nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2020‒04‒06
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. People versus machines: the impact of minimum wages on automatable jobs By Lordan, Grace; Neumark, David
  2. Inequality Comparisons with Ordinal Data By , Stone Center; Jenkins, Stephen P.
  3. Was Falling Inequality in All Latin American Countries a Data-Driven Illusion? Income Distribution and Mobility Patterns in Uruguay 2009-2016 By Burdín, Gabriel; De Rosa, Mauricio; Vigorito, Andrea; Vilá, Joan
  4. The Innovation Premium to Soft Skills in Low-Skilled Occupations By Philippe Aghion; Antonin Bergeaud; Richard Blundell; Rachel Griffith
  5. The Deterrent Effect of Surveillance Cameras on Crime By Santiago Tobón; Santiago Gómez; Daniel Mejía
  6. Equal and Unequal Profit Sharing in Highly Interdependent Work Groups: A Laboratory Experiment By Andrej Angelovski; Jordi Brandts; Carles Solà

  1. By: Lordan, Grace; Neumark, David
    Abstract: We study the effect of minimum wage increases on employment in automatable jobs – jobs in which employers may find it easier to substitute machines for people – focusing on low-skilled workers for whom such substitution may be spurred by minimum wage increases. Based on CPS data from 1980 to 2015, we find that increasing the minimum wage decreases significantly the share of automatable employment held by low-skilled workers, and increases the likelihood that low-skilled workers in automatable jobs become nonemployed or employed in worse jobs. The average effects mask significant heterogeneity by industry and demographic group, including substantive adverse effects for older, low-skilled workers in manufacturing. We also find some evidence that the same changes improve job opportunities for higher-skilled workers. The findings imply that groups often ignored in the minimum wage literature are in fact quite vulnerable to employment changes and job loss because of automation following a minimum wage increase.
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2018–06–01
  2. By: , Stone Center (The Graduate Center/CUNY); Jenkins, Stephen P.
    Abstract: Non-intersection of appropriately-defined Generalized Lorenz (GL) curves is equivalent to a unanimous ranking of distributions of ordinal data by all Cowell and Flachaire (Economica 2017) indices of inequality and by a new index based on GL curve areas. Comparisons of life satisfaction distributions for six countries reveal a substantial number of unanimous inequality rankings. (Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality Working Paper)
    Date: 2020–03–09
  3. By: Burdín, Gabriel (Leeds University Business School); De Rosa, Mauricio (Universidad de la República, Uruguay); Vigorito, Andrea (Universidad de la República, Uruguay); Vilá, Joan (Universidad de la República, Uruguay)
    Abstract: To contribute to the debate on the recent inequality fall in Latin America, we provide evidence on the primary income distribution in Uruguay for 2009-2016 and assess mobility patterns. Comparing household surveys micro-data and a unique array of matched personal-firm income tax records, we find that trends are sensitive to the data source and inequality measure. Gini and Theil indices decreased, with a milder fall in tax records than in household surveys. Whereas in tax records synthetic indices fell within the bottom 99% offsetting increased concentration at the top, in household surveys the largest reduction occurred at the top. In turn, tax records estimates of top 1% income shares remained steady at around 15%, but decreased in household surveys throughout the whole period. Moreover, top income positions were stable, with average persistence rates at the top 1% close to 80%. Meanwhile, the equalizing effect of income mobility was very modest.
    Keywords: top incomes, income inequality, mobility, personal income taxation, tax records, Uruguay
    JEL: D31 H24 O54
    Date: 2020–03
  4. By: Philippe Aghion; Antonin Bergeaud; Richard Blundell; Rachel Griffith
    Abstract: Matched employee-employer data from the UK are used to analyze the wage premium to working in an innovative firm. We find that firms that are more R&D intensive pay higher wages on average, and this is particularly true for workers in some low-skilled occupations. We propose a model in which a firm's innovativeness is reflected in the degree of complementarity between workers in low-skill and high-skilled occupations, and in which non-verifiable soft skills are an important determinant of the wages of workers in low-skilled occupations. The model yields additional predictions on training, tenure and outsourcing which we also find support for in data.
    Keywords: : Innovation, Skill-biased Technological Change, Wage, Complementarity.
    JEL: O33 L23 J31
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Santiago Tobón; Santiago Gómez; Daniel Mejía
    JEL: C23 D04 H41 K42
    Date: 2020–03–20
  6. By: Andrej Angelovski; Jordi Brandts; Carles Solà
    Abstract: We study the performance effects of two profit sharing schemes in a simplified representation of an organization with high task interdependence. The production process involves three stages such that output of earlier stages is the necessary input for subsequent stages. Work at earlier stages is easier than at later stages and the product is only final if it goes successfully through the highest stage. We compare the effects on the performance of the organization of a payment scheme in which profits are equally shared by all those involved in the production process with one where the participation in profits is strongly increasing in the production stage. The comparison is made for two ways of assigning individuals to the production stage: randomly or by merit. We also study the distinction between sharing schemes that are exogenously imposed and those that are chosen by the person at the top of the hierarchy. We find that overall the type of payment scheme has no effect on profits. We also find that profits increase over time and more so with the equal than with the unequal sharing scheme. The high interdependence in production that we study makes steep incentives ineffective and even counter-productive. These changes in profits over time can be explained by changes in production performance over time. We also find that merit-based assignment to positions in the hierarchy leads to significantly higher profits than random assignment.
    Keywords: profit sharing, experiments, Organizations
    JEL: C92 D23 D90
    Date: 2020–04

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