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Volume 12 (2022): Issue 1 (January 2022)

Volume 11 (2021): Issue 1 (January 2021)

Volume 10 (2020): Issue 1 (March 2020)

Volume 9 (2019): Issue 1 (June 2019)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2193-9004
First Published
30 Apr 2019
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 9 (2019): Issue 1 (June 2019)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2193-9004
First Published
30 Apr 2019
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English

Search

9 Articles
Open Access

The World’s Oldest Profession? Employment-Age Profiles from the Transactional Sex Market

Published Online: 29 Jun 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

Standard labor market models predict that the likelihood of employment increases, hours worked increase, and individuals transition from less-skilled and temporary jobs to more skilled and more stable employment as they age. I examine the association between age and transactional sex work using national household surveys from Zambia, one of the few settings with general population surveys asking women about transactional sex and a relatively high documented prevalence of employment in transactional sex. My results indicate that the likelihood of employment in transactional sex sharply falls with age. Increased employment opportunities outside of transactional sex do not appear to explain the transactional sex employment-age profile and marital status appears to explain only a portion of it. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that clients prefer younger transactional sex workers and suggest that policymakers implement interventions designed to reduce client demand for younger females.

Keywords

  • age
  • employment
  • labor supply
  • transactional sex
  • Zambia

JEL Classification

  • J10
  • J40
  • O10
  • R23
Open Access

Population with Criminal Records and Racial Disparity in Labor Markets

Published Online: 17 Jul 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

Although unemployment rates are at historical lows, there is still a persistent gap between unemployment rates in black and white population. Some have proposed that part of the gap for men can be explained by the higher rate of criminal records in the black population.

This analysis aims to use negative binomial regressions and the detailed crime data available from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 survey to determine if black men with criminal records appear to be the driving force behind the gap.

The author finds that there are significant deviations in labor market outcomes depending on race and ethnicity, even when controlling for a criminal record and premarket skills.

Lowering the disproportionate rate at which black men are incarcerated will not in itself eliminate the unemployment gap between white and black men.

Keywords

  • crime
  • discrimination
  • labor market
  • unemployment

JEL Classification

  • J01
  • J64
  • J71
Open Access

Patterns of Overeducation in Europe: The Role of Field of Study

Published Online: 27 Jul 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

This study investigates the incidence of overeducation among graduate workers in 21 European Union countries and its underlying factors based on the European Labor Force Survey 2016. Although controlling for a wide range of covariates, the particular interest lies in the role of fields of study for vertical educational mismatch. The study reveals country differences in the impact of these factors. Compared to Social sciences, male graduates from, for example, Education, Health and welfare, Engineering, and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) are less and those from Services and Natural sciences are more at risk in a clear majority of countries. These findings are robust against changes of the standard education. Moreover, some fields show gender-specific risks. We suggest that occupational closure, productivity signals and gender stereotypes answer for these cross-field and cross-country differentials. Moreover, country fixed effects point to relevant structural differences between national labor markets and between educational systems.

Keywords

  • college major
  • country-specific effects
  • EU countries
  • field of study
  • gender
  • labor force survey
  • overeducation
  • realized matches
  • vertical mismatch

JEL Classification

  • J24
  • J21
  • J22
Open Access

Economics of Artificial Intelligence: Implications for the Future of Work

Published Online: 14 Aug 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

The current wave of technological change based on advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) has created widespread fear of job loss and further rises in inequality. This paper discusses the rationale for these fears, highlighting the specific nature of AI and comparing previous waves of automation and robotization with the current advancements made possible by a widespread adoption of AI. It argues that large opportunities in terms of increases in productivity can ensue, including for developing countries, given the vastly reduced costs of capital that some applications have demonstrated and the potential for productivity increases, especially among the low skilled. At the same time, risks in the form of further increases in inequality need to be addressed if the benefits from AI-based technological progress are to be broadly shared. For this, skills policies are necessary but not sufficient. In addition, new forms of regulating the digital economy are called for that prevent further rises in market concentration, ensure proper data protection and privacy, and help share the benefits of productivity growth through the combination of profit sharing, (digital) capital taxation, and a reduction in working time. The paper calls for a moderately optimistic outlook on the opportunities and risks from AI, provided that policymakers and social partners take the particular characteristics of these new technologies into account.

