nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2019‒08‒12
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Impacts of Labor Market Institutions and Demographic Factors on Labor Markets in Latin America By Adriana D. Kugler
  2. Multi-dimensional poverty among adults in Central America and gender differences in the three I’s of poverty: Applying inequality sensitive poverty measures with ordinal variables By José Espinoza-Delgado; Jacques Silber
  3. Always Egalitarian: Australian Earnings Inequality 1870-1910 1 By Laura Panza; Jeffrey G. Williamson
  4. Equivalent income versus equivalent lifetime: does the metric matter? By Harun Onder; Pierre Pestieau; Grégory Ponthière
  5. Residential Mobility and Unemployment in the UK By Monica Langella; Alan Manning
  6. Are Millennials Really So Selfish? Preliminary Evidence from the Philanthropy Panel Study By Harvey S. Rosen; Peter Koczanski

  1. By: Adriana D. Kugler
    Abstract: This paper documents recent labor market performance in the Latin American region. The paper shows that unemployment, informality, and inequality have been falling over the past two decades, though still remain high. By contrast, productivity has remained stubbornly low. The paper, then, turns to the potential impacts of various labor market institutions, including employment protection legislation (EPL), minimum wages (MW), payroll taxes, unemployment insurance (UI) and collective bargaining, as well as the impacts of demographic changes on labor market performance. The paper relies on evidence from carefully conducted studies based on micro-data for countries in the region and for other countries with similar income levels to draw conclusions on the impact of labor market institutions and demographic factors on unemployment, informality, inequality and productivity. The decreases in unemployment and informality can be partly explained by the reduced strictness of EPL and payroll taxes, but also by the increased shares of more educated and older workers. By contrast, the fall in inequality starting in 2002 can be explained by a combination of binding MW throughout most of the region and, to a lesser extent, by the introduction of UI systems in some countries and the role of unions in countries with moderate unionization rates. Falling inequality can also be explained by the fall in the returns to skill associated with increased share of more educated and older workers.
    Date: 2019–07–17
  2. By: José Espinoza-Delgado (University of Goettingen / Germany); Jacques Silber (Bar-Ilan Univesity, Ramat-Gan / Israel)
    Abstract: The Alkire and Foster (2011) methodology, as the mainstream approach to the measurement of multi-dimensional poverty in the developing world, is insensitive to inequality among the multidimensionally poor individuals and does not consider simultaneously the concepts of efficiency and distributive justice. Moreover, the vast majority of empirical indices of multi-dimensional poverty in the literature overlook intra-household inequalities, an issue that is crucial to a better understanding of gender inequalities, because they equate the poverty status of the household with the poverty status of all individuals in the household. Consequently, using the general framework proposed by Silber and Yalonetzky (2013) and Rippin’s ideas on multi-dimensional poverty measurement (2013, 2017), we propose in this paper to depart somehow from the mainstream approach and take an individual-based and inequality sensitive view of multi-dimensional poverty when only ordinal (dichotomized) variables are available. We use such an approach to estimate multi-dimensional poverty among individuals aged 18 and 59 years living in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, shedding thus some light on gender differences in poverty and inequality in those countries. Overall, we find that individuals living in Guatemala have the highest probability of being multidimensionally poor, followed by the ones from Nicaragua; people living in Costa Rica, by contrast, have by far the lowest probability of being poor. In the middle appears Honduras and El Salvador, Hondurans having a larger probability of being multi-dimensionally poor than the Salvadorians. Regarding the gender gaps, the overall estimates suggest that the incidence and the intensity of multidimensional poverty in Central America are higher among females; inequality, however, is somewhat higher among males.
