nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2023‒04‒24
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  2. Inequality and identity salience By Ghatak, Maitreesh; Verdier, Thierry
  3. Using Genes to Explore the Effects of Cognitive and Non-cognitive Skills on Education and Labor Market Outcomes By Thomas Buser; Rafael Ahlskog; Magnus Johannesson; Philipp Koellinger; Sven Oskarsson
  4. Will working from home eventually work? Revisiting survey evidence with an information experiment By Patrick A. Puhani; Hamed Moghadam; Joanna Tyrowicz

  1. By: John List
    Abstract: In 2019, I put together a summary of data from my field experiments website that pertained to natural field experiments. Several people have asked me if I have an update. In this document I update all figures and numbers to show the details for 2022. I also include the description from the 2019 paper below.
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Ghatak, Maitreesh; Verdier, Thierry
    Abstract: This paper provides a simple model of identity salience that is applied to the phenomenon of the recent rise in right-wing populism in the Western world. Trade and capital flows, skill-biased technological change, and migration have led to declining employment and wages in these economies and a parallel rise in economic and cultural populism, tapping into nativist sentiments. We argue that when long-term income stagnation for most of the population and decline for some go together with high rates of income growth at the very top, one has zero-sum economics and that naturally raises the possibility of using various kinds of social identities to claim a bigger share of a fixed sized pie. We show that in ethnically or racially polarized societies this naturally leads to the salience of social identities that enable majority ethnic groups to vote for policies that exclude minority groups so that they get a greater share of a dwindling surplus. In contrast, in more ethnically and racially homogeneous societies, this would instead lead to the demand for more pro-redistribution policies that involve greater provision of public goods.
    Keywords: inequality; identity; welfare state; bargaining; Springer deal
    JEL: D31 I38 P16
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Thomas Buser (University of Amsterdam, Tinbergen Institute); Rafael Ahlskog (Department of Government, Uppsala University); Magnus Johannesson (Stockholm School of Economics); Philipp Koellinger (La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin Madison); Sven Oskarsson (Department of Government, Uppsala University)
    Abstract: A large literature establishes that cognitive and non-cognitive skills are strongly correlated with educational attainment and professional achievement. Isolating the causal effects of these traits on career outcomes is made difficult by reverse causality and selection issues. We suggest a different approach: instead of using direct measures of individual traits, we use differences between individuals in the presence of genetic variants that are associated with differences in skills and personality traits. Genes are fixed over the life cycle and genetic differences between full siblings are random, making it possible to establish the causal effects of within-family genetic variation. We link genetic data from individuals in the Swedish Twin Registry to government registry data and find evidence for causal effects of genetic differences linked to cognitive skills, personality traits, and economic preferences on professional achievement and educational attainment. Our results also demonstrate that education and labor market outcomes are partially the result of a genetic lottery
    Keywords: personality traits, economic preferences, cognitive skills, labor markets, education, polygenic indices
    JEL: I26 J24 D91
    Date: 2021–10–07
  4. By: Patrick A. Puhani (Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultaet Leibniz Universität Hannover; Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)); Hamed Moghadam (Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultaet Leibniz Universität Hannover); Joanna Tyrowicz (Group for Research in Applied Economics (GRAPE); University of Warsaw; Institute of Labor Economics (IZA))
    Abstract: To determine how wives' and husbands' retirement options affect their spouses' (and their own) labor supply decisions, we exploit (early) retirement cutoffs by way of a regression discontinuity design. Several German pension reforms since the early 1990s have gradually raised women’s retirement age from 60 to 65, but also increased ages for several early retirement pathways affecting both sexes. We use German Socio-Economic Panel data for a sample of couples aged 50 to 69 whose retirement eligibility occurred (i) prior to the reforms, (ii) during the transition years, and (iii) after the major set of reforms. We find that, prior to the reforms, when several retirement options were available to both husbands and wives, both react almost symmetrically to their spouse reaching an early retirement age, that is both husband and wife decrease their labor supply by about 5 percentage points when the spouse reaches age 60). This speaks in favor of leisure complementarities. However, after the set of reforms, when retiring early was much more difficult, we find no more significant labor supply reaction to the spouse reaching a retirement age, whereas reaching one’s own retirement age still triggers a significant reaction in labor supply. Our results may explain some of the diverse findings in the literature on asymmetric reactions between husbands and wives to their spouse reaching a retirement age: such reactions may in large parts depend on how flexibly workers are able to retire.
    Keywords: retirement coordination; labor market participation; regression discontinuity design.
    JEL: J22
    Date: 2023

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