nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2019‒09‒16
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Industrial wages in mid-1880s Sweden: estimations beyond Bagge’s Wages in Sweden. Data, source and methods By Hamark, Jesper; Collin, Kristoffer
  2. Toward an Understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility: Theory and Field Experimental Evidence By Daniel Hedblom; Brent R. Hickman; John A. List
  3. Summary Data of Natural Field Experiments Published on By John List
  4. Employment Protection, Capital Investments and Labor Productivity By Johanna Kemper
  5. Dynamic Social Interactions and Health Risk Behavior By Tiziano Arduini; Alberto Bisin; Onur Özgür; Eleonora Patacchini
  6. The supply of foreign talent: How skill-biased technology drives the skill mix of immigrants Evidence from Switzerland 1990–2010 By Andreas Beerli; Ronald Indergand; Johannes Kunz

  1. By: Hamark, Jesper (Department of Economic History, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Collin, Kristoffer (Department of Economic History, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Most researchers interested in Swedish wages during early industrialization have used the seminal work Wages in Sweden from the 1930s as their point of departure. Whereas the material in Wages in Sweden solidly tracks the movements of wages, it is not suitable for comparisons across industries or counties at a specific point in time. Nor should Wages in Sweden be used to estimate wages in absolute levels. Based on hitherto-unused source material from a large, nationwide public inquiry, we estimate industrial wages in the mid-1880s. The population consists of industrial workers with different experience, skills and firm attachment. Our estimations include a national wage as well as inter-industry and inter-regional wages in both absolute and relative terms, weighted by employment. The findings call for a substantial revision of relative wages across industries. They also indicate that the wage dispersion across industries and counties was lower than previously thought. We estimate the national wage for women as being half the size of that of men.
    Keywords: Sweden 1880s; industrial wages; regional wages; absolute wage levels; relative wages; male and female wages; Gösta Bagge; Wages in Sweden
    JEL: J31 N01 N30
    Date: 2019–09–01
  2. By: Daniel Hedblom; Brent R. Hickman; John A. List
    Abstract: We develop theory and a tightly-linked field experiment to explore the supply side implications of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Our natural field experiment, in which we created our own firm and hired actual workers, generates a rich data set on worker behavior and responses to both pecuniary and CSR incentives. Making use of a novel identification framework, we use these data to estimate a structural principal-agent model. This approach permits us to compare and contrast treatment and selection effects of both CSR and financial incentives. Using data from more than 1100 job seekers, we find strong evidence that when a firm advertises work as socially-oriented, it attracts employees who are more productive, produce higher quality work, and have more highly valued leisure time. In terms of enhancing the labor pool, for example, CSR increases the number of applicants by 25 percent, an impact comparable to the effect of a 36 percent increase in wages. We also find an economically important complementarity between CSR and wage offers, highlighting the import of using both to hire and motivate workers. Beyond lending insights into the supply side of CSR, our research design serves as a framework for causal inference on other forms of non-pecuniary incentives and amenities in the workplace, or any other domain more generally.
    JEL: C14 C93 J3 J33 J44 L21 M52
    Date: 2019–09
  3. By: John List
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Johanna Kemper (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: In the this paper, I analyze the effect of Employment Protection Legislation (EPL) on investments in physical capital and labor productivity by exploiting the fact that small establishments in Germany below a given size threshold are exempted from certain parts of EPL. I do this by means of an Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD) and using establishment-level data for the period 1994-2012. Following the implications of the theoretical literature, I also analyze whether or not EPL affects the employment margin and conduct an implicit test for the possibility of a negative impact of EPL on investments due to hold-up by using linked employer-employee data. I do not find a statistically significant threshold effect on any of these outcomes– also not when analyzing the effect of EPL by industry. The results of EPL on investments and labor productivity are consistent with the predictions of the literature that states if EPL does not affect the employment margin, it should also not impact any other margin of non-labor adjustment.
    Keywords: Keywords: Employment protection, investments, labor productivity
    JEL: J08 J65 J24
    Date: 2017–11
  5. By: Tiziano Arduini; Alberto Bisin; Onur Özgür; Eleonora Patacchini
    Abstract: We study risky behavior of adolescents. Concentrating on smoking and alcohol use, we structurally estimate a dynamic social interaction model in the context of students' school networks included in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The model allows for forward-looking behavior of agents, addiction effects, and social interactions in the form of preferences for conformity in the social network. We find strong evidence for forward looking dynamics and addiction effects. We also find that social interactions in the estimated dynamic model are quantitatively large. A misspecified static model would fit data substantially worse, while producing a much smaller estimate of the social interaction effect. With the estimated dynamic model, a temporary shock to students' preferences in the 10th grade has effects on their behavior in grades 10, 11, 12, with estimated social multipliers 1:53, 1:03, and 0:76, respectively. The multiplier effect of a permanent shock is much larger, up to 3:7 in grade 12. Moreover (semi-) elasticities of a permanent change in the availability of alcohol or cigarettes at home on child risky behavior implied by the dynamic equilibrium are 25%, 63%, and 79%, in grades 10, 11, 12, respectively.
    JEL: C18 C33 C62 C63 C73 I12
    Date: 2019–09
  6. By: Andreas Beerli (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Ronald Indergand (Staatssekretariat für Wirtschaft SECO); Johannes Kunz (Centre for Health Economics)
    Abstract: An important goal of immigration policy is facilitating the entry and supply of workers whose skills are scarce in national labour markets. In recent decades, the introduction of information and communication technology [ICT] fuelled the demand for highly skilled workers at the expense of lower skill groups throughout the developed world. In this paper, we show that the skill mix of newly arriving immigrants strongly responded to this shift in the demand for skills. Exploiting the fact that different regions in Switzerland were differentially exposed to ICT due to their pre-ICT industrial composition, we present evidence suggesting more exposed regions experienced stronger growth in relative employment and wage premia for highly skilled workers between 1990 and 2010. We find robust evidence that regions with higher initial ICT exposure experienced a considerably stronger relative influx of highly skilled immigrants. Taken together, these results strongly sug- gest that immigrants responded to skill-biased changes in economic opportunities. Complementing these findings, we document whether and how the response of immigrants to skill demand changed when Switzerland abolished immigration restrictions for European workers.
    Keywords: Keywords: immigrant sorting, international migration; routine-biased technical change; information and communication technology; skill supply
    JEL: F22 J61 J24 J31 J23
    Date: 2017–11

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