nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2023‒02‒06
six papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Families, labor markets and policy By Stefania Albanesi; Claudia Olivetti; Barbara Petrongolo
  2. Dynastic Measures of Intergenerational Mobility By Bargain, Olivier; Bue, Maria C. Lo; Palmisano, Flaviana
  3. Home alone: Widows' well-being and time By Maja Adena; Daniel Hamermesh; Michał Myck; Monika Oczkowska
  4. Time Savings When Working from Home By Aksoy, Cevat Giray; Barrero, Jose Maria; Bloom, Nicholas; Davis, Steven J.; Dolls, Mathias; Zarate, Pablo
  5. Poverty among Same-Sex Couple Families in the United States: Is There a Premium for Married Couples? By Olga Alonso-Villar; Coral del Río
  6. Pension Reforms, Longer Working Horizons and Absence from Work By Brunello, Giorgio; De Paola, Maria; Rocco, Lorenzo

  1. By: Stefania Albanesi; Claudia Olivetti; Barbara Petrongolo
    Abstract: Using comparable data for 24 countries since the 1970s, we document gender convergence in schooling, employment and earnings, marriage delay and the accompanying decline in fertility, and the large remaining gaps in labor market outcomes, especially among parents. A model of time allocation illustrates how the specialization of spouses in home or market production responds to preferences, comparative advantages and public policies. We draw lessons from existing evidence on the impacts of family policies on women’s careers and children’s wellbeing. There is to date little or no evidence of beneficial effects of longer parental leave (or fathers’ quotas) on maternal participation and earnings. In most cases longer leave de lays mothers’ return to work, without long-lasting consequences on their careers. More generous childcare funding instead encourages female participation whenever subsidized childcare replaces maternal childcare. Impacts on child development de pend on counterfactual childcare arrangements and tend to be more beneficial for disadvantaged households. In-work benefits targeted to low-earners have clear positive impacts on lone mothers’ employment and negligible impacts on other groups. While most of this literature takes policy as exogenous, political economy aspects of policy adoption help understand the interplay between societal changes, family policies and gender equality.
    Date: 2022–11–30
  2. By: Bargain, Olivier (Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV); Bue, Maria C. Lo (University of Bordeaux); Palmisano, Flaviana (Sapienza University of Rome)
    Abstract: We suggest a simple and flexible 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 vs. men – 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 large-scale 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
    JEL: J6 J62 O12
    Date: 2023–01
  3. By: Maja Adena (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), 10785 Berlin, Germany); Daniel Hamermesh (University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, 78712, USA); Michał Myck (Centre for Economic Analysis, 71441 Szczecin, Poland); Monika Oczkowska (Centre for Economic Analysis, 71441 Szczecin, Poland)
    Abstract: Using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE, 2004-17) and time diaries from Poland (2013), the U.S. (2006-16), the U.K. (2014-15) and France (2009-10), we examine differences between widowed and partnered older women in well-being and its development in widowhood. Most importantly, our analysis accounts for time use, an aspect which has not been studied previously. We trace the evolution of well-being of women who become widowed by comparing them with their matched non-widowed ‘statistical twins’ and examine the role of an exceptionally broad set of potential moderators of widowhood’s impact on well-being. We confirm a dramatic decrease in mental health and life satisfaction after the loss of partner, followed by a slow partial recovery over a five-year period. An extensive set of controls recorded prior to widowhood, including detailed family ties and social networks, provides little help in explaining the deterioration in well-being. Unique data from time-diaries kept by older women in several European countries and the U.S. tell us why: the key factor behind widows’ reduced well-being is increased time spent alone.
    Keywords: widowhood; well-being; social networks; time use;
    JEL: I31 I19 J14
    Date: 2023–01–20
  4. By: Aksoy, Cevat Giray (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development); Barrero, Jose Maria (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México Business School); Bloom, Nicholas (Stanford University); Davis, Steven J. (University of Chicago); Dolls, Mathias (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Zarate, Pablo (Princeton University)
    Abstract: We quantify the commute time savings associated with work from home, drawing on data for 27 countries. The average daily time savings when working from home is 72 minutes in our sample. We estimate that work from home saved about two hours per week per worker in 2021 and 2022, and that it will save about one hour per week per worker after the pandemic ends. Workers allocate 40 percent of their time savings to their jobs and about 11 percent to caregiving activities. People living with children allocate more of their time savings to caregiving.
    Keywords: work from home, commute times, allocation of time savings, COVID-19
    Date: 2023–01
  5. By: Olga Alonso-Villar; Coral del Río
    Abstract: Drawing on the official poverty thresholds and using the poverty rate, previous literature has shown that families headed by gay couples have lower unconditional levels of poverty than those headed by married different-sex couples. The latter have lower levels than those headed by lesbian couples, who in turn have lower levels than those of cohabiting different-sex couples. Our analysis takes a step forward by checking whether this ranking persists when: a) employing poverty indicators that allow moving beyond the poverty incidence, b) measuring not only absolute poverty but also relative poverty, and c) distinguishing between married and cohabiting same-sex couples to determine if they have the same marriage premium as different-sex couples do. We determine the poverty levels in the actual income distribution and in a counterfactual in which the groups are equal regarding basic characteristics that are associated with poverty. We do not find a marriage premium for same-sex couples. Married same-sex couples tend to have more conditional poverty than their cohabiting peers do when we move beyond the poverty incidence, with differences among these two groups in the very low tail of their income distributions.
    Keywords: Economic poverty, lesbian couples, gay couples, marriage
    JEL: D31 D63 J12 J15 J16
    Date: 2023–01
  6. By: Brunello, Giorgio (University of Padova); De Paola, Maria; Rocco, Lorenzo (University of Padova)
    Abstract: Using matched employer-employee data for Italy and newly available information on sick leaves certificates, we study the effect of an exogenous increase in the length of the residual work horizon – triggered by a pension reform that increased minimum retirement age - on middle-aged employees' absence from work due to sick leaves. We find that this effect is positive for females and negative for males. After excluding health as a plausible mechanism, we argue that the intertemporal substitution of leisure prevailed on the fear of job loss for females, while the opposite happened to males. Sick leaves increased only for females working in firms paying smaller wage premia to female than to male workers, suggesting that, in these firms, females exchange lower pay with higher flexibility in their work schedule.
    Keywords: absences from work, retirement, Italy
    JEL: J22 J26
    Date: 2023–01

This nep-ltv issue is ©2023 by Maximo Rossi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.