nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2022‒04‒18
twelve papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Take the highway? Paved roads and well-being in Africa By Djemaï, Elodie; Clark, Andrew E.; D'Ambrosio, Conchita
  2. 2021 Summary Data of Artefactual Field Experiments Published on By John List
  3. Religiosity, Smoking and Other Risky Behaviors By Roman, Monica; Zimmermann, Klaus F.; Plopeanu, Aurelian-Petruș
  4. The Gender Gap in Top Jobs – The Role of Overconfidence By Adamecz-Völgyi, Anna; Shure, Nikki
  5. The Making of Civic Virtues: A School-Based Experiment in Three Countries By Briole, Simon; Gurgand, Marc; Maurin, Eric; McNally, Sandra; Ruiz-Valenzuela, Jenifer; Santín, Daniel
  6. Are Low-Skill Women Being Left Behind? Labor Market Evidence from the UK By Jay Rappaport; Carlo Pizzinelli; Ms. Era Dabla-Norris
  7. The intergenerational transmission of cognitive skills: An investigation of the causal impact of families on student outcomes By Hanushek, Eric Alan; Jacobs, Babs; Schwerdt, Guido; van der Velden, Rolf; Vermeulen, Stan; Wiederhold, Simon
  8. The global inequality boomerang By Ravi Kanbur; Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez; Andy Sumner
  9. The Anatomy of the Global Saving Glut By Luis Bauluz; Filip Novokmet; Moritz Schularick
  10. Male and Female Voices in Economics By Sievertsen, Hans Henrik; Smith, Sarah
  11. Inequalities in retirement lifespan in the United States By Jiaxin Shi; Christian Dudel; Christiaan Monden; Alyson A. van Raalte
  12. Macroeconomic Covariates of Real Household Incomes in America By Martin Ravallion

  1. By: Djemaï, Elodie; Clark, Andrew E.; D'Ambrosio, Conchita
    Abstract: Public Goods aim to improve individual welfare. We investigate the causal consequences of roads on well-being in 24 African countries, instrumenting paved roads by 19th Century hypothetical lines between major ports and cities. We have data on over 32000 individuals, and consider both their objective and subjective well-being. Roads reduce material deprivation, in terms of access to basic needs, but at the same time there is no relation between roads and subjective living conditions. The benefit of roads in providing basic needs then seems to be offset by worse outcomes in non basic-needs domains.
    Keywords: roads; subjective well-being; basic needs; material deprivation; Africa
    JEL: D63 I32 O18
    Date: 2021–04–14
  2. By: John List
    Abstract: In 2019, I put together a summary of data from my field experiments website that pertained to artefactual field experiments. Several people have asked me if I have an update. In this document I update all figures and numbers to show the details for 2021. I also include the description from the 2019 paper below.
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Roman, Monica; Zimmermann, Klaus F.; Plopeanu, Aurelian-Petruș
    Abstract: While under communism the identity-providing religion was suppressed, religiosity is strong today even among the youth in post-communist countries. This provides an appropriate background to investigate how external and internal religiosity relates to risky behaviors like smoking, drinking, and drugs among the young. This study shows that not religion as such or internal religiosity, but largely observable (external) religiosity prevents them from wallowing in those vices. While this is found strongly for both males and females, those females doubting or reflecting religion show a somewhat smaller risky activity.
    Keywords: addictive behavior,Orthodox,external and internal religiosity,youth,smoking,drinking,drugs,Romania
    JEL: I12 N34 Z12
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Adamecz-Völgyi, Anna (UCL Institute of Education); Shure, Nikki (University College London)
    Abstract: There is a large gender gap in the probability of being in a "top job" in mid-career. Top jobs bring higher earnings, and also have more job security and better career trajectories. Recent literature has raised the possibility that some of this gap may be attributable to women not "leaning in" while men are more overconfident in their abilities. We use longitudinal data from childhood into mid-career and construct a measure of overconfidence using multiple measures of objective cognitive ability and subjective estimated ability. Our measure confirms previous findings that men are more overconfident than women. We then use linear regression and decomposition techniques to account for the gender gap in top jobs including our measure of overconfidence. Our results show that men being more overconfident explains 5-11 percent of the gender gap in top job employment. This contribution is statistically significant although small in magnitude. This indicates that while overconfidence matters for gender inequality in the labor market and has implications for how firms recruit and promote workers, other individual, structural, and societal factors play a larger role.
