nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2019‒02‒04
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. The ‘healthy worker effect’: do healthy people climb the occupational ladder? By Costa-Font, Joan; Ljunge, Martin
  2. Relationship of Gender Differences in Preferences to Economic Development and Gender Equality By Falk, Armin; Hermle, Johannes
  3. A Comparative Analysis of the Labour Market Performance of University-Educated Immigrants in Australia, Canada, and the United States By Ana Ferrer; Mikal Skuterud; Andrew Clarke
  4. The Impact of a Wartime Health Shock on the Postwar Socioeconomic Status and Mortality of Union Army Veterans and their Children By Dora Costa; Noelle Yetter; Heather DeSomer
  5. Measuring Opportunity in U.S. Higher Education By Caroline M. Hoxby; Sarah Turner
  6. Wage Insurance, Part-Time Unemployment Insurance and Short-Time Work in the XXI Century By Cahuc, Pierre

  1. By: Costa-Font, Joan; Ljunge, Martin
    Abstract: The association between occupational status and health has been taken to reveal the presence of health inequalities shaped by occupational status. However, that interpretation assumes no influence of health status in explaining occupational standing. This paper documents evidence of non-negligible returns to occupation status on health (which we refer as ‘healthy worker effect’). We use a unique empirical strategy that addressed reverse causality, namely an instrumental variable strategy using the variation in average health in the migrant’s country of origin, a health measure plausibly not determined by the migrant’s occupational status. Our findings suggest that health status exerts significant effects on occupational status in several dimensions; having a supervising role, worker autonomy, and worker influence. The effect size of health is larger than that of an upper secondary education.
    Keywords: occupational status; self-reported health; immigrants; work autonomy; supervising role
    JEL: I18 J5
    Date: 2018–02–01
  2. By: Falk, Armin (briq, University of Bonn); Hermle, Johannes (University of California, Berkeley)
    Abstract: Preferences - concerning time, risk and social interactions - systematically shape human behavior, and contribute to differential economic and social outcomes between the genders. Here, we present a global investigation of gender differences in six fundamental preferences. Our data consist of 80,000 individuals in 76 representative country samples with measures on willingness to take risks, patience, altruism, positive and negative reciprocity as well as trust. Gender differences in preferences were positively related to economic development and gender equality. This suggests that greater availability of and equal access to material and social resources for both genders favor the manifestation of gender-differentiated preferences across countries.
    Keywords: preferences, cross-country variation, gender
    JEL: C91 D91 D63 D64
    Date: 2018–12
  3. By: Ana Ferrer (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo); Mikal Skuterud (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo); Andrew Clarke (Department of Economics, University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: We examine data from Australia, Canada, and the U.S. to inform the potential for immigrant screening policies to influence the labour market performance of skilled immigrants. Our estimates point to improvements in employment rates and weekly earnings of male university‐educated immigrants in all three countries concomitant with policy reforms. Nonetheless, the gains are modest in comparison to a substantial and persistent performance advantage of U.S. skilled immigrants. Given that there is increasingly little to distinguish the skilled immigration policies of these countries, we interpret the U.S. advantage as primarily reflecting the relative positive selectivity of U.S. immigrants
    JEL: J24 J15 J08
    Date: 2018–01–02
  4. By: Dora Costa; Noelle Yetter; Heather DeSomer
    Abstract: We investigate when and how health shocks reverberate across the life cycle and down to descendants by examining the impact of war wounds on the socioeconomic status and older age mortality of US Civil War (1861-5) veterans and of their adult children. Younger veterans who had been wounded in the war left the farm sector, becoming laborers. Consistent with human capital and job matching models, older wounded men were unlikely to switch sectors and experienced wealth declines. Fathers' severe wartime wounds affected daughters', but not sons', socioeconomic status. Daughters were shorter-lived if their fathers were older at the end of the war and had been severely wounded compared to daughters of fathers not severely wounded or younger when severely wounded. We suspect that early life conditions disproportionately affected daughters. Our findings illuminate the long reach of disability in a manual labor economy.
    JEL: I12 J24 N12
    Date: 2019–01
  5. By: Caroline M. Hoxby; Sarah Turner
    Abstract: In identifying whether universities provide opportunities for low-income students, there is a measurement challenge: different institutions face students with different incomes and preparation. We show how a hypothetical university's “relevant pool”–the students from whom it could plausibly draw–affects popular measures: the Pell share, Bottom Quintile share, and Intergenerational Mobility. Using a proof by contradiction, we demonstrate that universities ranked highly on the popular measures can actually serve disproportionately few low-income students. We also show the reverse: universities slated for penalties on the popular measures can actually serve disproportionately many low-income students. Furthermore, the Intergenerational Mobility measure penalizes universities that face relatively equal income distributions, which are probably good for low-income students, and rewards universities that face very unequal income distributions. In short, by confounding differences in university effort with differences in circumstances, the popular measures could distort university decision making and produce unintended consequences. We demonstrate that, with well-thought-out data analysis, it is possible to create benchmarks that actually measure what they are intended to measure. In particular, we present a measure that overcomes the deficiencies of the popular measures and is informative about all, not just low-income, students.
    JEL: H0 H75 I20 I22 I23 I24 I32
    Date: 2019–01
  6. By: Cahuc, Pierre (Sciences Po, Paris)
    Abstract: At the start of the XXI century, characterized by the rise of new forms of employment and of skills requirements, many countries need to adapt their labor market institutions to accompany technological changes and globalization. In this context, unemployment insurance is an essential tool to foster and smooth career paths. Its core components comprise unemployment benefits paid to full-time unemployed workers, monitoring, and counseling. But it is clear that they are not sufficient to cover all risks properly. To deal with this issue, part-time unemployment insurance, short-time work and wage insurance have been tried, at different scales, in several countries over the last decades. This paper surveys the evaluations of these schemes and draws lessons from their results for future research and for labor market institutions.
    Keywords: part-time unemployment insurance, wage insurance, short-time work
    JEL: H5 J6
    Date: 2018–12

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