nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2019‒08‒26
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Robots at Work: Automatable and Non Automatable Jobs By Josten, Cecily; Lordan, Grace
  2. Enterprise Zones, Poverty, and Labor Market Outcomes: Resolving Conflicting Evidence By David Neumark; Timothy Young
  3. A universal child grant in Brazil: what must we do, and what can we expect from it? By Sergei Suarez Dillon Soares; Graziela Ansiliero; Aline Diniz Amaral; Pedro H. G. Ferreira de Souza; Luis Henrique Paiva
  4. Is Employment Polarization Informative About Wage Inequality and Is Employment Really Polarizing? By Hunt, Jennifer; Nunn, Ryan

  1. By: Josten, Cecily (London School of Economics); Lordan, Grace (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: This study builds on Autor and Dorn's (2013) classification of automatable work at the three-digit occupation code level to identify additional jobs that will be automatable in the next decade by drawing on patent data. Based on this new classification the study provides estimates of the share of jobs that expected to be automatable in the EU and across 25 individual countries. The study highlights that aspects of 47% of jobs will be automatable over the next decade, with 35% of all jobs being fully automatable. It also provides some evidence that 'thinking' and 'people' skills will become increasingly important for the fourth industrial revolution. The study puts emphasis on the fact that these estimates are based on static models. Assuming that some of the rents from labor technology will filter back into the economy it is expected that other occupations will expand in number as people consume more goods and services.
    Keywords: robots, labor markets, skills
    JEL: J23 J24
    Date: 2019–07
  2. By: David Neumark; Timothy Young
    Abstract: This paper revisits an important analysis of enterprise zones (EZs) by Ham, Swenson, Imrohoroğlu, and Song (2011), who report substantial poverty reductions from state and federal EZs, as well as improvements in other labor market outcomes. In our re-analysis, we find that a data error accounts for a large share of the estimated impact of state EZs in reducing poverty. More generally, we find that both state and federal EZs appear to be endogenously selected based on prior changes in poverty and other labor market outcomes. Once we account for this selection, much of the evidence that state and federal EZs reduce poverty largely evaporates, as does most of the evidence for other beneficial effects of enterprise zones, with the main exception of some limited evidence for federal Empowerment Zones. Thus, we confirm the more widely-prevailing view that EZs – and especially state EZs – have for the most part been ineffective at reducing urban poverty or improving labor market outcomes in the United States.
    Keywords: enterprise zones, poverty, unemployment
    JEL: J23 J38
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Sergei Suarez Dillon Soares (IPC-IG); Graziela Ansiliero (IPC-IG); Aline Diniz Amaral (IPC-IG); Pedro H. G. Ferreira de Souza (IPC-IG); Luis Henrique Paiva (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: "The idea of a universal child grant has considerable support. Since as far back as the 1942 Beveridge Report, a cash transfer to all children has been considered part of a global strategy for overcoming poverty and reducing inequality. They are widespread among wealthy nations, and 17 of the 28 countries in the European Union (60 per cent) have universal child grants (SSA-ISSA 2016). Notable exceptions are the Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain, which retain the logic of social security for children of formal workers and social assistance (usually less generous) for the children of poor people". (...)
    Keywords: Universal, child, Brazil, expect
    Date: 2019–04
  4. By: Hunt, Jennifer; Nunn, Ryan
    Abstract: Equating a job with an individual rather than an occupation, we re-examine whether U.S. workers are increasingly concentrated in low and high-wage jobs relative to middle-wage jobs, a phenomenon known as employment polarization. By assigning workers in the CPS to real hourly wage bins with time-invariant thresholds and tracking over time the shares of workers in each, we do find a decline since 1973 in the share of workers earning middle wages. However, we find that a strong increase in the share of workers in the top bin is accompanied by a slight decline in the share in the bottom bin, inconsistent with employment polarization. Turning to occupation-based analysis, we show that the share of employment in low-wage occupations is trending up only from 2002-2012, and that the apparent earlier growth and therefore polarization found in the literature is an artefact of occupation code redefinitions. This new timing rules out the hypothesis that computerization and automation lie behind both rising wage inequality and occupation-based employment polarization in the United States.
    Keywords: employment polarization; Wage inequality
    JEL: J31 J62
    Date: 2019–07

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