nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2018‒10‒01
eight papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Inefficient Short-Time Work By Pierre Cahuc; Sandra Nevoux
  2. Why Do People Work So Hard? By Paul Scanlon
  3. The cultural origin of saving behavior By Costa-Font, Joan; Giuliano, Paola; Özcan, Berkay
  4. The Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from the Golden Age of Upward Mobility By David Card; Ciprian Domnisoru; Lowell Taylor
  5. Reevaluating Agricultural Productivity Gaps with Longitudinal Microdata By Hamory Hicks, Joan; Kleemans, Marieke; Li, Nicholas; Miguel, Edward
  6. Minimum Wages and Retirement By Borgschulte, Mark; Cho, Heepyung
  7. Measuring mobility By Cowell, Frank A.; Flachaire, Emmanuel
  8. Tobacco Control Policies and Smoking Behavior in Europe: More Than Trends? By Odermatt, Reto; Stutzer, Alois

  1. By: Pierre Cahuc; Sandra Nevoux
    Abstract: This paper shows that the reforms which expanded short-time work in France after the great 2008-2009 recession were largely to the benefit of large firms which are recurrent short-time work users. We argue that this expansion of short-time work is an inefficient way to provide insurance to workers, as it entails cross-subsidies which reduce aggregate production. An efficient policy should provide unemployment insurance benefits funded by experience rated employers’ contributions instead of short-time work benefits. We find that short-time work entails significant production losses compared to an unemployment insurance scheme with experience rating.
    Keywords: Short-time work, unemployment insurance, experience rating.
    JEL: J63 J65
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Paul Scanlon (Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: Labor hours tend to fall as an economy develops, but subsequently tend to stabilize. I present a model that explains long-run trends in labor supply by the interaction of two opposing forces: a rising real wage, which lowers labor supply, and increasing product variety, which raises it. Both forces arise from the same source---innovation---and on a balanced growth path their interaction can sustain stable labor hours. Calibrating the model over the period 1959-2000, for benchmark parameters it can explain on average 80 percent of the discrepancy between hours predicted by the standard CIES one-good model and the data.
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Costa-Font, Joan; Giuliano, Paola; Özcan, Berkay
    Abstract: Traditional economic interpretations have not been successful in explaining differences in saving rates across countries. One hypothesis is that savings respond to cultural specific social norms. The accepted view in economics so far is that culture does not have any effect on savings. We revisit this evidence using a novel dataset, which allows us to study the saving behavior of up to three generations of immigrants in the United Kingdom. Against the backdrop of existing evidence, we find that cultural preferences are an important explanation for cross-country differences in saving behavior, and their relevance persists up to three generations.
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2018–09–12
  4. By: David Card; Ciprian Domnisoru; Lowell Taylor
    Abstract: We use 1940 Census data to study the intergenerational transmission of human capital for children born in the 1920s and educated during an era of expanding but unequally distributed public school resources. Looking at the gains in educational attainment between parents and children, we document lower average mobility rates for blacks than whites, but wide variation across states and counties for both races. We show that schooling choices of white children were highly responsive to the quality of local schools, with bigger effects for the children of less-educated parents. We then narrow our focus to black families in the South, where state-wide minimum teacher salary laws created sharp differences in teacher wages between adjacent counties. These differences had large impacts on schooling attainment, suggesting an important causal role for school quality in mediating upward mobility
    JEL: I24
    Date: 2018–09
  5. By: Hamory Hicks, Joan; Kleemans, Marieke; Li, Nicholas; Miguel, Edward
    Keywords: International Development, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Consumer/Household Economics
    Date: 2017–06–26
  6. By: Borgschulte, Mark (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Cho, Heepyung (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
    Abstract: We study the effect of the minimum wage on the employment outcomes and Social Security claiming of older US workers from 1983 to 2016. The probability of work at or near the minimum wage increases substantially near retirement, and previous researchers and policies suggest that older workers may be particularly vulnerable to any disemployment effects of the minimum wage. We find no evidence that the minimum wage causes earlier retirements. Instead, our estimates suggest that higher minimum wages increase earnings and may have small positive effects on the labor supply of workers in the key ages of 62 to 70. Consistent with increased earnings and delayed retirement, higher minimum wages decrease the number of Social Security beneficiaries and amount of benefits disbursed. The minimum wage appears to increase financial resources for workers near retirement.
    Keywords: minimum wage, retirement, social security claiming
    JEL: H55 J26 J38 J42
    Date: 2018–08
  7. By: Cowell, Frank A.; Flachaire, Emmanuel
    Abstract: Our new approach to mobility measurement involves separating out the valuation of positions in terms of individual status (using income, social rank, or other criteria) from the issue of movement between positions. The quantification of movement is addressed using a general concept of distance between positions and a parsimonious set of axioms that characterize the distance concept and yield a class of aggregative indices. This class of indices induces a superclass of mobility measures over the different status concepts consistent with the same underlying data. We investigate the statistical inference of mobility indices using two well‐known status concepts, related to income mobility and rank mobility. We also show how our superclass provides a more consistent and intuitive approach to mobility, in contrast to other measures in the literature, and illustrate its performance using recent data from China.
    Keywords: income mobility; rank mobility; measurement; axiomatic approach
    JEL: D63
    Date: 2018–07–01
  8. By: Odermatt, Reto (University of Basel); Stutzer, Alois (University of Basel)
    Abstract: In many European countries, there is an unmissable trend towards stricter tobacco control policies and a parallel reduction in the prevalence of smoking. The extent to which policies promote this latter trend, however, is less clear. We therefore analyze the staggered introductions of smoking bans and the variation in cigarette taxes over more than twenty years. After taking into account unobserved country- and time-specic eects as well as country-specic trends, we nd no clear evidence that smoking bans are associated with lower levels of smoking. In contrast, higher cigarette prices tend to be negatively related to smoking, in particular for men and people under the age of 30. However, price elasticities are small. Overall, the results suggest that only about one sixth of the decline in the prevalence of smoking in Europe can be explained by our policy variables.
    Keywords: Smoking bans; cigarette taxes; smoking behavior; tobacco control policies
    JEL: D12 H31 I18 K32
    Date: 2018–09–12

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