nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2021‒03‒08
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Routinization and Employment: Evidence for Latin America By Leonardo Gasparini; Irene Brambilla; Guillermo Falcone; Carlo Lombardo; Andrés César
  2. Maternal depression and child human capital: a genetic instrumental-variable approach By Andrew E. Clark; Conchita D'Ambrosio; Simone Ghislandi; Anthony Lepinteur; Giorgia Menta
  3. The Intergenerational Transmission of Mental and Physical Health in the United Kingdom By Bencsik, Panka; Halliday, Timothy J.; Mazumder, Bhashkar
  4. The Role of Labor Market Institutions in the Impact of Immigration on Wages and Employment By Mette Foged; Linea Hasager; Vasil Yasenov
  5. Faith and Assimilation: Italian Immigrants in the US By Stefano Gagliarducci; Marco Tabellini

  1. By: Leonardo Gasparini (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP & CONICET); Irene Brambilla (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP & CONICET); Guillermo Falcone (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP & CONICET); Carlo Lombardo (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP & CONICET); Andrés César (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP)
    Abstract: We study changes in employment by occupations characterized by different degree of exposure to routinization in the six largest Latin American economies over the last two decades. We combine our own indicators of routine task content based on information from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIACC) with labor market microdata from harmonized national household surveys. We find that the increase in jobs was decreasing in the automatability of the tasks typically performed in each occupation, and increasing in the initial wage, a pattern more consistent with the traditional skill-biased technological change than with the polarization hypothesis.
    JEL: J21 J23 J24 O33
    Date: 2021–03
  2. By: Andrew E. Clark; Conchita D'Ambrosio; Simone Ghislandi; Anthony Lepinteur; Giorgia Menta
    Abstract: We here address the causal relationship between maternal depression and child human capital using UK cohort data. We exploit the conditionally-exogenous variation in mothers' genomes in an instrumental-variable approach, and describe the conditions under which mother's genetic variants can be used as valid instruments. An additional episode of maternal depression between the child's birth up to age nine reduces both their cognitive and non-cognitive skills by 20 to 45% of a SD throughout adolescence. Our results are robust to a battery of sensitivity tests addressing, among others, concerns about pleiotropy and the maternal transmission of genes to her child.
    Keywords: mendelian randomisation, maternal depression, human capital, instrumental variables, ALSPAC
    JEL: I14 J24
    Date: 2021–02
  3. By: Bencsik, Panka (University of Chicago); Halliday, Timothy J. (University of Hawaii at Manoa); Mazumder, Bhashkar (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)
    Abstract: We estimate intergenerational health persistence in the United Kingdom using Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY), a broad measure of health derived from the SF-12 Survey. We estimate that both the rank-rank slope and the intergenerational health association (IHA) are 0.21. We use components of the SF-12 to create mental and physical health indices and find that mental health is at least as persistent across generations as physical health. Importantly, parents' mental health is much more strongly associated with children's health than parents' physical health indicating that mental health might be a more important transmission channel. Finally, we construct an overall measure of welfare that combines income and health, and estimate a rank-rank association of 0.31. This is considerably lower than a comparable estimate of 0.43 for the US, suggesting greater mobility of overall welfare in the UK than the US.
    Keywords: intergenerational health mobility, mental health, physical health, United Kingdom
    JEL: J62 I14
    Date: 2021–02
  4. By: Mette Foged (University of Copenhagen, CReAM and IZA); Linea Hasager (University of Copenhagen); Vasil Yasenov (Immigration Policy Lab, Stanford University, and IZA)
    Abstract: We study the role of institutions in affecting the labor market impacts of immigration using a cross-country meta-analysis approach. To accomplish this, we gather information on 1,030 previously estimated wage effects and 432 employment effects of immigration from 61 academic studies covering 18 developed countries. The mean and median impact on the relative wage of directly exposed native workers are negative and significantly different from the small positive mean and median impact on the average wage level. This pattern is reversed for employment effects where the magnitudes are smaller. We combine this database with country-level data on labor market institutions from the OECD. The results suggest that institutions may shield native workers from distributional (relative) wage consequences of immigration but exacerbate the impacts on average wages in the economy. We do not detect a significant and robust association for the employment effects of foreign workers.
    Keywords: immigration, wages, employment, labor market institutions, meta-analysis
    JEL: D02 J08 J15 J31 J61
    Date: 2021–03
  5. By: Stefano Gagliarducci (University of Rome Tor Vergata, EIEF and IZA); Marco Tabellini (Harvard Business School and CEPR)
    Abstract: We study the effects of religious organizations on immigrants' assimilation. We focus on the arrival of Italian Catholic churches in the US between 1900 and 1920, when four million Italians had moved to America, and anti-Catholic sentiments were widespread. We combine newly collected Catholic directories on the presence of Italian churches across years and counties with the full count US Census of Population. We find that Italian churches reduced the social assimilation of Italian immigrants, lowering intermarriage rates and increasing ethnic residential segregation. We find no evidence that this was the result of either lower effort exerted by immigrants to “fit in” the American society or increased desire to vertically transmit national culture. Instead, we provide evidence for other two, non-mutually exclusive, mechanisms. First, Italian churches raised the frequency of interactions among fellow Italians, likely generating peer effects and reducing contact with other groups. Second, they increased the salience of the immigrant community among natives, thereby triggering backlash and discrimination.
    Date: 2021

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