional framework for measuring segregation to consider stratification of occupations by gender, i.e. when women or men are predominantly segregated into low-paying jobs. For this, we propose to use concentration curves and indices. Our empirical analysis using this approach shows that the decline over time in occupational gender segregation in the US has been accompanied by a deeper, longer reduction in gender stratification. We further investigate the role of workers’ characteristics, showing that gender differences cannot explain the levels of segregation/stratification in any year. However, changes over time for each gender do help to explain their trends.
    Date: 2017

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