nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2019‒03‒04
eight papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. The Effectiveness of Hiring Credits By Pierre Cahuc; Stéphane Carcillo; Thomas Le Barbanchon
  2. Have Econometric Analyses of Happiness Data Been Futile? A Simple Truth about Happiness Scales By Chen, Le-Yu; Oparina, Ekaterina; Powdthavee, Nattavudh; Srisuma, Sorawoot
  3. Toward an Understanding of the Development of Time Preferences: Evidence from Field Experiments By James Andreoni; Michael A. Kuhn; John A. List; Anya Samek; Kevin Sokal; Charles Sprenger
  4. Work of the Past, Work of the Future By David Autor
  5. The Declining Labor Market Prospects of Less-Educated Men By Ariel J. Binder; John Bound
  6. Public Employment Decline in Developing Countries in the 21st Century: The Role of Globalization By Gözgör, Giray; Bilgin, Mehmet Huseyin; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  7. Children, Unhappiness and Family Finances: Evidence from One Million Europeans By David G. Blanchflower; Andrew E. Clark
  8. Born in the Family: Preferences for Boys and the Gender Gap in Math By Dossi, Gaia; Figlio, David N.; Giuliano, Paola; Sapienza, Paola

  1. By: Pierre Cahuc (École polytechnique (X)); Stéphane Carcillo (Département d'économie); Thomas Le Barbanchon (Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique (GENES))
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effectiveness of hiring credits. Using comprehensive administrative data, we show that the French hiring credit, implemented during the Great Recession, had significant positive employment effects and no effects on wages. Relying on the quasi-experimental variation in labor cost triggered by the hiring credit, we estimate a structural search and matching model. Simulations of counterfactual policies show that the effectiveness of the hiring credit relied to a large extent on three features: it was nonanticipated, temporary and targeted at jobs with rigid wages. We estimate that the cost per job created by permanent hiring credits, either countercyclical or time-invariant, in an environment with flexible wages would have been much higher.
    Keywords: Hiring credit; Labor demand; Search and matching model
    JEL: C31 C93 J6
    Date: 2017–12
  2. By: Chen, Le-Yu (Academia Sinica); Oparina, Ekaterina (University of Surrey); Powdthavee, Nattavudh (University of Warwick); Srisuma, Sorawoot (University of Surrey)
    Abstract: Econometric analyses in the happiness literature typically use subjective well-being (SWB) data to compare the mean of observed or latent happiness across samples. Recent critiques show that com-paring the mean of ordinal data is only valid under strong assumptions that are usually rejected by SWB data. This leads to an open question whether much of the empirical studies in the economics of happiness literature have been futile. In order to salvage some of the prior results and avoid future issues, we suggest regression analysis of SWB (and other ordinal data) should focus on the median ra-ther than the mean. Median comparisons using parametric models such as the ordered probit and logit can be readily carried out using familiar statistical softwares like STATA. We also show a previously as-sumed impractical task of estimating a semiparametric median ordered-response model is also possi-ble by using a novel constrained mixed integer optimization technique. We use GSS data to show the famous Easterlin Paradox from the happiness literature holds for the US independent of any paramet-ric assumption.
    Keywords: ordered-response model, mixed-integer optimization, median regression, subjective well-being
    JEL: C24 C61 I31
    Date: 2019–02
  3. By: James Andreoni; Michael A. Kuhn; John A. List; Anya Samek; Kevin Sokal; Charles Sprenger
    Abstract: Time preferences have been correlated with a range of life outcomes, yet little is known about their early development. We conduct a field experiment to elicit time preferences of over 1,200 children ages 3-12, who make several intertemporal decisions. To shed light on how such primitives form, we explore various channels that might affect time preferences, from background characteristics to the causal impact of an early schooling program that we developed and operated. Our results suggest that time preferences evolve substantially during this period, with younger children displaying more impatience than older children. We also find a strong association with race: black children, relative to white or Hispanic children, are more impatient. Finally, assignment to different schooling opportunities is not significantly associated with child time preferences.
