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Equality of opportunity, heterogeneity and poverty
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Lika möjligheter, heterogenitet och fattigdom (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Paper [I] studies equality of opportunity in Sweden. The distinction between circumstances that constrain an individual’s opportunities and the individual choices also affecting a particular outcome is the main idea of theories of equality of opportunity. In this study, equality of opportunity is analyzed for Swedish data using a large set of variables indicating different circumstances likely to affect an individual’s opportunities. A semiparametric model is estimated to allow for a possible nonlinear relation between parental income and the income of the adult child. The reason is a hypothesis that a constrained investment behavior would make the relationship nonlinear. The results indicate significant inequality of opportunities. However, they do not indicate a nonlinear relationship between parental income and the income of the adult child. Thus, the hypothesis that low income families will have a constrained investment behavior in human capital formation is brought into question as the explanation of intergenerational income correlation in Sweden.

Paper [II] focuses on the persistence of poverty in Sweden. The purpose is to distinguish between two different reasons why poverty could persist on an individual level. By using a sample of identical twins, this study takes advantage of the similarity within pairs of twins to separate family specific heterogeneity from true state dependence, where the experience of poverty leads to a higher risk of future poverty. The results, based on a four variate probit model, show the importance of true state dependence in poverty. When using the information on whether an individual received social assistance as a measure of poverty, family specific heterogeneity explains between 24 and 31 percent of the poverty persistence in the sample.

Paper [III] analyzes the consequences of unemployment for a Swedish sample of couples. The purpose is to estimate the possible income replacement that a spouse can provide. Unemployment can also affect the probability that the couples split up. Since not all couples remain in the analysis, a potential selection problem can occur. To deal with this problem, and also to take care of unobserved heterogeneity, a sample selection model for panel data is estimated. The results indicate that it is necessary to take into account the selection problem. A period in unemployment is found to be correlated with a higher female income only in the case of men who earned a fairly high income before becoming unemployed. Women who earned a fairly low income and were subject to a long period of unemployment are found to be compensated by a higher male income.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Nationalekonomi , 2005. , 15 p.
Series
Umeå economic studies, ISSN 0348-1018 ; 652
Keyword [en]
Economics, Equality of opportunity, Semiparametric, Poverty, Heterogeneity, State dependence, Twins, Unemployment, Divorce, Spousal response, Selection, Panel data
Keyword [sv]
Nationalekonomi
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-518ISBN: 91-7305-858-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-518DiVA: diva2:143670
Public defence
2005-06-03, HS1031, Norra BVH, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2005-04-28 Created: 2005-04-28 Last updated: 2009-09-25Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Opportunities, preferences and incomes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Opportunities, preferences and incomes
2005 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The distinction between circumstances that constrain an individual’s opportunities and the individual choices also affecting a particular outcome is the main idea of theories of equality of opportunity. In this study, equality of opportunity is analyzed for Swedish data using a large set of variables indicating different circumstances likely to affect an individual’s opportunities. A semiparametric model is estimated to allow for a possible nonlinear relation between parental income and the income of the adult child. The reason is a hypothesis that a constrained investment behavior would make the relationship nonlinear. The results indicate significant inequality of opportunities. However, they do not indicate a nonlinear relationship between parental income and the income of the adult child. Thus, the hypothesis that low income families will have a constrained investment behavior in human capital formation is brought into question as the explanation of intergenerational income correlation in Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2005. 43 p.
Series
Umeå economic studies, ISSN 1403-4824 ; 649
Keyword
equality of opportunity, intergenerational income mobility, preferences, tastes, semiparametric estimation
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4527 (URN)
Distributor:
Nationalekonomi, 90187, Umeå
Available from: 2005-04-28 Created: 2005-04-28 Last updated: 2009-09-25Bibliographically approved
2. Heterogeneity or true state dependence in poverty: The tale told by twins
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Heterogeneity or true state dependence in poverty: The tale told by twins
2005 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study focuses on the persistence of poverty in Sweden. The purpose is to distinguish between two different reasons why poverty could persist on an individual level. By using a sample of identical twins, this study takes advantage of the similarity within pairs of twins to separate family specific heterogeneity from true state dependence, where the experience of poverty leads to a higher risk of future poverty. The results, based on a four variate probit model, show the importance of true state dependence in poverty. When using the information on whether an individual received social assistance as a measure of poverty, family specific heterogeneity explains between 24 and 31 percent of the poverty persistence in the sample.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2005. 40 p.
Series
Umeå economic studies, ISSN 1403-4824 ; 650
Keyword
poverty, heterogeneity, state dependence, twins, multivariate probit
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4528 (URN)
Distributor:
Nationalekonomi, 90187, Umeå
Available from: 2005-04-28 Created: 2005-04-28 Last updated: 2009-08-24Bibliographically approved
3. Unemployment, splitting up, and spousal income replacement
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Unemployment, splitting up, and spousal income replacement
2005 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this study, the consequences of unemployment for a Swedish sample of couples are analyzed. The purpose is to estimate the possible income replacement that a spouse can provide. Unemployment can also affect the probability that the couples split up. Since not all couples remain in the analysis, a potential selection problem can occur. To deal with this problem, and also to take care of unobserved heterogeneity, a sample selection model for panel data is estimated. The results indicate that it is necessary to take into account the selection problem. A period in unemployment is found to be correlated with a higher female income only in the case of men who earned a fairly high income before becoming unemployed. Women who earned a fairly low income and were subject to a long period of unemployment are found to be compensated by a higher male income.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2005. 42 p.
Series
Umeå economic studies, ISSN 1403-4824 ; 652
Keyword
unemployment, divorce, spousal response, sample selection, panel data
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4529 (URN)
Distributor:
Nationalekonomi, 90187, Umeå
Available from: 2005-04-28 Created: 2005-04-28 Last updated: 2009-09-25Bibliographically approved

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