nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2021‒10‒04
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Intergenerational educational mobility – the role of non-cognitive skills By Anna Adamecz-Völgyi; Morag Henderson; Nikki Shure
  2. Rising Top-Income Persistence in Australia: Evidence from Income Tax Data By Herault, Nicolas; Hyslop, Dean; Jenkins, Stephen P.; Wilkins, Roger
  3. Trends in subjective income poverty rates in the European Union By Želinský, Tomás; Mysíková, Martina; Garner, Thesia I.
  4. Happiness in the Lab: What Can Be Learned about Subjective Well-Being from Experiments? By Ifcher, John; Zarghamee, Homa; Goff, Sandra H.
  5. Effect of the Jamaica Early Childhood Stimulation Intervention on Labor Market Outcomes at Age 31 By Paul Gertler; James J. Heckman; Rodrigo Pinto; Susan M. Chang; Sally Grantham-McGregor; Christel Vermeersch; Susan Walker; Amika Wright

  1. By: Anna Adamecz-Völgyi (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies (KRTK KRTI), Toth Kalman u. 4, 1097 Budapest and UCL Social Research Institute, University College London, 27 Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA); Morag Henderson (UCL Social Research Institute, University College London, 27 Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA); Nikki Shure (UCL Social Research Institute, University College London, 27 Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA and Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 5-9, D-53113 Bonn.)
    Abstract: While it has been shown that university attendance is strongly predicted by parental education, we know very little about why some potential ‘first in family’ or first-generation students make it to university and others do not. This paper looks at the role of non-cognitive skills in the university participation of this disadvantaged group in England. We find that conditional on national, high-stakes exam scores and various measures of socioeconomic background, having higher levels of non-cognitive skills, specifically locus of control, academic self-concept, work ethic, and self-esteem, in adolescence is positively related to intergenerational educational mobility to university. Our results indicate that having higher non-cognitive skills helps potential first in family university students to compensate for their relative disadvantage, and they are especially crucial for boys. The most important channel of this relationship seems to be through educational attainment at the end of compulsory schoolig
    Keywords: socioeconomic gaps, intergenerational educational mobility, higher education, non-cognitive skills
    JEL: I24 J24
    Date: 2021–09
  2. By: Herault, Nicolas; Hyslop, Dean; Jenkins, Stephen P.; Wilkins, Roger
    Abstract: We use a new Australian longitudinal income tax dataset, Alife, covering 1991–2017, to examine levels and trends in the persistence in top-income group membership, focussing on the top 1%. We summarize persistence in multiple ways, documenting levels and trends in rates of remaining in top-income groups; re-entry to the top; the income changes associated with top-income transitions; and we also compare top-income persistence rates for annual and ‘permanent’ incomes. Regardless of the perspective taken, top-income persistence increased markedly over the period, with most of the increase occurring in the mid-2000s and early 2010s. In the mid- to late-2010s, Australian top-income persistence rates appear to have been near the top of the range of tax-data estimates for other countries. Using univariate breakdowns and multivariate regression, we show that the rise in top-income persistence in Australia was experienced by many population subgroups. (Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality Working Paper)
    Date: 2021–09–20
  3. By: Želinský, Tomás; Mysíková, Martina; Garner, Thesia I.
    Abstract: When developing anti-poverty policies, policymakers need accurate data on the prevalence of poverty. In this paper, we focus on subjective poverty, a concept which has been largely neglected in the literature, though it 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 income poverty rates in the European Union. Our estimations are based on a Minimum Income Question using data from a representative survey, EU-SILC. We find robust empirical evidence of decreasing trends in subjective poverty in 16 of 28 EU countries. We conjecture that trends in subjective poverty may reflect changes in societies which are not captured by official poverty indicators, 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: Ifcher, John; Zarghamee, Homa; Goff, Sandra H.
    Abstract: The recent surge in analyses of subjective well-being (SWB) and the economics of happiness using large observational datasets has generated stylized facts about the relationship between SWB and various correlates. Because such studies are mostly concerned with the determinants of SWB, the modeling utilized assumes SWB to be the dependent variable. Often, selection effects, reverse causality, and omitted variable bias cannot adequately be controlled for, calling many of the stylized facts into question. This chapter explores the important contributions that happiness-in-the-lab experiments can make to the debates about stylized facts by testing the causality of the relationship between SWB and its correlates. A distinction is made between happiness-in-the-lab experiments in which SWB is a dependent versus independent variable, and methods for both types of experiments are discussed, along with a discussion of the limitations inherent in such experiments. The extant happiness-in-the-lab literature is reviewed and future directions for happiness-in the-lab research are proposed. The important role that happiness-inthe- lab experiments can play in the development of national SWB accounting is emphasized.
    Keywords: Subjective Well-Being,Happiness,Positive Affect,Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT),Economic Experiments & Causation
    JEL: C9 I31
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Paul Gertler; James J. Heckman; Rodrigo Pinto; Susan M. Chang; Sally Grantham-McGregor; Christel Vermeersch; Susan Walker; Amika Wright
    Abstract: We report the labor market effects of the Jamaica Early Childhood Stimulation intervention at age 31. The study is a small-sample randomized early childhood education stimulation intervention targeting stunted children living in the poor neighborhoods of Kingston, Jamaica. Implemented in 1987-1989, treatment consisted of a two-year home-based intervention designed to improve nutrition and the quality of mother-child interactions to foster cognitive, language and psycho-social skills. The original sample is 127 stunted children between 9 and 24 months old. Our study is able to track and interview 75% of the original sample 30 years after the intervention, both still living in Jamaica and migrated abroad. We find large and statistically significant effects on income and schooling; the treatment group had 43% higher hourly wages and 37% higher earnings than the control group. This is a substantial increase over the treatment effect estimated for age 22 where we observed a 25% increase in earnings. The Jamaican Study is a rare case of a long-term follow up for an early childhood development (ECD) intervention implemented in a less-developed country. Our results confirm large economic returns to an early childhood intervention that targeted disadvantaged families living in poverty in the poor neighborhoods of Jamaica. The Jamaican intervention is being replicated around the world. Our analysis provides justification for expanding ECD interventions targeting disadvantaged children living in poor countries around the world.
    JEL: C31 I21 J13
    Date: 2021–09

This nep-ltv issue is ©2021 by Maximo Rossi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.