nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2022‒05‒16
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Framed Field Experiments: 2021 Summary on By John List
  2. The Female Happiness Paradox By David G. Blanchflower; Alex Bryson
  3. Wealth and subjective well-being in Germany By Jantsch, Antje; Le Blanc, Julia; Schmidt, Tobias
  4. Consumer Bankruptcy, Mortgage Default and Labor Supply By Wenli Li; Costas Meghir; Florian Oswald
  5. Educational Inequality By Jo Blanden; Matthias Doepke; Jan Stuhler
  6. The Supplemental Expenditure Poverty Measure: A New Method for Measuring Poverty By Moffitt, Robert

  1. By: John List
    Abstract: In 2019 I put together a summary of data from my field experiments website that pertained to framed field experiments. Several people have asked me if I have 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: 2022
  2. By: David G. Blanchflower; Alex Bryson
    Abstract: Using data across countries and over time we show that women are unhappier than men in unhappiness and negative affect equations, irrespective of the measure used – anxiety, depression, fearfulness, sadness, loneliness, anger – and they have more days with bad mental health and more restless sleep. Women are also less satisfied with many aspects of their lives such as democracy, the economy, the state of education and health services. They are also less happy in the moment in terms of peace and calm, cheerfulness, feeling active, vigorous, fresh and rested. However, prior evidence on gender differences in global wellbeing metrics – happiness and life satisfaction – is less clear cut. Differences vary over time, location, and with model specification and the inclusion of controls especially marital status. We also show that there are significant variations by month in happiness data regarding whether males are happier than females but find little variation by month in unhappiness data. It matters which months are sampled when measuring positive affect but not with negative affect. These monthly data reveal that women’s happiness was more adversely affected by the COVID shock than men’s, but also that women’s happiness rebounded more quickly suggesting resilience. As a result, we now find strong evidence that males have higher levels of both happiness and life satisfaction in recent years even before the onset of pandemic. As in the past they continue to have lower levels of unhappiness. A detailed analysis of several data files, with various metrics, for the UK confirms that men now are happier than women.
    JEL: I31 J16
    Date: 2022–03
  3. By: Jantsch, Antje; Le Blanc, Julia; Schmidt, Tobias
    Abstract: Wealth in addition to income determines to a large degree an individual's consumption opportunities and economic situation, which should in turn affect their subjective well-being. We analyse empirically the relationship between life satisfaction as an indicator of subjective well being and households' wealth. We contribute to the scarce literature on wealth and well-being using micro-data from the German wealth survey, Panel on Household Finances - PHF, for 2010 and 2014. Using panel regression models, we find that (i) individuals' life satisfaction is statistically significant and positively associated with their households' wealth holdings, (ii) different components of wealth, such as real and financial assets, as well as debt, have differential effects on life satisfaction, (iii) both wealth levels and wealth holdings relative to other households matter for life satisfaction. Our study shows that it is important to consider wealth, in addition to income, when analysing individuals' life satisfaction.
    Keywords: wealth,debt,assets,life satisfaction,relative wealth,subjective well-being
    JEL: I31 D19 D31
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Wenli Li; Costas Meghir; Florian Oswald
    Abstract: We specify and estimate a lifecycle model of consumption, housing demand and labor supply in an environment where individuals may file for bankruptcy or default on their mortgage. Uncertainty in the model is driven by house price shocks, {education specific} productivity shocks, and catastrophic consumption events, while bankruptcy is governed by the basic institutional framework in the US as implied by Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The model is estimated using micro data on credit reports and mortgages combined with data from the American Community Survey. We use the model to understand the relative importance of the two chapters (7 and 13) for each of our two education groups that differ in both preferences and wage profiles. We also provide an evaluation of the BACPCA reform. Our paper demonstrates importance of distributional effects of Bankruptcy policy.
    JEL: D14 D18 D52 D53 E21 G33 J22 J31 K35
    Date: 2022–03
  5. By: Jo Blanden (University of Surrey); Matthias Doepke (Northwestern University); Jan Stuhler (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: This chapter provides new evidence on educational inequality and reviews the literature on the causes and consequences of unequal education. We document large achievement gaps between children from different socioeconomic backgrounds, show how patterns of educational inequality vary across countries, time, and generations, and establish a link between educational inequality and social mobility. We interpret this evidence from the perspective of economic models of skill acquisition and investment in human capital. The models account for different channels underlying unequal education and highlight how endogenous responses in parents’ and children's educational investments generate a close link between economic inequality and educational inequality. Given concerns over the extended school closures during the Covid-19 pandemic, we also summarize early evidence on the impact of the pandemic on children’s education and on possible long-run repercussions for educational inequality.
    Keywords: COVID-19, skill acquisition, educational inequality
    JEL: I24 J16 I24 I00
    Date: 2022–04
  6. By: Moffitt, Robert (Johns Hopkins University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We propose a new measure of the rate of poverty we call the Supplemental Expenditure Poverty Measure (SEPM) based on expenditure in the Consumer Expenditure survey. It treats household expenditure as a measure of resources available to purchase the minimum bundle necessary to meet basic needs. Our measure differs from conventional income and consumption poverty in both concept and measurement and it has advantages relative to both. Poverty rates using our basic measure are very close in level and recent trend to those of the most preferred income-based poverty rate produced by the Census Bureau. But our SEPM poverty rate differs from the Census measure at different levels of the poverty line. For example, that the number of individuals living in either poor or “almost” poor households is 5 percentage points greater (about 16 million individuals) using our measure. We also construct an augmented measure that adds additional potential liquid resources. This “maximal resources” measure indicates that if disadvantaged households used up all their bank balances and maximized their credit card borrowing, 9.6 percent of the population (over 31 million individuals) would still be poor and unable to purchase the goods necessary for the basic needs of life.
    Keywords: Keywords, Poverty, Consumer Expenditure Survey
    JEL: I32
    Date: 2022–05–10

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