nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2020‒01‒20
five papers chosen by

  1. Why Firms Offer Paid Parental Leave: An Exploratory Study By Claudia Goldin; Sari Pekkala Kerr; Claudia Olivetti
  2. Diversity, Immigration, and Redistribution By Alberto F. Alesina; Stefanie Stantcheva
  3. Extreme Child Poverty and the Role of Social Policy in the United States By Parolin, Zachary; Brady, David
  4. Linguistic Traits and Human Capital Formation By Oded Galor; Ömer Özak; Assaf Sarid
  5. Randomization and Social Policy Evaluation Revisited By James J. Heckman

  1. By: Claudia Goldin; Sari Pekkala Kerr; Claudia Olivetti
    Abstract: Why do competitive firms in the US provide paid parental leave (PPL)? Which firms do and to what extent? We use several firm- and individual-level data sets to answer these questions. These include the BLS-Employee Benefit Survey (EBS) for 2010 to 2018 and an extensive firm-level data collection that we compiled. Our work is undergirded by a two-period model with competitive firms whose workers vary by their optimal firm-specific training and the probability that each will remain on the job after PPL is taken. We find that firm-provided PPL has greatly increased in the last two decades and generally covers new fathers. The levels of provision differ greatly by the industry, firm size, and the degree of firm-specific training. But even the top-of-the-line firm in the US provides fewer fully paid parental weeks than does the median OECD nation.
    JEL: J13 J2 J32
    Date: 2020–01
  2. By: Alberto F. Alesina; Stefanie Stantcheva
    Abstract: This paper provides a simple conceptual framework that captures how different perceptions, attitudes, and biases about immigrants or minorities can shape preferences for redistribution. Through the lens of this framework, we review the empirical literature on the effects of racial diversity and immigration on support for redistribution in the US and Europe.
    JEL: H21 H41 J15 P16
    Date: 2020–01
  3. By: Parolin, Zachary (Columbia University); Brady, David
    Abstract: This paper applies improved household income data to reevaluate the levels, trends, composition, and role of social policy in extreme child poverty in the U.S. from 1997-2015. Unlike prior research, we correct for the underreporting of means-tested transfers and incorporate the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). Doing so reduces the share of children below $2 per day from about 1.8% to 0.1%. That said, we acknowledge use of survey data omits the estimated 1.3 million homeless children in 2014-2015. We find that three different measures of extreme child poverty have declined since 1997. Unlike prior literature’s focus on single motherhood, citizenship status is the more consequential characteristic. Between 58-73% of children in extreme poverty live in households headed by non-citizens. Simulations granting them access to the median SNAP benefit reduce their extreme poverty substantially. Two-way fixed effects models show that higher state-level generosity and take up of SNAP and TANF significantly reduce extreme poverty. Unlike prior research’s focus on the decline of TANF, we show SNAP has grown in generosity and take-up. In turn, changes to social policy since 1997 have probably had offsetting effects on extreme child poverty.
    Date: 2018–11–26
  4. By: Oded Galor (Brown University); Ömer Özak (Southern Methodist University); Assaf Sarid (Brown University)
    Abstract: This research establishes the influence of linguistic traits on human behavior. Exploiting variations in the languages spoken by children of migrants with identical ancestral countries of origin, the analysis indicates that the presence of periphrastic future tense, and its association with long-term orientation has a significant positive impact on educational attainment, whereas the presence of sex-based grammatical gender, and its association with gender bias, has a significant adverse impact on female educational attainment.
    Keywords: Human capital, Long-term Orientation, Gender Bias, Periphrastic Future Tense, Sex-Based Grammatical Gender, Culture, Language
    JEL: D91 I25 J16 J24 Z10 Z13
    Date: 2020–01
  5. By: James J. Heckman (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper examines the case for randomized controlled trials in economics. I revisit my previous paper--"Randomization and Social Policy Evaluation"--and update its message. I present a brief summary of the history of randomization in economics. I identify two waves of enthusiasm for the method as "Two Awakenings" because of the near-religious zeal associated with each wave. The First Wave substantially contributed to the development of microeconometrics because of the flawed nature of the experimental evidence. The Second Wave has improved experimental designs to avoid some of the technical statistical issues identified by econometricians in the wake of the First Wave. However, the deep conceptual issues about parameters estimated, and the economic interpretation and the policy relevance of the experimental results have not been addressed in the Second Wave.
    Keywords: field experiments, randomized control trials
    JEL: C93
    Date: 2020–01

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