nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2023‒08‒28
five papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi, Universidad de la República

  1. Were COVID and the Great Recession Well-being Reducing? By David G. Blanchflower; Alex Bryson
  2. The Education-Health Gradient: Revisiting the Role of Socio-Emotional Skills By Gørtz, Mette; Gensowski, Miriam
  3. Social Connections and COVID-19 Vaccination By Basu, Arnab K.; Chau, Nancy H.; Firsin, Oleg
  4. Intergenerational educational mobility and the COVID-19 pandemic By Anna Adamecz-Volgyi; Yuyan Jiang; Nikki Shure; Gill Wyness
  5. Job Displacement and Migrant Labor Market Assimilation By Balgova, Maria; Illing, Hannah

  1. By: David G. Blanchflower; Alex Bryson
    Abstract: We show individuals’ reports of subjective well being in Europe did decline in the Great Recession and during the Covid pandemic on most measures and on four bordering countries to Ukraine after the Russian invasion in 2022. However, the movements are not large and are not apparent everywhere. We also used data from the European Commission's Business and Consumer Surveys on people’s expectations of life in general, their financial situation and the economic and employment situation in the country, all of which dropped markedly in the Great Recession and during Covid, but bounced back quickly, as did firms’ expectations of the economy and the labor market. Neither the UN’s Human Development Index (HDI) nor data used in the World Happiness Report from the Gallup World Poll shifted much in response to negative shocks. The HDI has been rising in the last decade or so reflecting overall improvements in economic and social wellbeing, captured in part by real earnings growth, although it fell slightly after 2020 as life expectancy dipped. This secular improvement is mirrored in life satisfaction which has been rising in the last decade. However, so too have negative affect in Europe and despair in the USA
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2023–07
  2. By: Gørtz, Mette (University of Copenhagen); Gensowski, Miriam (Rockwool Foundation Research Unit)
    Abstract: Is the education-health gradient inflated because both education and health are associated with unobserved socio-emotional skills? Revisiting the literature, we find that the gradient is reduced by 30-45% by fine-grained personality facets and Locus of Control. Traditional aggregated Big-Five scales, in contrast, have a much smaller and mostly insignificant contribution to the gradient. We decompose the gradient into its components with an order-invariant method, and use sibling-fixed effects to address that much of the observed education-health gradient reflects associations rather than causal relationships. There are education-health gradients even within sibling pairs; personality facets reduce these gradients by 30% or more. Our analyses use an extraordinarily large survey (N=28, 261) linked to high-quality administrative registers with information on SES background and objective health outcomes.
    Keywords: inequality, Health-Education Gradient, personality, Big Five-2 Inventory, sibling fixed effects
    JEL: I14 I12 I24 I31
    Date: 2023–07
  3. By: Basu, Arnab K. (Cornell University); Chau, Nancy H. (Cornell University); Firsin, Oleg (Cornell University)
    Abstract: This paper unpacks the effects of social networks on monthly county-level COVID19 vaccinations in the US. To parse out short-term community-level externalities where people help each other overcome immediate access barriers, from learning spillovers regarding vaccine efficacy that naturally take time, we distinguish between the contemporaneous and dynamic network effects of vaccination exposure. Leveraging an extensive list of controls and network proxies including Facebook county-to-county links, we find evidence showing positive, stage-of-pandemic dependent contemporaneous friendship network effects. We also consistently find null dynamic network effect, suggesting that social exposure to vaccination has had limited effect on alleviating COVID vaccine hesitancy.
    Keywords: friendship network, COVID-19, vaccine uptake
    JEL: I12 D83 H12
    Date: 2023–07
  4. By: Anna Adamecz-Volgyi (UCL Social Research Institute, University College London); Yuyan Jiang (UCL Social Research Institute, University College London); Nikki Shure (UCL Social Research Institute, University College London); Gill Wyness (UCL Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities, University College London)
    Abstract: We examine the differential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market outcomes of graduate workers by their family background. Specifically, we compare first in family (FiF) graduates, young people who obtained a university degree even though their parents did not, with their graduate peers whose parents have university degrees. We compare their labour market outcomes using multiple waves of data collected during the pandemic, which are linked to an existing longitudinal study and administrative data. We find that FiF graduates, both men and women, were just as likely to keep working during the pandemic as the graduate children of graduate parents. Our results, however, reveal substantial differences in the outcomes of graduates who stopped working, and these differences are heterogenous by gender. Female FiF graduates were more likely to stop working altogether or to be put on an unpaid leave and less likely to be put on furlough or paid leave than non-FiF female graduates. However, we find no such differences between FiF and non-FiF male graduates. Our results highlight how the COVID-19 recession has exacerbated the disadvantage arising from the intersectionality of socioeconomic background and gender and the prolonged impact of parental human capital for women.
    Keywords: socioeconomic gaps, intergenerational educational mobility, higher education, first generation, first in family, COVID-19
    JEL: I24 J24
    Date: 2023–08
  5. By: Balgova, Maria (IZA); Illing, Hannah (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper sheds new light on the barriers to migrants' labor market assimilation. Using administrative data for Germany from 1997-2016, we estimate dynamic difference-in-differences regressions to investigate the relative trajectory of earnings, wages, and employment following mass layoff separately for migrants and natives. We show that job displacement affects the two groups differently even when we systematically control for pre-layoff differences in their characteristics: migrants have on average higher earnings losses, and they find it much more difficult to find employment. However, those who do find a new job experience faster wage growth compared to displaced natives. We examine several potential mechanisms and find that these gaps are driven by labor market conditions, such as local migrant networks and labor market tightness, rather than migrants' behavior.
    Keywords: immigration, job displacement, job search
    JEL: J62 J63 J64
    Date: 2023–07

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