nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2017‒06‒25
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. The Political Economy of Compensatory Redistribution: Unemployment, inequality and policy choice By Jonas Pontusson; David Weisstanner
  2. Is there poverty convergence? By Jesús Crespo Cuaresma; Stephan Klasen; Konstantin M. Wacker
  3. The gender wage gap in developed countries By Kunze, Astrid
  4. Sex-Differences in Language and Socio-emotional Skills in Early Childhood By Rosangela Bando; Florencia López Bóo; Xia Li
  5. How Restricted is the Job Mobility of Skilled Temporary Work Visa Holders? By Jennifer Hunt
  6. Gender, Age, and Competition: a Disappearing Gap? By Jeffrey Flory; Uri Gneezy; Kenneth Leonard; John List

  1. By: Jonas Pontusson (Université de Genève (UNIGE)); David Weisstanner (University of Bern)
    Abstract: This paper explores common trends in inequality and redistribution across OECD countries from the late 1980s to 2013. Low-end inequality rises during economic downturns while rising top-end inequality is associated with economic growth. Most countries retreated from redistribution from the mid-1990s until the onset of the Great Recession and compensatory redistribution in response to rising unemployment was weaker in 2008-13 than in the first half of the 1990s. As unemployment and poverty risk became increasingly concentrated among workers with low education, middle-income opinion has become more permissive of cuts in unemployment insurance generosity and income assistance to the poor. At constant generosity, the expansion of more precarious forms of employment reduces compensatory redistribution during downturns because temporary employees do not have the same access to unemployment benefits as permanent employees.
    Date: 2016–11
  2. By: Jesús Crespo Cuaresma (Vienna University of Economics and Business); Stephan Klasen (University of Göttingen); Konstantin M. Wacker (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany)
    Abstract: Martin Ravallion ("Why Don't We See Poverty Convergence?" American Economic Review, 102(1): 504-23; 2012) presents evidence against the existence of proportionate convergence in global poverty rates despite convergence in household mean income levels and the link between income growth and poverty reduction. We show that heterogeneity in this link affects the evidence of poverty convergence and that this result depends on the sample selected, especially on the inclusion of transition economies with poorly measured low poverty incidences. Motivating the poverty convergence equation with an arguably superior semi-elasticity specification, we find robust evidence of convergence in absolute poverty rates.
    Keywords: poverty convergence, income inequality, economic growth, poverty trap, transition economies
    JEL: I32 D31 P36
  3. By: Kunze, Astrid (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: Despite the increased attachment of women to the labour force in nearly all developed countries, a stubborn gender pay gap remains. This chapter provides a review of the economics literature on the gender wage gap, with an emphasis on developed countries. We begin with an overview of the trends in the gender differences in wages and employment rates. We then review methods used to decompose the gender wage gap and the results from such decompositions. We discuss how trends and differences in the gender wage gap across countries can be understood in light of non-random selection and human capital differences. We then review the evidence on demand-side factors used to explain the existing gender wage gap and then discuss occupational segregation. The chapter concludes with suggestions for further research.
    Keywords: Wages; gender wage gap; wage differentials; labor force participation; discrimination; human capital investment; non-random selection; developed countries
    JEL: J16 J24 J31 J71
    Date: 2017–06–12
  4. By: Rosangela Bando; Florencia López Bóo; Xia Li
    Abstract: This study explores sex differences in language and socio-emotional skills. It focuses on children 7 months old to 6 years old in Chile in 2012 and Nicaragua in 2013. A focus on young children allowed for ruling out a set of environmental and identity effects to explain the gap. Females had an advantage in both countries and both dimensions. Males in Chile scored at -0.13 standard deviations (SD) in language in the distribution of females. In addition, males scored at -0.20 SD in socio-emotional skills. The gaps in Nicaragua were not statistically different to those in Chile. Thus geographical and cultural variation across the two countries did not affect the gap. Within countries, variation in family characteristics, parenting practices and health investments did not explain the gap either. These findings shed light on the role of biological and environmental factors to explain sex gaps. The identification of the role of these factors is necessary to inform policy.
    Keywords: Early Childhood Development, Language Development, gender gap, Child development, Early Childhood Education, Socio-Emotional Skills, language development, socio-emotional skills
    JEL: Z13 O15 J16 J13 I25
    Date: 2016–07
  5. By: Jennifer Hunt
    Abstract: Using the National Survey of College Graduates, I investigate the degree to which holders of temporary work visas in the United States are mobile between employers. Holders of temporary work visas either have legal restrictions on their ability to change employers (particularly holders of intra-company transferee visas, L-1s) or may be reluctant to leave an employer who has sponsored them for permanent residence (particularly holders of specialty worker visas, H-1Bs). I find that the voluntary job changing rate is similar for temporary visa holders and natives with similar characteristics. For the minority of temporary workers who receive permanent residence, there is a considerable spike in voluntary moving upon receipt of permanent residence, suggesting mobility is reduced during the application period by about 20%. My analysis of reasons for moving suggests that applicants are prepared to pay a small but not large professional price for permanent access to the U.S. labor market.
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2017–06
  6. By: Jeffrey Flory; Uri Gneezy; Kenneth Leonard; John List
    Abstract: Research on competitiveness at the individual level has emphasized sex as a physiological determinant, focusing on the gap in preference for competitive environments between young men and women. This study presents evidence that women's preferences over competition change with age such that the gender gap, while large for young adults, disappears in older populations due to the fact that older women are much more competitive. Our finding that tastes for competition appear just as strong among older women as they are among men suggests a simple gender-based view of competitiveness is misleading; age seems just as important as sex. These findings are consistent with one of the most commonly cited views on the deeper origins of gender differences: that they stem at least in part from human evolution.
    Date: 2017

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