nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2018‒09‒24
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Multi-dimensional poverty among adults in Central America and gender differences in the three I’s of poverty: Applying inequality sensitive poverty measures with ordinal variables By Espinoza-Delgado, José; Silber, Jacques
  2. Positional goods and legal orderings By Ugo Pagano; Massimiliano Vatiero
  3. Social Cohesion and Labor Mobility By Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  4. Assessing individual income growth By Jenkins, Stephen P.; van Kerm, Philippe
  5. College Tuition and Income Inequality By Cai, Zhifeng; Heathcote, Jonathan
  6. Early Stimulation and Nutrition: The Impacts of a Scalable Intervention By Orazio P. Attanasio; Helen Baker-Henningham; Raquel Bernal; Costas Meghir; Diana Pineda; Marta Rubio-Codina

  1. By: Espinoza-Delgado, José; Silber, Jacques
    Abstract: The Alkire and Foster (2011) methodology, as the mainstream approach to the measurement of multi-dimensional poverty in the developing world, is insensitive to inequality among the multi-dimensionally poor individuals and does not consider simultaneously the concepts of efficiency and distributive justice. Moreover, the vast majority of empirical indices of multi-dimensional poverty in the literature overlook intra-household inequalities, an issue that is crucial to a better understanding of gender inequalities, because they equate the poverty status of the household with the poverty status of all individuals in the household. Consequently, using the general framework proposed by Silber and Yalonetzky (2013) and Rippin’s ideas on multi-dimensional poverty measurement (2013, 2017), we propose in this paper to depart somehow from the mainstream approach and take an individual-based and inequality sensitive view of multi-dimensional poverty when only ordinal (dichotomized) variables are available. We use such an approach to estimate multi-dimensional poverty among individuals aged 18 and 59 years living in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, shedding thus some light on gender differences in poverty and inequality in those countries. Overall, we find that individuals living in Guatemala have the highest probability of being multi-dimensionally poor, followed by the ones from Nicaragua; people living in Costa Rica, by contrast, have by far the lowest probability of being poor. In the middle appears Honduras and El Salvador, Hondurans having a larger probability of being multi-dimensionally poor than the Salvadorians. Regarding the gender gaps, the overall estimates suggest that the incidence and the intensity of multi-dimensional poverty in Central America are higher among females; inequality, however, is somewhat higher among males.
    Keywords: multi-dimensional poverty measurement, inequality, gender inequality, Latin America, Central America
    JEL: D1 D13 D6 D63 I3 I32 O5 O54
    Date: 2018–08–31
  2. By: Ugo Pagano (Department of Economics, University of Siena, Italy); Massimiliano Vatiero (Law Institute (IDUSI) and Institute of Economics (IdEP), Faculty of Economics, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland)
    Abstract: People consume because others consume, maintained Veblen in 1899. More recently, theoretical, empirical and experimental articles have argued that people constantly compare themselves to their environments and care greatly about their relative positions. Given that competition for positions may produce social costs, we adopt a Law and Economics approach (i) to suggest legal remedies for positional competition, and (ii) to argue that, because legal relations are characterized in turn by positional characteristics, such legal remedies do not represent free lunches.
    Keywords: Positional good, Conspicuous consumption, Legal ordering, Legal relations
    JEL: B41 D01 D62 K00
    Date: 2018–08
  3. By: Zimmermann, Klaus F.
    Abstract: Social cohesion and labor mobility both have the same objective and do not need to be in conflict. They are about cooperating among individuals and societies in order to survive and prosper. Social cohesion can benefit from labour mobility: Labour mobility is economically beneficial for migrants and natives. Attitudes towards migrants are more friendly if they come and work. Migrants are more accepted if they are many. The wellbeing of natives is higher with more migrants present.
    Keywords: labor mobility,social cohesion,wellbeing,attitudes towards migrants,equality
    JEL: F22 J61 M14
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Jenkins, Stephen P.; van Kerm, Philippe
    Abstract: We develop methods for describing distributions of income growth across individuals and for comparing changes in growth distributions over time. The methods include graphical devices (‘income growth profiles’) and dominance conditions, and also summary indices, together with associated methods of estimation and inference. Taking an explicitly longitudinal perspective, our approach illuminates clearly who are the gainers and the losers, and also provides distributionally-sensitive assessments – ones that allow the income growth for different individuals to be weighted differently. Our empirical application shows that the pattern of income growth in Britain over the period 1992–1996 was less pro-poor than that for 1998–2002 and not significantly different from the pattern for 2001–2005.
    Keywords: individual income growth; pro-poor growth; progressive income growth; income mobility; income growth profile
    JEL: D31 D63 I32
    Date: 2016–10–01
  5. By: Cai, Zhifeng; Heathcote, Jonathan
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the role of rising income inequality in explaining observed growth in college tuition. We develop a competitive model of the college market in which college quality depends on instructional expenditure and the average ability of admitted students. An innovative feature of our model is that it allows for a continuous distribution of college quality. We find that observed increases in US income inequality can explain more than the entire observed rise in average net tuition since 1990 and that rising income inequality has also depressed college attendance.
    Keywords: Club goods; College tuition; Income inequality
    JEL: I22 I23 I24
    Date: 2018–08
  6. By: Orazio P. Attanasio (University College in London); Helen Baker-Henningham (Bangor University); Raquel Bernal (Universidad de los Andes); Costas Meghir (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Diana Pineda (Fundación Éxito); Marta Rubio-Codina (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the effects of the implementation of a structured early stimulation curriculum combined with a nutritional intervention through public large-scale parenting support services for vulnerable families in rural Colombia, known as FAMI, using a clustered randomized controlled trial. We randomly assigned 87 towns in rural areas to treatment and control and 1,460 children younger than 1 year of age were assessed at baseline. The interventions were also complemented with training, supervision and coaching of FAMI program facilitators. We assessed program effects on children’s nutritional status, and on cognitive and socio-emotional development; as well as on parental practices. The interventions had a positive and significant effect on a cognitive development factor based on the Bayley-III of 0.15 standard deviations. We also report a reduction of 5.8 percentage points in the fraction of children whose height-for-age is below -1 standard deviation. We do not find any effects on socio-emotional development. We report positive and statistically significant effects on the quality of the home environment (0.34 SD).
    Keywords: Early childhood development, Parenting, Early stimulation, Program scale-up
    JEL: J13 I10 I20 H43
    Date: 2018–08

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