nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2020‒07‒20
seven 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. What Accounts for the Rising Share of Women in the Top 1%? By Richard V. Burkhauser; Nicolas Hérault; Stephen P. Jenkins; Roger Wilkins
  3. The Impacts of COVID-19 on Minority Unemployment: First Evidence from April 2020 CPS Microdata By Kenneth A. Couch; Robert W. Fairlie; Huanan Xu
  4. Baby Steps: The Gender Division of Childcare during the COVID-19 Pandemic By Sevilla, Almudena; Smith, Sarah
  5. The Age U-shape in Europe: The Protective Role of Partnership By Andrew E. Clark; Hippolyte d'Albis; Angela Greulich
  6. The Long-run Effects of Housing on Well-Being By Clark, Andrew E.; Díaz Serrano, Lluís
  7. Caste Gender and Occupational Outcomes By Borooah, Vani

  1. By: Costa Font, Joan; Giuliano, Paola; Ozcan, Berkay
    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: Culture; Saving
    JEL: D0 Z1
    Date: 2020–02
  2. By: Richard V. Burkhauser; Nicolas Hérault; Stephen P. Jenkins; Roger Wilkins
    Abstract: The share of women in the top 1% of the UK’s income distribution has been growing over the last two decades (as in several other countries). Our first contribution is to account for this secular change using regressions of the probability of being in the top 1%, fitted separately for men and women, in order to contrast between the sexes the role of changes in characteristics and changes in returns to characteristics. We show that the rise of women in the top 1% is primarily accounted for by their greater increases (relative to men) in the number of years spent in full-time education. Although most top income analysis uses tax return data, we derive our findings taking advantage of the much more extensive information about personal characteristics that is available in survey data. Our use of survey data requires justification given survey under-coverage of top incomes. Providing this justification is our second contribution.
    JEL: C81 D31 J16
    Date: 2020–06
  3. By: Kenneth A. Couch; Robert W. Fairlie; Huanan Xu
    Abstract: COVID-19 abruptly impacted the labor market with the unemployment rate jumping to 14.7 percent less than two months after state governments began adopting social distancing measures. Unemployment of this magnitude has not been seen since the Great Depression. This paper provides the first study of how the pandemic impacted minority unemployment using CPS microdata through April 2020. African-Americans experienced an increase in unemployment to 16.6 percent, less than anticipated based on previous recessions. In contrast, Latinx, with an unemployment rate of 18.2 percent, were disproportionately hard hit by COVID-19. Adjusting for concerns of the BLS regarding misclassification of unemployment, we create an upper-bound measure of the national unemployment rate of 26.5 percent, which is higher than the peak observed in the Great Depression. The April 2020 upper-bound unemployment rates are an alarming 31.8 percent for blacks and 31.4 percent for Latinx. Difference-in-difference estimates suggest that blacks were, at most, only slightly disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Non-linear decomposition estimates indicate that a slightly favorable industry distribution partly protected them being hit harder by COVID-19. The most impacted group are Latinx. Difference-in-difference estimates unequivocally indicate that Latinx were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. An unfavorable occupational distribution and lower skills contributed to why Latinx experienced much higher unemployment rates than whites. These findings of early impacts of COVID-19 on unemployment raise important concerns about long-term economic effects for minorities.
    Keywords: unemployment, inequality, labor, race, minorities, COVID-19, coronavirus, shelter-in-place, social distancing
    JEL: J60 J70 J15
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Sevilla, Almudena (University College London); Smith, Sarah (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: The COVID19 pandemic has caused shocks to the demand for home childcare (with the closure of schools and nurseries) and the supply of home childcare (with many people not working). We collect real-time data on daily lives to document that UK families with young children have been doing the equivalent of a working week in childcare. Women have been doing the greater share, but overall, the gender childcare gap (the difference between the share of childcare done by women and the share done by men) for the additional, post-COVID19 hours is smaller than that for the allocation of pre-COVID19 childcare. However, the amount of additional childcare provided by men is very sensitive to their employment – the allocation has become more equal in households where men are working from home and where they have been furloughed/ lost their job. There are likely to be long-term implications from these changes – potentially negative for the careers of parents of young children; but also, more positively for some families, for sharing the burden of childcare more equally in the future.
    Keywords: gender, childcare, COVID-19, Coronavirus
    JEL: J21 J22 J24 J33 J63
    Date: 2020–05
  5. By: Andrew E. Clark (PSE - Paris School of Economics); Hippolyte d'Albis (PSE - Paris School of Economics); Angela Greulich (OSC - Observatoire sociologique du changement - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We here ask whether the U-shaped relationship between life satisfaction and age is flatter for those who are partnered. This is the case in cross-section EU-SILC data, where the drop in life satisfaction from the teens to the 50s is almost four times larger for the non-partnered than for the partnered, whose life satisfaction essentially follows a slight downward trajectory with age. However, the same analysis in three panel datasets (BHPS, SOEP and HILDA) reveals a U-shape for both marital groups, although still somewhat flatter for the partnered than for the non-partnered. We suggest that the difference between the cross-section and panel results reflects compositional effects: there is in particular a significant shift of the relatively dissatisfied out of marriage in mid-life. These composition effects will flatten the U-shape in age for the partnered in cross-section data.
    Keywords: Age U-shape,Subjective Well-being,Marriage,EU-SILC
    Date: 2020–06
  6. By: Clark, Andrew E.; Díaz Serrano, Lluís
    Abstract: This paper provides one of the first tests of adaptation to a full set of residential transitions. We use long-run SOEP panel data and consider the impact of all housing transitions, whether or not they involve a change in housing tenure or geographical movement, on both life satisfaction and housing satisfaction. Controlling for individual characteristics and housing quality, some residential transitions affect life satisfaction only little, while all transitions have a significant effect on housing satisfaction. This latter is particularly large for renters who become homeowners and move geographically, and for renters who move without changing tenure status. Regarding housing satisfaction, we find very little evidence of adaptation even after five years. Losing homeowner status is the only transition that reduces housing satisfaction, and here the effect seems to become even more negative over time. Keywords: Housing, Adaptation, well-being, SOEP. JEL Classification Codes: D19, R21.
    Keywords: Habitatge, 332 - Economia regional i territorial. Economia del sòl i de la vivenda,
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Borooah, Vani
    Abstract: This chapter discusses an important concern of public policy in India which is to ensure that all persons, regardless of gender, caste, or religion, are treated fairly in the jobs market. A key aspect of this relates to inter-group differences in the likelihood of attaining different levels of occupational success. The issue here is whether these differences in likelihood are justified by differences in the distribution of employee attributes or whether they are, wholly or in part, due to employer bias. This chapter attempts to answer these questions using unit record data from the Indian Human Development Survey relating to the period 2011–12. Of particular interest to this chapter is that the Survey provides details about the occupations of approximately 62,500 persons by placing them in one or more of 99 occupations; these are aggregated in chapter 4 into six broad occupational categories. Using these data, the chapter (focusing on men and women between the ages of 21 and 60) employs the methods of multinomial logit to estimate the probabilities of persons being in these occupational categories, after controlling for their gender/caste/religion and their employment-related attributes. The main focus is the issue of differences between men and women, and differences between persons belonging to different social groups, in their likelihood of being in the different employment categories. Data on these men and women were used to decompose the observed difference between the groups, in their average proportions in the different occupations, into an “employer bias” and an “employee attributes” effect.
    Keywords: Caste, Discrimination, Occupation, India
    JEL: J3 J38 J71
    Date: 2019–07

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