nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2022‒12‒12
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Teleworking and Life Satisfaction during COVID-19: The Importance of Family Structure By Senik, Claudia; Clark, Andrew E.; D'Ambrosio, Conchita; Lepinteur, Anthony; Schröder, Carsten
  2. The midlife crisis By Giuntella, Osea; McManus, Sally; Mujcic, Redzo; Oswald, Andrew J; Powthavee, Nattavudh; Tohamy, Ahmed
  3. Pension Reforms, Longer Working Horizons and Depression. Does the Risk of Automation Matter? By Bertoni, Marco; Brunello, Giorgio; Da Re, Filippo
  4. Recession and Deflation? By Blanchflower, David G.; Bryson, Alex
  5. The Wage Elasticity of Recruitment By Hirsch, Boris; Jahn, Elke J.; Manning, Alan; Oberfichtner, Michael

  1. By: Senik, Claudia (Paris School of Economics); Clark, Andrew E. (Paris School of Economics); D'Ambrosio, Conchita (University of Luxembourg); Lepinteur, Anthony (University of Luxembourg); Schröder, Carsten (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: We carry out a difference-in-differences analysis of a representative real-time survey conducted as part of the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) study and show that teleworking had a negative average effect on life satisfaction over the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. This average effect hides considerable heterogeneity reflecting genderrole asymmetry: lower life satisfaction is only found for unmarried men and women with school-age children. The negative effect for women with school-age children disappears in 2021, suggesting adaptation to new constraints and/or the adoption of coping strategies.
    Keywords: life satisfaction, teleworking, work from home, gender, childcare, COVID-19, SOEP
    JEL: I31 M5
    Date: 2022–11
  2. By: Giuntella, Osea (Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh); McManus, Sally (National Centre for Social Research, London); Mujcic, Redzo (Warwick Business School, University of Warwick); Oswald, Andrew J (Department of Economics, University of Warwick, and CAGE Centre, IZA Institute, Bonn,); Powthavee, Nattavudh (Department of Economics, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore & IZA Institute, Bonn); Tohamy, Ahmed (Nuffield College, Oxford University)
    Abstract: This paper documents a longitudinal crisis of midlife among the inhabitants of rich nations. Yet middle-aged citizens in our data sets are close to their peak earnings, have typically experienced little or no illness, reside in some of the safest countries in the world, and live in the most prosperous era in human history. This is paradoxical and troubling. The finding is consistent, however, with the prediction -- one little-known to economists -- of Elliott Jaques (1965). Our analysis does not rest on elementary cross-sectional analysis. Instead the paper uses panel and through-time data on, in total, approximately 500,000 individuals. It checks that the key results are not due to cohort effects. Nor do we rely on simple life-satisfaction measures. The paper shows that there are approximately quadratic hill-shaped patterns in data on midlife suicide, sleeping problems, alcohol dependence, concentration difficulties, memory problems, intense job strain, disabling headaches, suicidal feelings, and extreme depression. We believe the seriousness of this societal problem has not been grasped by the affluent world’s policy-makers. JEL Codes: I31 ; I14 ; I12
    Keywords: Mental health ; affluence ; suicide ; depression ; aging ; midlife crisis ; happiness.
  3. By: Bertoni, Marco (University of Padova); Brunello, Giorgio (University of Padova); Da Re, Filippo (University of Padova)
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of postponing minimum retirement age on middle-aged workers' depression. Using pension reforms in several European countries and data from the SHARE survey, we find that depression increases with a longer work horizon, but only among workers employed in occupations with a relatively high risk of automation. We rule out alternatives to this risk, including job strenuousness, education, gender, and the degree of routinization of occupations. We explain our results with the higher job insecurity associated with occupations more exposed to automation.
    Keywords: pension reforms, depression, automation, SHARE
    JEL: I1 J24 J26 O33
    Date: 2022–11
  4. By: Blanchflower, David G. (Dartmouth College); Bryson, Alex (University College London)
    Abstract: Central bankers are raising interest rates on the assumption that wage-push inflation may lead to stagflation. This is not the case. Although unemployment is low, the labor market is not 'tight'. On the contrary, we show that what matters for wage growth are the non-employment rate and the under-employment rate. Both are high and act as brakes on wage growth. By lowering already low levels of consumer confidence, higher interest rates are liable to exacerbate workers' inability to maintain their real wages by reducing labor demand still further. Furthermore, we argue inflationary pressures have been generated by short-term supply side problems, rather than excessive demand in the economy. Under these conditions, just as in the Great Recession we anticipate deflation in the near future, coupled with rising joblessness and recession.
    Keywords: unemployment, non-employment, wages, inflation, labor market
    JEL: E31 E43 J2 J3 J64
    Date: 2022–11
  5. By: Hirsch, Boris (Leuphana University Lüneburg); Jahn, Elke J. (University of Bayreuth); Manning, Alan (London School of Economics); Oberfichtner, Michael (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)
    Abstract: One of the factors likely to affect the market power of employers is the sensitivity of the flow of recruits to the offered wage, but there is very little research on this. This paper presents a methodology for estimating the wage elasticity of recruitment and applies it to German data. Our estimates of the wage elasticity of recruitment are about 1.4. We also report evidence that high-wage employers are more selective in hiring, in which case the relevant recruitment elasticity should be higher, about 2.2. Together with prior estimates of the quit elasticity these results imply that wages are 72–77% of the marginal product of labour. Further, we find lower elasticities for recruits hired from non-employment as well as for women, non-German nationals, non-prime-age workers, less skilled workers, and workers with less complex jobs.
    Keywords: monopsony, imperfect labour markets, wage elasticity of recruitment
    JEL: J42 J31
    Date: 2022–10

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