Sunday, November 4, 2018

Paid leave led to shifts in labor supply & demand that decreased wages & family income among women of child-bearing age; children were 1.9 pct less likely to attend college & 3.1 pct less likely to earn a 4-year college degree

The long-run impacts of America's first paid maternity leave policy. Brenden Timpe. Job market paper, https://www.brendentimpe.com/home/research

Abstract: This paper provides the first evidence of the effect of a U.S. paid maternity leave policy on the long-run outcomes of children. I exploit variation in access to paid leave that was created by long-standing state differences in short-term disability insurance coverage and the state-level roll-out of laws banning discrimination against pregnant workers in the 1960s and 1970s. While the availability of these benefits sparked a substantial expansion of leave-taking by new mothers, it also came with a cost. The enactment of paid leave led to shifts in labor supply and demand that decreased wages and family income among women of child-bearing age. In addition, the first generation of children born to mothers with access to maternity leave benefits were 1.9 percent less likely to attend college and 3.1 percent less likely to earn a four-year college degree.

Bus and Train Operators: Men actually work nearly 50% more overtime hours than women, who are less likely than men to game the scheduling system by trading off work hours at regular wages for overtime hours at premium wages

Bolotnyy V, Emanuel N. Why Do Women Earn Less Than Men? Evidence from Bus and Train Operators (Job Market Paper). Working Paper. https://scholar.harvard.edu/bolotnyy/publications/why-do-women-earn-less-men-evidence-bus-and-train-operators-job-market-paper

Abstract: Even in a unionized environment, where work tasks are similar, hourly wages are identical, and tenure dictates promotions, female workers earn $0.89 on the male-worker dollar (weekly earnings). We use confidential administrative data on bus and train operators from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to show that the weekly earnings gap can be explained entirely by the workplace choices that women and men make. Women value time and flexibility more than men. Women take more unpaid time off using the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and work fewer overtime hours than men. Men and women plan to work similar overtime hours when they are scheduled three months in advance, but men actually work nearly 50% more overtime hours than women. Women with dependents value time away from work more than do men with dependents. When selecting work schedules, women try to avoid weekend, holiday, and split shifts more than men. To avoid unfavorable work times, women prioritize their schedules over route safety and select routes with a higher probability of accidents. Women are less likely than men to game the scheduling system by trading off work hours at regular wages for overtime hours at premium wages. Conditional on seniority, which dictates choice sets, the weekly earnings gap can be explained entirely by differences in operator choices of hours, schedules, and routes.

Conditional on parent income, immigrant children have similar incomes and higher educational attainment in adulthood than native-born Swedes

Bolotnyy V, Bratu C. The Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants and the Native-Born: Evidence from Sweden. Working Paper. https://scholar.harvard.edu/bolotnyy/publications/intergenerational-mobility-immigrants-and-native-born-evidence-sweden

Abstract: e use administrative Swedish data to show that, conditional on parent income, immigrant children have similar incomes and higher educational attainment in adulthood than native-born Swedes. This result, however, masks the fact that immigrant children born into poor families are more likely than similar natives to both reach the top of the income distribution and to stay at the bottom. Immigrant children from high-income families are also more likely than natives to regress to the economic bottom. Notably, however, children from predominantly-refugee sending countries like Bosnia, Syria, and Iran have higher intergenerational mobility than the average immigrant child in Sweden.

Individuals who don’t share money in lab experiments but later donate their (larger) earnings to charity (unethical+ethical) are evaluated less positively than those who share in lab but later donate less (ethical+ethical) or nothing (ethical+neutral)

Narrow Bracketing in Ethical Tradeoffs. Olivola, Christopher; Saccardo, Silvia. In Society for Judgment and Decision Making 2018, 39th Annual Conference. http://carter.psych.upenn.edu/programs/2018-program.pdf

Abstract: We demonstrate narrow bracketing in ethical tradeoffs: individuals who don’t share money in lab experiments but later donate their (larger) earnings to charity (unethical+ethical) are evaluated less positively than those who share in lab but later donate less (ethical+ethical) or nothing (ethical+neutral) to charity. However, broadly bracketing these same ethical tradeoffs (by presenting sharing and donation decisions simultaneously, rather than sequentially), shifts evaluations toward favoring the welfare maximizing option. Moreover, this effect extends beyond person-evaluations to the allocation decisions themselves: individuals share less (more) with other lab- participants and give more (less) to charity when these decisions are bracketed broadly (narrowly).

Participants who cheat and experience subsequent "close calls" with punishment reduce their cheating in levels comparable to cheaters who are punished

When close calls curb crime: almost getting caught reduces future unethical behavior. Permut, Stephanie; Saccardo, Silvia; Downs, Julie; Loewenstein, George. In Society for Judgment and Decision Making 2018, 39th Annual Conference. http://carter.psych.upenn.edu/programs/2018-program.pdf

Abstract: We investigate the applications of near - miss effects to theories of deterrence and risk. Across several experimental studies, we study how individuals behave after getting away with a first instance of cheating. We show that participants who cheat and experience subsequent "close calls" with punishment reduce their cheating in levels comparable to cheaters who are punished. By contrast, participants who avoid punishment by wider margins do not decrease their cheating. We present converging evidence that these effects are cognitive in nature. Participants believe that their distance from undesirable outcomes contains information about outcome - likelihoods and about the structure of the task itself.

