nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2018‒11‒05
eight papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. The Ins and Outs of Involuntary Part-Time Employment By Borowczyk-Martins, Daniel; Lalé, Etienne
  2. Testing By Bergbauer, Annika B.; Hanushek, Eric A.; Woessmann, Ludger
  3. Robots at work: a report on automatable and non-automatable employment shares in Europe By Lordan, Grace
  4. Making their own weather? Estimating employer labour-market power and its wage effects By Pedro S. Martins
  5. The New Lifecycle of Women's Employment: Disappearing Humps, Sagging Middle, Expanding Tops By Claudia Goldin; Joshua W. Mitchell
  6. Happiness at Different Ages: The Social Context Matters By John F. Helliwell; Max B. Norton; Haifang Huang; Shun Wang
  7. Assortative Matching or Exclusionary Hiring? The Impact of Firm Policies on Racial Wage Differences in Brazil By François Gerard; Lorenzo Lagos; Edson Severnini; David Card
  8. Early childhood education and economic growth By Delalibera, Bruno Ricardo; Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti

  1. By: Borowczyk-Martins, Daniel (Copenhagen Business School); Lalé, Etienne (University of Québec at Montréal)
    Abstract: We develop an adjustment procedure to construct U.S. monthly time series of involuntary part-time employment stocks and flows from 1976 until today. Armed with these new data, we provide a comprehensive account of the dynamics of involuntary part-time work. Transitions from full-time to involuntary part-time employment dominate this dynamics, spiking up at recessions' onsets and persisting well into recovery periods. On the other hand, weaknesses in job creation contribute little to these fluctuations. Our data and findings are relevant to inform a broader assessment of labor market performance and to develop models of cyclical labor adjustment.
    Keywords: involuntary part-time employment, unemployment, labor market flows, business cycles
    JEL: E24 E32 J21
    Date: 2018–09
  2. By: Bergbauer, Annika B. (ifo Institute); Hanushek, Eric A. (Stanford University); Woessmann, Ludger (ifo Institute and LMU Munich)
    Abstract: We investigate the achievement impact of alternative uses of student assessments. Our dataset covers over 2 million students in 59 countries observed over 6 waves in the international PISA test 2000-2015. Our empirical model exploits the country panel dimension to investigate assessment reforms over time, taking out country and year fixed effects. The expansion of standardized external comparisons, both school-based and student-based, is associated with improvements in student achievement. The effect of school-based comparison is stronger in low-performing countries. By contrast, solely internal testing without external comparison and internal teacher monitoring including inspectorates do not affect student achievement.
    Keywords: student assessment; testing; accountability; student achievement; international; pisa;
    JEL: I28 H52 L15 D82 P51
    Date: 2018–10–22
  3. By: Lordan, Grace
    Abstract: This work documents the shares of non-automatable and automatable jobs in 24 European countries over the last three decades. Knowledge of this distribution is important as it reveals the countries, and the demographics within these countries whose employment is the most vulnerable to disappearing because of automation, as well countries who have tended towards substituting labour with automation at a faster rate over the last two decades. The same distribution also reveals the jobs that are likely to stay with us in the future, to the extent that they are non-automatable. This information has an obvious place in any public policy debate. We consider two definitions of automatable work. The first captures jobs that were automatable in the last three decades. This is a great measure of automation retrospectively. The second captures the jobs that are recently automatable (so captures the most recent advances in technology and allows us to consider the shares of jobs that will be automatable over the next ten years). Our analysis gives an overview of differences in the shares of retrospectively and recently automatable jobs across the EC countries included in our analysis.
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2018–01–01
  4. By: Pedro S. Martins
    Abstract: The subdued wage growth observed over the last years in many countries has spurred renewed interest in monopsony views of the labour market. This paper is the first to measure the extent and robustness of employer labour-market power and its wage implications exploiting comprehensive matched employer-employee data. We find average (employment-weighted) Herfindhal indices of 800 to 1,100; and that less than 9% of workers are exposed to concentration levels thought to raise market power concerns. However, these figures can increase significantly with different methodological choices. Finally, when holding worker composition constant and instrumenting concentration, wages are found to be negatively affected by employer concentration, with elasticities of between -1.5% and -3%.
