Economic Policy and Vulnerable Populations
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM
- Chair: Susan Pozo, Western Michigan University
The Effect of the Safety Net on United States Hispanics’ Labor Market Activity
AbstractIn the United States, fewer than one-half of unemployed workers typically receive UI benefits because of eligibility restrictions and a time limit on benefits. Using data from the 2001-2017 March Current Population Survey, we examine UI receipt rates among unemployed workers, with a focus on Hispanics. Hispanics are likely to rely more on UI benefits than non-Hispanic whites do since they have lower savings levels and higher unemployment rates. However, many Hispanic immigrants are unauthorized and hence ineligible for UI. We find that non-naturalized Hispanic immigrants—a group largely composed of unauthorized immigrants—are particularly unlikely to receive UI benefits, but even U.S.-born Hispanic workers are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to receive UI benefits. Differences across origin areas suggest that lack of legal status cannot fully explain the low recipiency rate among non-naturalized Hispanic immigrants.
Efficiency, Morality, and the Minimum Wage: A Choice Experiment
AbstractAcademic research on the minimum wage tends to focus on the potential tradeoff between wages and employment. However, this tradeoff has policy relevance only if preferences are responsive to the effects of minimum wages on employment outcomes. In such a case, research on minimum wages informs the policy debate. On the other hand, if voter preferences are deontological, support for minimum wages is a moral issue that will not be affected by consequentialist arguments based on economic efficiency. To examine support for minimum wages, we follow Elias et al. (2016) who use a choice experiment to elicit individuals’ willingness to allow payment to kidney donors if it would lead to more transplants. Our experiment determines the causes of public support for minimum wages by asking subjects to choose among a variety of labor market policies while randomizing the associated consequences of these choices for employment. Specifically, we consider the moral tradeoff between systems of no minimum wage, a federal minimum wage, and a basic minimum income.
We rely on participants of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) to complete the survey. MTurk is a commonly used resource in psychology and marketing to complete survey based experiments. The experimental design allows us to characterize individual support for minimum wages as deontological or consequentialist and to estimate the marginal rate of substitution between higher minimum wages and employment for the median respondent. We also show how individual preferences are predicted by demographic characteristics and by responses given to ethical choices in common moral dilemmas. For example, we can ask if the participant would change their preference if they knew the policy predominately affected under represented racial/ethnic groups or individuals with a disability.
Publicly provided healthcare and migration
AbstractThis paper investigates whether social health policies affect the propensity to migrate. I exploit the spatial and temporal variation in the expansion of a publicly provided healthcare programme in Mexico, as well as the panel dimension and the timing of the Mexican Family Life Survey. Difference-in-differences estimations reveal that non-contributory healthcare increases internal migration by freeing up care constraints and strengthening household economic resilience. International migration, costlier by nature, remains unaffected. Results point to the relevance of including resident, non-resident and household members who have migrated in assessing the impacts of social health policies. They suggest that, in the setting studied, publicly provided healthcare complements, rather than substitutes for, livelihood strategies, by enabling labour force detachment of working-age members in affiliated households.
Cheap Talk and Coordination in the Lab and the Field: Collective Commercialization in Senegal
AbstractWe work with a sample of groundnut-commercializing cooperatives in Senegal to explore whether revealing others' intentions to sell to one's group impacts one's actual sales to the group during commercialization season (a type of "cheap-talk" effect on coordination). We combine results from coordination games (i.e. artefactual, lab-in-the- field experiments), where all parameters of interest can be exogenously varied, with results from a naturally-occurring randomized controlled trial (i.e. a natural field experiment), where we are only able to exogenously vary the revelation of aggregate intentions. Together, this spectrum of experiments provides strong support for our theoretical predictions: Revealing intentions yields enhanced coordination in larger groups where coordination is more difficult to start with. Our results also point to large and positive effects of the intervention on farmers' income from the sale of groundnuts. Finally, randomly selected farmers who participated in the "lab" experiments seem to learn and in turn, transfer knowledge to the naturally-occurring environment--they are more likely to commercialize through their groups in the natural field experiment. The findings are robust to both survey and administrative data as well as a range of falsi cation/placebo tests. They suggest that a subtle and relatively low-cost "cheap talk" mechanism (intervention) could help address coordination-based poverty traps
- J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
- O1 - Economic Development