nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2019‒09‒23
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Job Vacancies, the Beveridge Curve, and Supply Shocks: The Frequency and Content of Help-Wanted Ads in Pre- and Post-Mariel Miami By Anastasopoulos, Jason; Borjas, George J.; Cook, Gavin G.; Lachanski, Michael
  2. Intergenerational Altruism and Transfers of Time and Money: A Lifecycle Perspective By Uta Bolt; Cormac O'Dea; Eric French; Jamie Hentall MacCuish
  3. Are asylum seekers more likely to work with more inclusive labor market access regulations? By Slotwinski, Michaela; Stutzer, Alois; Uhlig, Roman
  4. Preterm Births and Educational Disadvantage: Heterogeneous Effects Across Families and Schools By Anna Baranowska-Rataj; Kieron J. Barclay; Joan Costa-Font; Mikko Myrskylä; Berkay Özcan
  5. Explaining Hours Worked Across and Within Countries: Income Effects vs. Taxes and Transfers By Alexander Bick; David Lagakos; Hitoshi Tsujiyama; Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln
  6. Doing Bad to Look Good: Negative Consequences of Image Concerns on Pro-social Behavior By Ivan Soraperra; Anton Suvorov; Jeroen van de Ven; Marie Claire Villeval

  1. By: Anastasopoulos, Jason (University of Georgia); Borjas, George J. (Harvard University); Cook, Gavin G. (Princeton University); Lachanski, Michael (Princeton University)
    Abstract: Beginning in 1951, the Conference Board constructed a monthly job vacancy index by counting the number of help-wanted ads published in local newspapers in 51 metropolitan areas. We use the Help-Wanted Index (HWI) to document how immigration changes the number of job vacancies in the affected labor markets. Our analysis revisits the Mariel episode. The data reveal a marked drop in Miami's HWI relative to many alternative control groups in the first 4 or 5 years after Mariel, followed by recovery afterwards. The Miami evidence is consistent with the observed relation between immigration and the HWI across all metropolitan areas in the 1970- 2000 period: these spatial correlations suggest that more immigration reduces the number of job vacancies. We also explore some of the macro implications of the Mariel supply shock and show that Miami's Beveridge curve shifted inwards by the mid-1980s, suggesting a more efficient labor market, in contrast to the outward nationwide shift coincident with the onset of the 1980- 1982 recession. Finally, we examine the text of the help-wanted ads published in a number of newspapers and document a statistically and economically significant post-Mariel decline in the relative number of low-skill vacancies advertised in the Miami Herald.
    Keywords: job vacancies, immigration, Beveridge Curve
    JEL: J23 J6
    Date: 2019–08
  2. By: Uta Bolt (University College London); Cormac O'Dea (Yale University); Eric French (University College London); Jamie Hentall MacCuish (University College London)
    Abstract: Parental investments in children can take one of three broad forms: (1) Time investments during childhood and adolescence that aid child development, and in particular cognitive ability (2) Educational investments that improve school quality and hence educational outcomes (3) Cash investments in the form of inter-vivos transfers and bequests. We develop a dynastic model of household decision making with intergenerational altruism that nests a child production function, incorporates all three of these types of investments, and allows us to quantify their relative importance and estimate the strength of intergenerational altruism. Using British cohort data that follows individuals from birth to retirement, we find that around 40\% of differences in average lifetime income by paternal education are explained by ability at age 7, around 40\% by subsequent divergence in ability and different educational outcomes, and around 20\% by inter-vivos transfers and bequests received so far.
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Slotwinski, Michaela; Stutzer, Alois; Uhlig, Roman
    Abstract: In the face of recent refugee migration, early integration of asylum seekers into the labor market has been proposed as an important mechanism for easing their economic and social lot in the short as well as in the long term. However, little is known about the policies that foster or hamper their participation in the labor market, in particular during the important initial period of their stay in the host country. In order to evaluate whether inclusive labor market policies increase the labor market participation of asylum seekers, we exploit the variation in asylum policies in Swiss cantons to which asylum seekers are as good as randomly allocated. During our study period from 2011 to 2014, the employment rate among asylum seekers varied between 0% and 30.2% across cantons. Our results indicate that labor market access regulations are responsible for a substantial proportion of these differences, in which an inclusive regime increases participation by 11 percentage points. The marginal effects are larger for asylum seekers who speak a language that is linguistically close to the one in their host canton.
