nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2023‒01‒09
ten papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Maternal Genetic Risk for Depression and Child Human Capital By Menta, Giorgia; Lepinteur, Anthony; Clark, Andrew E.; Ghislandi, Simone; D'Ambrosio, Conchita
  2. Wellbeing Rankings By David G. Blanchflower; Alex Bryson
  3. The gender gap in top jobs – the role of overconfidence By Anna Adamecz-Völgyi; Nikki Shure
  4. The Heterogeneous Impact of Short-Time Work: From Saved Jobs to Windfall Effects By Pierre Cahuc; Francis Kramarz; Sandra Nevoux
  5. The Labour Market Returns to Sleep By Costa-Font, Joan; Flèche, Sarah; Pagan, Ricardo
  6. Experienced versus Decision Utility: Large-Scale Comparison for Income-Leisure Preferences By Alpaslan Akay; Olivier Bargain; H.X. Jara
  7. Dynastic Measures of Intergenerational Mobility By Olivier Bargain; Maria Lo Bue; Francesco Palmisano
  8. The Social Tax: Redistributive Pressure and Labor Supply By Carranza, Eliana; Donald, Aletheia; Grosset, Florian; Kaur, Supreet
  9. Aging in Style: Does How We Write Matter? By Hamermesh, Daniel S.; Kosnik, Lea-Rachel
  10. Income windfalls and overweight: evidence from lottery wins By Costa-Font, Joan; Györi, Mario

  1. By: Menta, Giorgia (LISER); Lepinteur, Anthony (University of Luxembourg); Clark, Andrew E. (Paris School of Economics); Ghislandi, Simone (Bocconi University); D'Ambrosio, Conchita (University of Luxembourg)
    Abstract: We here address the causal relationship between the maternal genetic risk for depression and child human capital using UK birth-cohort data. We find that an increase of one standard deviation (SD) in the maternal polygenic risk score for depression reduces their children's cognitive and non-cognitive skill scores by 5 to 7% of a SD throughout adolescence. Our results are robust to a battery of sensitivity tests addressing, among others, concerns about pleiotropy and dynastic effects. Our Gelbach decomposition analysis suggests that the strongest mediator is genetic nurture (through maternal depression itself), with genetic inheritance playing only a marginal role.
    Keywords: human capital, maternal depression, ALSPAC
    JEL: I14 J24
    Date: 2022–12
  2. By: David G. Blanchflower (Bruce V. Rauner Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Dartmouth College, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, GLO, Bloomberg and NBER); Alex Bryson (Professor of Quantitative Social Science, Social Research Institute, University College London, NIESR and IZA)
    Abstract: Combining data on around four million respondents from the Gallup World Poll and the US Daily Tracker Poll we rank 164 countries, the 50 states of the United States and the District of Colombia on eight wellbeing measures. These are four positive affect measures - life satisfaction, enjoyment, smiling and being well-rested – and four negative affect variables – pain, sadness, anger and worry. Pooling the data for 2008-2017 we find country and state rankings differ markedly depending on whether they are ranked using positive or negative affect measures. The United States ranks lower on negative than positive affect, that is, its country wellbeing ranking looks worse using negative affect than it does when using positive affect. Combining rankings on all eight measures into a summary ranking index for 215 geographical locations we find that nine of the top ten and 16 of the top 20 ranked are US states. Only one US state ranks outside the top 100 – West Virginia (101). Iraq ranks lowest - just below South Sudan. The Nordic countries that traditionally rank high using life satisfaction do not rank as highly on other measures. Country-level rankings on the summary wellbeing index differ sharply from those reported in the World Happiness Index and are more comparable to those obtained with the Human Development Index. The state level rankings on the summary index look very different from those just based on positive affect measures and look more similar to rankings based on objective wellbeing measures.
    Keywords: wellbeing; happiness; cross-country; Gallup survey
    JEL: I31 O57
    Date: 2022–12–01
  3. By: Anna Adamecz-Völgyi (Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, UCL Social Research Institute, University College London); Nikki Shure (UCL Social Research Institute, University College London, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA))
    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 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: 2022–10
  4. By: Pierre Cahuc (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IZA - Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit - Institute of Labor Economics, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR); Francis Kramarz (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE Paris - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IPP - Institut des politiques publiques, IZA - Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit - Institute of Labor Economics); Sandra Nevoux (Centre de recherche de la Banque de France - Banque de France)
    Abstract: To understand which firms take-up short-time work and which workers they enroll in this program, we provide a model which shows that short-time work may save jobs in firms hit by strong negative revenue shocks, but not in less severely-hit firms, where hours worked are reduced, without saving jobs. Using detailed data on the administration of the program covering the universe of French establishments in the 2008-2009 Great Recession, we find that short-time work did indeed save jobs and increase hours of work in firms faced with large negative shocks. These firms have been able to recover rapidly in the aftermath of the Recession thanks to short-time work. We also provide evidence of large windfall effects which significantly increased the cost of the policy per job saved; yet we also find that short-time work remains more cost-efficient at saving jobs than wage subsidies.
    Keywords: Short-time work,Employment,Hours of work
    Date: 2021–05
  5. By: Costa-Font, Joan (London School of Economics); Flèche, Sarah (CNRS); Pagan, Ricardo (University of Malaga)
    Abstract: The proportion of people sleeping less than the daily-recommended hours has increased. Yet, we know little about the labour market returns to sleep. We use longitudinal data from Germany and exploit exogenous variation in sleep duration induced by time and local variations in sunset time. We find that a 1-hour increase in weekly sleep increases employment by 1.6 percentage points and weekly earnings by 3.4%. Most of this earnings effect comes from productivity improvements, while the number of working hours decreases with sleep time. We identify one mechanism driving these effects, namely the better mental health workers experience from sleeping more hours.
