nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2019‒02‒18
eight papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. The supply of skill and endogenous technical change: evidence from a college expansion reform By Pedro Carneiro; Kai Liu; Kjell G. Salvanes
  2. Inequality in socioemotional skills: a cross-cohort comparison By Orazio Attanasio; Richard Blundell; Gabriella Conti; Giacomo Mason
  3. The effects of status mobility and group identity on trust By Rémi Suchon; Marie Claire Villeval
  4. The Impact of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Households' Well-Being By Daniela Del Boca; Chiara Pronzato; Giuseppe Sorrenti
  5. Dual Labour Markets Revisited By Samuel Bentolila; Juan Jose Dolado; Juan F. Jimeno
  6. Actors in the Child Development Process By Daniela Del Boca; Christopher Flinn; Ewout Verriest; Matthew Wiswall
  7. Intergenerational Mobility in Africa By Alberto Alesina; Sebastian Hohmann; Stelios Michalopoulos; Elias Papaioannou
  8. The impact of child work on cognitive development: results from four Low to Middle Income countries By Michael P Keane; Sonya Krutikova; Timothy Neal

  1. By: Pedro Carneiro (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Kai Liu (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Kjell G. Salvanes (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: We examine the labor market consequences of an exogenous increase in the supply of skilled labor in several cities in Norway, resulting from the construction of new colleges in the 1970s. We fi nd that skilled wages increased as a response, suggesting that along with an increase in the supply there was also an increase in demand for skill. We also show that college openings led to an increase in the productivity of skilled labor and investments in R&D. Our findings are consistent with models of endogenous technical change where an abundance of skilled workers may encourage fi rms to adopt skill-complementary technologies, leading to an upward-sloping long-run demand for skill.
    Date: 2018–07–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ifs:cemmap:42/18&r=all
  2. By: Orazio Attanasio (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Richard Blundell (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Gabriella Conti (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Giacomo Mason (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    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 di?erences 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 studies, Measurement invariance
    JEL: J13 J24 I14 I24 C38
    Date: 2018–10–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:18/22&r=all
  3. By: Rémi Suchon (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE L-SE UMR 5824, F-69131 Ecully, France); Marie Claire Villeval (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE L-SE UMR 5824, F-69131 Ecully, France)
    Abstract: In a laboratory experiment we test the interaction effects of status and group identity on interpersonal trust. Natural group identity is generated by school affiliation. Status (expert or agent) is awarded based on relative performance in a math quiz that is ex ante less favorable to the subjects from one group. We find that "promoted" trustors (individuals from the disadvantaged group that nevertheless achieve the status of expert) trust less both in-group and out-group trustees, compared to the other members of their group. Rather than playing against the effects of natural group identity, status promotion singles-out individuals. In contrast, trustworthiness is not affected by status and there is no evidence that interacting with promoted individuals impacts trust or trustworthiness.
    Keywords: Trust, status, group identity, social mobility, experiment
    JEL: C92 D91 J62
    Date: 2019
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:gat:wpaper:1901&r=all
  4. By: Daniela Del Boca; Chiara Pronzato; Giuseppe Sorrenti
    Abstract: We evaluate the impact of a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program that we designed on family well-being among low-income families with young chil- dren. Although most CCTs have been implemented in low-income countries, our research is in the context of a high-income country, Italy, where the recent economic crises have worsened the conditions of families with children, especially among immigrants. Our objective is to evaluate the introduction of conditionality (attendance of courses) into a pre-existing unconditional cash transfer program. Using a randomized controlled trial, we find that CCT families search more ac- tively for work, and they work more hours and more regularity than the cash transfer and control groups. CCT families also are able to save more money and eat healthier foods. The CCT intervention appears to be more effective than cash transfer alone in changing households' behavior in several dimensions of well-being. Our findings add to the accumulating evidence on the impact of con- ditional cash transfers versus unconditional ones and to the literature concerning multidimensional incentive programs.
