nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2022‒02‒28
twelve papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Getting the Measure of Inequality By Jenkins, Stephen P.
  2. Health and Labor Market Impacts of Twin Birth: Evidence from a Swedish IVF Policy Mandate By Bhalotra, S; Clarke, D; Mühlrad, H; Palme, M
  3. Life Satisfaction and the Human Development Index Across the World By Remi Yin; Anthony Lepinteur; Andrew E. Clark; Conchita D’ambrosio
  4. The Age U-shape in Europe: The Protective Role of Partnership By Andrew E. Clark; Hippolyte d'Albis; Angela Greulich
  5. Job quality and workplace gender diversity in Europe By Andrew E. Clark; Conchita D’ambrosio; Rong Zhu
  6. Demography and Well-being By Andrew E. Clark
  7. The Effects of Advanced Degrees on the Wage Rates, Hours, Earnings and Job Satisfaction of Women and Men By Altonji, Joseph G.; Humphries, John Eric; Zhong, Ling
  8. Unions, insurance and changing welfare states: The emergence of obligatory complementary income insurance in Sweden By Hamark, Jesper; John, Lapidus
  9. The Variability and Volatility of Sleep: An Archetypal Approach By Hamermesh, Daniel S.; Pfann, Gerard A.
  10. Zero-Hours Contracts in a Frictional Labor Market By Dolado, Juan J.; Lalé, Etienne; Turon, Hélène
  11. Gimme Shelter. Social Distancing and Income Support in Times of Pandemic By Aminjonov, Ulugbek; Bargain, Olivier; Bernard, Tanguy
  12. The (Un)Importance of Inheritance By Sandra E. Black; Paul J. Devereux; Fanny Landaud; Kjell G. Salvanes

  1. By: Jenkins, Stephen P. (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: I focus on one of the most-commonly-cited 'facts'; about UK income inequality – that it has changed little over the last 30 years – and reflect on how robust that description is. I look at a number of fundamental issues in inequality measurement related to inequality concepts (e.g., inequality aversion, relative versus absolute inequality, and inequality of opportunity versus outcome), definitions of 'income', the income-receiving unit, and the reference period, and related data issues. There are grounds for arguing that income inequality levels are higher, and the inequality increase over time greater, than conventional approaches indicate.
    Keywords: top incomes, income inequality, inequality, tax return data, survey data
    JEL: D31 C81
    Date: 2022–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14996&r=
  2. By: Bhalotra, S (University of Warwick, CEPR, IEA, IZA, CAGE); Clarke, D (University of Chile and IZA); Mühlrad, H (Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU)); Palme, M (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: IVF allows women to delay birth and pursue careers, but IVF massively increases the risk of twin birth. There is limited evidence of how having twins influences women’s post-birth careers. We investigate this, leveraging a single embryo transfer (SET) mandate implemented in Sweden in 2003, following which the share of twin births showed a precipitous drop of 70%. Linking birth registers to hospitalization and earnings registers, we identify substantial improvements in maternal and child health and women’s earnings following IVF birth, alongside an increase in subsequent fertility. We provide the first comprehensive evaluation of SET, relevant given the secular rise in IVF births and growing concerns over twin birth risk. We contribute new estimates of the child penalty imposed by twin as opposed to singleton birth, relevant to the secular rise in the global twin birth rate.
    Keywords: twins, IVF, single embryo transfer, career costs of children, child penalty, gender wage gap, fertility, maternal health, neonatal health, gender JEL Classification:J13, I11, I12, I38, J24
    Date: 2022
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cge:wacage:602&r=
  3. By: Remi Yin (Uni.lu - Université du Luxembourg); Anthony Lepinteur (Uni.lu - Université du Luxembourg); Andrew E. Clark (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Conchita D’ambrosio (Uni.lu - Université du Luxembourg)
    Abstract: We use annual data on over 150 countries between 2005 and 2018 to look at the relationship between subjective well-being (both cognitive and affective) and the Human Development Index (HDI). The HDI appears to be more closely related to cognitive than affective well-being. We also consider the relationships between the three HDI components (the Income, Health, and Education Indices) and well-being, and find that, on average, the Income Index has the strongest predictive power. Importantly, we find that the three HDI components only matter equally in Western and rich countries. Our analysis contributes to the discussion about cultural sensitivity in paradigms of societal development in two ways. We first show that differences in preferences toward development aims exist. Second, we propose a weighting procedure for a culturally-sensitive version of the HDI.
