nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2017‒08‒27
eight papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Do Humans Suffer a Psychological Low in Midlife? Two Approaches (With and Without Controls) in Seven Data Sets By Blanchflower, David G.; Oswald, Andrew J.
  2. Attitudes towards intimate partner violence against women in Latin America By Bucheli, Marisa; Rossi, Máximo
  3. Crime and Violence: Desensitization in Victims to Watching Criminal Events By Rafael Di Tella; Lucia Freira; Ramiro H. Gálvez; Ernesto Schargrodsky; Diego Shalom; Mariano Sigman
  4. Antidepressants for Economists and Business-School Researchers: An Introduction and Review By Katolik, Aleksandra; Oswald, Andrew J.
  5. Divided We Stand: Immigration Attitudes, Identity, and Subjective Well-Being By Heinz Welsch; Jan Kuehling
  6. Racial/Ethnic Differences In Non-Work At Work By Daniel S. Hamermesh; Katie R. Genadek; Michael C. Burda;
  7. World changes in inequality: an overview of facts, causes, consequences and policies By François Bourguignon
  8. Inside Job or Deep Impact? Using Extramural Citations to Assess Economic Scholarship By Joshua Angrist; Pierre Azoulay; Glenn Ellison; Ryan Hill; Susan Feng Lu

  1. By: Blanchflower, David G. (Dartmouth College, Stirling, NBER and IZA); Oswald, Andrew J. (University of Warwick and IZA)
    Abstract: Using seven recent data sets, covering 51 countries and 1.3 million randomly sampled people, the paper examines the pattern of psychological well-being from approximately age 20 to age 90. Two conceptual approaches to this issue are possible. Despite what has been argued in the literature, neither is the ‘correct’ one, because they measure different things. One studies raw numbers on well-being and age. This is the descriptive approach. The second studies the patterns in regression equations for well-being (that is, adjusting for other influences). This is the ceteris-paribus analytical approach. The paper applies each to large cross-sections and compares the patterns of life-satisfaction and happiness. Using the first method, there is evidence of a midlife low in five of the seven data sets. Using the second method, all seven data sets produce evidence consistent with a midlife low. The scientific explanation for the approximate U-shape currently remains unknown.
    Keywords: Happiness; aging; well-being; GHQ; mental-health; depression; life-course JEL Classification: I3, I31
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Bucheli, Marisa; Rossi, Máximo
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the factors that explain attitudes towards intimate partner violence against women (IPVAW) in 23 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Analyses of IPVAW in LAC are relatively scarce although there is growing concern about this problem in the region. We aim to assess the effect of individual and country characteristics using data from common sources for all countries. This work contributes to the sparse literature dealing with methods that attempt to assess the effect of macro variables. We perform a two-step procedure. We first estimate a logit model at the individual level, we calculate a measure of relative approval of IPVAW at country level and we use this measure as a dependent variable to estimate the effect of macro variables. Our study finds that most LAC patterns at individual level are similar to the international ones: approval of IPVAW is higher among women, people in rural areas, people in a disadvantaged socio-economic situation and individuals with some particular cultural characteristics. Unlikely international evidence, attitudes do not differ between ages. Our findings at country level show that approval of IPVAW increases with poverty, fertility rate and equal gender outcomes. It decreases with internet access and, with a lesser degree of robustness, with the time elapsed since the enactment of women’s suffrage. The most novel contribution of our work is the study of the variables at country level.
    Keywords: intimate partner violence,attitudes,Latin America,gender roles,violence
    JEL: J12 J19 D03 D19
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Rafael Di Tella; Lucia Freira; Ramiro H. Gálvez; Ernesto Schargrodsky; Diego Shalom; Mariano Sigman
    Abstract: We study desensitization to crime in a lab experiment by showing footage of criminal acts to a group of subjects, some of whom have been previously victimized. We measure biological markers of stress and behavioral indices of cognitive control before and after treated participants watch a series of real, crime-related videos (while the control group watches non-crime-related videos). Not previously victimized participants exposed to the treatment video show significant changes in cortisol level, heart rate, and measures of cognitive control. Instead, previously victimized individuals who are exposed to the treatment video show biological markers and cognitive performance comparable to those measured in individuals exposed to the control video. These results suggest a phenomenon of desensitization or habituation of victims to crime exposure.