    Keywords: Asylum policy,asylum seekers,economic integration,employment ban,labor market access regulation
    JEL: F22 J61 J15
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Anna Baranowska-Rataj; Kieron J. Barclay (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Joan Costa-Font; Mikko Myrskylä (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Berkay Özcan
    Abstract: Although preterm births are the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality in advanced economies, evidence about the consequences of such births later in life is limited. Using Swedish population register data on cohorts born 1982-1994 (N=1,087,750), we examine the effects of preterm births on school grades using sibling fixed effect models which compare individuals with their non-preterm siblings. We test for heterogeneous effects by degree of prematurity, as well as whether family socioeconomic resources and school characteristics can compensate for any negative effects of premature births. Our results show that preterm births can have negative effects on school grades, but these negative effects are largely confined to children born extremely preterm (<28 weeks of gestation, i.e. born at least 10 weeks earlier). Children born moderately preterm (i.e. born up to 5 weeks early) suffer no ill effects. We do not find any evidence for the moderating effect of parental socioeconomic resources. Our results indicate that school environment is very important for the outcomes of preterm born children, such that those born extremely preterm that are in the top decile of schools have as good grades as those born full-term that are in an average school. However, good schools appear to lift scores for all groups, and as a result that gap between extremely preterm and full-term children remains also in the best schools. This highlights the role of schools as institutions that may either reduce or reinforce the early life course disadvantage.
    Keywords: Sweden, education, premature birth, school success
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2019–09
  5. By: Alexander Bick (Arizona State University); David Lagakos (University of California, San Diego); Hitoshi Tsujiyama (Goethe University Frankfurt); Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln (Goethe University Frankfurt)
    Abstract: Why are aggregate hours worked per adult lower in rich countries than in poor countries? Why is the individual hours-wage gradient positively sloped within rich countries and negatively sloped within poor countries? To answer these questions we build a model in which hours worked at the individual and aggregate level are shaped primarily by two distinct forces. The first force is preferences in which income effects dominate substitution effects in labor supply. The second force is the larger tax-and-transfer systems of richer countries, which lowers labor supply of all workers, particularly those with the lowest earning ability. In spite of its simplicity, the model performs well in quantitatively explaining the cross-country patterns of hours worked at the individual and aggregate level. Counterfactual exercises using the model predict that income effects are the most relevant factor for understanding how aggregate hours worked vary with GDP per capita across countries. Both income effects and tax-and-transfer systems are necessary to explain why individual hours-wage gradients turn from negative to positive with a country’s development level. These conclusions hold in an extended model that includes capital accumulation, self-employment, transitory income shocks and extensive and intensive labor supply decisions. We conclude that ignoring either one of the two forces in models of aggregate labor supply could lead to misleading inferences about the importance of income effects or taxation in determining aggregate hours worked.
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Ivan Soraperra (CREED, University of Amsterdam, Roetersstraat 11, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands); Anton Suvorov (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Pokrovsky bd., 11, Suite S1039; 109028 Moscow Russia); Jeroen van de Ven (Tinbergen Institute and Amsterdam School of Economics, University of Amsterdam, Roetersstraat 11, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands); Marie Claire Villeval (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE UMR5824, 93 Chemin des Mouilles, F-69130, France; IZA, Bonn, Germany)
    Abstract: Several studies show that social image concerns stimulate pro-social behavior. We study a setting in which there is uncertainty about which action is pro-social. Then, the quest for a better social image can potentially con flict with genuinely pro-social behavior. This confl ict can induce \bad" behavior, where people lower both their own and others' material payoffs to preserve a good image. This setting is relevant for various types of credence goods. For example, recommending an inexpensive treatment reduces the expert's profits and may not satisfy the true needs of the client, but is generally good for the expert's image (as it signals the lack of greed). We test experimentally if people start to act bad in order to look good. We find that people care about their social image, but social image concerns alone do not induce them to act bad. That is, without future interactions, social image concerns do not lead to bad behavior. However, with future interactions, where building up a good image has instrumental value (reputational concerns), we do find evidence of bad behavior in the short run to secure higher earnings in the long run.
    Keywords: Social image, credence goods, prosocial behavior, reputation, experiment
    JEL: C92 D82 D91
    Date: 2019

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