    Keywords: Human Development Index,Subjective well-being,Gallup World Poll,Country groups
    Date: 2021
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-03467218&r=
  4. By: Andrew E. Clark (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Hippolyte d'Albis (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Angela Greulich (Sciences Po - Sciences Po)
    Abstract: In this study, we ask whether the U-shaped relationship between life satisfactionand age is flatter for individuals who are partnered. An analysis of cross-sectionalEU-SILC data indicates that the decline in life satisfaction from the teens to thefifties is almost four times larger for non-partnered than for partnered individuals,whose life satisfaction essentially follows a slight downward trajectory with age.However, the same analysis applied to three panel datasets (BHPS, SOEP andHILDA) reveals a U-shape for both groups, albeit somewhat flatter for the partneredthan for the non-partnered individuals. We suggest that the difference between thecross-sectional and the panel results reflects compositional effects: i.e., there isa significant shift of the relatively dissatisfied out of marriage in mid-life. Thesecompositional effects tend to flatten the U-shape in age for the partnered individualsin the cross-sectional data.
    Keywords: Life satisfaction,Life cycle,Partnership,Marriage
    Date: 2021
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-03467204&r=
  5. By: Andrew E. Clark (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Conchita D’ambrosio (Uni.lu - Université du Luxembourg); Rong Zhu (Flinders University [Adelaide, Australia])
    Abstract: We here consider the relationship between workplace gender measures and employees' perceived job quality, where the former cover both the gender mix of workers with the same job title and the gender of the immediate boss. Data from the 2015 European Working Conditions Survey show that men's job evaluation is higher in gender-balanced job positions at the workplace, while that of women is higher in either gender-balanced or male-dominated positions. The gender of the immediate boss plays no significant role in employee job evaluation. There is some evidence that these correlations differ by job-quality domains. We introduce co-worker support and help, gender discrimination, and unwanted sexual attention as possible mediators of the gender-mix correlations: these change the estimated coefficients only little. Our estimated correlations could therefore reflect a pure preference for job-position gender composition. Last, we use a bounding approach to show that our main results are robust to the potential influence of unobservables. Overall, job-position gender diversity is associated with higher worker well-being.
    Keywords: Perceived job quality,Job-position gender diversity,Gender of immediate boss
    Date: 2021–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-03467113&r=
  6. By: Andrew E. Clark (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Demography studies the characteristics of populations. One such characteristic is well-being: this was the subject of the 2019 Wittgenstein Conference. Here, I discuss how objective well-being domains can be summarised to produce an overall well-being score, and how taking self-reported (subjective) well-being into account may help in this effort. But given that there is more than one type of subjective well-being score, we would want to know which one is "best". We would also need to decide whose well-being counts, or counts more than that of others. Finally, I briefly mention the potential role of adaptation and social comparisons in the calculation of societal well-being.
    Keywords: Subjective well-being,Demography,Measurement,Policy
    Date: 2021
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-03467198&r=
  7. By: Altonji, Joseph G. (Yale University); Humphries, John Eric (Yale University); Zhong, Ling (Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business)
    Abstract: This paper uses a college-by-graduate degree fixed effects estimator to evaluate the returns to 19 different graduate degrees for men and women. We find substantial variation across degrees, and evidence that OLS over-estimates the returns to degrees with the highest average earnings and underestimates the returns to degrees with the lowest average earnings. Second, we decompose the impacts on earnings into effects on wage rates and effects on hours. For most degrees, the earnings gains come from increased wage rates, though hours play an important role in some degrees, such as medicine, especially for women. Third, we estimate the net present value and internal rate of return for each degree, which account for the time and monetary costs of degrees. Finally, we provide descriptive evidence that satisfaction gains are large for some degrees with smaller economic returns, such as education and humanities degrees, especially for men.
    Keywords: returns to graduate education, earnings, job satisfaction, gender differences
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2022–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp15010&r=
  8. By: Hamark, Jesper (Department of Economic History, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); John, Lapidus (Department of Economic History, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: How do unions who support universal welfare such as public employment insurance reason when they introduce private solutions such as obligatory complementary income insurance (OCII)? Unions are important actors in shaping the welfare model. Their actions and arguments tell a lot about how and why welfare state changes take place. In this paper, we seek answers to how the unions have acted and argued on OCII, how these actions and arguments have changed over time and whether there are differences across unions within the same confederation and across different confederations. The material includes congressional minutes and other internal documents for the period 2000–2020. Further, a number of newspapers and union magazines are studied. What we find and systematise is a myriad of arguments for and against OCII, some of them referring to the eroded public unemployment insurance and others pointing towards sharp competition between unions to keep or to recruit new members.
