nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2020‒03‒16
eight papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. The Cultural Origin of Saving Behavior By Costa-Font, Joan; Giuliano, Paola; Ozcan, Berkay
  2. Long-Run Trends in the U.S. SES-Achievement Gap By Eric A. Hanushek; Paul E. Peterson; Laura M. Talpey; Ludger Woessmann
  3. Economic insecurity and the rise of the right By Bossert, Walter; Clark, Andrew E.; D'Ambrosio, Conchita; Lepinteur, Anthony
  4. Between Firm Changes in Earnings Inequality: The Dominant Role of Industry Effects By Haltiwanger, John C.; Spletzer, James R.
  5. Income Distribution and the Fear of Crime: Evidence from Germany By Michelle Acampora; Conchita D'Ambrosio; Markus M. Grabka
  6. Are patient-regarding preferences stable? By Wang, Jian; Iversen , Tor; Hennig-Schmidt , Heike; Godager , Geir
  7. The ``missing rich'' in household surveys: causes and correction approaches By Nora Lustig
  8. Can Scholarships Increase High School Graduation Rates ? Evidence from A Randomized Control Trial in Mexico By De Hoyos Navarro,Rafael E.; Attanasio,Orazio Pietro; Meghir,Costas

  1. By: Costa-Font, Joan (London School of Economics); Giuliano, Paola (University of California, Los Angeles); Ozcan, Berkay (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: Traditional economic interpretations have not been successful in explaining differences in saving rates across countries. One hypothesis is that savings respond to cultural specific social norms. A seminal paper in economics (1) however did not find any effect of culture on savings. We revisit this evidence using a novel dataset, which allows us to study the saving behavior of up to three generations of immigrants in the United Kingdom. Against the backdrop of existing evidence, we find that cultural preferences are an important explanation for cross-country differences in saving behavior, and their relevance persists up to three generations.
    Keywords: saving, culture
    JEL: Z1 D0
    Date: 2020–02
  2. By: Eric A. Hanushek; Paul E. Peterson; Laura M. Talpey; Ludger Woessmann
    Abstract: Rising inequality in the United States has raised concerns about potentially widening gaps in educational achievement by socio-economic status (SES). Using assessments from LTT-NAEP, Main-NAEP, TIMSS, and PISA that are psychometrically linked over time, we trace trends in achievement for U.S. student cohorts born between 1954 and 2001. Achievement gaps between the top and bottom quartiles of the SES distribution have been large and remarkably constant for a near half century. These unwavering gaps have not been offset by improved achievement levels, which have risen at age 14 but have remained unchanged at age 17 for the past quarter century.
    Keywords: student achievement, inequality, socio-economic status, United States, NAEP, TIMSS, PISA
    JEL: H40 I24 J24
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Bossert, Walter; Clark, Andrew E.; D'Ambrosio, Conchita; Lepinteur, Anthony
    Abstract: Economic insecurity has attracted growing attention in social, academic and policy circles. However, there is no consensus as to its precise definition. Intuitively, economic insecurity is multi-faceted, making any comprehensive formal definition that subsumes all possible aspects extremely challenging. We propose a simplified approach, and characterize a class of individual economic-insecurity measures that are based on the time profile of economic resources. We then apply our economic-insecurity measure to data on political preferences. In US, UK and German panel data, and conditional on current economic resources, economic insecurity is associated with both greater political participation (support for a party or the intention to vote) and notably more support for parties on the right of the political spectrum. We in particular find that economic insecurity predicts greater support for both Donald Trump before the 2016 US Presidential election and the UK leaving the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum.
    Keywords: economic index numbers; insecurity; political participation; conservatism; right-leaning political parties; Trump; Brexit
    JEL: J63 D72 I32
    Date: 2019–10
  4. By: Haltiwanger, John C. (University of Maryland); Spletzer, James R. (U.S. Census Bureau)
    Abstract: We find that most of the rising between firm earnings inequality that dominates the overall increase in inequality in the U.S. is accounted for by industry effects. These industry effects stem from rising inter-industry earnings differentials and not from changing distribution of employment across industries. We also find the rising inter-industry earnings differentials are almost completely accounted for by occupation effects. These results link together the key findings from separate components of the recent literature: one focuses on firm effects and the other on occupation effects. The link via industry effects challenges conventional wisdom.
