nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2020‒10‒05
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Child Development in the Early Years: Parental Investment and the Changing Dynamics of Different Dimensions By Orazio Attanasio; Raquel Bernal; Michele Giannola; Milagros Nores
  2. The Relationship between Subjective Wellbeing and Subjective Wellbeing Inequality: Taking Ordinality and Skewness Seriously By Grimes, Arthur; Jenkins, Stephen P.; Tranquilli, Florencia
  3. Poverty and Economic Dislocation Reduce Compliance with COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place Protocols By Austin L. Wright; Konstantin Sonin; Jesse Driscoll; Jarnickae Wilson
  4. The Persistence of Socio-Emotional Skills: Life Cycle and Intergenerational Evidence By Orazio Attanasio; Áureo de Paula; Alessandro Toppeta
  5. 2020: A Summary of Framed Field Experiments on The Who's, What's Where's, and When's By John List
  6. On the Origins of the Idea of Ending Poverty By Martin Ravallion

  1. By: Orazio Attanasio; Raquel Bernal; Michele Giannola; Milagros Nores
    Abstract: This paper uses the data on child development collected around the evaluation of a nursery program to estimate the details of the process of human development. We model development as made of three latent factors, reflecting health, cognitive and socio-emotional skills. We observe children from age 1 to age 7. We assume that, at each age, these factors interact among themselves and with a variety of other inputs to determine the level of development at following ages. Relative to other studies, the richness of the data we use allows us to: (i) let the dynamics be rich and flexible; (ii) let each factors play a role in the production of any other factor; (iii) estimate age-specific functional forms; (iv) treated parental investment as an endogenous input. We find that the dynamics of the process can be richer than usually assumed, which has important implications for the degree of persistence of different inputs in time. Persistence also changes with age. This has important implications for the targeting of investment and interventions, and the identification of windows of opportunities. The endogeneity of investment is also important.
    JEL: I15 I25 I32 J13 J24 O15
    Date: 2020–09
  2. By: Grimes, Arthur (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust); Jenkins, Stephen P. (London School of Economics); Tranquilli, Florencia (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust)
    Abstract: We argue that the relationship between individual satisfaction with life (SWL) and SWL inequality is more complex than described by leading earlier research such as Goff, Helliwell, and Mayraz (Economic Inquiry, 2018). Using inequality indices appropriate for ordinal data, our analysis using the World Values Survey reveals that skewness of the SWL distribution, not only inequality, matters for individual SWL outcomes; so too does whether we look upwards or downwards at the (skewed) distribution. Our results are consistent with there being negative (positive) externalities for an individual's SWL from seeing people who are low (high) in the SWL distribution.
    Keywords: subjective wellbeing, ordinal data, inequality, skewness, WVS
    JEL: D31 D63 I31
    Date: 2020–09
  3. By: Austin L. Wright (University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy); Konstantin Sonin (University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy); Jesse Driscoll (University of California at San Diego); Jarnickae Wilson (University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy)
    Abstract: Shelter-in-place policies reduce social contact and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In-consistent compliance with social distancing creates local and regional interpersonal trans-mission risks. Using county-day measures on population movement derived from cellphone location data, we investigate whether compliance with local shelter-in-place ordinances varies across US counties with different economic endowments. Our theoretical model implies economic endowments will influence compliance with social distancing. We find evidence that low income areas do comply less than counties with stronger economic endowments. Findings suggest targeted economic relief could improve future compliance with public health interventions.
    Keywords: COVID-19, shelter-in-place, compliance
    JEL: H12 I18
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Orazio Attanasio; Áureo de Paula; Alessandro Toppeta
    Abstract: This paper investigates the evolution of socio-emotional skills over the life cycle and across generations. We start by characterising the evolution of these skills in the first part of the life cycle. We then examine whether parents’ socio-emotional skills in early childhood rather than in adolescence are more predictive of their children’s socio-emotional skills. We exploit data from the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) and focus on two dimensions of socio- emotional skills: internalizing and externalizing skills, linked respectively to the ability of focusing attention and engaging in interpersonal activities. When looking at the evolution of socio-emotional skills over the life cycle, we notice a considerable amount of persistence which leads to a rejection of the simple Markov dynamic models often used in the literature. The BCS70 contains data on the skills of three generations. Moreover, the skills for cohort members and their children are not observed at the same calendar time, but at similar ages. We establish that parents’ and children’s socio-emotional skills during early childhood are comparable and estimate intergenerational mobility in socio-emotional skills, examining the link between the parent’s socio-emotional skills at age 5, 10 and 16 and the child’s socio-emotional skills between ages 3 and 16. We show that the magnitudes of intergenerational persistence estimates are smaller than the magnitude of intergenerational persistence estimates in occupation and income found for the United Kingdom. Finally, we estimate multi-generational persistence in socio-emotional skills and find that the grandmother’s internalizing skill correlates with the grandchild’s socio-emotional skills even after controlling for parental skills.
    JEL: D63 I21 J24 J62
    Date: 2020–09
  5. By: John List
    Abstract: Last year I put together a summary of data from my field experiments website that pertained to framed field experiments. Several people have asked if I have an update. In this document I update all figures and numbers to show the details for 2020. I also include the description from the 2019 paper below.
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Martin Ravallion
    Abstract: The late 18th century saw the intellectual germ of the idea of “ending poverty,” but the idea did not get far in economics or policy making until much more recently. Over the 19th century, poverty rates fell substantially in Western Europe and North America, and we started to see mainstream advocates of ending chronic poverty, and policies for doing so. There was an explosion of interest in the idea from around 1960, with policy responses in many countries, including America. In the post-Colonial period, the newly independent states were keen to see an end to poverty. From the 1990s, development agencies began to identify this as their overarching objective. The U.N.’s first Millennium Development Goal (MDG1) of halving the 1990 poverty rate by 2015 was achieved ahead of time. The U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals came to include ending extreme poverty by 2030. This is more ambitious than MDG1, and more politically challenging. Economic growth in poor countries is likely to remain important, but the policy emphasis has shifted to redistributive interventions, though these will require a deeper reach to the poorest if we are to see the end of poverty, judged by any chosen poverty line.
    JEL: B00 I30
    Date: 2020–09

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