Keywords

  • artificial intelligence
  • technological unemployment
  • inequality
  • productivity growth

JEL Classification

  • J23
  • J24
  • O00
  • E24
Open Access

The Economic Effects of Providing Legal Status to DREAMers

Published Online: 27 Aug 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

This study quantifies the economic effects of two major immigration policies aimed at legalizing undocumented individuals that entered the United States as children and completed high school: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the DREAM Act. The former offers only temporary legal status to eligible individuals, whereas the latter provides a track to legal permanent residence. Our analysis is based on a general equilibrium model that allows for shifts in participation between work, college, and non-employment. The model is calibrated to account for productivity differences across workers of different skills and documentation status, and a rich pattern of complementarities across different types of workers. We estimate that DACA increased gross domestic product (GDP) by almost 0.02% (about $3.5 billion), or $7,454 per legalized worker. Passing the DREAM Act would increase GDP by around 0.08% (or $15.2 billion), which amounts to an average of $15,371 for each legalized worker. The larger effects of the DREAM Act stem from the expected larger take-up and the increased incentive to attend college among DREAMers with a high school degree. We also find substantial wage increases for individuals obtaining legal status, particularly those that increase their educational attainment. Because of the small size of the DREAMer population, and their skill distribution, legalization entails negligible effects on the wages of US-born workers.

Keywords

  • DREAMers
  • immigration
  • legalization
  • undocumented

JEL Classification

  • I20
  • I26
  • J13
  • J1
Open Access

Unemployment Impact of Product and Labor Market Regulation: Evidence from European Countries

Published Online: 14 Sep 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

This paper provides robust estimates of the impact of both product and labor market regulations on unemployment using data from 24 European countries over the period 1998–2013. Controlling for country fixed effects, endogeneity, and a large set of covariates, results show that product market deregulation overall reduces the unemployment rate. This finding is robust across all specifications and in line with theoretical predictions. However, not all types of reforms have the same effect: deregulation of state controls and in particular involvement in business operations tend to push up the unemployment rate. Labor market deregulation, proxied by the employment protection legislation index, is detrimental to unemployment in the short run, while a positive impact (i.e., a reduction in the unemployment rate) occurs only in the long run. Analysis by sub-indicators shows that reducing protection against collective dismissals helps in reducing the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate equation is also estimated for different categories of workers. Although men and women are equally affected by product and labor market deregulations, workers distinguished by age and educational attainment are affected differently. In terms of employment protection, young workers are almost twice as strongly affected as older workers. Regarding product market deregulation, highly educated individuals are less impacted than low- and middle-educated workers.

Keywords

  • unemployment
  • structural reform
  • product market
  • labor market
  • regulation
  • employment protection

JEL Classification

  • E24
  • E60
  • J48
  • J64
  • L51
Open Access

The Impact of Parental Leave Policy on Child-Rearing and Employment Behavior: The Case of Germany

Published Online: 05 Oct 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

Parental leave and child care are important instruments of family policies to improve work–family balance. This paper studies the impact of the substantial change in Germany’s parental leave system on maternal employment. The aim of the reform was to decrease birth-related maternal employment breaks by providing more generous parental benefits for a shorter period of time. Using the German Socio-Economic Panel data for 2002–2015, I exploited quasi-experimental variation in the benefits to estimate the impact of the reform. I incorporated the mother’s decision to substitute her care time with the public child care. To control for the availability of child care, I used spatial and temporal variation in the availability of childcare slots. Overall, I did not find significant changes in maternal employment during the first three years of motherhood after the reform implementation. Only for high-income mothers, the reform produced a significant decrease in the employment participation during the first year of leave and an increase in employment probability after the benefits expired. The empirical findings suggest that the restriction in the childcare availability became an important constraint for the employment effect of the reform.