    JEL: C9 C93 D03
    Date: 2019–02
  4. By: David Autor
    Abstract: Labor markets in U.S. cities today are vastly more educated and skill-intensive than they were five decades ago. Yet, urban non-college workers perform substantially less skilled work than decades earlier. This deskilling reflects the joint effects of automation and international trade, which have eliminated the bulk of non-college production, administrative support, and clerical jobs, yielding a disproportionate polarization of urban labor markets. The unwinding of the urban non-college occupational skill gradient has, I argue, abetted a secular fall in real non-college wages by: (1) shunting non-college workers out of specialized middle-skill occupations into low-wage occupations that require only generic skills; (2) diminishing the set of non-college workers that hold middle-skill jobs in high-wage cities; and (3) attenuating, to a startling degree, the steep urban wage premium for non-college workers that prevailed in earlier decades. Changes in the nature of work—many of which are technological in origin—have been more disruptive and less beneficial for non-college than college workers.
    JEL: J23 J24 J31 J6 O33 R12
    Date: 2019–02
  5. By: Ariel J. Binder; John Bound
    Abstract: Over the last half century, U.S. wage growth stagnated, wage inequality rose, and the labor-force participation rate of prime-age men steadily declined. In this article, we examine these labor market trends, focusing on outcomes for males without a college education. Though wages and participation have fallen in tandem for this population, we argue that the canonical neo-classical framework, which postulates a labor demand curve shifting inward across a stable labor supply curve, does not reasonably explain the data. Alternatives we discuss include adjustment frictions associated with labor demand shocks and effects of the changing marriage market—that is, the fact that fewer less-educated men are forming their own stable families—on male labor supply incentives. Our observations lead us to be skeptical of attempts to attribute the secular decline in male labor-force participation to a series of separately-acting causal factors. We argue that the correct interpretation probably involves complicated feedback between falling labor demand and other factors which have disproportionately affected men without a college education.
    JEL: E24 J12 J21 J22 J23 J31
    Date: 2019–02
  6. By: Gözgör, Giray; Bilgin, Mehmet Huseyin; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
    Abstract: The impact of globalization on developing countries has been debated: While the "compensation hypothesis" suggests that globalization increases the need for public employees, the "efficiency hypothesis" states that the size of government should be smaller while competing with the world. We are the first to re-visit the debate for 2000-2016 using panel data for 92 developing countries and new innovative bureaucracy and globalization indicators to find robust evidence for the "efficiency hypothesis”.
    Keywords: public employment,economic globalization,developing countries,efficiency hypothesis,compensation hypothesis,panel data estimations
    JEL: J45 C33
    Date: 2019
  7. By: David G. Blanchflower; Andrew E. Clark
    Abstract: The common finding of a zero or negative correlation between the presence of children and parental well-being continues to generate research interest. We here consider over one million observations on Europeans from ten years of Eurobarometer surveys, and in the first instance replicate this negative finding, both in the overall data and then for most different marital statuses. Children are expensive, and controlling for financial difficulties turns almost all of our estimated child coefficients positive. We argue that financial difficulties explain the pattern of existing results by parental education and income, and country income and social support. Marital status matters. Kids do not raise happiness for singles, the divorced, separated or widowed. Last, we underline that all children are not the same, with step-children commonly having a more negative correlation than children from the current relationship.
    JEL: D14 I31 J13
    Date: 2019–02
  8. By: Dossi, Gaia (Columbia University); Figlio, David N. (Northwestern University); Giuliano, Paola (University of California, Los Angeles); Sapienza, Paola (Northwestern University)
    Abstract: We study the correlation between parental gender attitudes and the performance in mathematics of girls using two different approaches and data. First, we identify families with a preference for boys by using fertility stopping rules in a population of households whose children attend public schools in Florida. Girls growing up in a boy-biased family score 3 percentage points lower on math tests when compared to girls raised in other families. Second, we find similar strong effects when we study the correlations between girls' performance in mathematics and maternal gender role attitudes, using evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. We conclude that socialization at home can explain a non-trivial part of the observed gender disparities in mathematics performance and document that maternal gender attitudes correlate with those of their children, supporting the hypothesis that preferences transmitted through the family impact children behavior.
    Keywords: gender Differences, cultural transmission, math performance
    JEL: A13 I20 J16 Z1
    Date: 2019–02

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