    Keywords: gender gaps, inequality, overconfidence, labor market
    JEL: I24 I26 J24
    Date: 2022–03
  5. By: Briole, Simon (Paris School of Economics); Gurgand, Marc (Paris School of Economics); Maurin, Eric (Paris School of Economics); McNally, Sandra (University of Surrey); Ruiz-Valenzuela, Jenifer (London School of Economics); Santín, Daniel (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: With the rise of polarization and extremism, the question of how best to transmit civic virtues across generations is more acute than ever. In this paper, we test the hypothesis that schools can be the place for this transmission by empowering students and gathering them around concrete and democratically chosen objectives. We draw on an RCT implemented in a large sample of middle schools in three European countries. The evaluated program leads students to carry out collective citizenship projects in their immediate communities under the supervision of teachers trained in student-centered teaching methods. The program significantly increases student altruism, their political self-efficacy as well as the quality of their relationship with their classmates and their respect for the rules of school life (less sanctions and absenteeism). In all three countries, the benefits are greater for students with the highest level of altruism and interest in politics at baseline. Investments made at an early age appear to be complement to those made during adolescence for the production of civic virtues.
    Keywords: citizenship, education, teaching practices, project-based learning, RCT, youth
    JEL: I20 I24 J24
    Date: 2022–03
  6. By: Jay Rappaport; Carlo Pizzinelli; Ms. Era Dabla-Norris
    Abstract: Labor markets in the UK have been characterized by markedly widening wage inequality for lowskill (non-college) women, a trend that predates the pandemic. We examine the contribution of job polarization to this trend by estimating age, period, and cohort effects for the likelihood of employment in different occupations and the wages earned therein over 2001-2019. For recent generations of women, cohort effects indicate a higher likelihood of employment in low-paying manual jobs relative to high-paying abstract jobs. However, cohort effects also underpin falling wages for post-1980 cohorts across all occupations. We find that falling returns to labor rather than job polarization has been a key driver of rising inter-age wage inequality among low-skill females. Wage-level cohort effects underpin a nearly 10 percent fall in expected lifetime earnings for low-skill women born in 1990 relative to those born in 1970.
    Keywords: Job polarization, Occupational choice, Life-cycle, Cohorts, Intergenerational inequality
    Date: 2022–02–25
  7. By: Hanushek, Eric Alan; Jacobs, Babs; Schwerdt, Guido; van der Velden, Rolf; Vermeulen, Stan; Wiederhold, Simon
    Abstract: The extensive literature on intergenerational mobility highlights the importance of family linkages but fails to provide credible evidence about the underlying family factors that drive the pervasive correlations. We employ a unique combination of Dutch survey and registry data that links math and language skills across generations. We identify the connection between cognitive skills of parents and their children by exploiting within-family between-subject variation in these skills. A causal interpretation of the between-subject estimates is reinforced by novel IV estimation that isolates variation in parent cognitive skills due to teacher and classroom peer quality. The between-subject and IV estimates of the key intergenerational persistence parameter are strikingly similar and close at about 0.1. Finally, we show the strong influence of family skill transmission on children's choices of STEM fields.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility,parent-child skill transmission,causality,STEM
    JEL: I24 I26 J12 J24 J62
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Ravi Kanbur (Cornell University); Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez (King's College, London); Andy Sumner (King's College, London)
    Abstract: In this paper we argue that the decline in global inequality over the last decades has spurred a ‘sunshine’ narrative of falling global inequality that has been rather oversold, in the sense, we argue, it is likely to be temporary. We argue the decline in global inequality will reverse due to changes in the between-country component. We find there is a potentially startling global inequality ‘boomerang’, possibly in the mid-to-late 2020s, which would have happened even if there were no pandemic, and that the pandemic is likely to bring forward the global inequality boomerang.
