nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2021‒01‒04
eight papers chosen by

  1. Happiness and Aging in the United States By David G. Blanchflower; Carol Graham
  2. Worker flows and wage dynamics: estimating wage growth without composition effects By Jimeno, Juan F.; García Pérez, J. Ignacio; Carrasco, Raquel
  3. The Fall in Income Inequality during COVID-19 in Five European Countries By Andrew E. Clark; Conchita D'Ambrosio; Anthony Lepinteur
  4. Reconciling the Conflicting Narratives on Poverty in China By Shaohua Chen; Martin Ravallion
  5. The U-shape of Happiness in Scotland By David N.F. Bell; David G. Blanchflower
  6. 2020: A Summary of Artefactual Field Experiments on The Who's, What's, Where's, and When's By John List
  7. The Effect of Gender and Gender Pairing on Bargaining: Evidence from an Artefactual Field Experiment By D'Exelle, Ben; Gutekunst, Christine; Riedl, Arno
  8. Job satisfaction over the life course By David G. Blanchflower; Alex Bryson

  1. By: David G. Blanchflower; Carol Graham
    Abstract: The past decade has brought increasing concern, in countries all over the world, of declines in mental health and well-being. Across countries, chronic depression and suicide rates peak in midlife. In the U.S., deaths of despair are most likely to occur in these years, and the patterns are robustly associated with unhappiness and stress. There is also a less-known relationship between well-being and longevity among the elderly, particularly for those over age 70. In this paper, we analyze several different data sets for the U.S. and provide extensive evidence on the middle age patterns, how they differ across the married and unmarried, and review new work on the elderly. The relationship between well-being and aging has a robust association with trends that can ruin lives and shorten life spans. It applies to much of the world’s population and links to behaviors and outcomes that merit the attention of scholars and policymakers alike.
    JEL: I31 J01
    Date: 2020–11
  2. By: Jimeno, Juan F.; García Pérez, J. Ignacio; Carrasco, Raquel
    Abstract: Wage dynamics is closely intertwined with job flows. However, composition effects associated to the different sizes and characteristics of workers entering/exiting into/from employment that may blur the "true" underlying wage growth, are not typically accounted for. In this paper, we take these composition effects into consideration and compute wage growth in Spain during the2006-2018 period after netting out the consequences of employment dynamics.Our results show that the "true" underlying wage growth in the Spanish economy during recessions (expansions) was, on average, significantly lower (higher) that the observed with raw data. This may help to explain some macro puzzles,such as the "vanishing" Phillips curve.
    Keywords: Selection Bias; Composition Effects; Wage Growth
    JEL: J21 J31 J30
    Date: 2020–12–10
  3. By: Andrew E. Clark (Paris School of Economics - CNRS); Conchita D'Ambrosio (University of Luxembourg); Anthony Lepinteur (University of Luxembourg)
    Abstract: We here use panel data from the COME-HERE survey to track income inequality during COVID-19 in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden. Relative inequality in equivalent household disposable income among individuals changed in a hump-shaped way over 2020. An initial rise from January to May was more than reversed by September. Absolute inequality also fell over this period. As such, policy responses may have been of more benefit for the poorer than the richer.
    Keywords: COME-HERE, COVID-19, Income Inequality
    JEL: D63 I32 I38
    Date: 2020–12
  4. By: Shaohua Chen; Martin Ravallion
    Abstract: The widely held view that China has greatly reduced income poverty over the last 40 years does not accord with all the evidence. The paper tries to reconcile the conflicting findings. The fact that strongly-relative measures show rising poverty is easily understood, since such measures depend solely on relative distribution, and inequality in China has been rising until recently. More surprising, and revealing, is the story told by the official lines, which were revised twice since the original 1985 line. The paper shows that the official lines are neither absolute nor strongly relative. Rather, they are weakly relative, with a positive elasticity to the mean that is less than unity. Along with rising inequality, this feature slowed the pace of measured poverty reduction when compared to absolute measures. Nonetheless, substantial progress against poverty is indicated, as we confirm using our independent, and higher, weakly-relative lines calibrated to cross-country data.
    JEL: I32 O15 O18
    Date: 2020–11
  5. By: David N.F. Bell; David G. Blanchflower
    Abstract: We examine well-being in Scotland using micro data from the Scottish Health Survey and the UK Annual Population Surveys. We find evidence of a midlife low in Scotland in well-being at around age fifty using a variety of measures of both happiness and unhappiness. We confirm that higher consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with higher levels of happiness in Scotland. We compare this with evidence for England from the Health Survey of England. The decline in well-being between youth and midlife is comparable in size to the loss of a spouse or of a job and around half of the fall in well-being in the COVID-19 lockdown. We also find a mid-life peak in suicides in Scotland. Despite higher mortality and suicide rates in Scotland than in England, paradoxically we find that the Scots are happier than the English. Northern Ireland is the happiest of the four home countries. We also find evidence of U-shapes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the mid to late forties.
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2020–11
  6. By: John List
    Abstract: Last year I put together a summary of data from my field experiments website that pertained to artefactual field experiments. Several people have asked me if I have and 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.
    Date: 2020
  7. By: D'Exelle, Ben; Gutekunst, Christine (School of Business and Economics); Riedl, Arno (RS: GSBE Theme Human Decisions and Policy Design, Microeconomics & Public Economics)
    Abstract: Men and women negotiate differently, which might create gender inequality in access to resources as well as efficiency losses due to disagreement. We study the role of gender and gender pairing in bilateral bargaining, using a lab-in-the-filed experiment in which pairs of participants bargain over the division of a fixed amount of resources. We vary the gender composition of the bargaining pairs as well as the disclosure of the participants’ identities. We find gender differences in earnings, agreement and demands, but only when the identities are disclosed. Women in same-gender pairs obtain higher earnings than men and women in mixed-gender pairs. This is the result of the lower likelihood of disagreement among women-only pairs. Women leave more on the bargaining table, conditional on their beliefs, which contributes to the lower disagreement and higher earnings among women-only pairs.
    JEL: C90 J16 O12
    Date: 2020–12–17
  8. By: David G. Blanchflower (Dartmouth College. University of Glasgow. GLO. Bloomberg. NBER); Alex Bryson (UCL Social Research Institute. NIESR. IZA)
    Abstract: We examine the relationship between union membership and job satisfaction over the life-course using data from the National Child Development Study (NCDS) tracking all those born in Great Britain in a single week in March in 1958 through to age 55 (2013). Data from immigrants as well as non-respondents to the original 1958 Perinatal Mortality Study (PMS) are added in later years. Conditioning on one’s social class at birth, together with one’s education and employment status, we find there is a significant negative correlation between union membership and job satisfaction that is apparent across the life-course. Lagged union membership status going back many years is negatively correlated with current job satisfaction, though its effects become statistically non-significant when conditioning on current union membership status. These results provide a different perspective to longitudinal studies showing short-term positive responses to switches in membership status. They are consistent with earlier work showing that this cohort of workers, and others before them, have persistently lower job satisfaction as union members compared to their non-union counterparts.
    Keywords: Union membership; job satisfaction; life-course; birth cohort; National Child Development Survey (NCDS).
    JEL: J28 J50 J51
    Date: 2020–12–01

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