Starting from January 1, 2008, Journal of Economic Inequality has become the official journal of ECINEQ.


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The Journal of Economic Inequality (latest issue) 
ISSN: 1569-1721 (Print) 1573-8701 (Online)  

Original Paper, Pages 449-468
Early life circumstances and labor market outcomes over the life cycle
Manuel Flores, Pilar García-Gómez, Adriaan Kalwij

Some consequences of adverse events early in life for labor market outcomes may emerge early and others only later in adult life. We use data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe to investigate how early life circumstances—childhood health and socioeconomic status (SES)—are associated with various labor market outcomes over an individual’s entire life cycle. Our main new finding is that these associations change significantly over the life cycle. For instance, the association of childhood SES with lifetime earnings is shown to become stronger over the life cycle and to operate through both working years and annual earnings. We discuss how our findings can explain some of the mixed evidence on these associations in previous literature. Our results also shed light on the potential gains in the different labor market outcomes of public policies that invest in children’s health and parents’ SES.


Original Paper, Pages 469-489
Beyond the weights: a multicriteia approach to evaluate inequality in education 
Giuseppe Coco, Raffaele Lagravinese, Giuliano Resce

This paper proposes the use of a new technique, the Stochastic Multicriteria Acceptability Analysis (SMAA), to evaluate education quality at school level out of the PISA multidimensional database. SMAA produces rankings with Monte Carlo Generation of weights to estimate the probability that each school is in a certain position of the aggregate ranking, thus avoiding any arbitrary intervention of researchers. We use the rankings in 4 waves of PISA assessment to compare SMAA outcomes with Benefit of Doubt (BoD), showing that differentiation of weights matters. Considering the whole set of feasible weights by means of SMAA, we then estimate multidimensional inequality in education, and we disentangle inequality into a ‘within’ and a ‘between’ country component, in addition to a component due to overlapping, using the multidimensional ANOGI. We find that, over time, inequality within countries has increased substantially. Overlapping among countries, particularly in the upper part of the distribution has also increased quite substantially suggesting excellence is spreading among countries.


Original Paper, Pages 491-524
Visible minorities and job mobility: evidence from a workplace panel survey
Mohsen Javdani

We use Canadian linked employer-employee data to examine whether visible minority Canadian-borns experience any differences in their inter-firm and intra-firm job mobility, as well as wage returns associated with them, compared to white Canadian-borns. Our results suggest that both male and female visible minority Canadian-borns experience substantial differences in probability of promotion, number of times promoted, and wage returns to promotions, compared to their white peers. For male visible minorities, these differences with their white peers mainly operate within firms. For female visible minorities however, almost half of the gap is driven by their crowding into firms with fewer promotion opportunities. In terms of inter-firm mobility, while male visible minorities are similarly likely to move between firms compared to their white peers, female visible minorities are less likely to change employer. Both groups however receive similar wage returns to their inter-firm mobility compared to their white peers. This seems to suggest that lower chances for upward mobility within firms do not translate into more inter-firm mobility or higher returns to inter-firm mobility for visible minorities. We find no evidence that these differences in intra-firm mobility could be driven by differences in hierarchical level, career path, or immigration background. Labour market discrimination however remains a potential contributor to these differences, which is also consistent with some of our findings. Our results also suggest that for female visible minorities, different family responsibilities driven potentially by different cultural norms or family dynamics could also contribute to these differences.


Original Paper, Pages 525-549
How poor are the poor? Looking beyond the binary measure of income poverty
Iryna Kyzyma

This paper contributes to the literature by analysing how poor the income poor are in European countries. Using data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions, I go beyond average estimates of the intensity of poverty and analyse the distribution of individual-level poverty gaps in each country of interest. As a next step, I identify which personal and household characteristics predict how far away incomes of the poor fall from the poverty line. The results indicate that, in most European countries, half of the poor have income shortfalls not exceeding 30% of the poverty line whereas only a few percent of the poor have income deficits of 80% and more. The results also suggest that traditional poverty correlates (e.g. age, gender, educational background) are not always significantly associated with the size of normalised poverty gaps at the individual level, or the nature of these associations differs as compared to when the same characteristics are linked to the probability of being poor.


