nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2019‒01‒21
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Great Depression and the Rise of Female Employment: A New Hypothesis By Bellou, Andriana; Cardia, Emanuela
  2. The Econometrics and Economics of the Employment Effects of Minimum Wages: Getting from Known Unknowns to Known Knowns By David Neumark
  3. Revealing Stereotypes: Evidence from Immigrants in Schools By Alesina, Alberto; Carlana, Michela; La Ferrara, Eliana; Pinotti, Paolo
  4. Perspectives on Poverty in Europe By Jenkins, Stephen P.
  5. Female Earnings Inequality: The Changing Role of Family Characteristics on the Extensive and Intensive Margins By David Card; Dean R. Hyslop
  6. Violence during Early Childhood and Child Development By Berthelon, Matias; Contreras, Dante; Kruger, Diana; Palma, María Isidora

  1. By: Bellou, Andriana (University of Montreal); Cardia, Emanuela (University of Montreal)
    Abstract: The cohorts of women born at the turn of the 20th century increased markedly their participation in the labor market when older. These are the first cohorts who worked after their childbearing years. In this paper, we document a link between their work behavior and the Great Depression. We show that the 1929 Crash attracted young women 15 to 34 years old in 1930 (whom we name D-cohort) into the labor market, possibly via an added-worker effect. Using several years of Census micro data, we further document that the same cohort remained or re-entered the labor market in the 1940s and 1950s and that its entire life cycle labor supply is tightly linked to the conditions dating back to the Great Depression. We argue that these facts are consistent with the hypothesis of a labor supply shift for this cohort triggered by the 1929 Crash.
    Keywords: Great Depression, added worker effect, female labor supply
    JEL: J21 N32 J01
    Date: 2018–12
  2. 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, which 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, and 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: J38
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Alesina, Alberto (Harvard University); Carlana, Michela (Harvard Kennedy School); La Ferrara, Eliana (Bocconi University); Pinotti, Paolo (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: If individuals become aware of their stereotypes, do they change their behavior? We study this question in the context of teachers' bias in grading immigrants and native children in middle schools. Teachers give lower grades to immigrant students compared to natives who have the same performance on standardized, blindly-graded tests. We then relate differences in grading to teachers' stereotypes, elicited through an Implicit Association Test (IAT). We find that math teachers with stronger stereotypes give lower grades to immigrants compared to natives with the same performance. Literature teachers do not differentially grade immigrants based on their own stereotypes. Finally, we share teachers' own IAT score with them, randomizing the timing of disclosure around the date on which they assign term grades. All teachers informed of their stereotypes before term grading increase grades assigned to immigrants. Revealing stereotypes may be a powerful intervention to decrease discrimination, but it may also induce a reaction from individuals who were not acting in a biased way.
    Keywords: immigrants, teachers, implicit stereotypes, IAT, bias in grading
    JEL: I24 J15
    Date: 2018–11
  4. By: Jenkins, Stephen P. (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: I address four topics: how our capacities to monitor poverty in Europe have improved substantially over recent decades; how progress on EU poverty reduction has been disappointing and why this has been; conceptual and measurement issues; and the future direction of EU-level anti-poverty actions. I follow in the footsteps of a giant – my perspectives are essentially elaborations of points made by Tony Atkinson.
    Keywords: poverty, material deprivation, Europe, EU-SILC
    JEL: C81 D31 I32
    Date: 2018–12
  5. By: David Card; Dean R. Hyslop
    Abstract: Although women make up nearly half the U.S. workforce, most studies of earnings inequality focus on men. This is at least in part because of the complexity of modeling both the decision to work (i.e., the extensive margin) and the level of earnings conditional on work (the intensive margin). In this paper we document a series of descriptive facts about female earnings inequality using data for three cohorts in the PSID. We show that inequality in annual earnings of women fell sharply between the late 1960s and the mid-1990s, with a particularly large decline in the extensive margin component. We then fit earnings-generating models that incorporate both intensive- and extensive-margin dynamics to data for the three cohorts. Our models suggest that over 80% of the decline in female earnings inequality can be attributed to a weakening of the link between family-based factors (including the number of children of different ages and the presence and incomes of partners) and the intensive and extensive margins of earnings determination.
    JEL: J22
    Date: 2018–12
  6. By: Berthelon, Matias (Universidad Adolfo Ibañez); Contreras, Dante (University of Chile); Kruger, Diana (Universidad Adolfo Ibañez); Palma, María Isidora (Universidad de Chile)
    Abstract: We study the effects of violence towards children on early childhood development. We contribute to the literature providing estimates of the effects of violence (verbal and/or physical) that control for child-mother unobserved characteristics. We find that violence has negative effects on verbal skills (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test) and socio-emotional development (Child Behavior Check List). We also find that violence affects girls in their vocabulary development and increases behavioral problems of both boys and girls, with stronger effects among boys; that the negative effects diminish as children get older; and that they are more harmful among children with less educated mothers.
    Keywords: violence toward children, spanking, corporal punishment, child development, cognitive and socio-emotional outcomes, Chile
    JEL: O15 J12 J13 I31
    Date: 2018–11

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