nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2023‒05‒01
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Demographic Origins of the Decline in Labor’s Share By Andrew Glover; Jacob Short
  2. Trusting the health system and COVID 19 restriction compliance By Costa-Font, Joan; Vilaplana-Prieto, Cristina
  3. Religion and Cooperation across the Globe By Caicedo, Felipe Valencia; Dohmen, Thomas; Pondorfer, Andreas
  4. Intergenerational altruism and transfers of time and money: a life cycle perspective By Uta Bolt; Eric French; Jamie Hentall-MacCuish; Cormac O'Dea
  5. Born this way? Prenatal exposure to testosterone may determine behavior in competition and conflict By Brañas-Garza, Pablo; Chowdhury, Subhasish M.; Espín, Antonio M.; Nieboer, Jeroen

  1. By: Andrew Glover; Jacob Short
    Abstract: Since 1980, the earnings share of older workers has risen in the United States. At the same time, labor’s share of income has declined significantly. We hypothesize that an aging workforce has contributed to the decline in labor’s share of income. We formalize this hypothesis in an on-the-job search model in which employers of older workers may have substantial monopsony power due to the decline in labor market dynamism that accompanies aging. The greater monopsony power manifests as a growing wedge between a worker’s earnings and their marginal product over the life cycle. We estimate the profile of these wedges using cross-industry variation in labor’s share and the age distribution of earnings. We find that a 60-year-old worker receives half the marginal product relative to when they were 20. Together with recent demographic trends, this can account for 59% of the recent decline in labor’s share of earnings in the United States.
    Keywords: Labour markets; Productivity
    JEL: D33 E25 J1 J3 J62
    Date: 2023–04
  2. By: Costa-Font, Joan; Vilaplana-Prieto, Cristina
    Abstract: We examine the extent to which exposure to higher relative COVID-19 mortality (RM), influences health system trust (HST), and whether changes in HST explain the perceived ease of compliance with pandemic restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on evidence from two representative surveys covering all regions of 28 European countries before and after the first COVID-19 wave, and using a difference in differences strategy together with Coarsened Exact Matching (CEM), we document that living in a region with higher RM during the first wave of the pandemic increased HST. However, the positive effect of RM on HST is driven by individuals over 45 years of age, and the opposite effect is found among younger cohorts. Furthemore, we find that a higher HST reduces the costs of complying with COVID-19 restrictions, but only so long as excess mortality does not exceed the average by more than 20%, at which point the ease of complying with COVID-19 restrictions significantly declines, offsetting the positive effect of trust in the healthcare system. Our interpretation of these estimates is that a higher RM is interpreted as a risk signal among those over 45, and as a signal of health-care system failure among younger age individuals.
    Keywords: healthcare system trust; mortality; lockdown; Eurobarometer; difference in differences; Covid-19; coronavirus; Periscope H2020 GA 101016233; Elsevier deal
    JEL: I10 Z10
    Date: 2023–04–01
  3. By: Caicedo, Felipe Valencia (University of British Columbia); Dohmen, Thomas (University of Bonn and IZA); Pondorfer, Andreas (Technical University of Munich)
    Abstract: Social science research has stressed the important role of religion in sustaining cooperation among non-kin. We contribute to this literature with a large-scale empirical study documenting the relationship between religion and cooperation. We analyze newly available, experimentally validated, and globally representative data on social preferences and world religions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism). We find that individuals who report believing in such religions also exhibit more prosocial preferences, as measured by their levels of positive reciprocity, altruism and trust. We further document heterogeneous patterns of negative reciprocity and punishment—two key elements for cooperation—across world religions. The association between religion and prosocial preferences is stronger in more populous societies and weaker in countries with better institutions. The interactive results between these variables point again towards the substitutability between religious and secular institutions, when it comes to sustaining cooperation.
    Keywords: religion, prosociality, human cooperation, population, institutions
    JEL: D90 P35 Z12
    Date: 2023–03
  4. By: Uta Bolt (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Eric French (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Jamie Hentall-MacCuish (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Cormac O'Dea (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Date: 2023–02–28
  5. By: Brañas-Garza, Pablo; Chowdhury, Subhasish M.; Espín, Antonio M.; Nieboer, Jeroen
    Abstract: Fetal exposure to sex hormones can have long lasting effects on human behavior. The second-to-fourth digit ratio (DR) is considered a putative marker for prenatal exposure to testosterone (vs estrogens), with higher exposure resulting in lower DR. Even though testosterone is theoretically related to competition, the role of DR in human behavior is debated; and in situations such as bilateral conflict is unknown. We investigate this through a laboratory experiment using a repeated 2-person Tullock contest played in fixed same-gender pairs. Based on a previously obtained large sample of student subjects, we selectively invited participants to the laboratory if their right-hand DR was in the top (High-DR) or bottom (Low-DR) tercile for their gender. Unbeknownst to the subjects, we performed a controlled match of the DR types (Low-Low, Low-High, High-High). This novel methodology allows us to analyze the causal effect of DR on behavior for the first time in the literature. We find that Low-DR (vs High-DR) males compete more aggressively regardless of the counterpart's type. For females’ conflict behavior, the counterpart's type matters more than the decision-maker's type: Low-DRs are non-significantly more aggressive but every-one is more aggressive against High-DRs. Limitations due to sample size are discussed.
    Keywords: conflict; contest; digit ratio; gender lab experiments
    JEL: C72 C91 D74 D91
    Date: 2023–06–01

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