nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2022‒01‒17
seven papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Home Alone: Widows' Well-Being and Time By Adena, Maja; Hamermesh, Daniel S.; Myck, Michal; Oczkowska, Monika
  2. Taking the Pulse of Nations: A Biometric Measure of Well-being By David G. Blanchflower; Alex Bryson
  3. The Health Effects of Universal Early Childhood Interventions: Evidence from Sure Start By Cattan, Sarah; Conti, Gabriella; Farquharson, Christine; Ginja, Rita; Pecher, Maud
  4. Older Immigrants – New Poverty Risk in Scandinavian Welfare States? By Gustafsson, Björn Anders; Jakobsen, Vibeke; Mac Innes, Hanna; Pedersen, Peder J.; Österberg, Torun
  5. Discrimination and Daycare Choice: Evidence from a Randomized Survey By Batsaikhan, Mongoljin; Gørtz, Mette; Kennes, John; Lyng, Ran Sun; Monte, Daniel; Tumennasan, Norovsambuu
  6. Poverty in early modern Europe: New approaches to old problems By Guido Alfani; Francesco Ammannati; Wouter Ryckbosch
  7. Job Training Through Turmoil By Felipe Barrera-Osorio; Adriana D. Kugler; Mikko I. Silliman

  1. By: Adena, Maja (WZB - Social Science Research Center Berlin); Hamermesh, Daniel S. (Barnard College); Myck, Michal (Centre for Economic Analysis, CenEA); Oczkowska, Monika (Centre for Economic Analysis, CenEA)
    Abstract: Losing a partner is a life-changing experience. We draw on numerous datasets to examine differences between widowed and partnered older women and to provide a comprehensive picture of well-being in widowhood. Most importantly, our analysis accounts for time use in widowhood, an aspect which has not been studied previously. Based on data from several European countries we trace the evolution of well-being of women who become widowed by comparing them with their matched non-widowed 'statistical twins' and examine the role of an exceptionally broad set of potential moderators of widowhood's impact on well-being. We confirm a dramatic decrease in mental health and life satisfaction after the loss of partner, followed by a slow recovery. An extensive set of controls recorded prior to widowhood, including detailed family ties and social networks, provides little help in explaining the deterioration in well-being. Unique data from time-diaries kept by older women from several European countries and the U.S. tell us why: the key factor behind widows' reduced well-being is increased time spent alone.
    Keywords: widowhood, well-being, social networks, time use
    JEL: I31 I19 J14
    Date: 2021–11
  2. By: David G. Blanchflower (Bruce V. Rauner ’78 Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755-3514. Adam Smith School of Business, University of Glasgow and NBER); Alex Bryson (Professor of Quantitative Social Science, UCL Social Research Institute, University College London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL)
    Abstract: A growing literature identifies associations between subjective and biometric indicators of wellbeing. These associations, together with the ability of subjective wellbeing (SWB) metrics to predict health and behavioral outcomes, have spawned increasing interest in SWB as an important concept in its own right. However, some social scientists continue to question the usefulness of SWB metrics. We contribute to this literature in three ways. First, we introduce a biometric measure of wellbeing – pulse – which has been largely overlooked. Using nationally representative data on 165,000 individuals from the Health Survey for England (HSE) and Scottish Health Surveys (SHeS) we show that its correlates are similar in a number of ways to those for SWB, and that it is highly correlated with SWB metrics, as well as self-assessed health. Second, we examine the determinants of pulse rates in mid-life (age 42) among the 9,000 members of the National Child Development Study (NCDS), a birth cohort born in a single week in 1958 in Britain. Third, we track the impact of pulse measured in mid-life (age 42) on health and labor market outcomes at age 50 in 2008 and age 55 in 2013. The probability of working at age 55 is negatively impacted by pulse rate a decade earlier. The pulse rate has an impact over and above chronic pain measured at age 42. General health at 55 is lower the higher the pulse rate at age 42, while those with higher pulse rates at 42 also express lower life satisfaction and more pessimism about the future at age 50. Taken together, these results suggest social scientists can learn a great deal by adding pulse rates to the metrics they use when evaluating people’s wellbeing.
    Keywords: pulse; wellbeing; mental health; general health; life satisfaction; paid work; life-course; birth cohort; NCDS.
    JEL: I10 J1
    Date: 2021–12–01
  3. By: Cattan, Sarah (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London); Conti, Gabriella (University College London); Farquharson, Christine (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London); Ginja, Rita (University of Bergen); Pecher, Maud (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)
    Abstract: We evaluate the short- and medium-term health impacts of Sure Start, a large-scale and universal early childhood program in England. We exploit the rollout of the program and implement a difference-in-difference approach, combining data on the exact location and opening date of Sure Start centers with administrative data on the universe of admissions to public-sector hospitals. Exposure to an additional Sure Start center per thousand age-eligible children increases hospitalization by 10% at age 1 (around 6,700 hospitalizations per year), but reduces them by 8-9% across ages 11 to 15 (around 13,150 hospitalizations per year). These findings show that early childhood programs that are less intensive than small-scale 'model programs' can deliver significant health benefits, even in contexts with universal healthcare. Impacts are driven by hospitalizations for preventable conditions and are concentrated in disadvantaged areas, suggesting that enriching early childhood environments might be a successful strategy to reduce inequalities in health.
