nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2018‒10‒22
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Inequality in socioemotional skills: a cross-cohort comparison By Orazio Attanasio; Richard Blundell; Gabriella Conti; Giacomo Mason
  2. Validating the collective model of household consumption using direct evidence on sharing By Olivier Bargain; Guy Lacroix; Luca Tiberti
  3. Early Stimulation and Nutrition: The Impacts of a Scalable Intervention By Orazio Attanasio; Helen Baker-Henningham; Raquel Bernal; Costas Meghir; Diana Pineda; Marta Rubio-Codina
  4. The Econometrics and Economics of the Employment Effects of Minimum Wages: Getting from Known Unknowns to Known Knowns By David Neumark

  1. By: Orazio Attanasio (University College London); Richard Blundell (University College London); Gabriella Conti (University College London); Giacomo Mason (University College London)
    Abstract: We examine changes in inequality in socio-emotional skills very early in life in two British cohorts born 30 years apart. We construct socio-emotional scales comparable across cohorts for both boys and girls, using two validated instruments for the measurement of child behaviour. We identify two dimensions of socio-emotional skills for each cohort: ‘internalising’ and ‘externalising’, related to the ability of children to focus their concentration and to engage in interpersonal activities, respectively. Using recent methodological advances in factor analysis, we establish comparability in the inequality of these early skills across cohorts, but not in their average level. We document for the first time that inequality in these early skills has increased across cohorts, especially for boys and at the bottom of the distribution. We also document changes in conditional skills gaps across cohorts. We find an increase in the socio- emotional skills gap in the younger cohort for children born to mothers with higher socio-economic status (education and employment), and to mothers who smoked during pregnancy. The increase in inequality in early socio-emotional skills is particularly pronounced for boys. On the other hand, we find a decline in the skills gradient for children without a father figure in the household. Lastly, we document that socio-emotional skills measured at a much earlier age than in most of the existing literature are significant predictors of outcomes both in adolescence and adulthood, in particular health and health behaviours. Our results show the importance of formally testing comparability of measurements to study skills differences across groups, and in general point to the role of inequalities in the early years for the accumulation of health and human capital across the life course.
    Keywords: Inequality, socio-emotional skills, cohort study, measurement invariance
    JEL: J13 J24 I14 I24
    Date: 2018–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hka:wpaper:2018-071&r=ltv
  2. By: Olivier Bargain; Guy Lacroix; Luca Tiberti
    Abstract: Recent advances in the collective model literature suggest ways to estimate the complete allocation of resources within households, using assignable goods and assuming adult preference similarity across demographic groups (or across spouses). While it makes welfare analysis at the individual level possible, the predictive power of the model is unknown. We propose the Örst validation of this approach, exploiting a unique dataset from Bangladesh in which the detailed expenditure on private goods by each family member is collected. Individualized expenditure allows us to test the identifying assumptions and to derive ëobservedíresource sharing within families, which can be compared to the resource allocation predicted by the model. Sharing between parents and children is well predicted on average while the model detects key aspects like the extent of pro-boy discrimination. Results overall depend on the identifying good: clothing provides the best Öt compared to other goods as it best validates the preference-similarity assumption. The model leads to accurate measures of child and adult poverty, indicating the size and direction of the mistakes made when using the traditional approach based on per adult equivalent expenditure (i.e. ignoring within-household inequality). This assessment of existing approaches to measure individual inequality and poverty is crucial for both acad- emic and policy circles and militates in favor of a systematic use of collective models for welfare analyses.
    Keywords: Collective Model, Engel Curves, Rothbarth Method, Sharing rule.
    JEL: D11 D12 I31 J12
    Date: 2018
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:lvl:pmmacr:2018-06&r=ltv
  3. By: Orazio Attanasio (University College London); Helen Baker-Henningham (Tropical Medicine Research Institute, University of the West Indies); Raquel Bernal (Universidad de los Andes); Costas Meghir (Yale University); Diana Pineda (Fundacio´n E´xito); Marta Rubio-Codina (EDePo@IFS)
    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: 2018–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hka:wpaper:2018-073&r=ltv
  4. By: David Neumark
    Abstract: I discuss the econometrics and the economics of past research on the effects of minimum wages on employment in the United States. My intent is to try to identify key questions raised in the recent literature, and some from the earlier literature, that I think hold the most promise for understanding the conflicting evidence and arriving at a more definitive answer about the employment effects of minimum wages. My secondary goal is to discuss how we can narrow the range of uncertainty about the likely effects of the large minimum wage increases becoming more prevalent in the United States. I discuss some insights from both theory and past evidence that may be informative about the effects of high minimum wages, although one might argue that we first need to do more to settle the question of the effects of past, smaller increases on which we have more evidence (hence my first goal). But I also try to emphasize what research can be done now and in the near future to provide useful evidence to policymakers on the results of the coming high minimum wage experiment, whether in the United States or in other countries.
    JEL: J23 J38
    Date: 2018–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25043&r=ltv

This nep-ltv issue is ©2018 by Maximo Rossi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at http://nep.repec.org. For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <director@nep.repec.org>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.