nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2020‒04‒20
seven papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Culture and Gender Allocation of Tasks: Source Country Characteristics and the Division of Non-market Work among US Immigrants By Francine D. Blau; Lawrence Kahn; Matthew L. Comey; Amanda R. Eng; Pamela A. Meyerhofer; Alexander Willén
  2. The Great Depression and the rise of female employment: A new hypothesis By Bellou, Andriana; Cardia, Emanuela
  3. The Mid-Life Dip in Well-Being: Economists (Who Find It) Versus Psychologists (Who Don't)! By David G. Blanchflower; Carol L. Graham
  4. The Incubator of Human Capital: The NBER and the Rise of the Human Capital Paradigm By Claudia Goldin; Lawrence F. Katz
  5. Financial Inclusion in High-Income Countries: Gender Gap or Poverty Trap ? By Anastasia Cozarenco; Ariane Szafarz
  6. Changes in Assortative Matching and Inequality in Income: Evidence for the UK By Pierre-André Chiappori; Monica Costa Dias; Sam Crossman; Costas Meghir
  7. Rich and ever richer: Differential returns across socio-economic groups By Ederer, Stefan; Mayerhofer, Maximilian; Rehm, Miriam

  1. By: Francine D. Blau; Lawrence Kahn; Matthew L. Comey; Amanda R. Eng; Pamela A. Meyerhofer; Alexander Willén
    Abstract: There is a well-known gender difference in time allocation within the household, which has important implications for gender differences in labor market outcomes. We ask how malleable this gender difference in time allocation is to culture. In particular, we ask if US immigrants allocate tasks differently depending upon the characteristics of the source countries from which they emigrated. Using data from the 2003-2017 waves of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), we find that first-generation immigrants, both women and men, from source countries with more gender equality (as measured by the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index) allocate tasks more equally, while those from less gender equal source countries allocate tasks more traditionally. These results are robust to controls for immigration cohort, years since migration, and other own and spouse characteristics. There is also some indication of an effect of parent source country gender equality for second-generation immigrants, particularly for second-generation men with children. Our findings suggest that broader cultural factors do influence the gender division of labor in the household.
    JEL: J13 J15 J16 J22
    Date: 2020–04
  2. By: Bellou, Andriana; Cardia, Emanuela
    Abstract: The life-cycle labor supply of women born at the turn of the 20th century diverged sharply from previous cohorts. Although they had similar participation rates in early adulthood, younger cohorts were significantly more likely to work at middle age. This paper documents a link between these changing patterns of female labor supply and the Great Depression. We find that the onset of the Great Depression led to a large increase in young women's labor force participation in 1930 via an added-worker effect. Cohorts induced into the workforce in the early 1930s had significantly higher employment rates through the 1940s and 1950s, suggesting a permanent impact of the Great Depression on women's lifecycle labor supply.
    Date: 2020
  3. By: David G. Blanchflower; Carol L. Graham
    Abstract: A number of studies – including our own – find a mid-life dip in well-being. We review a psychology literature that claims that the evidence of a U-shape is "overblown" and if there is such a decline it is "trivial". We find remarkably strong and consistent evidence across countries and US states that statistically significant U-shapes exist with and without socio-economic controls. The US is somewhat of an outlier with evidence of an early uptick in the raw data with some variables – but not in others – that disappears when controls are included. We show that two of the studies cited by psychologists suggesting there are no U-shapes are in error; we use their data and find the opposite. The effects of the mid-life dip are comparable to major life events like losing a spouse, losing a job or getting cancer. They are clearly not inconsequential.
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2020–03
  4. By: Claudia Goldin; Lawrence F. Katz
    Abstract: The human capital construct is deep in the bones of economics and finds reference by many classical economists, even if they did not use the phrase. The term “human capital,” seldom mentioned in economics before the 1950s, increased starting in the 1960s and blossomed in the 1990s. The upsurge in NBER publications was even greater. Using EconLit codes from 1990 to 2019, the use of human capital among NBER books increased from 5% to 25%, whereas all economics books changed from 3% to 6%. For NBER working papers, 3% referenced human capital around 1990, but 10% have more recently. The figures for all economics articles are 4% and 6%. The NBER played an outsized role in the rise of the concept of human capital mainly because of the emphasis on empiricism at the NBER. We explore how the NBER was an incubator of human capital research and the ways human capital theory brought the NBER into the modern era of economics.
    JEL: B0 J24
    Date: 2020–03
  5. By: Anastasia Cozarenco; Ariane Szafarz
    Abstract: Little is still known about the determinants of financial inclusion in high-income countries. Using the Findex dataset, we focus on two regions: The Euro area and North America. We detect important differences between the two regions in the financial inclusion of women and poor households. In the Euro area, access to financial services can be challenging for women, while in North America, poor households are particularly underserved. We explore potential explanatory factors for the gender and poverty gaps using public social expenditures, inequality and gender discrimination measures, and labor market characteristics. As expected, the region-wise poverty gaps in financial inclusion are aligned with inequality measures. Yet, the factors connected with gender gaps are less intuitive. Our preliminary analysis shows that the gender gaps in financial inclusion are related more to (un)employment characteristics than to the level of institutional gender discrimination. This evidence in turn suggests a link between financial inclusion and the need for consumption smoothing. We therefore speculate that, in high-income countries, gendered financial exclusion is driven more by demand-side factors than by supply-side ones.
    Keywords: Financial inclusion; High-Income Countries; Gender; Poverty; Euro Area; North America
    JEL: G21 O11 O15 J16 I32
    Date: 2020–04–03
  6. By: Pierre-André Chiappori; Monica Costa Dias; Sam Crossman; Costas Meghir
    Abstract: The extent to which like-with like marry is important for inequality as well as for the outcomes of children that result from the union. In this paper we present evidence on changes in assortative mating and its implications for household inequality in the UK. Our approach contrasts with others in the literature in that it is consistent with an underlying model of the marriage market. We argue that a key advantage of this approach is that it creates a direct connection between changes in assortativeness in marriage and changes in the value of marriage for the various possible matches by education group. Our empirical results do not show a clear direction in the change in assortativeness in the UK, between the birth cohorts of 1945-54 and 1965-74. We find that changes in assortativeness pushed income inequality up slightly, but that the strong changes in education attainment across the two cohorts contributed to scale down inequality.
    JEL: H31 I24 I3 J1 J11 J12
    Date: 2020–04
  7. By: Ederer, Stefan; Mayerhofer, Maximilian; Rehm, Miriam
    Abstract: This paper estimates rates of return across the gross wealth distribution in eight European countries. Like differential saving rates, differential rates of return matter for Post Keynesian theory, because they impact the income and wealth distribution and add an explosive element to growth models. We show that differential rates of return matter empirically by merging data on household balance sheets with longrun returns for individual asset categories. We find that (1) the composition of wealth differentiates between three socioeconomic groups: 30% are asset-poor, 65% are middle-class home owners, and the top 5% are business-owning capitalists; (2) rates of return rise across all groups; and (3) rates of return broadly follow a log-shaped function across the distribution, where inequality in the lower half of the distribution is higher than in the upper half. If socioeconomic groups are collapsed into the bottom 95% workers and top 5% capitalists, then rates of return are 5.6% for the former and 7.2% for the latter.
    Keywords: rate of return,differential,wealth,distribution
    JEL: D31 D33 E43 E12 E21
    Date: 2019

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