Keywords

  • employment
  • child care
  • parental leave
  • financial incentives

JEL Classification

  • J13
  • J13
  • J22
  • C25
Open Access

Frontal assault versus incremental change: A comparison of collective bargaining in Portugal and the Netherlands

Published Online: 13 Nov 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

Collective bargaining has come under renewed scrutiny, especially in Southern European countries, which rely predominantly on sectoral bargaining supported by administrative extensions of collective agreements. Following the global financial crisis, some of these countries have implemented substantial reforms in the context of adjustment programmes, seen by some as a ‘frontal assault’ on collective bargaining. This paper compares the recent top-down reforms in Portugal with the more gradual evolution of the system in the Netherlands. While the Dutch bargaining system shares many of the key features that characterise the Portuguese system, it has shown a much greater ability to adjust to new challenges through concerted social dialogue. This paper shows that the recent reforms in Portugal have brought the system more in line with Dutch practices, including in relation to the degree of flexibility in sectoral collective agreements at the worker and firm levels, the criteria for administrative extensions, and the application of retro- and ultra-activity. However, it remains to be seen to what extent the top-down approach taken in Portugal will change bargaining practices, and importantly, the quality of industrial relations.

Keywords

  • collective bargaining
  • bargaining coverage/structure/coordination
  • trust
  • comparative economic systems

JEL Classification

  • D02
  • JO8
  • J3
  • J5
  • P5
Open Access

Sympathy for the Devil? Exploring Flexicurity Win–Win Promises

Published Online: 16 Nov 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

Flexicurity is the combination of more flexibility for employers and more security for workers. It is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that lacks a well-developed monitoring framework or a statistically consistent grouping of the indicators. First, this paper proposes a conceptual framework by building upon the Wilthagen and Tros (2004) flexicurity matrix and the Danish Golden Triangle. It constructs flexicurity “drivers” by pooling together variables that are conceptually related to each other and a specific type of flexibility or security. Then, it obtains statistically consistent aggregate measures for each driver and selects three drivers that represent the three corners of the Danish “golden triangle”: external numerical flexibility, employment security, and income security. It conducts an empirical analysis on the evolution of the selected flexicurity drivers over time and across European Union (EU) countries and on the relationship between selected flexicurity drivers and social outcomes from the Social Scoreboard of the European Pillar of Social Rights. It finds evidence of convergence on external numerical flexibility and polarization on employment and income security across the EU. It finds that higher flexibility at the onset of the crisis contributed to a reduction in the unemployment rates after the crisis, while a more generous welfare system contributed to reducing poverty. Employment security, however, appears to be linked to the presence of higher levels of income inequality after the crisis.

Keywords

  • flexicurity
  • European Pillar of Social Rights
  • unemployment
  • employment
  • poverty
  • inequality

JEL Classification

  • J0
  • J4
  • J5
  • C5
9 Articles
Open Access

The World’s Oldest Profession? Employment-Age Profiles from the Transactional Sex Market

Published Online: 29 Jun 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

Standard labor market models predict that the likelihood of employment increases, hours worked increase, and individuals transition from less-skilled and temporary jobs to more skilled and more stable employment as they age. I examine the association between age and transactional sex work using national household surveys from Zambia, one of the few settings with general population surveys asking women about transactional sex and a relatively high documented prevalence of employment in transactional sex. My results indicate that the likelihood of employment in transactional sex sharply falls with age. Increased employment opportunities outside of transactional sex do not appear to explain the transactional sex employment-age profile and marital status appears to explain only a portion of it. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that clients prefer younger transactional sex workers and suggest that policymakers implement interventions designed to reduce client demand for younger females.

Keywords

  • age
  • employment
  • labor supply
  • transactional sex
  • Zambia

JEL Classification

  • J10
  • J40
  • O10
  • R23
Open Access

Population with Criminal Records and Racial Disparity in Labor Markets

Published Online: 17 Jul 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

Although unemployment rates are at historical lows, there is still a persistent gap between unemployment rates in black and white population. Some have proposed that part of the gap for men can be explained by the higher rate of criminal records in the black population.

This analysis aims to use negative binomial regressions and the detailed crime data available from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 survey to determine if black men with criminal records appear to be the driving force behind the gap.

The author finds that there are significant deviations in labor market outcomes depending on race and ethnicity, even when controlling for a criminal record and premarket skills.

Lowering the disproportionate rate at which black men are incarcerated will not in itself eliminate the unemployment gap between white and black men.

