Monday, April 3d 2017 –  13:00 – 14:00

Maison des Sciences Économiques, Room 19

 Maison des Sciences Économiques, 106-112 bd de l’Hôpital, 75013 Paris, Métro 5 Campo Formio, bus 57, 67, 27, 83 ou 47

Alessandro NUVOLARI
(Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa)
with Brian A’HEARN (University of Oxford) and Alexia DELFINO (London School of Economics)
Rethinking Age-heaping, a Cautionary Tale From Nineteenth Century Italy

Abstract – A swelling stream of literature employs age-heaping as an indicator of human capital, more specifically of numeracy. We re-examine this connection in light of evidence drawn from nineteenth century Italy: census data, death records, and direct, qualitative evidence on age-awareness and numeracy. Though it can stand in as an acceptable proxy for literacy, our findings suggest that age-heaping is most plausibly interpreted as a broad indicator of cultural and institutional modernisation rather than a measure of cognitive skills.

Working paper available here.

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Monday, March 20th 2017 –  13:00 – 14:00

Maison des Sciences Économiques, Room 19

 Maison des Sciences Économiques, 106-112 bd de l’Hôpital, 75013 Paris, Métro 5 Campo Formio, bus 57, 67, 27, 83 ou 47

Julien PRAT
(CNRS, CREST)
with G. Felbermayr (Ifo Munich) and G. Impullitti (University of Nottingham)
Firm Dynamics and Residual Inequality in Open Economies

Abstract – Wage inequality between similar workers has been on the rise in many rich countries. Recent empirical research suggests that heterogeneity in firm characteristics is crucial to understand wage dispersion. Lower trade costs as well as labor and product market reforms are considered critical drivers of inequality dynamics. We ask how these factors affect wage dispersion and how much of their effect on inequality is attributable to changes in wage dispersion between and within firms. To tackle these questions, we incorporate directed job search into a dynamic model of international trade where wage inequality results from the interplay of convex adjustment costs with firms’ different hiring needs along their life cycles. Fitting the model to German linked employer-employee data for the years 1996-2009, we find that firm heterogeneity explains about half of the surge in inequality. The most important mechanism is tougher product market competition driven by domestic product market deregulation and, indirectly, by international trade.