Relative Income and Happiness: We find no evidence that subjects like being "richer" than others; women have a strong(er) distaste for being "richer" and "poorer", & conservatives have a strong(er) distaste for being "poorer

Relative Income and Happiness: An Experiment. John Ifcher, Homa Zarghamee, Daniel Houser, Lina Diaz. IZA Discussion Papers No. 11763, August 2018, https://www.iza.org/en/publications/dp/11763/relative-income-and-happiness-an-experiment

Abstract: John Stuart Mill claimed that "men do not desire merely to be rich, but richer than other men." Do people desire to be richer than others? Or is it that people desire favorable comparisons to others more generally, and being richer is merely a proxy for this ineffable relativity? We conduct an online experiment absent choice in which we measure subjective wellbeing (SWB) before and after an exogenous shock that reveals to subjects how many experimental points they and another subject receive, and whether or not points are worth money. We find that subjects like receiving monetized points significantly more than non-monetized points but dislike being "poorer" than others in monetized and non-monetized points equally, suggesting relative money is valued only for the relative points it represents. We find no evidence that subjects like being "richer" than others. Subgroup analyses reveal women have a strong(er) distaste for being "richer" and "poorer" (than do men), and conservatives have a strong(er) distaste for being "poorer" (than do progressives). Our experimental-SWB approach is easy to administer and can provide some insights a revealed-preference approach cannot, suggesting that it may complement choice-based tasks in future experiments to better estimate preference parameters.

Keywords: subjective well-being relative income others' income income comparisons happiness experiments

Investment in stocks led participants to adopt a more right-leaning outlook on issues such as merit and deservingness, personal responsibility and equality; shifted to the right on policy questions

How Markets Shape Political Preferences: A Field Experiment. Yotam Margalit and Moses Shayo. September 2018. http://people.socsci.tau.ac.il/ymargalit/Margalit_Shayo%200918.pdf

Abstract: How does engagement with markets affect social-economic values and political preferences? A long line of thinkers have debated the nature and direction of such effects, but claims are difficult to assess empirically because market engagement is endogenous. We designed a large field experiment to evaluate the impact of financial markets, which have grown dramatically in recent decades. Participants from a national sample in England received substantial sums they could invest over a six-week period. We assigned them into several treatments designed to distinguish between different theoretical channels of influence. Investment in stocks led participants to adopt a more right-leaning outlook on issues such as merit and deservingness, personal responsibility and equality. Subjects also shifted to the right on policy questions. These results appear to be driven by growing familiarity with, and decreasing distrust of markets. The spread of financial markets thus has important and under-appreciated political ramifications.

Oral contraceptive use is associated with greater mood stability and higher relationship satisfaction

Oral contraceptive use is associated with greater mood stability and higher relationship satisfaction. Tenille C.Taggart et al. Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research, Volume 30, December 2018, Pages 154-162, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.npbr.2018.10.004

Highlights
•    Mood lability was less severe in OC users compared to non-users (d = .30).
•    Non-users reported more frequent mood lability occurrences than OC users (d = .41).
•    OC users reported higher relationship satisfaction levels than non-users (d = .31).
•    Mood instability mediated the OC-relationship satisfaction association.
•    Mood instability accounted for 44% of the variance in relationship satisfaction.

Abstract: Oral contraceptives (OCs) are one of the most commonly prescribed medications among women. OCs have been used to ameliorate hormone-related affective symptoms (e.g., mood lability). Previous data suggest that mood stability may have downstream effects for broader life outcomes, such as relationship satisfaction, which is also correlated with OC use. However, to date, no studies have examined the role of mood lability within the OC-relationship satisfaction association. Indirect effects structural equation modeling examined the extent to which OC use was associated with relationship satisfaction (direct effect), and the degree to which this association was mediated by mood lability (indirect effect) in women (N = 282) aged 18–32. OC users reported significantly higher relationship satisfaction (Cohen’s d = .31) and less frequent occurrences of mood lability (d = .41) compared to non-users. Indirect effects suggested that mood lability accounted for nearly half of the variance in the OC-relationship satisfaction relationship. Findings support an emerging literature suggesting that, in addition to contraception, OC use may subsequently positively impact various domains of wellbeing for women and their families. Results support public policy efforts aimed at providing broad, affordable access to contraceptives, including for non-contraceptive benefits, and discussing OCs as a potential treatment with all women, including those not at imminent risk for pregnancy. Given their widespread use, availability, and low side effects profile, it is imperative that future research further elucidate non-contraceptive benefits associated with OC use.