nep-ltv New Economics Papers
on Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty
Issue of 2023‒09‒25
four papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi, Universidad de la República

  1. The Dynastic Benefits of Early Childhood Education: Participant Benefits and Family Spillovers By Jorge Luis García; Frederik H. Bennhoff; Duncan Ermini Leaf
  2. Roots of Inequality By Oded Galor; Marc Klemp; Daniel C. Wainstock
  3. Subjective well-being measurement: Current practice and new frontiers By Jessica Mahoney
  4. Is there a ‘new consensus’ on inequality? By Ferreira, Francisco H G

  1. By: Jorge Luis García; Frederik H. Bennhoff; Duncan Ermini Leaf
    Abstract: We demonstrate the social efficiency of investing in high-quality early childhood education using newly collected data from the HighScope Perry Preschool Project. The data analyzed are the longest follow-up of any randomized early childhood education program. Annual observations of participant outcomes up to midlife allow us to provide a cost-benefit analysis without relying on forecasts. Adult outcomes on the participants' children and siblings allow us to quantify spillover benefits. The program generates a benefit-cost ratio of 6.0 (p-value = 0.03). Spillover benefits increase this ratio to 7.5 (p-value = 0.00).
    JEL: C93 H43 I28 J13
    Date: 2023–08
  2. By: Oded Galor; Marc Klemp; Daniel C. Wainstock
    Abstract: Why does inequality vary across societies? We advance the hypothesis that in a market economy, where earning differentials reflect variations in productive traits, a significant component of the differences in income inequality across societies can be attributed to variation in societal interpersonal diversity, shaped during the prehistoric Out-of-Africa Migration. The roots of income inequality within the US population provide supporting evidence for the hypothesis. It suggests that variation in income inequality across groups of individuals originating from different ancestral backgrounds can be traced to the degree of diversity of their ancestral populations as was carved in the course of the dispersal of humanity from Africa.
    JEL: O10 Z10
    Date: 2023–08
  3. By: Jessica Mahoney
    Abstract: In the ten years since the OECD published its 2013 Guidelines on Measuring Subjective Well-being, the inclusion of evaluative, affective and eudaimonic indicators in national measurement frameworks and household surveys has grown. Country practice has converged around a standard measure of life satisfaction, however affective and eudaimonic measures remain less harmonised. This working paper combines findings from a stock take of OECD member state uptake of Guidelines recommendations with advances in the academic evidence base to highlight three focal areas for future work. Looking ahead, the OECD should prioritise (i) revisiting recommendations on affective indicators, particularly in light of recent OECD recommendations on measuring mental health; (ii) reviewing progress towards operationalising measures of eudaimonia; and (iii) creating new extended modules to measure the subjective well-being of children, to deepen advice on domain-specific life evaluation measures, and to further develop more globally inclusive measures, drawing on (for example) concepts of subjective well-being developed in Indigenous contexts and beyond western European/North American research literatures.
    Keywords: happiness, life satisfaction, mental health, subjective well-being
    JEL: I31 I38 D91
    Date: 2023–09–08
  4. By: Ferreira, Francisco H G
    Abstract: Thirty years after the “Washington Consensus”, is there a new policy consensus that addresses the problem of inequality? This paper argues that there is widespread acceptance that multiple, interrelated and mutually reinforcing inequalities exist – in income, wealth, education, health, power, and recognition – and that these inequalities are generally “too high”. There has also been a significant shift towards a shared view that these inequalities matter, both intrinsically and because of their instrumental effects on economic efficiency and political institutions. There is much less consensus, perhaps surprisingly, on what the actual levels of income inequality are, and there are common misperceptions about their trends. In policy terms, there is something approaching a consensus regarding the desirability of various “pre-distribution” policies, ranging from early childhood development to investment in better teaching. In certain quarters, there is also agreement that sharper antitrust regulation, freer labor unions, and more progressive taxation is needed in most countries. But much less is known about how to provide the poor with genuine opportunities to break the cycle of intergenerational transmission of disadvantage in a durable way.
    Keywords: inequality; redistribution; policy consensus
    JEL: D31 D63 H20
    Date: 2023–08–01

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