    Keywords: inequality, industry, occupation
    JEL: J3
    Date: 2020–02
  5. By: Michelle Acampora (AFFILIATION); Conchita D'Ambrosio (Universite du Luxembourg); Markus M. Grabka (DIW)
    Abstract: We here explore the link between individual concerns about crime and the distribution of income in Germany. We make use of 1995-2017 microdata from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) to show that both individual polarization and relative deprivation have statistically-significant effects on reported concerns about crime, while relative satisfaction plays no role. At the aggregate level, the main driver is equally income polarization, whereas the standard measure of inequality, the Gini index, plays no significant role.
    Keywords: Concerns about crime, deprivation, inequality, polarization, SOEP.
    JEL: I31 I32 D60
    Date: 2020–02
  6. By: Wang, Jian (Department of Health Management and Health Economics); Iversen , Tor (Department of Health Management and Health Economics); Hennig-Schmidt , Heike (Department of Economics, University of Bonn); Godager , Geir (Department of Health Management and Health Economics)
    Abstract: We quantify patient-regarding preferences by fitting a bounded rationality model to data from an incentivized laboratory experiment, where Chinese medical doctors, German medical students and Chinese medical students decide under different payment schemes. We find a remarkable stability in patient-regarding preferences when comparing subject pools and we cannot reject the hypothesis of equal patient-regarding preferences in the three groups. The results suggest that a health economic experiment can provide knowledge that reach beyond the student subject pool, and that the preferences of decision-makers in one cultural context can be of relevance in a very different cultural context.
    Keywords: Laboratory experiment; Bounded rationality; Payment mechanism; Physician behavio
    JEL: C92 D82 H40 I11 J33
    Date: 2019–04–17
  7. By: Nora Lustig (Tulane University)
    Abstract: This paper presents a survey of causes and correction approaches to address the ``missing rich'' problem in household surveys. ``Missing rich'' here is a catch-all term for the issues that affect the upper tail of the distribution of income: undercoverage, sparseness, unit and item nonresponse, underreporting and top coding. Upper tail issues can result in serious biases and imprecision of survey-based inequality measures. A number of correction approaches have been proposed. A main distinction is between those that rely on within-survey methods and those that combine survey data with information from external sources such as tax records, National Accounts, rich lists or other external information. Within each category, the methods can correct by replacing top incomes or increasing their weight (reweighting). Correction methods can be nonparametric and parametric. This survey aims to help researchers choose appropriate correction strategies and design robustness tests.
    Keywords: top incomes, inequality measures, nonresponse, underreporting, replacing and reweighting methods, imputation, poststratification, Pareto distribution, tax records.
    JEL: C14 C18 C81 C83 D31
    Date: 2020–02
  8. By: De Hoyos Navarro,Rafael E.; Attanasio,Orazio Pietro; Meghir,Costas
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of PROBEMS, a scholarship program in Mexico aimed at improving graduation rates and test scores among upper secondary school students from poor backgrounds. The identification strategy is the random allocation into the program, which took place in 2009. The strategy allows measurement of the effects of PROBEMS on test scores and graduation rates three years later in 2012. The paper finds that, on average, the program has no discernible impact on graduation rates or math or Spanish test scores. The size of the sample allows investigation of the reasons for this disappointing result. The paper finds that the program is substantially mis-targeted, with the majority of the recipients not coming from the most disadvantaged families. However, the most plausible explanation for the absence of positive impacts is that many eligible students do not seem to have the minimum learning level to face successfully the academic requirements of upper secondary school. An important policy implication is that a well-targeted scholarship program should be complemented with a remedial education intervention.
    Keywords: Educational Sciences,Hydrology,Inequality,Disability,Services&Transfers to Poor,Access of Poor to Social Services,Economic Assistance
    Date: 2019–04–22

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