nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2020‒11‒30
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Firm Heterogeneity in Skill Returns By Michael J. Böhm; Khalil Esmkhani; Giovanni Gallipoli
  2. Past, Present and Future of the Spanish Labour Market: When the Pandemic meets the Megatrends By Juan J Dolado; Florentino Felgueroso; Juan F.Jimeno
  3. Valuing depression using the well-being valuation approach By Andrén, Daniela
  4. Visual Convex Time Preferences By Prissé, Benjamin; Brañas-Garza, Pablo
  5. How Does Working-Time Flexibility Affect Workers’ Productivity in a Routine Job? Evidence from a Field Experiment. By Marie Boltz; Bart Cockx; Ana Maria Diaz; Luz Magdalena Salas
  6. Turning Opposition into Support to Immigration: The Role of Narratives By Cristina Cattaneo; Daniela Grieco

  1. By: Michael J. Böhm (University of Bonn); Khalil Esmkhani (University of British Columbia); Giovanni Gallipoli (Vancouver School of Economics, UBC)
    Abstract: This paper presents new evidence on worker-firm complementarities. We combine matched employer-employee data with direct measures of workers' cognitive and noncognitive skills, and propose an empirical approach that separately identifies the firm-level return for each attribute. We find that similar skills command different returns across employers and that workers' sorting into firms depends on returns to both attributes. We derive theoretical restrictions that characterize many-to-one matching in employer-employee data, linking within-firm skill dispersion to between-firm differences in average skills. Estimates support these restrictions. Firm heterogeneity in skill returns raises both the average level and dispersion of earnings.
    Keywords: firm heterogeneity, skill returns, sorting, wages, Inequality
    JEL: D30 J23 J24 J31
    Date: 2020–11
  2. By: Juan J Dolado; Florentino Felgueroso; Juan F.Jimeno
    Abstract: This paper reviews the experience so far of the Spanish labour market during the Covid‐19 crisisin the light of the existing institutions, its performance during past recessions, and the policymeasures adopted during the pandemic. Emphasis is placed on the role of worldwide trends inlabour markets, due to automation and AI, in shaping a potential recovery of this (hopefully)transitory shock through a big reallocation process of employment and economic activity. It alsohighlights some innovations to employment and social policies needed to smooth thereallocation process and lessen the rise in inequality associated to technological trends.
    Date: 2020–11
  3. By: Andrén, Daniela (Örebro University School of Business)
    Abstract: The continuously dramatic increase of the number of people suffering from depression attracts an increasing demand for effective ways of preventing depression. Without the need for new interventions, there is also a continuous call for a more robust framework for economic evaluation of public interventions. Taking in account people’s preferences for public goods is not straightforward to quantify, and therefore, without the importance of designing new technique for valuing nonmarket goods and services, it is equally important to use methods that are not yet established as traditional. One less used method to assess the cost of depression in monetary terms is the well-being valuation method or the life satisfaction approach, which requires answers to questions that are significantly less time demanding for the respondents than more traditional approaches to valuation. We added a well-being question to a contingent valuation web-survey that describes hypothetical interventions aimed to prevent depression and estimated that the loss in life satisfaction for individuals who directly and/or indirectly experienced depression varies between approximately 5000 and 17000 Euro per year.
    Keywords: depression; subjective well-being; well-being valuation method (WVM); life satisfaction approach (LSA)
    JEL: A12 D60 I31
    Date: 2020–11–11
  4. By: Prissé, Benjamin; Brañas-Garza, Pablo
    Abstract: The original standard for measuring time preferences was Multiple Price List (MPL), where subjects are asked to choose between an amount of money in the present and a larger amount of money in the future. Convex Time Budget (CTB) was later introduced, allowing subjects to differentially allocate money between present and future. It improved precision of measurement but also increased the complexity of the task. In this paper we introduce the Visual Convex Time Preferences (VCTP), a new measure of time preferences synthesizing simplicity of MPL and precision of CTB. Results from the lab suggest that VCTP is robust and improves precision of time preferences measurement compared to the MPL. Same results are replicated in the field of Honduras, especially when the experiment is run with the help of enumerators. Experiments with teenagers show that younger population exhibit high level of inconsistency although older participants perform better.
    Keywords: Time Preferences, MPL, Experiments
    JEL: C91 C93 D91
    Date: 2021–11–15
  5. By: Marie Boltz; Bart Cockx; Ana Maria Diaz; Luz Magdalena Salas
    Abstract: We conducted an experiment in which we hired workers under different types of contracts to evaluate how flexible working time affects on-the-job productivity in a routine job. Our approach breaks down the global impact on productivity into sorting and behavioral effects. We find that all forms of working-time flexibility reduce the length of workers’ breaks. For part-time work, these positive effects are globally counterbalanced. Yet arrangements that allow workers to decide when to start and stop working increase global productivity by as much as 50 percent, 40 percent of which is induced by sorting.
    Keywords: Flexible work arrangements, part-time work, productivity, labor market flexibility, work–life balance.
    JEL: J21 J22 J23 J24 J33
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Cristina Cattaneo (RFF-CMCC); Daniela Grieco (University of Milan)
    Abstract: The way we collectively discuss migration shapes citizens’ perceptions of migrants and their influence on our society. This paper investigates whether a narrative about the positive impact of immigrants on the hosting economy affects natives’ behaviour towards migrants. To shed light on the underlying mechanism, we present a simple theoretical framework that models the relationship between beliefs, attitude and behaviour and identifies the sequential channels through which a narrative might be useful in changing attitude and behaviour. We test its predictions through an online survey experiment, where we deliver UK natives a favourable narrative about migrants. Treated subjects revise their beliefs about migrants and exhibit significantly more positive self-reported attitudes and more pro-migrant behaviour. Moreover, they update beliefs in a way that gives support to the existence of confirmation bias.
    Keywords: Immigration, Survey experiment, Narrative, Attitudes, Beliefs
    JEL: C90 D83 F22 J15
    Date: 2020–11

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