    Keywords: global inequality, inequality boomerang, COVID-19 pandemic
    JEL: D31 D63 O15
    Date: 2022–03
  9. By: Luis Bauluz (University of Bonn, World Inequality Lab); Filip Novokmet (University of Bonn, World Inequality Lab); Moritz Schularick (Sciences Po, University of Bonn, CEPR)
    Abstract: This paper provides a household-level perspective on the rise of global saving and wealth since the 1980s. We calculate asset-specific saving flows and capital gains across the wealth distribution for the G3 economies – the U.S., Europe, and China. In the past four decades, global saving inequality has risen sharply. The share of household saving flows coming from the richest 10% of household increased by 60% while saving of middle class households has fallen sharply. The most important source for the surge in top-10% saving was the secular rise of global corporate saving whose ultimate owners the rich households are. Housing capital gains have supported wealth growth for middle-class households despite falling saving and rising debt. Without meaningful capital gains in risky assets, the wealth share of the bottom half of the population declined substantially in most G3 economies.
    Keywords: Income and wealth inequality, household portfolios, historical micro data
    JEL: D31 E21 E44 N32
    Date: 2022–04
  10. By: Sievertsen, Hans Henrik (University of Bristol); Smith, Sarah (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: Women's voices are likely to be even more absent from economic debates than headline figures on female under-representation suggest. Focusing on a panel of leading economists we find that men are more willing than women to express an opinion and are more certain and more confident in their opinions, including in areas where both are experts. Women make up 21 per cent of the panel but 19 per cent of the opinions expressed and 14 per cent of strong opinions. We discuss implications for the economics profession and for promoting a genuine diversity of views.
    Keywords: gender, economics profession
    JEL: A11 J16
    Date: 2022–03
  11. By: Jiaxin Shi (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Christian Dudel (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Christiaan Monden; Alyson A. van Raalte (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Objectives Persistent and substantial disparities in old-age mortality suggest that there may be great inequalities in the length of retirement life. This study aims to assess gender and educational differences in the average retirement lifespan and the variation in retirement lifespan, taking into account individual labor-force exit and re-entry dynamics. Methods We used longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study in 1996–2016, focusing on respondents aged 50 and above (N = 32,228). Multistate life tables were estimated using discrete-time event history models. The average retirement lifespan, as well as absolute and relative inequalities in retirement lifespan, were calculated analytically. Results We found that among women there was a persistent educational gradient in average retirement lifespan over the whole period studied; among men, the relationship between education and retirement expectancy was different across periods. Women and the lower-educated had higher absolute inequality in retirement lifespan than men and the higher-educated—yet these relationships were reversed when examined by relative inequality. Discussion Our multistate approach provides an accurate and comprehensive picture of the retirement lifespan of older Americans in the past two decades. Such findings should be considered in high-level discussions on Social Security. Potential reforms such as raising the eligibility age or cutting benefits may have unexpected implications for different social groups due to their differential impacts on retirement initiation and re-entry dynamics.
    Keywords: USA, age at retirement, inequality, life expectancy, mortality, multi-state life tables, retirement
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2022
  12. By: Martin Ravallion (Department of Economics, Georgetown University)
    Abstract: Household survey data for the U.S. spanning 30 years are used to study the co-movements between log real household incomes and standard macroeconomic indicators. The semi-elasticities of the income quantiles with respect to the macro indicators are found to vary substantially and non-monotonically across the distribution. The unemployment rate matters at all income levels, but especially so for the poorest, living at the estimated income floor. Inflation rates matter more at middle incomes. Recessions are poverty-increasing, but also skewness-decreasing, with implications for the political economy of redistribution. These complex distributional effects are obscured by standard scaler measures of income inequality. Classification- D31, E31, E32
    Keywords: Unemployment, inflation, growth, poverty, inequality, skewness
    Date: 2022–04–12

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