Original Paper, Pages 551-569
Assessing poverty persistence in household with children 
Enrico Fabrizi, Chiara Mussida

The analysis of poverty persistence received considerable attention in recent years. In this paper we explore the role of the adopted poverty measure in the analysis of its persistence. Specifically, we consider three measures: the risk of poverty, the severe material deprivation and subjective poverty, motivated by the understanding of poverty as a complex phenomenon and for which no single measure can effectively capture its several dimensions. The empirical analysis is based on the 2013-2016 longitudinal sample of the EU-SILC survey. We focus on Italian households with dependent children. We apply a correlated random effects probit models with endogenous initial conditions to assess genuine state dependence after controlling for structural household characteristics and variables related to participation in the labour market. A strong state dependence emerges, regardless of the considered poverty measure thus providing evidence of poverty and social exclusion persistence. We also find evidence of relevance of initial conditions for all measures in focus. Nonetheless, structural household characteristics and household level economic variables play roles that are often different in the three parallel models; these differences are consistent with the aims and nature of the alternative measures.


Original Paper, Pages 571-584
Assessing ways of life and human capital formation in Kenya
David Wuepper, Hannes Lang, Emmanuel Benjamin

There is a rich literature on the importance of historical agriculture as long-term shaper of culture, institutions, and economic development. How much this changes over time, however, we understand much less. In Kenya, we compare the educational attainment between individuals with nomadic and non-nomadic ancestors over time and find a large and quite persistent gap in all periods that we examine (2006, 2009, 2013, 2016) as well as in different age cohorts. We find an especially large gap for individuals with nomadic ancestors who live in rural areas and who are women. In urban areas, we also do find evidence for some, recent improvement, but only when we restrict the comparison group to individuals from other non-English and non-Swahili speaking ethnicities.


Original Paper, Pages 585-616
Global inequality in a more educated world
Amer Ahmed, Maurizio Bussolo, Marcio Cruz, Delfin S. Go, Israel Osorio-Rodarte   

Better-educated and younger cohorts from developing countries are entering the global labor market. This education wave is altering the skill and geographic composition of the global labor market, and impacting income distribution, at the national and global levels. This paper analyzes how this education wave reshapes global inequality over the long run using a general-equilibrium macro-micro simulation framework that covers harmonized household surveys for almost 90% of the world population. The findings suggest that global income inequality will likely decrease by 2030. The expanding supply of better educated workers from developing countries will be a key factor, especially in supporting the reduction of income disparities between countries. The education wave will also minimize, mainly for developing countries, increases of within-country inequality linked to technological progress and its widening of wage premia.


Original Paper, Pages 617-637
Weight-based discrimination in the Italian labor market: an analysis of the interaction with gender and ethnicity
Giovanni Busetta, Maria Gabriella Campolo,  Demetrio Panarello 

Access to the Italian job market is undermined by several kinds of discrimination influencing the opportunities for individuals to obtain a job. In this study, we analyze together the impact of three of the most relevant kinds of discrimination operating in the Italian labor market: gender, race, and weight. Our aim is to assess whether gender and race either increase or decrease the impact of weight-based discrimination. In this respect, we submit a set of fictitious résumés including photos of either obese or thin applicants in response to real online job offers. Our results indicate that the strongest kind of discrimination operating in the Italian labor market is the one connected to the candidate’s geographical origin. Moreover, we find discrimination based on body weight to be more relevant within immigrants than within natives, and gender gap appears to be higher within the obese candidates’ group compared to the normal-weight candidates’ one. This last result is particularly relevant, as the growing rates of obesity forecasted for the next years could in turn produce an increase in the gender gap, which in Italy is already massive.


Paper Corrections, Pages 639
Correction to: Market competition and parental background wage premium: the role of human capital
Maurizio Franzini, Fabrizio Patriarca, Michele Raitano 


Book Review, Pages 641-644
Book Review of “Franklin Obeng-Odoom, Property, Institutions, and Social Stratification in Africa
Arne Bigsten    


Book Review, Pages 645-648
Book Review of “Matthew D. Adler, Measuring Social Welfare: An Introduction
Domenico Moramarco