nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2021‒08‒09
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Long Term Effects of Cash Transfer Programs in Colombia By Orazio P. Attanasio; Lina Cardona-Sosa; Carlos Medina; Costas Meghir; Christian Posso
  2. Evaluating distributions of opportunities from behind a veil of ignorance: A robust approach By Francesco Andreoli; Mathieu Faure; Nicolas Gravel; Tista Kundu
  3. Trends in subjective income poverty rates in the European Union By Želinský, Tomáš; Mysíková, Martina; Garner, Thesia I.
  4. Missing Incomes in the UK : Evidence and Policy Implications By Advani, Arun
  5. Job Displacement, Unemployment Benefits and Domestic Violence By Bhalotra, Sonia; Britto, Diogo G. C.; Pinotti, Paolo; Sampaio, Breno
  6. Unions and Inequality over the Twentieth Century: New Evidence from Survey Data By Henry S. Farber; Daniel Herbst; lyana Kuziemko; Suresh Naidu

  1. By: Orazio P. Attanasio (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Lina Cardona-Sosa (World Bank); Carlos Medina (Banco de la República); Costas Meghir (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Christian Posso (Banco de la República)
    Abstract: Conditional Cash transfer (CCT) programs have been shown to have positive effects on a variety of outcomes including education, consumption and health visits, amongst others. We estimate the long-run impacts of the urban version of Familias en Acción, the Colombian CCT program on crime, teenage pregnancy, high school dropout and college enrollment using a Regression Discontinuity design on administrative data. ITT estimates show a reduction on arrest rates of 2.7pp for men and a reduction on teenage pregnancy of 2.3pp for women. High school dropout rates were reduced by 5.8pp and college enrollment was increased by 1.7pp for men.
    Keywords: CCT programs, human capital accumulation, crime, adolescent pregnancy, RDD
    JEL: D04 K42 I23 I28 I38 J13
    Date: 2021–07
  2. By: Francesco Andreoli (Department of Economics, University of Verona, Italy and Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research, LISER); Mathieu Faure (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France.); Nicolas Gravel (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France.); Tista Kundu (Centre de Sciences Humaines, Delhi, India.)
    Abstract: This paper provides a robust criterion for evaluating the allocation of opportunities among various groups. We envisage the problem of comparing these allocations from the view point of an ethical observer placed behind a veil of ignorance with respect to the group in which he/she could end up. We give justi…cation for such an ethical observer to evaluate these allocations of opportunities on the basis of an expected valuation of the expected utility of being in a group assuming an equal probability of falling in every group. We identify a criterion for comparing societies that is agreed upon by all such ethical observers who exhibit aversion to inequality of opportunities. The criterion happens to be a conic extension of zonotope inclusion criterion. We provide various interpretations of this criterion as well as some illustrations of its possible use, notably in the Indian context where we evaluate the inequalities of educational opportunities among castes and genders o¤ered by Indian states.
    Keywords: equalizing opportunities, groups, zonotopes, gender, education
    JEL: D63 D81 I24
    Date: 2021–07
  3. By: Želinský, Tomáš; Mysíková, Martina; Garner, Thesia I.
    Abstract: When developing anti-poverty policies, policy makers need accurate data on the prevalence of poverty. In this paper, we focus on subjective poverty, a concept which has been largely neglected in literature, yet remains a conceptually appealing way to define poverty. The primary goal of this study is to re-examine the concept of subjective poverty measurement and to estimate trends in subjective poverty rates in the European Union. Our estimations are based on a minimum income question using data from a representative survey, EU-SILC, and we find a decreasing trend in subjective poverty in 16 of 28 countries. Conversely, the official relative income poverty indicator exhibits increasing trends in eleven countries, with decreasing trends in only four countries. We believe that these trends may reflect changes in societies which have not been previously captured, and our results thus enrich the existing data on general poverty trends in the EU.
    Keywords: Subjective poverty,Minimum Income Question,intersection approach,EU-SILC,European Union
    JEL: I31 I32
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Advani, Arun (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Policymakers tend to ‘treasure what is measured’ and overlook phenomena that are not. In an era of increased reliance on administrative data, existing policies also often determine what is measured in the first place. We analyse this two-way interaction between measurement and policy in the context of the investment incomes and capital gains that are missing from the UK’s official income statistics. We show that these ‘missing incomes’ change the picture of economic inequality over the past decade, revealing rising top income shares during the period of austerity. The underestimation of these forms of income in official statistics has diverted attention from tax policies that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest. We urge a renewed focus on how policy affects and is affected by measurement.
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Bhalotra, Sonia (University of Warwick, CEPR, IZA, IEA); Britto, Diogo G. C. (Bocconi University, BAFFI-CAREFIN, CLEAN Center for the Economic Analysis of Crime, GAPPE/UFPE, IZA); Pinotti, Paolo (Bocconi University, BAFFI-CAREFIN, CLEAN Center for the Economic Analysis of Crime, CEPR); Sampaio, Breno (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, BAFFI-CAREFIN, CLEAN Center for the Economic Analysis of Crime, GAPPE/UFPE, IZA)
    Abstract: We estimate impacts of male job loss, female job loss, and male unemployment benefits on domestic violence in Brazil. We merge employer-employee and social welfare registers with administrative data on domestic violence cases brought to criminal courts, use of public shelters by victims and mandatory notifications of domestic violence by health providers. Leveraging mass layoffs for identification, we find that both male and female job loss, independently, lead to large and pervasive increases in domestic violence. Exploiting a discontinuity in unemployment insurance eligibility, we find that eligible men are not less likely to commit domestic violence while benefits are being paid, and more likely to commit it once benefits expire. Our findings are consistent with job loss increasing domestic violence on account of a negative income shock and an increase in exposure of victims to perpetrators, with unemployment benefits partially off setting the income shock while reinforcing the exposure shock.
    Keywords: domestic violence ; unemployment ; mass layoffs ; unemployment insurance ; income shock ; exposure ; Brazil
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Henry S. Farber (Princeton University and NBER); Daniel Herbst (University of Arizona); lyana Kuziemko (Princeton University and NBER); Suresh Naidu (Columbia University and NBER)
    Abstract: U.S. income inequality has varied inversely with union density over the past hundred years. But moving beyond this aggregate relationship has proven difficult, in part be-cause of limited micro-data on union membership prior to 1973. We develop a new source of micro-data on union membership dating back to 1936, survey data primarily from Gallup (N~980,000), to examine the long-run relationship between unions and inequality. We document dramatic changes in the demographics of union members:when density was at its mid-century peak, union households were much less educated and more non-white than other households, whereas pre-World-War-II and today they are more similar to non-union households on these dimensions. However, despite large changes in composition and density since 1936, the household union premium holds relatively steady between ten and twenty log points. We then use our data to examine the effect of unions on income inequality. Using distributional decompositions, time-series regressions, state-year regressions, as well as a new instrumental-variable strategy based on the 1935 legalization of unions and the World-War-II era War Labor Board,we find consistent evidence that unions reduce inequality, explaining a significant share of the dramatic fall in inequality between the mid-1930s and late 1940s.
    JEL: J51 N32
    Date: 2020–10

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