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2017–08
  4. By: Katolik, Aleksandra (University of Warwick); Oswald, Andrew J. (University of Warwick and IZA)
    Abstract: The antidepressant pill is an important modern commodity. Its growing role in the world has been largely ignored by researchers in economics departments and business schools. Scholars may be unaware how many citizens and employees now take these pills. Here we review some of the social-science literature on the topic. We discuss research on the impact of advertising upon antidepressant consumption, the link between antidepressants and the human ‘midlife crisis’, and evidence on how antidepressants are connected to crime, suicide, and financial hardship. We argue that antidepressants will eventually have to be modelled as a new form of consumption that lies in the currently grey area between medicines and consumer goods. This topic demands scholarly and societal attention.
    Keywords: Well-being; depression; medications; happiness. JEL Classification: I1; I120; I3; I310
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Heinz Welsch (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics); Jan Kuehling (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics A)
    Abstract: : Immigration is a crucial issue in contemporary politics, and attitudes towards immigration are highly dispersed in many countries. We treat individuals’ immigration friendliness (IF) as a feature of their self-image or identity and hypothesize that, similar to other pro-social self-images, greater immigration friendliness is associated with greater subjective well-being (SWB). We further hypothesize that greater disparity of immigration attitudes yields social antagonism and as such is associated with less SWB. Finally, we hypothesize that greater disparity of immigration attitudes permits immigration-friendly individuals to differentiate themselves from others, thus raising the SWB benefit of holding an immigration-friendly self- image. Using 225,356 observations from 35 European countries, 2002-2015, we find evidence consistent with the hypotheses stated above. A 1-standard-deviation (SD) increase in IF is associated with an increase in 11-point life satisfaction (LS) by 0.15 to 0.32 points, whereas a 1-SD increase in attitude disparity is associated with a decrease in LS by 0.05 to 0.11 points.
    Keywords: immigration; attitudes; identity; antagonism; social conflict; subjective well-being
    Date: 2017–08
  6. By: Daniel S. Hamermesh; Katie R. Genadek; Michael C. Burda;
    Abstract: See content.
    Keywords: time use, work effort, racial differences, discrimination
    JEL: J15 J22 J31
    Date: 2017–08
  7. By: François Bourguignon
    Abstract: This paper reviews various issues linked to the rise of inequality observed particularly in developed countries over the last quarter century. Various data on the time profile of inequality are examined, which do not always fit the common view that inequality is everywhere trending upwards. Overall, changes in inequality appear to be very country-specific. The same conclusion obtains when examining the causes of these changes. There is little doubt that common forces affected the distribution of income in most countries, but idiosyncratic factors have amplified their effects in some cases and offset them in others. Country-specificity also holds with regard to policies aimed at correcting inequality, even though globalisation imposes constraints on some key redistribution tools such as taxation and the regulation of financial markets. International coordination and, in particular, more transparency in cross-border financial operations are needed if governments are to recover some autonomy in these matters.
    Keywords: inequality, labour share, redistribution, globalisation, taxation
    JEL: D31 D33 H24
    Date: 2017–08
  8. By: Joshua Angrist; Pierre Azoulay; Glenn Ellison; Ryan Hill; Susan Feng Lu
    Abstract: Does academic economic research produce material of scientific value, or are academic economists writing only for clients and peers? Is economics scholarship uniquely insular? We address these questions by quantifying interactions between economics and other disciplines. Changes in the impact of economic scholarship are measured here by the way other disciplines cite us. We document a clear rise in the extramural influence of economic research, while also showing that economics is increasingly likely to reference other social sciences. A breakdown of extramural citations by economics fields shows broad field impact. Differentiating between theoretical and empirical papers classified using machine learning, we see that much of the rise in economics’ extramural influence reflects growth in citations to empirical work. This parallels a growing share of empirical cites within economics. At the same time, the disciplines of computer science and operations research are mostly influenced by economic theory.
    JEL: A11 A12 A13 A14 B41 C18
    Date: 2017–08

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