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Watch exclusive video from conferences, debates and other events on labor market economics, contributions from IZA World of Labor authors, and more.

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  • IZA World of Labor discussion on labor market evaluation

    IZA World of Labor discussion on labor market evaluation with Gabriel Ulyssea from LSE London, Christina Brown, post-doc at University of Chicago and Weilong Zhang from the University of Cambridge

    Discussion questions include:

    Questions for Gabriel Ulyssea: In your paper you talk about an experiment on housing and neighborhoods in Brazil – you show how important a neighborhood is. It shows that having housing appropriately near the formal sector gets people formal jobs. To what do we owe the lack of housing offset by access and improvement in jobs in the informal sector? In other words, is there some gain or is it all loss? What about in a really poor country? What would be the difference?

    Questions for Christina Brown: Your paper talks about the role of gender discrimination in supervisors’ evaluations which are incredibly important. You say that evaluations are perfectly gender blind if they don’t matter and that if they do matter for the allocation of money, employers start to discriminate and do evaluation by gender. How would employers behave if there was a 50% chance their evaluation won’t be used for the allocation of money? We all know that the education business is unusual – what if you were to do the same experiment in a for-profit company? Would you find the same thing?

    Question for Weilong Zhang: Christina shows that women don’t complain enough and you show how important agreeableness is. And you say that improving women’s agreeableness would improve outcomes for them. This is based on the so-called “Big Five”. Have you done a test to see where you test on the “Big Five”? You show that personality matters, some counselling might help women to become less agreeable. Aren’t these behaviors formed really early in life? If you observe these same women who have gone through counselling – would there be anything less? A lot of people would like to alter our genetics – genetically designed babies - should one be bothered about the proposal or possibility of altering our non-cognitive abilities early in life?

    Questions for everyone: I see one study after another about the so called intervention of some sort and the evaluation of the experiment. To me the number of such possible studies that can shower the economics journal is much too infinite. Can we infer anything more general given the localization of each of these studies? So, you don’t do a housing experiment – people live in ethnic and other enclaves. Is this going to be good or bad for the psychological behaviors and characteristics that both Christina and Weilong deal with?

    Find related IZA World of Labor content on labor market institutions on our key topic page Health, well-being, and happiness in the labor market.

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  • IZA World of Labor discussion on the economics of education

    IZA World of Labor discussion on the economics of education with Andrés Fernández from Universidad de Los Andes, Serena Canaan from Simon Fraser University and Michele Pellizari from University of Geneva

    Discussion questions include:

    Questions for Serena Canaan: In your paper you give as an example that if you put kids into a high-achieving classroom, they will do better in that classroom and later on. Kids are put in a classroom based on test scores. Other ways of doing that are prior teachers’ valuations or maybe kids’ prior performance in classes. Might those be better? Which would be fairer for students – the test approach or an approach based on subjective or prior grade point averages?

    Questions for Michele Pellizari: In your paper you find that if you are near to a university that offers STEM as a field of study, you are more likely to go there. In your example you use Italy but what about a place like the US where there are STEM majors at 3,000 colleges and universities? Would this make a difference in the US which is also a more mobile society? Especially in the US there is a tremendous difference in the quality of different colleges. I wonder if proximity to a good-quality place – would that matter and what can one do about that effect?

    Questions for Andrés Fernández: You discuss intergenerational transfers to elite education – why does this occur? Is it the school itself or is it parents pushing the kids, parental success being demonstrated? Why is this happening? What does your work tell us about Harvard’s defence in favour of quotas on Asians and their well-known preference for children of alumni? For everyone: We all want to improve the quality of education but all these improvements cost money. What is the most cost-effective way to improve the quality of university education? There is one cost which we haven’t mentioned – the remarkable inertia of universities in resisting any kind of change. Can you get universities to take action?

    Find related IZA World of Labor content on labor market institutions on our key topic page Higher education and human capital.
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  • IZA World of Labor discussion on labor market institutions

    IZA World of Labor discussion on labor market institutions with Daniele Checchi from the University of Milan and IZA, Moritz Drechsel-Grau from the University of Munich and Andrea Bassanini from Université Paris-Dauphine

    Discussion questions include:

    • Daniele, you talk about the correlation between hours and hourly wage rates – is the supply more important than demand, and more importantly, what does that imply about income inequality?
    • Moritz, how high should the minimum wage be?
    • Andrea, non-compete agreements – what do these imply about non-wage benefits and various aspects of the job?
    • Where are we going to be 10 years from now in all of your research as a result of the pandemic?

    Find related IZA World of Labor content on labor market institutions on our key topic page: Health, well-being, and happiness in the labor market.

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  • IZA World of Labor discussion on measuring poverty with Bruce D. Meyer

    IZA World of Labor discussion on measuring poverty with Bruce D. Meyer, the McCormick Foundation Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.

    Discussion questions include:

    • You worry about regional differences in measuring poverty – are these only because of regional cost of living differences or is there something more to it beyond cost of living?
    • Let’s assume that the safety net is less affective in more conservative/ right-wing states. If one were to worry about regional differences because of differences in the safety net, wouldn’t that argue for a more inclusive poverty standard in right-wing states? Shouldn’t the governors there be very happy with that because that would give them more federal money since more people would be measured as being in poverty?
    • In Europe they measure poverty relatively in 60% of the median household income and in US it’s absolute. Which do you think is right – European median or US absolute?
    • Poverty is defined in terms of income. Why can’t we define poverty in terms of the purchase of some market basket of goods not in terms of the income needed to buy that market basket?

    Find related IZA World of Labor content on poverty measures on our key topic page: What can policymakers do to reduce poverty?
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