    Keywords: Unions; public unemployment insurance; obligatory complementary income insurance; welfare models; Swedish welfare model
    JEL: I30 J51 J65
    Date: 2022–01–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hhs:gunhis:0029&r=
  9. By: Hamermesh, Daniel S. (Barnard College); Pfann, Gerard A. (Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Using Dutch time-diary data from 1975-2005 covering over 10,000 respondents for 7 consecutive days each, we show that individuals' sleep time exhibits both variability and volatility characterized by stationary autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity: The absolute values of deviations from a person's average sleep on one day are positively correlated with those on the next day. Sleep is more variable on weekends and among people with less education, who are younger and who do not have young children at home. Volatility is greater among parents with young children, slightly greater among men than women, but independent of other demographics. A theory of economic incentives to minimize the dispersion of sleep predicts that higher-wage workers will exhibit less dispersion, a result demonstrated using extraneous estimates of earnings equations to impute wage rates. Volatility in sleep spills over onto volatility in other personal activities, with no reverse causation onto sleep. The results illustrate a novel dimension of economic inequality and could be applied to a wide variety of human behavior and biological processes.
    Keywords: time use, ARCH, economic incentives in biological processes, volatility
    JEL: C22 J22 I14
    Date: 2022–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp15001&r=
  10. By: Dolado, Juan J. (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid); Lalé, Etienne (University of Québec at Montréal); Turon, Hélène (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: We propose a model to evaluate the U.K.'s zero-hours contract (ZHC) – a contract that exempts employers from the requirement to provide any minimum working hours, and allows employees to decline any workload. We find quantitatively that ZHCs improve welfare by enabling firms with more volatile business conditions to create additional jobs. While weaker than job creation, substitution effects – some jobs that are otherwise viable under regular contracts are advertised as ZHCs – are sizable and likely explain negative reactions against ZHCs. Our model also assesses increased labor-force participation from ZHCs which appeal to individuals who prefer flexible work schedules.
    Keywords: zero-hours contracts, working hours, gig economy, flexibility
    JEL: E24 J22 J23 J63 L84
    Date: 2021–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14979&r=
  11. By: Aminjonov, Ulugbek (University of Bordeaux); Bargain, Olivier (Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV); Bernard, Tanguy (IFPRI, International Food Policy Research Institute)
    Abstract: Strict containment limits the spread of pandemics but is difficult to achieve when people must continue to work to avoid poverty. A new role is emerging for income support: by enabling people to effectively stay home, it can produce substantial health externalities. We examine this issue using data on human mobility and poverty rates in 729 subnational regions of Africa, Latin America and Asia during the first year of COVID-19. We focus on within-country differential mobility changes between higher- and lower-poverty regions. Conditional on country-day fixed effects, shelter-in-place orders decrease work-related mobility significantly less in poorer regions. Emergency income support programs seem to help people to reduce their mobility on average, mitigating the poverty-driven gap in mobility between regions and, hence, regional differences in contagion rates.
    Keywords: COVID-19, poverty, policy, lockdown, social protection, compliance, mobility
    JEL: H12 I12 I18 I38 O15
    Date: 2021–12
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14967&r=
  12. By: Sandra E. Black; Paul J. Devereux; Fanny Landaud; Kjell G. Salvanes
    Abstract: Transfers from parents—either in the form of gifts or inheritances—have received much attention as a source of inequality. This paper uses a 19-year panel of administrative data for the population of Norway to examine the share of the Total Inflows available to an individual (defined as the capitalized sum of net labor income, government transfers, and gifts and inheritances received over the period) accounted for by capitalized gifts and inheritances. Perhaps surprisingly, we find that gifts and inheritances represent a small share of Total Inflows; this is true across the distribution of Total Inflows, as well as at all levels of net wealth at a point in time. Gifts and inheritances are only an important source of income flows among those who have very wealthy parents. Additionally, gifts and inheritances have very little effect on the distribution of Total Inflows – when we do a counterfactual Total Inflows distribution with zero gifts and inheritances, it is not much different from the actual distribution. Our findings suggest that inheritance taxes may do little to mitigate the extreme wealth inequality in society.
    JEL: G51 J01
    Date: 2022–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:29693&r=

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