nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2022‒09‒19
seven papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Does the Minimum Wage Affect Wage Inequality? A Study for the Six Largest Latin American Economies By Carlo Lombardo; Lucía Ramirez-Veira; Leonardo Gasparini
  2. Universal Early Childhood Education and Adolescent Risky Behavior By Michihito Ando; Hiroaki Mori; Shintaro Yamaguchi
  3. Gendered Ageism and Disablism and Employment of Older Workers By Joanne S. McLaughlin; David Neumark
  4. Mental health effects of caregivers respite: subsidies or supports? By Costa-Font, Joan; Vilaplana-Prieto, Cristina
  5. Identity in Court Decision-Making By Ahrsjö, Ulrika; Niknami, Susan; Palme, Mårten
  6. How Worker Productivity and Wages Grow with Tenure and Experience: The Firm Perspective By Andrew Caplin; Minjoon Lee; Søren Leth-Petersen; Johan Saeverud; Matthew D. Shapiro
  7. Measuring Preferences for Competition By Lina Lozano; Ernesto Reuben

  1. By: Carlo Lombardo (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP & CONICET); Lucía Ramirez-Veira (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP & CONICET); Leonardo Gasparini (CEDLAS-IIE-FCE-UNLP & CONICET)
    Abstract: Minimum wage (MW) policies are widespread in the developing world and yet their effects are still unclear. In this paper we explore the effect of national MW policies in Latin America’s six largest economies by exploiting the heterogeneity in the bite of the national minimum wage across local labor markets and over time. We find evidence that the MW has a compression effect on the wage distribution of formal workers. The effect was particularly large during the 2000s, a decade of sustained growth and strong labor markets. In contrast, the effect seems to vanish in the 2010s, a decade of much weaker labor markets. We also find suggestive evidence of a lighthouse effect: the MW seems to have an equalizing effect also on the wage distribution of informal workers.
    JEL: J22 J31 J38 K31
    Date: 2022–09
  2. By: Michihito Ando (Michihito Ando); Hiroaki Mori (Hiroaki Mori); Shintaro Yamaguchi (Shintaro Yamaguchi)
    Abstract: The evidence for the effects of early childhood education on risky behavior in adolescence is limited. This paper studies the consequences of a reform of a large-scale universal kindergarten program in Japan. Exploiting a staggered expansion of kindergartens across regions, we estimate the effects of the reform using an event study model. Our estimates indicate that the reform significantly reduced juvenile violent arrests and the rate of teenage pregnancy, but we do not find that the reform increased the high school enrolment rate. We suspect that improved non-cognitive skills can account for the reduction of risky behavior in adolescence.
    Keywords: early childhood education, crime, teenage pregnancy
    JEL: H52 I20 I28 J13 J24 K40
    Date: 2022–09
  3. By: Joanne S. McLaughlin; David Neumark
    Abstract: Gendered discrimination based on age and disability is a pressing issue, because this discrimination can interfere with the goal of lengthening work lives, especially for older women. In the United States, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibit age and disability discrimination in employment, while Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bars discrimination against women. However, because gender and age (and disability) discrimination fall under different statutes, these laws may be inadequate to protect against discrimination based on gendered ageism and disablism. Legal rulings in the United States generally do not recognize intersecting claims – discrimination based on two or more protected characteristics – when those characteristics are covered by separate statutes. This may help explain the evidence that age discrimination is worse for women than for men. We discuss the theory and methods we can use to analyze these issues, and the relevant laws and their failure to protect women from gendered ageism. We review evidence on gendered age discrimination, and evidence on the effects of discrimination laws and how well they protect from intersectional discrimination. Finally, we discuss potential changes in policies that could better protect against gendered age discrimination.
    JEL: J14 J7
    Date: 2022–08
  4. By: Costa-Font, Joan; Vilaplana-Prieto, Cristina
    Abstract: We study the effect the effect of a policy intervention that universalized previously means-tested subsidies in Spain, and document causal evidence of the effect of the receipt of caregiving supports and subsidies on unpaid spousal/partners caregivers mental health. Our estimates suggest that caregiving supports improve the mental health of caregivers among those providing more than 50 hours of care. In contrast, a subsidy gives rise to a reduction of 14.2pp. in the probability of depressive symptoms among individuals receiving less than 50 hours of care. Consistently, we find evidence of an increase in life satisfaction (15%) upon the receipt of subsidies and home supports (11%). We further document that evidence of a reduction in the probability of depression which is higher among part-time caregivers who spend between 20-50 caregiving hours/week compared to those providing more intensive care, which is explained by behavioural changes after the receipt of caregiving benefits. Finally, we estimate that a ‘hypothetical caregiving’ subsidy amount that would have fully compensated caregivers’ for their wellbeing losses (compared to non-caregivers) should lie between 800 and 850 euros/month, which is a magnitude well above the actual subsidy.
    Keywords: caregiving; long-term subsidies; long term care supports; mental health; caregiver's mental health; Spain; Elsevier deal
    JEL: I18 J22
    Date: 2022–10–01
  5. By: Ahrsjö, Ulrika (Department of Economics, Stockholm University); Niknami, Susan (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University); Palme, Mårten (Department of Economics, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We explore the role of identity along multiple dimensions in high-stakes decisionmaking. Our data contain information about demographic and socioeconomic indicators for randomly assigned jurors and defendants in a Swedish court. Our results show that defendants are 15 percent less likely to get a prison sentence if they and the jurors belong to the same identity-forming groups. Socioeconomic background and demographic attributes are at least as important, and combining several identities produces stronger effects.
    Keywords: Crime
    Date: 2022–07–01
  6. By: Andrew Caplin; Minjoon Lee; Søren Leth-Petersen; Johan Saeverud; Matthew D. Shapiro
    Abstract: How worker productivity evolves with tenure and experience is central to economics, shaping, for example, life-cycle earnings and the losses from involuntary job separation. Yet, worker-level productivity is hard to identify from observational data. This paper introduces direct measurement of worker productivity in a firm survey designed to separate the role of on-the-job tenure from total experience in determining productivity growth. Several findings emerge concerning the initial period on the job. (1) On-the-job productivity growth exceeds wage growth, consistent with wages not being allocative period-by-period. (2) Previous experience is a substitute, but a far less than perfect one, for on-the-job tenure. (3) There is substantial heterogeneity across jobs in the extent to which previous experience substitutes for tenure. The survey makes use of administrative data to construct a representative sample of firms, check for selective non-response, validate survey measures with administrative measures, and calibrate parameters not measured in the survey.
    JEL: J24 J30
    Date: 2022–08
  7. By: Lina Lozano; Ernesto Reuben (Division of Social Science)
    Abstract: Recent research has found that competitive behavior measured in experiments strongly predicts individual differences in educational and labor market outcomes. However, there is no consensus on the underlying factors behind competitive behavior in these experiments. Are participants who compete more capable, more confident, and more tolerant of risk, or are they competing because they enjoy competition per se? In this study, we present an experiment designed to measure individuals’ preferences for competition. Compared to previous work, our experiment rules out risk preferences by design, measures beliefs more precisely, and allows us to measure the magnitude of preferences for competition. In addition, we collect multiple decisions per participant, which lets us evaluate the impact of noisy decision-making. We find strong evidence that many individuals possess preferences for competition. Most participants are either reliably competition-seeking or competition averse, and their choices are highly consistent with expected utility maximization. We also find that preferences for competition depend on the number of competitors but not on the participants’ gender.
    Date: 2022–08

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