nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2019‒04‒29
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. How Valid are Synthetic Panel Estimates of Poverty Dynamics? By Nicolas Herault; Stephen P. Jenkins
  2. Improving Access and Quality in Early Childhood Development Programs: Experimental Evidence from The Gambia By Moussa P. Blimpo; Pedro Carneiro; Pamela Jervis; Todd Pugatch
  3. Dynastic Human Capital, Inequality and Intergenerational Mobility By Adermon, Adrian; Lindahl, Mikael; Palme, Mårten
  4. Discrimination in Hiring Based on Potential and Realized Fertility : Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment By Sascha O. Becker, Sascha O.; Fernandes, Ana; Weichselbaumer, Doris
  5. Intergenerational Mobility: An Assessment for Latin American Countries By Doruk, Ömer Tuğsal; Yavuz, Hasan Bilgehan; Pastore, Francesco
  6. Addressing Seasonality in Veil of Darkness Tests for Discrimination: An Instrumental Variables Approach By Jesse Kalinowski; Matthew B. Ross; Stephen L. Ross

  1. By: Nicolas Herault (Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research, The University of Melbourne); Stephen P. Jenkins (London School of Economics, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))
    Abstract: A growing literature uses repeated cross-section surveys to derive ‘synthetic panel’ data estimates of poverty dynamics statistics. It builds on the pioneering study by Dang, Lanjouw, Luoto, and McKenzie (Journal of Development Economics, 2014) providing bounds estimates and the innovative refinement proposed by Dang and Lanjouw (World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 6504, 2013) providing point estimates of the statistics of interest. We provide new evidence about the accuracy of synthetic panel estimates relative to benchmarks based on estimates derived from genuine household panel data, employing high quality data from Australia and Britain, while also examining the sensitivity of results to a number of analytical choices. Overall, we are more agnostic about the validity of the synthetic panel approach applied to these two rich countries than are earlier validity studies in their applications focusing on middle- and low- income countries.
    Keywords: Overty exit, poverty entry, poverty dynamics, pseudo panel, synthetic panel, BHPS, HILDA
    JEL: I32 D31 C52
    Date: 2018–04
  2. By: Moussa P. Blimpo (World Bank); Pedro Carneiro (University College London); Pamela Jervis (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Todd Pugatch (Oregon State University)
    Abstract: This paper studies two experiments of early childhood development programs in The Gambia: one increasing access to services, and another improving service quality. In the first experiment, new community-based early childhood development (ECD) centers were introduced to randomly chosen villages that had no pre-existing structured ECD services. In the second experiment, a randomly assigned subset of existing ECD centers received intensive provider training. We find no evidence that either intervention improved average levels of child development. Exploratory analysis suggests that, in fact, the first experiment, which increased access to relatively low quality ECD services, led to declines in child development among children from less disadvantaged households. Evidence supports that these households may have been steered away from better quality early childhood settings in their homes.
    Keywords: early childhood development, cognitive stimulation, teacher training, The Gambia, randomized control trials, Malawi Developmental Assessment Tool
    JEL: I25 I38 O15 O22
    Date: 2019–04
  3. By: Adermon, Adrian (Institute for Evaluation of Labor Market and Education Policy (IFAU)); Lindahl, Mikael (Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg); Palme, Mårten (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We study the importance of the extended family – the dynasty – for the persistence in inequality across generations. We use data including the entire Swedish population, linking four generations. This data structure enables us to identify parents’ siblings and cousins, their spouses, and the spouses’ siblings. Using various human capital measures, we show that traditional parent-child estimates of intergenerational persistence miss almost one-third of the persistence found at the dynasty level. To assess the importance of genetic links, we use a sample of adoptees. We then find that the importance of the extended family relative to the parents increases.
    Keywords: Intergenerational mobility; extended family; dynasty; human capital;
    JEL: I24 J62
    Date: 2019–04–11
  4. By: Sascha O. Becker, Sascha O. (Department of Economics, University of Warwick); Fernandes, Ana (Bern University of Applied Sciences); Weichselbaumer, Doris (Johannes Kepler University Linz)
    Abstract: Due to conventional gender norms, women are more likely to be in charge of childcare than men. From an employer’s perspective, in their fertile age they are also at “risk” of pregnancy. Both factors potentially affect hiring practices of firms. We conduct a largescale correspondence test in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, sending out approx. 9,000 job applications, varying job candidate’s personal characteristics such as marital status and age of children. We find evidence that, for part-time jobs, married women with older kids, who likely finished their childbearing cycle and have more projectable childcare chores than women with very young kids, are at a significant advantage vis-àvis other groups of women. At the same time, married, but childless applicants, who have a higher likelihood to become pregnant, are at a disadvantage compared to single, but childless applicants to part-time jobs. Such effects are not present for full-time jobs, presumably, because by applying to these in contrast to part-time jobs, women signal that they have arranged for external childcare.
    Keywords: Fertility ; Discrimination ; Experimental economics
    JEL: C93 J16 J71
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Doruk, Ömer Tuğsal; Yavuz, Hasan Bilgehan; Pastore, Francesco
    Abstract: This paper aims to study the process of intergenerational income mobility in some Latin American economies (Panama and Brazil), which have been much neglected in the existing literature. Like other countries in the area, also Brazil and Panama have a stagnant economy coupled with high income inequality. Our rich and detailed dataset, the IPUMS survey data bank allows us to provide the most reliable and robust estimates of intergenerational transfer, after controlling for a number of additional control variables which were unavailable in previous studies, such as family size, literacy level of fathers, and location in rural versus urban areas. We provide estimates broken down for different genders, age, location, education of fathers in each country. Our results are robust to different specifications and suggest that previous studies significantly overrated the extent of the intergenerational transfer in the countries considered. However, our figures are still compatible with an extremely low degree of social mobility.
    Keywords: Intergenerational mobility,Occupational mobility,Latin American Economies
    JEL: J62 J60 D3 D6
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Jesse Kalinowski (Quinnipiac University); Matthew B. Ross (New York University); Stephen L. Ross (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: Veil of Darkness tests identify discrimination by exploiting seasonal variation in the timing of sunset to compare the rate that minorities are stopped by police at the same hour of the day in daylight versus darkness. Such tests operate under the presumption that race is more easily observed by police prior to traffic stops during daylight relative to darkness. This paper addresses concerns that seasonal variation in traffic patterns could bias Veil of Darkness tests. The conventional approach to addressing seasonality is to restrict the sample to a window around Daylight Savings Time (DST) changes when the time of sunset is abruptly changed by one hour twice a year. However, this restriction reduces the variation in the timing of sunset potentially exacerbating measurement error in daylight and may still fail to address seasonality. The latter point is due to the fact that a substantial fraction of the seasonal change in daylight hours occur in the fall and spring (near DST) because of the elliptical nature of earth’s orbit. Therefore, we consider an alternative to simply restricting the sample to fall and spring where we instead apply an instrumental variables and fuzzy regression discontinuity approach. Our approach allows us to isolate the treatment effect associated with one hour of additional daylight on the share of police stops that are of African-American motorists. We find larger racial differences in Texas highway patrol stops using the regression discontinuity approach as compared to the annual sample, even though traditional approaches using the DST sample yield smaller estimates than the annual sample. The larger estimates are robust to the fall DST change sample, addressing concerns that motorists are tired and more accident prone immediately after the spring DST change.
    Keywords: Police, Traffic Stops, Seasonality, Measurement Error, Veil of Darkness, Racial Profiling, Racial Discrimination, Regression Discontinuity, Instrumental Variables
    JEL: K14 K42 J15 H11
    Date: 2019–07

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