nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2017‒06‒11
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Selection on Ability and the Early Career Growth in the Gender Wage Gap By Fraga, Eduardo; Gonzaga, Gustavo; Soares, Rodrigo R.
  2. Sometimes Your Best Just Ain't Good Enough: The Worldwide Evidence on Well-Being Efficiency By Nikolova, Milena; Popova, Olga
  3. The Labor Market Gender Gap in Denmark: Sorting Out the Past 30 Years By Gallen, Yana; Lesner, Rune V.; Vejlin, Rune Majlund
  4. Intra-couple income distribution and subjective well-being: the moderating effect of gender norms By Gabor Hajdu; Tamas Hajdu
  5. Body-Weight and Women's Hours of Work: More Evidence That Marriage Markets Matter By Grossbard, Shoshana; Mukhopadhyay, Sankar

  1. By: Fraga, Eduardo (Yale University); Gonzaga, Gustavo (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio)); Soares, Rodrigo R. (Columbia University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of selection on ability on the evolution of the gender wage gap during the first years of professional life. We use longitudinal data with 16 years of the early career history of formal sector workers in Brazil. The panel allows us to build a measure of unobserved ability that we use to analyze the dynamics of labor market selection across genders as individuals age. We focus on the cohort born in 1974, for which we have a close to complete history of formal labor market participa-tion. For this cohort, the average ability of formally employed men improved in relation to that of women during the first years of professional life. The selection of men and women into the labor mar-ket was similar at age 21, but by age 31 high‐ability men (one standard deviation above the mean) had a probability of employment 1.6 percentage point higher than their high‐ability female counter-parts. This contributed to the increase in the conditional gender wage gap observed in the early career, as the ability distribution of employed women deteriorated in relation to that of employed men. Our estimates suggest that, for the 1974 cohort, this mechanism explains 32% of the cumulative growth in the conditional gender wage gap between ages 21 and 36.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, selection, ability, lifecycle
    JEL: J16 J21 J31 J71
    Date: 2017–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10791&r=ltv
  2. By: Nikolova, Milena (IZA); Popova, Olga (CERGE-EI)
    Abstract: Despite the burgeoning happiness economics literature, scholars have largely ignored explorations of how individuals or countries translate given resources into well-being. Using a balanced panel on 91 countries from Gallup Analytics between 2009–2014 and borrowing insights from production theory, we investigate whether nations in our sample efficiently convert their current resources (i.e. income, education and health) into subjective well-being. Our results imply that well-being efficiency gains are possible worldwide. We find that unemployment and involuntary part-time employment are associated with lower efficiency, while good institutions as proxied by the rule of law, as well as social support and freedom perceptions improve it. Within-country investigations for Bulgaria – an upper-middle-income country that often lurks at the bottom of the international well-being rankings – demonstrate that efficiency is lower among the unemployed, divorced/separated, widowed, the old, large households and those with children, while living in a city, freedom, generosity and social support improve efficiency. This paper provides the first evidence from an international panel concerning the issue of whether higher well-being levels are possible with current resources and raises policy-relevant questions about the appropriate instruments to improve well-being efficiency.
    Keywords: happiness, subjective well-being, efficiency analysis, conversion efficiency, comparative analysis
    JEL: D60 I31 O15 P52
    Date: 2017–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10774&r=ltv
  3. By: Gallen, Yana (Harris School, University of Chicago); Lesner, Rune V. (Aarhus University); Vejlin, Rune Majlund (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: We document the declining gap between the average earnings of women and men in Denmark from 1980 to 2010. The decline in the earnings gap is driven by increased labor force participation and in-creases in hours worked by women, and to a smaller extent by a decline in the gender wage gap. The gap has declined least among higher earning women – the average wage of the top 10 percent of fe-male earners is 28-33% lower than the average wage of the top 10 percent of male earners. Women are becoming more educated and are a larger share of the professional labor force than in previous decades, but a substantial wage gap of about 10 percent remains for the youngest cohorts even after controlling for age, education, experience, occupation, and firm choice. Unlike the case of the US, dif-ferences in educational attainment, occupational choice, industry, and experience explained about 15 percentage points of the Danish wage gap in 1980, but now these factors explain only about 6 percent-age points of the Danish wage gap. In fact, though variation in the wage gap across occupations is sub-stantial, this variation is not correlated with the fraction of the occupation which is female. The data show a great deal of sorting and segregation across industries, occupations, and even firms. However, this sorting does not explain more than half of the wage gap. We conclude that a great deal of the re-maining disparity between the wages of women and men is tied to the differential effects of parenthood by gender.
    Keywords: gender pay gap, sorting
    JEL: J71 J31
    Date: 2017–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10789&r=ltv
  4. By: Gabor Hajdu (Institute for Sociology, Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and MTA-ELTE Peripato Comparative Social Dynamics Research Group, Hungary); Tamas Hajdu (Institute of Economics, Research Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between intra-couple income distribution and subjective well-being, using nationally representative data from Hungary. We show that the association between the woman’s relative income (the woman’s share of the couple’s total earnings) and life satisfaction is negative not only for men, but for women as well. Because we control for financial disadvantages on the individual and household level, as well as for socio-economic and job characteristics of the respondent and their partner, the result can be interpreted as the impact of traditional gender roles and the persistence of the traditional male breadwinner mentality. In addition, we show that gender norms moderate this negative association. Among those with low levels of traditional norms, the woman’s relative income has no effect on life satisfaction, whereas among those who prefer traditional gender roles, the negative association is stronger. Our results suggest that conflicts between the gender norms and the social and economic reality reduce life satisfaction.
    Keywords: intra-couple income distribution; life satisfaction; gender norms; relative income
    JEL: I31 D10 J16
    Date: 2017–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:has:discpr:1711&r=ltv
  5. By: Grossbard, Shoshana (San Diego State University); Mukhopadhyay, Sankar (University of Nevada, Reno)
    Abstract: Higher body-weight (BMI) can affect labor supply via its effects on outcomes in both labor markets and marriage markets. To the extent that it is associated with lower prospects of being in couple and obtaining intra-couple transfers, we expect that higher BMI will increase willingness to supply labor in labor markets, especially for women. We use US panel data from the NLSY79 and NLSY97 to examine whether body weight influences hours of work in the labor market. We use sibling BMI as an instrument for own BMI to address potential endogeneity of BMI in hours worked. We find that White women with higher BMI work more. This is true for both single and married White women. Results for other groups of women and men produce mixed results. The extended analysis suggests that what drives the relationship between BMI and hours worked is not lower market wages earned by high-BMI women, but rather lower spousal transfers to married women or lower expected intra-marriage transfers to single women.
    Keywords: obesity, labor supply, marriage prospects, intra-household division of resources
    JEL: J22 I12 J12
    Date: 2017–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10775&r=ltv

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