Keywords

  • crime
  • discrimination
  • labor market
  • unemployment

JEL Classification

  • J01
  • J64
  • J71
Open Access

Patterns of Overeducation in Europe: The Role of Field of Study

Published Online: 27 Jul 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

This study investigates the incidence of overeducation among graduate workers in 21 European Union countries and its underlying factors based on the European Labor Force Survey 2016. Although controlling for a wide range of covariates, the particular interest lies in the role of fields of study for vertical educational mismatch. The study reveals country differences in the impact of these factors. Compared to Social sciences, male graduates from, for example, Education, Health and welfare, Engineering, and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) are less and those from Services and Natural sciences are more at risk in a clear majority of countries. These findings are robust against changes of the standard education. Moreover, some fields show gender-specific risks. We suggest that occupational closure, productivity signals and gender stereotypes answer for these cross-field and cross-country differentials. Moreover, country fixed effects point to relevant structural differences between national labor markets and between educational systems.

Keywords

  • college major
  • country-specific effects
  • EU countries
  • field of study
  • gender
  • labor force survey
  • overeducation
  • realized matches
  • vertical mismatch

JEL Classification

  • J24
  • J21
  • J22
Open Access

Economics of Artificial Intelligence: Implications for the Future of Work

Published Online: 14 Aug 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

The current wave of technological change based on advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) has created widespread fear of job loss and further rises in inequality. This paper discusses the rationale for these fears, highlighting the specific nature of AI and comparing previous waves of automation and robotization with the current advancements made possible by a widespread adoption of AI. It argues that large opportunities in terms of increases in productivity can ensue, including for developing countries, given the vastly reduced costs of capital that some applications have demonstrated and the potential for productivity increases, especially among the low skilled. At the same time, risks in the form of further increases in inequality need to be addressed if the benefits from AI-based technological progress are to be broadly shared. For this, skills policies are necessary but not sufficient. In addition, new forms of regulating the digital economy are called for that prevent further rises in market concentration, ensure proper data protection and privacy, and help share the benefits of productivity growth through the combination of profit sharing, (digital) capital taxation, and a reduction in working time. The paper calls for a moderately optimistic outlook on the opportunities and risks from AI, provided that policymakers and social partners take the particular characteristics of these new technologies into account.

Keywords

  • artificial intelligence
  • technological unemployment
  • inequality
  • productivity growth

JEL Classification

  • J23
  • J24
  • O00
  • E24
Open Access

The Economic Effects of Providing Legal Status to DREAMers

Published Online: 27 Aug 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

This study quantifies the economic effects of two major immigration policies aimed at legalizing undocumented individuals that entered the United States as children and completed high school: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the DREAM Act. The former offers only temporary legal status to eligible individuals, whereas the latter provides a track to legal permanent residence. Our analysis is based on a general equilibrium model that allows for shifts in participation between work, college, and non-employment. The model is calibrated to account for productivity differences across workers of different skills and documentation status, and a rich pattern of complementarities across different types of workers. We estimate that DACA increased gross domestic product (GDP) by almost 0.02% (about $3.5 billion), or $7,454 per legalized worker. Passing the DREAM Act would increase GDP by around 0.08% (or $15.2 billion), which amounts to an average of $15,371 for each legalized worker. The larger effects of the DREAM Act stem from the expected larger take-up and the increased incentive to attend college among DREAMers with a high school degree. We also find substantial wage increases for individuals obtaining legal status, particularly those that increase their educational attainment. Because of the small size of the DREAMer population, and their skill distribution, legalization entails negligible effects on the wages of US-born workers.

Keywords

  • DREAMers
  • immigration
  • legalization
  • undocumented

JEL Classification

  • I20
  • I26
  • J13
  • J1
Open Access

Unemployment Impact of Product and Labor Market Regulation: Evidence from European Countries

Published Online: 14 Sep 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

This paper provides robust estimates of the impact of both product and labor market regulations on unemployment using data from 24 European countries over the period 1998–2013. Controlling for country fixed effects, endogeneity, and a large set of covariates, results show that product market deregulation overall reduces the unemployment rate. This finding is robust across all specifications and in line with theoretical predictions. However, not all types of reforms have the same effect: deregulation of state controls and in particular involvement in business operations tend to push up the unemployment rate. Labor market deregulation, proxied by the employment protection legislation index, is detrimental to unemployment in the short run, while a positive impact (i.e., a reduction in the unemployment rate) occurs only in the long run. Analysis by sub-indicators shows that reducing protection against collective dismissals helps in reducing the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate equation is also estimated for different categories of workers. Although men and women are equally affected by product and labor market deregulations, workers distinguished by age and educational attainment are affected differently. In terms of employment protection, young workers are almost twice as strongly affected as older workers. Regarding product market deregulation, highly educated individuals are less impacted than low- and middle-educated workers.

