nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2020‒05‒18
seven papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Market income inequality, left-wing political parties, and redistribution in Latin America By Branko MILANOVIC
  2. Feeling Good or Feeling Better? By Prati, Alberto; Senik, Claudia
  3. Daycare Choice and Ethnic Diversity: Evidence from a Randomized Survey By Mongoljin Batsaikhan; Mette Goertz; John Kennes; Ran Sun Lyng; Daniel Monte; Norovsambuu Tumennasan
  4. Does Biology Drive Child Penalties? Evidence from Biological and Adoptive Families By Henrik Kleven; Camille Landais; Jakob Egholt Soegaard
  5. Lockdowns, Loneliness and Life Satisfaction By Hamermesh, Daniel S.
  6. Which Jobs Are Done from Home? Evidence from the American Time Use Survey By Hensvik, Lena; Le Barbanchon, Thomas; Rathelot, Roland
  7. Wage Differentials, Bargaining Protocols, and Trade Unionism in Mid-Twentieth Century American Labor Markets By Pencavel, John

  1. By: Branko MILANOVIC
    Abstract: The paper uses household-level data from more than 200 household income surveys from 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries to explore the (revised) median voter hypothesis and the political determinants of the recent decrease of Latin American inequality. We find that more unequal market-income countries, and greater market-income inequality within a given country, are associated with greater pro-poor redistribution, although such redistribution is rather weak in Latin America compared to the economically advanced countries. We also find that more pro-left political orientation of national legislatures has been associated with greater redistribution. We thus argue that there are political roots to the recent decrease of inequality in Latin America.
    Keywords: Amérique latine
    JEL: Q
    Date: 2019–06–12
  2. By: Prati, Alberto (Aix-Marseille University); Senik, Claudia (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Can people remember correctly their past well-being? We study three national surveys of the British, German and French population, where more than 50,000 European citizens were asked questions about their current and past life satisfaction. We uncover systematic biases in recalled subjective well- being: on average, people tend to overstate the improvement in their well-being over time and to understate their past happiness. But this aggregate figure hides a deep asymmetry: while happy people recall the evolution of their life to be better than it was, unhappy ones tend to exaggerate its worsening. It thus seems that feeling happy today implies feeling better than yesterday. These results offer an explanation of why happy people are more optimistic, perceive risks to be lower and are more open to new experiences.
    Keywords: memory biases, remembered utility, life satisfaction, intra-personal comparisons
    JEL: I31 D91
    Date: 2020–04
  3. By: Mongoljin Batsaikhan (Georgetown University); Mette Goertz (CEBI, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); John Kennes (Aarhus University); Ran Sun Lyng (Aarhus University); Daniel Monte (Sao Paulo School of Economics- FGV); Norovsambuu Tumennasan (Dalhousie University)
    Abstract: Discrimination among individuals is very well documented in the literature, but much less is known about how discrimination is passed down through generations. By designing and conducting a randomized survey to study daycare choices and ethnic diversity, we provide evidence of how biases against ethnic minorities affect parental choices of early childhood education. We asked parents in Copenhagen to choose between two daycares structured vs. free-play. Each daycare had testimonials from (fictive) parents whose child allegedly attended the daycare, and the survey randomized the names of the testifying parents across the sample. Another novelty of our study is that we are able to capture how discriminatory attitudes towards ethnic minorities interact with preferences for specific teaching styles. In our results we find bias against ethnic minorities among parents who prefer the structured daycare. We validate our results through data on willingness to travel to the preferred daycare, which is higher for parents who prefer the structured daycare when there was an ethnic minority name associated with the free-play daycare.
    Keywords: school choice, discrimination and intergenerational transmission
    JEL: D63 J15 I24
    Date: 2019–12–20
  4. By: Henrik Kleven (Princeton University, NBER, CEPR, and CEBI); Camille Landais (London School of Economics and CEPR); Jakob Egholt Soegaard (CEBI, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: This paper investigates if the impact of children on the labor market trajectories of women relative to men child penalties can be explained by the biological links between mother and child. We estimate child penalties in biological and adoptive families using event studies around the arrival of children and almost forty years of adoption data from Denmark. Long-run child penalties in earnings and its underlying determinants are virtually identical in biological and adoptive families. This implies that biology is not important for child-related gender gaps. Based on additional analyses, we argue that our results speak against the importance of specialization based on comparative advantage more broadly.
    Keywords: Gender Wage Gap, Children, Adoption, Denmark
    JEL: D63 J13 J16 J22 J31 J71
    Date: 2020–05–04
  5. By: Hamermesh, Daniel S. (Barnard College)
    Abstract: Using the 2012-13 American Time Use Survey, I find that both who people spend time with and how they spend it affect their happiness, adjusted for numerous demographic and economic variables. Satisfaction among married individuals increases most with additional time spent with spouse. Among singles, satisfaction decreases most as more time is spent alone. Assuming that lockdowns constrain married people to spend time solely with their spouses, simulations show that their happiness may have been increased compared to before the lockdowns; but sufficiently large losses of work time and income reverse this inference. Simulations demonstrate clearly that, assuming lockdowns impose solitude on singles, their happiness was reduced, reductions that are made more severe by income and work losses.
    Keywords: Coronavirus, time use, happiness, isolation, well-being, COVID-19
    JEL: I12 J22 I31
    Date: 2020–04
  6. By: Hensvik, Lena (IFAU); Le Barbanchon, Thomas (Bocconi University); Rathelot, Roland (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Which jobs are more likely to be affected by mobility restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic? This paper uses American Time Use Survey data to measure the share of the work hours that are spent at home for different job categories. We compute and provide home-working shares by occupation (US census classification, SOC and international ISCO classification), and by industry (US census classification, NAICS and international ISIC classification).
    Keywords: home-working, remote work, time-use, COVID-19
    JEL: J22
    Date: 2020–04
  7. By: Pencavel, John (Stanford University)
    Abstract: Income inequality has been lower in periods when trade unionism has been strong. Using observations on wages by occupation, by geography, and by gender in collective bargaining contracts from the 1940s to the 1970s, patterns in movements of wage differentials are revealed. As wages increased, some contracts maintained relative wage differentials constant, some maintained absolute differences in wages constant, others combined these two patterns, and some did not reveal an obvious pattern. The patterns persisted even as price inflation increased in the 1970s. The dominant pattern implies a reduction in inequality as usually measured.
    Keywords: income inequality, wage differentials, bargaining, trade unions
    JEL: J31 J51 N32
    Date: 2020–04

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