nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2018‒04‒16
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Marriage, Labor Supply and the Dynamics of the Social Safety Net By Hamish Low; Costas Meghir; Luigi Pistaferri; Alessandra Voena
  2. Robot arithmetic: new technology and wages By Caselli, Francesco; Manning, Alan
  3. Demographics and Automation By Daron Acemoglu; Pascual Restrepo
  4. Early Gender Gaps among University Graduates By Francesconi, Marco; Parey, Matthias

  1. By: Hamish Low (University Cambridge); Costas Meghir (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Luigi Pistaferri (Stanford University, NBER, CEPR and SIEPR); Alessandra Voena (University of Chicago, NBER, CEPR and BREAD)
    Abstract: The 1996 PRWORA reform introduced time limits on the receipt of welfare in the United States. We use variation by state and across demographic groups to provide reduced form evidence showing that such limits led to a fall in welfare claims (partly due to \banking” benefits for future use), a rise in employment, and a decline in divorce rates. We then specify and estimate a life-cycle model of marriage, labor supply and divorce under limited commitment to better understand the mechanisms behind these behavioral responses, carry out counterfactual analysis with longer run impacts and evaluate the welfare effects of the program. Based on the model, which reproduces the reduced form estimates, we show that among low educated women, instead of relying on TANF, single mothers work more, more mothers remain married, some move to relying only on food stamps and, in ex-ante welfare terms, women are worse off.
    Keywords: Time limits, Welfare reform, Life-cycle, Marriage and divorce
    JEL: D91 H53 J12 J21
    Date: 2018–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:2121&r=ltv
  2. By: Caselli, Francesco; Manning, Alan
    Abstract: Existing economic models show how new technology can cause large changes in relative wages and inequality. But there are also claims, based largely on verbal expositions, that new technology can harm workers on average or even all workers. This paper shows – under plausible assumptions - that new technology is unlikely to cause wages for all workers to fall and will cause average wages to rise if the prices of investment goods fall relative to consumer goods (a condition supported by the data). We outline how results may change with different assumptions.
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2018–03–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ehl:lserod:87371&r=ltv
  3. By: Daron Acemoglu; Pascual Restrepo
    Abstract: We argue theoretically and document empirically that aging leads to greater (industrial) automation, and in particular, to more intensive use and development of robots. Using US data, we document that robots substitute for middle-aged workers (those between the ages of 36 and 55). We then show that demographic change—corresponding to an increasing ratio of older to middle-aged workers—is associated with greater adoption of robots and other automation technologies across countries and with more robotics-related activities across US commuting zones. We also provide evidence of more rapid development of automation technologies in countries undergoing greater demographic change. Our directed technological change model further predicts that the induced adoption of automation technology should be more pronounced in industries that rely more on middle-aged workers and those that present greater opportunities for automation. Both of these predictions receive support from country-industry variation in the adoption of robots. Our model also implies that the productivity implications of aging are ambiguous when technology responds to demographic change, but we should expect productivity to increase and labor share to decline relatively in industries that are most amenable to automation, and this is indeed the pattern we find in the data.
    JEL: J11 J23 J24 O33 O47 O57
    Date: 2018–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24421&r=ltv
  4. By: Francesconi, Marco (University of Essex); Parey, Matthias (University of Essex)
    Abstract: We use data from six cohorts of university graduates in Germany to assess the extent of gender gaps in college and labor market performance twelve to eighteen months after graduation. Men and women enter college in roughly equal numbers, but more women than men complete their degrees. Women enter college with slightly better high school grades, but women leave university with slightly lower marks. Immediately following university completion, male and female full-timers work very similar number of hours per week, but men earn more than women across the pay distribution, with an unadjusted gender gap in full-time monthly earnings of about 20 log points on average. Including a large set of controls reduces the gap to 5-10 log points. The single most important proximate factor that explains the gap is field of study at university.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, field of study, university graduates, Germany
    JEL: J16 J31 J71
    Date: 2018–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11361&r=ltv

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