    Keywords: health, early childhood intervention, difference-in-difference
    JEL: I10 I14 I18
    Date: 2021–11
  4. By: Gustafsson, Björn Anders (University of Gothenburg); Jakobsen, Vibeke (VIVE - The Danish Centre for Applied Social Science); Mac Innes, Hanna (University of Gothenburg); Pedersen, Peder J. (Aarhus University); Österberg, Torun (University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: Many European high-income countries face a rapid increase in the number of immigrants from low- and middle-income countries reaching the normal pension age. Thus, it is increasingly relevant to ask: how are older migrants from such countries faring? Here we study poverty rates and determinants of poverty among natives and persons born in Bosnia, Iran, Iraq, Yugoslavia and Turkey living in Denmark or Sweden in 2010. Income data on all such persons aged 65 to 82 living in the two destination countries are analysed. In both Denmark and Sweden, we report much higher poverty rates among the immigrants studied than among natives. Estimated probability models show that being poor is related to a person's education, family status and age, as well as year of arrival in the destination country and the labour market and his or her residential status at the age of 55. However, the labour market in the destination country at the time of arrival also matter. Persons born in Yugoslavia or Turkey who had immigrated to Denmark during the '70s and '80s were more likely to be in poverty in 2010 that their counterparts with the same characteristics who had immigrated to Sweden.
    Keywords: Denmark, Sweden, poverty, older immigrants
    JEL: I32 J14 J15 J61
    Date: 2021–11
  5. By: Batsaikhan, Mongoljin (Georgetown University); Gørtz, Mette (University of Copenhagen); Kennes, John (Aarhus University); Lyng, Ran Sun (University of Toronto); Monte, Daniel (Sao Paulo School of Economics); Tumennasan, Norovsambuu (Dalhousie University)
    Abstract: We use a randomized survey to study how discrimination affects parenting choices. In our survey, parents with young children choose between two public daycares, which are described by testimonials from other (fictitious) parents. The testifying parents in the first daycare describe a free play institution, which reflects a pro-typical Scandinavian 'permissive parenting' approach to childcare. The testifying parents in the second daycare describe a more structured daycare, which reflects an alternative approach to child care that is broadly consistent with 'paternalistic parenting'. We randomize the fictitious names of the testifying parents across respondents. We find bias against ethnic minorities among parents who prefer a structured child care institution but not among parents who prefer free play one. These biases are not reduced when we provide additional information on testifiers' professions. Our findings offer validation for a model of parenting where biases regarding discrimination are likely to come from parents preferring less permissive/more authoritarian methods of parenting.
    Keywords: discrimination, survey experiment, parenting style, daycare choice
    JEL: D15 D63 J15 I24
    Date: 2021–11
  6. By: Guido Alfani (Bocconi University); Francesco Ammannati (University of Florence); Wouter Ryckbosch (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
    Abstract: Earlier research on poverty failed to provide us with consistent measures of its prevalence across space and time. This is due to the limitations of the available sources and to the difficulty of applying to them the poverty definitions of modern social science. This article discusses different possible approaches to poverty measurement and the problems encountered when applying them to historical sources. Thereafter it proposes a way to measure absolute and, more importantly, relative poverty which makes good use of the information made available by recent research on inequality. We detect a long-run tendency towards an increase in the prevalence of poverty, both in the South and in the North of Europe. This trend was only temporarily interrupted by large-scale plague and other catastrophes, although the Black Death had stronger and more persistent poverty-reducing effects. Our approach, which this article applies mostly to Italy, the Low Countries and partially Germany and other areas, could be used for even broader international comparisons.
    Keywords: Poverty, economic inequality, social inequality, wealth concentration, Middle Ages, early modern period, Italy, Low Countries, Germany, plague, Black Death
    JEL: D31 I12 I14 I30 N30 J11 J31
    Date: 2022–01
  7. By: Felipe Barrera-Osorio; Adriana D. Kugler; Mikko I. Silliman
    Abstract: We follow the labor market outcomes of applicants who were randomized into job training a year and a half before the pandemic through the subsequent economic turmoil that resulted from COVID-19. Despite persistently improved labor market outcomes of training participants prior to March 2020, we show that job losses resulting from the pandemic washed away all the benefits of the program. A year and a half after the initial scars of the pandemic, there are no visible signs of recovery of trainees’ labor market outcomes.
    JEL: J20
    Date: 2021–12

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