    Keywords: sleep, employment, productivity, mental health, sunset times
    JEL: I18 J12 J13
    Date: 2022–11
  6. By: Alpaslan Akay; Olivier Bargain (BSE - Bordeaux Sciences Economiques - UB - Université de Bordeaux - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); H.X. Jara
    Abstract: Subjective well-being (SWB) data is increasingly used to perform welfare analysis. Interpreted as ‘experienced utility', it has recently been compared to ‘decision utility' using smallscale experiments most often based on stated preferences. We transpose this comparison to the framework of non-experimental and large-scale data commonly used for policy analysis, focusing on the income-leisure domain where redistributive policies operate. Using the British Household Panel Survey, we suggest a ‘deviation' measure, which is simply the difference between actual working hours and SWB-maximizing hours. We show that about three-quarters of individuals make decisions that are not inconsistent with maximizing their SWB. We discuss the potential channels that explain the lack of optimization when deviations are significantly large. We find proxies for a number of individual and external constraints, and show that constraints alone can explain at least half of the deviations. In our context, deviations partly reflect the inability of the revealed preference approach to account for labor market rigidities, so the actual and SWBmaximizing hours should be used in a complementary manner. The suggested approach based on our deviation metric could help identify labor market frictions.
    Keywords: Decision Utility, Experienced Utility, Labor Supply, Subjective Well-Being
    Date: 2022–12–09
  7. By: Olivier Bargain (BSE - Bordeaux Sciences Economiques - UB - Université de Bordeaux - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Maria Lo Bue; Francesco Palmisano
    Abstract: We suggest a simple and fexible criterion to assess relative inter-generational mobility. It accommodates different types of outcomes, such as (continuous) earnings or (discrete and ordinal) education levels, and captures dynastic improvements of such outcomes at different points of the initial distribution. We provide dominance characterizations - for instance on the relative progress made by women - that are consistent with social preferences upon desirable patterns of mobility. We suggest an application on Indonesia. Using the IFLS data, we match parents observed in 1993 to their children in 2014, providing one of the rare intergenerational mobility analyses based on a long panel in the context of a developing country. Results indicate that mobility in terms of education and potential earnings was markedly at the advantage of women. The bulk of the population came out of illiteracy, possibly due to largescale education reforms, but the relative educational mobility was regressive, which considerably reduced the progressivity of mobility in terms of potential earnings.
    Keywords: Intergenerational mobility, Education, Earnings, Social welfare, Gender
    Date: 2022–12–13
  8. By: Carranza, Eliana (World Bank); Donald, Aletheia (World Bank); Grosset, Florian (Columbia University); Kaur, Supreet (University of California, Berkeley)
    Abstract: In low-income communities in both rich and poor countries, redistributive transfers within kin and social networks are frequent. Such arrangements may distort labor supply—acting as a "social tax" that dampens the incentive to work. We document that across countries, from Cote d'Ivoire to the United States, social groups that undertake more interpersonal transfers work fewer hours. Using a field experiment, we enable piece-rate factory workers in Côte d'Ivoire to shield income using blocked savings accounts over 3-9 months. Workers may only deposit earnings increases, relative to baseline, mitigating income effects on labor supply. We vary whether the offered account is private or known to the worker's network, altering the likelihood of transfer requests against saved income. When accounts are private, take-up is substantively higher (60% vs. 14%). Offering private accounts sharply increases labor supply— raising work attendance by 10% and earnings by 11%. Outgoing transfers do not decline, indicating no loss in redistribution. Our estimates imply a 9-14% social tax rate. The welfare benefits of informal redistribution may come at a cost, depressing labor supply and productivity.
    Keywords: kin tax, informal insurance, illiquid savings, transfers, labor supply
    JEL: J22 J24 H24 D61 O12
    Date: 2022–11
  9. By: Hamermesh, Daniel S. (University of Texas at Austin); Kosnik, Lea-Rachel (University of Missouri-St. Louis)
    Abstract: The scholarly impact of academic research matters for academic promotions, influence, relevance to public policy, and others. Focusing on writing style in top-level professional journals, we examine how it changes with age, how stylistic differences and age affect impact, and how style and prior scholarly output relate to an author's subsequent achievements and labor-force decisions. As top-level scholars age, their writing style increasingly differs from others'. The impact (measured by citations) of each contribution decreases, due to the direct effect of age and the much smaller indirect effects through style. Non-native English speakers write in a different style from others, in ways that reduce the impact of their research. Scholars produce less top-flight work as they age, especially those who have produced less in the recent past, whose work is less cited, and whose styles have been more positive. Previously less productive authors are more likely to retire.
    Keywords: aging, citations, bibliometrics, language
    JEL: B41 A14
    Date: 2022–11
  10. By: Costa-Font, Joan; Györi, Mario
    Abstract: We examine the impact of an unexpected (unearned) income windfall on overweight and an individual's Body Mass Index (BMI). We use longitudinal data from the United Kingdom, where a large proportion of the population plays the lottery, and model with time and individual specific fixed effects alongside a set of relevant controls. Although our findings do not support a contemporaneous effect of an income windfall on the likelihood of being overweight, we do find significant evidence of lagged effects. More specifically, we document a reduction in the likelihood of being overweight 12 months after winning the lottery. A £10,000 win reduces obesity in the range up to 3 percentage points. Estimates are heterogeneous across working hours and educational attainment. A lottery win reduces the risk of being overweight in people with low education.
    Keywords: Springer deal
    JEL: I12 I18 J30
    Date: 2022–12–03

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