Keywords

  • unemployment
  • structural reform
  • product market
  • labor market
  • regulation
  • employment protection

JEL Classification

  • E24
  • E60
  • J48
  • J64
  • L51
Open Access

The Impact of Parental Leave Policy on Child-Rearing and Employment Behavior: The Case of Germany

Published Online: 05 Oct 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

Parental leave and child care are important instruments of family policies to improve work–family balance. This paper studies the impact of the substantial change in Germany’s parental leave system on maternal employment. The aim of the reform was to decrease birth-related maternal employment breaks by providing more generous parental benefits for a shorter period of time. Using the German Socio-Economic Panel data for 2002–2015, I exploited quasi-experimental variation in the benefits to estimate the impact of the reform. I incorporated the mother’s decision to substitute her care time with the public child care. To control for the availability of child care, I used spatial and temporal variation in the availability of childcare slots. Overall, I did not find significant changes in maternal employment during the first three years of motherhood after the reform implementation. Only for high-income mothers, the reform produced a significant decrease in the employment participation during the first year of leave and an increase in employment probability after the benefits expired. The empirical findings suggest that the restriction in the childcare availability became an important constraint for the employment effect of the reform.

Keywords

  • employment
  • child care
  • parental leave
  • financial incentives

JEL Classification

  • J13
  • J13
  • J22
  • C25
Open Access

Frontal assault versus incremental change: A comparison of collective bargaining in Portugal and the Netherlands

Published Online: 13 Nov 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

Collective bargaining has come under renewed scrutiny, especially in Southern European countries, which rely predominantly on sectoral bargaining supported by administrative extensions of collective agreements. Following the global financial crisis, some of these countries have implemented substantial reforms in the context of adjustment programmes, seen by some as a ‘frontal assault’ on collective bargaining. This paper compares the recent top-down reforms in Portugal with the more gradual evolution of the system in the Netherlands. While the Dutch bargaining system shares many of the key features that characterise the Portuguese system, it has shown a much greater ability to adjust to new challenges through concerted social dialogue. This paper shows that the recent reforms in Portugal have brought the system more in line with Dutch practices, including in relation to the degree of flexibility in sectoral collective agreements at the worker and firm levels, the criteria for administrative extensions, and the application of retro- and ultra-activity. However, it remains to be seen to what extent the top-down approach taken in Portugal will change bargaining practices, and importantly, the quality of industrial relations.

Keywords

  • collective bargaining
  • bargaining coverage/structure/coordination
  • trust
  • comparative economic systems

JEL Classification

  • D02
  • JO8
  • J3
  • J5
  • P5
Open Access

Sympathy for the Devil? Exploring Flexicurity Win–Win Promises

Published Online: 16 Nov 2019
Page range: -

Abstract

Abstract

Flexicurity is the combination of more flexibility for employers and more security for workers. It is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that lacks a well-developed monitoring framework or a statistically consistent grouping of the indicators. First, this paper proposes a conceptual framework by building upon the Wilthagen and Tros (2004) flexicurity matrix and the Danish Golden Triangle. It constructs flexicurity “drivers” by pooling together variables that are conceptually related to each other and a specific type of flexibility or security. Then, it obtains statistically consistent aggregate measures for each driver and selects three drivers that represent the three corners of the Danish “golden triangle”: external numerical flexibility, employment security, and income security. It conducts an empirical analysis on the evolution of the selected flexicurity drivers over time and across European Union (EU) countries and on the relationship between selected flexicurity drivers and social outcomes from the Social Scoreboard of the European Pillar of Social Rights. It finds evidence of convergence on external numerical flexibility and polarization on employment and income security across the EU. It finds that higher flexibility at the onset of the crisis contributed to a reduction in the unemployment rates after the crisis, while a more generous welfare system contributed to reducing poverty. Employment security, however, appears to be linked to the presence of higher levels of income inequality after the crisis.

Keywords

  • flexicurity
  • European Pillar of Social Rights
  • unemployment
  • employment
  • poverty
  • inequality

JEL Classification

  • J0
  • J4
  • J5
  • C5

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