    Keywords: cash transfers, poverty, use of money, labor supply, parenting
    JEL: I10 I20 J24 I31
    Date: 2018
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cca:wpaper:559&r=all
  5. By: Samuel Bentolila; Juan Jose Dolado; Juan F. Jimeno
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview of recent research on dual labour markets. Theoretical and empirical contributions on the labour-market effects of dual employment protection legislation are revisited, as well as factors behind its resilience and policies geared towards correcting its negative consequences. The topics covered include the stepping-stone or dead-end nature of temporary contracts, their effects on employment, unemployment, churn, training, productivity growth, wages, and labour market inflows and outflows. The paper reviews both theoretical advances and relevant policy discussions, in particular in several countries that had very poor employment performance during the recent global economic and financial crisis.
    Keywords: dual labour markets, employment protection, temporary contracts, job creation, job destruction, churn
    JEL: J23 J32 J63
    Date: 2019
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7479&r=all
  6. By: Daniela Del Boca (University of Turin and Collegio Carlo Alberto); Christopher Flinn (New York University); Ewout Verriest (New York University); Matthew Wiswall (Arizona State University)
    Abstract: We construct and estimate a model of child development in which both the parents and children make investments in the child’s skill development. In each period of the development process, partially altruistic parents act as the Stackelberg leader and the child the follower when setting her own study time. We then extend this non-cooperative form of interaction by allowing parents to offer incentives to the child to increase her study time, at some monitoring cost. We show that this incentive scheme, a kind of internal conditional cash transfer, produces efficient outcomes and, in general, increases the child’s cognitive ability. In addition to heterogeneity in resources (wage offers and non-labor income), the model allows for heterogeneity in preferences both for parents and children, and in monitoring costs. Like their parents, children are forward-looking, but we allow children and parents to have different preferences and for children to have age-varying discount rates, becoming more “patient” as they age. Using detailed time diary information on the allocation of parent and child time linked to measures of child cognitive ability, we estimate several versions of the model. Using model estimates, we explore the impact of various government income transfer policies on child development. As in Del Boca et al. (2016), we find that the most effective set of policies are (external) conditional cash transfers, in which the household receives an income transfer given that the child’s cognitive ability exceeds a prespecified threshold. We find that the possibility of households using internal conditional cash transfers greatly increases the cost effectiveness of external conditional cash transfer policies.
    Keywords: Time Allocation, Child Development, household labor supply
    JEL: J13 D10
    Date: 2019–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hka:wpaper:2019-005&r=all
  7. By: Alberto Alesina; Sebastian Hohmann; Stelios Michalopoulos; Elias Papaioannou
    Abstract: We examine intergenerational mobility (IM) in educational attainment in Africa since independence, using census data from 26 countries. First, we map and characterize the geography of IM. There is substantial variation both across and within countries with differences in literacy of the old generation being the strongest correlate of IM. Inertia is stronger for rural, as compared to urban, households and present for both boys and girls. Second, we explore the correlates of mobility across more than 2,800 regions. Colonial investments in the transportation network and missionary activity are associated with upward mobility. IM is also higher in regions close to the coast and national capitals as well as in rugged areas without malaria. Upward mobility is higher and downward mobility is lower in regions that were more developed at independence, with higher urbanization and employment in services and manufacturing. Third, we identify the effects of regions on educational mobility by exploiting within-family variation from children whose families moved during primary school age. While sorting is sizable, there are considerable regional exposure effects.
    JEL: I24 J62 P16
    Date: 2019–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25534&r=all
  8. By: Michael P Keane (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Oxford); Sonya Krutikova (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Timothy Neal (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: We study the relationship between child work and cognitive development in four Low and Middle Income Countries. We address a key weakness in the literature by including children’s full time-use vector in the analysis, which leads to different findings from previous studies which do not distinguish between alternative counter-factual activities. We find child work is only detrimental if it crowds out school/study time rather than leisure. Furthermore, the marginal effects of substituting domestic chores or economic activities for school/study time are similar. Thus, policies to enhance child development should target a shift from all forms of work toward educational activities.
    Keywords: Child labour; Child development; Education; Time use; Item response theory; Value added models
    Date: 2018–11–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:18/29&r=all

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