    Keywords: multi-dimensional poverty measurement, inequality, gender inequality, Latin America, Central America
    JEL: I3 I32 D1 D13 D6 D63 O5 O54
    Date: 2018–09–27
  3. By: Laura Panza; Jeffrey G. Williamson
    Abstract: Trends in Australian inequality across the twentieth century are now well documented and they closely replicate trends in every other advanced economy: from WWI to the 1970s, inequality fell steeply everywhere, and from the 1970s to the present, it rose just as steeply. Despite following a similar trajectory, Australia remained more egalitarian throughout. Why has it been exceptional and what are its origins? Our previous work has found plenty of evidence documenting a steep fall in Australian income and earnings inequality from 1820 to 1870 (Panza and Williamson 2019a). This paper answers two additional questions. First, what was the level of inequality around 1870 after the fall? While we cannot speak to income inequality in 1870, we do find that earnings inequality was much lower in Australia than in the United States, the United Kingdom, and presumably the rest of Europe. Second, we find that there was no rise in Australian earnings inequality over the half century 1870-1910, but rather a modest fall. These findings rely on the use of an array of primary sources – especially the underutilized government Blue Books reporting annual earnings of an impressive range of white collar occupations – as well as better known secondary sources reporting the earnings of manual workers and farm labor. These occupational (average) earnings data are merged with occupational employment data taken from the censuses to construct social tables for Australia’s 1870 earnings distribution. We do the same for postfederation 1910 Australia. This exercise establishes that the source of modern Australia’s relative egalitarianism is the middle third of the colonial nineteenth century. We also apply Goldin-Katz (2008) analysis to the half century 1870-1910 thus to identify the sources of slow skill demand and fast skill supply growth. Australia missed a rise up some Kuznets Curve before World War I, a rise so common in Europe and most of its offshoots.
    Date: 2019–08
  4. By: Harun Onder (The World Bank - The World Bank - The World Bank); Pierre Pestieau (CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain, University of Liege, PSE - Paris School of Economics); Grégory Ponthière (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics, ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12)
    Abstract: We examine the e¤ects of the postulated metric on the measurement of well-being, by comparing, in the (income, lifetime) space, two indexes: the equivalent income index and the equivalent lifetime index. Those in- dexes are shown to satisfy di¤erent properties concerning interpersonal well-being comparisons, which can lead to contradictory rankings. While those incompatibilities arise under distinct indi¤erence maps, we also ex- plore the e¤ects of the metric while relying on a unique indi¤erence map, and show that, even in that case, the postulated metric matters for the measurement of well-being. That point is illustrated by quantifying, by those two indexes, the (average) well-being loss due to the Syrian War. Relying on a particular metric leads, from a quantitative perspective, to di¤erent pictures of the deprivation due to the War.
    Keywords: well-being,measurement,equivalent income,value of life
    Date: 2019–07
  5. By: Monica Langella; Alan Manning
    Abstract: The UK has suffered from persistent spatial differences in unemployment rates for many decades. A low responsiveness of internal migration to unemployment is often argued to be an important cause of this problem. This paper uses UK census data to investigate how unemployment affects residential mobility using very small areas as potential destinations and origins and four decades of data. It finds that both in- and out-migration are affected by unemployment, although the effect on in-migration appears to be stronger - but also that there is a very high 'cost of distance' so most moves are very local. Using individual longitudinal data we show that the young and the better educated have a lower cost of distance but that sensitivity to unemployment shows much less variability across groups.
    Keywords: residential mobility, regional inequality, unemployment
    JEL: Z1 J01 R10 J21
    Date: 2019–07
  6. By: Harvey S. Rosen (Princeton University); Peter Koczanski (Princeton University)
    Abstract: We use panel data on charitable donations to analyze how the philanthropic behavior of the Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) compares to that of earlier generations. On the basis of a multivariate analysis with a rich set of economic and demographic variables, we find that conditional on making a gift, one cannot reject the hypothesis that the Millennials donate more than members of earlier generations. However, Millennials are somewhat less likely to make any donations at all than their generational predecessors. Our findings suggest a more nuanced view of the Millennials' prosocial behavior than is suggested in popular accounts.
    Keywords: generosity, Millennials, selfishness, charity
    JEL: D64
    Date: 2019–05

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