nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2019‒05‒27
three papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Demographics and Automation By Daron Acemoglu; Pascual Restrepo
  2. Identity and Redistribution: Theory and Evidence By Sanjit Dhami; Emma Manifold; Ali al-Nowaihi
  3. The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime over the Last Two Decades By John J. Donohue; Steven D. Levitt

  1. By: Daron Acemoglu (MIT and CIFAR); Pascual Restrepo (Boston University)
    Abstract: We argue theoretically and document empirically that aging leads to greater (industrial) automation, and in particular, to more intensive use and development of robots. Using US data, we document that robots substitute for middle-aged workers (those between the ages of 36 and 55). We then show that demographic change—corresponding to an increasing ratio of older to middle-aged workers—is associated with greater adoption of robots and other automation technologies across countries and with more robotics-related activities across US commuting zones. We also provide evidence of more rapid development of automation technologies in coun- tries undergoing greater demographic change. Our directed technological change model further predicts that the induced adoption of automation technology should be more pronounced in industries that rely more on middle-aged workers and those that present greater opportunities for automation. Both of these predictions receive support from country-industry variation in the adoption of robots. Our model also implies that the productivity implications of aging are ambiguous when technology responds to demographic change, but we should expect produc- tivity to increase and labor share to decline relatively in industries that are most amenable to automation, and this is indeed the pattern we find in the data.
    Keywords: aging, automation, demographic change, economic growth, directed technological change, productivity, robots, tasks, technology
    JEL: J11 J23 J24 O33 O47 O57
    Date: 2018–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bos:iedwpr:dp-299&r=all
  2. By: Sanjit Dhami; Emma Manifold; Ali al-Nowaihi
    Abstract: We contribute to a growing literature on redistribution and identity. We propose a theoretical model that embeds social identity concerns, as in Akerlof and Kranton (2000), with inequity averse preferences, as in Fehr and Schmidt (1999). We conduct an artefactual ultimatum game experiment with registered members of British political parties for whom both identity and redistribution are salient. The empirical results are as follows. (1) Proposers and responders demonstrate ingroup-favoritism. (2) Proposers exhibit quantitatively stronger social identity effects relative to responders. (3) As redistributive taxes increase, offers by proposers and the minimum acceptable offers of responders (both as a proportion of income) decline by almost the same amount, suggesting a shared understanding that is characteristic of social norms. (4) Subjects experience more disadvantageous inequity from outgroup members relative to ingroup members.
    Keywords: Social identity, prosocial behaviour, ultimatum game, fiscal redistribution, entitlements
    JEL: D01 D03
    Date: 2019–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:lec:leecon:19/04&r=all
  3. By: John J. Donohue; Steven D. Levitt
    Abstract: Donohue and Levitt (2001) presented evidence that the legalization of abortion in the early 1970s played an important role in the crime drop of the 1990s. That paper concluded with a strong out-of-sample prediction regarding the next two decades: “When a steady state is reached roughly twenty years from now, the impact of abortion will be roughly twice as great as the impact felt so far. Our results suggest that all else equal, legalized abortion will account for persistent declines of 1 percent a year in crime over the next two decades.” Estimating parallel specifications to the original paper, but using the seventeen years of data generated after that paper was written, we find strong support for the prediction. The estimated coefficient on legalized abortion is actually larger in the latter period than it was in the initial dataset in almost all specifications. We estimate that crime fell roughly 20% between 1997 and 2014 due to legalized abortion. The cumulative impact of legalized abortion on crime is roughly 45%, accounting for a very substantial portion of the roughly 50-55% overall decline from the peak of crime in the early 1990s.
    JEL: J13 K42
    Date: 2019–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25863&r=all

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