nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2017‒11‒19
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Concentrating on the Fall of the Labor Share By David H. Autor; David Dorn; Lawrence F. Katz; Christina Patterson; John Van Reenen
  2. Welfare Analysis and Redistributive Policies By Bargain, Olivier
  3. Who Benefits from Fiscal Redistribution in the Russian Federation? By Luis F. Lopez-Calva; Nora Lustig; Mikhail Matytsin; Daria Popova
  4. Revisiting Gender Differences in Ultimatum Bargaining: Experimental Evidence from the US and China By Shuwen Li; Xiandong Qin; Daniel Houser

  1. By: David H. Autor; David Dorn; Lawrence F. Katz; Christina Patterson; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: The recent fall of labor’s share of GDP in numerous countries is well-documented, but its causes are poorly understood. We sketch a “superstar firm†model where industries are increasingly characterized by “winner take most†competition, leading a small number of highly profitable (and low labor share) firms to command growing market share. Building on Autor et al. (2017), we evaluate and confirm two core claims of the superstar firm hypothesis: the concentration of sales among firms within industries has risen across much of the private sector; and industries with larger increases in concentration exhibit a larger decline in labor’s share.
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Bargain, Olivier
    Abstract: Applied welfare analyses of redistributive systems nowadays benefit from powerful tax benefit microsimulation programs combined with administrative data. Arguably, most of the distributional studies of that kind focus on social welfare defined as a function – typically inequality or poverty indices – of household equivalized income. In parallel, economic research has made considerable progress in the measurement of welfare along several dimensions. Distinct but related branches of the literature have attempted (i) to model different behaviour (in a way that matter for incidence and redistribution of tax benefit policies), (ii) to go beyond income, (iii) to better define and estimate equivalence scales, (iv) to open the household black box and measure welfare at the individual level. I suggest a general framework to critically review these streams of literatures and to discuss whether recent advances in each of these fields have been or could be readily operationalized in welfare analyses and policy simulations.
    Date: 2017–10–30
  3. By: Luis F. Lopez-Calva (World Bank); Nora Lustig (Stone Center for Latin American Studies, Department of Economics, Tulane University, Commitment to Equity Institute (CEQI).); Mikhail Matytsin (World Bank); Daria Popova (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper shows that the system of taxes and transfers in Russia has a limited redistributive capacity vertically (among different income groups)—particularly when pensions are assumed to be deferred income—though it does achieve significant horizontal redistribution (among sociodemographic groups). The main results of the analysis, concern the Russian fiscal system’s limited redistributive effect,low effectiveness in poverty reduction, and relatively poor net financial impact on all demographic groups except pensioners. Firstly, benchmarking shows that the Russian system of direct taxes and transfers does not compare well with countries that achieve larger redistribution, in particular European Union countries. Secondly,net direct taxes (incorporated into disposable income) are always equalizing, but net indirect taxes (incorporated into consumable income) are unequalizing in both the benchmark and the sensitivity analysis scenarios. Thirdly, under the benchmark scenario, the net effect of the fiscal system is actually poverty increasing. Finally, it appears that all households of working-age people with and without children are net payers under the Russian fiscal system, while only pensioners’ households benefit from the fiscal redistribution in Russia under both scenarios. The main conclusion that emerges from this analysis is that there are both equity and efficiency reasons to review the tax and social spending structure. Such an exercise may require, however, a good understanding of the political economy of a potential reform.
    Keywords: fiscal policy, fiscal incidence, social spending, inequality, poverty, taxes, Russia
    JEL: H22 I38 D31
    Date: 2017–05
  4. By: Shuwen Li (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University); Xiandong Qin (Department of Applied Economics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University); Daniel Houser (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University)
    Abstract: We report results from a replication of Solnick (2001), which finds using an ultimatum game that, in relation to males, more is demanded from female proposers and less is offered to female responders. We conduct Solnick’s (2001) game using participants from a large US university and a large Chinese university. We find little evidence of gender differences across proposer and responder decisions in both locations. We do however find that, in comparison to Chinese participants, US proposers are more generous, while US responders are more demanding.
    Keywords: gender differences, cultural differences, laboratory experiment, ultimatum game, bargaining
    JEL: C78 C92 J16 Z10
    Date: 2017–10

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