    Keywords: Oligopsony, Wages, Portugal
    JEL: J42 J31 J63
    Date: 2018–10
  5. By: Claudia Goldin; Joshua W. Mitchell
    Abstract: The new lifecycle of women's employment is initially high and flat, there is a dip in the middle and a phasing out that is more prolonged than for previous cohorts. The hump is gone, the middle is a bit sagging and the top has greatly expanded. We explore the increase in cumulative work experience for women from the 1930s to the 1970s birth cohorts using the SIPP and the HRS. We investigate the changing labor force impact of a birth event across cohorts and by education and also the impact of taking leave or quitting. We find greatly increased labor force experience across cohorts, far less time out after a birth and greater labor force recovery for those who take paid or unpaid leave. More work experience across the lifecycle is related to the increased employment of women in their older ages.
    Date: 2016–11
  6. By: John F. Helliwell; Max B. Norton; Haifang Huang; Shun Wang
    Abstract: This paper uses a variety of individual-level survey data from several countries to test for interactions between subjective well-being at different ages and variables measuring the nature and quality of the social context at work, at home, and in the community. While earlier studies have found important age patterns (often U-shaped) and social context effects, these two sets of variables have generally been treated as mutually independent. We test for and find several large and highly significant interactions. Results are presented for life evaluations and (in some surveys) for happiness yesterday, in models with and without other control variables. The U-shape in age is found to be significantly flatter, and well-being in the middle of the age range higher, for those who are in workplaces with partner-like superiors, for those living as couples, and for those who have lived for longer in their communities. A strong sense of community belonging is associated with greater life satisfaction at all ages, but especially so at ages 60 and above, in some samples deepening the U-shape in age by increasing the size of the life satisfaction gains following the mid-life low.
    JEL: I31 J12 J32 R13
    Date: 2018–10
  7. By: François Gerard; Lorenzo Lagos; Edson Severnini; David Card
    Abstract: A growing body of research shows that firms' employment and wage-setting policies contribute to wage inequality and pay disparities between groups. We measure the effects of these policies on racial pay differences in Brazil. We find that nonwhites are less likely to work at establishments that pay more to all race groups, a pattern that explains about 20% of the white-nonwhite wage gap for both genders. The pay premiums offered by different employers are also compressed for nonwhites relative to whites, contributing another 5% of the overall gap. We then ask how much of the under-representation of nonwhites at higher-paying workplaces is due to the selective skill mix at these establishments. Using a counterfactual based on the observed skill distribution at each establishment and the nonwhite shares in different skill groups in the local labor market, we conclude that assortative matching accounts for about two- thirds of the under-representation gap for both men and women. The remainder reflects an unexplained preference for white workers at higher-paying establishments. The wage losses associated with unexplained sorting and differential wage setting are largest for nonwhites with the highest levels of general skills, suggesting that the allocative costs of race-based preferences may be relatively large in Brazil.
    JEL: E24 J15 J31
    Date: 2018–10
  8. By: Delalibera, Bruno Ricardo; Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti
    Abstract: We study the effects of early childhood skill formation on productivity and schooling. We add early childhood human capital to a standard continuous time life cycle economy and assume complementarity between educational stages. Agents are homogenous and choose the intensity of preschool education, how long to stay in formal school, labor effort and consumption. The model is calibrated to the U.S. from 1961 to 2008 and matches the data very well We study the effects of early childhood skill formation on productivity and schooling. We add early childhood human capital to a standard continuous time life cycle economy and assume complementarity between educational stages. Agents are homogenous and choose the intensity of preschool education, how long to stay in formal school, labor effort and consumption. The model is calibrated to the U.S. from 1961 to 2008 and matches the data very well and closely reproduces the paths of schooling, hours worked, relative prices and GDP. We find that early childhood education can explain a large part of the observed increase of years of schooling in the U.S. since 1961, and it was as important as formal education for the increase of labor productivity in the period. Furthermore, we show that small reallocations of public expenditures from formal education to early childhood education would have sizable impacts on income per capita and productivity.
    Date: 2018–10–18

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