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A New Framework for the Analysis of Inequality

Author

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  • Cunha, Flavio

    () (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Heckman, James J.

    () (University of Chicago)

Abstract

This paper presents a new framework for analyzing inequality that moves beyond the anonymity postulate. We estimate the determinants of sectoral choice and the joint distributions of outcomes across sectors. We determine which components of realized earnings variability are due to uncertainty and which components are due to components of human diversity that are forecastable by agents. Using our tools, we can determine how policies shift persons across sectors and outcome distributions across sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J., 2007. "A New Framework for the Analysis of Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 2565, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2565
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Heckman, James J & Lochner, Lance & Taber, Christopher, 1998. "Tax Policy and Human-Capital Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 293-297, May.
    2. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post--secondary Schooling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 705-734, October.
    3. Heckman, James J & Lochner, Lance & Taber, Christopher, 1998. "General-Equilibrium Treatment Effects: A Study of Tuition Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 381-386, May.
    4. James J. Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 2005. "Structural Equations, Treatment Effects, and Econometric Policy Evaluation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(3), pages 669-738, May.
    5. Heckman, James J. & Navarro, Salvador, 2007. "Dynamic discrete choice and dynamic treatment effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 341-396, February.
    6. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey Smith & Nancy Clements, 1997. "Making The Most Out Of Programme Evaluations and Social Experiments: Accounting For Heterogeneity in Programme Impacts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 487-535.
    7. Aakvik, A. & Heckman, J.J. & Vytlacil, E.J., 1999. "Training Effects on Employment when the Training Effects are Heterogenous : an Application to Norwegian Vocational Rehabilitation Programs," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 0599, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
    8. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-1149, September.
    9. Browning, Martin & Hansen, Lars Peter & Heckman, James J., 1999. "Micro data and general equilibrium models," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 543-633 Elsevier.
    10. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
    11. James Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explanations With A Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings With Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 1-58, January.
    12. James J. Heckman, 1991. "Randomization and Social Policy Evaluation," NBER Technical Working Papers 0107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Victor Chernozhukov & Christian Hansen, 2005. "An IV Model of Quantile Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 245-261, January.
    14. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1999. "General Equilibrium Cost Benefit Analysis of Education and Tax Policies," NBER Working Papers 6881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Belzil, Christian & Leonardi, Marco, 2007. "Can risk aversion explain schooling attainments? Evidence from Italy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 957-970, December.
    2. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
    3. Silke Anger & Daniel D. Schnitzlein, 2017. "Cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills, and family background: evidence from sibling correlations," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(2), pages 591-620, April.
    4. Jaap Abbring & James Heckman, 2008. "Dynamic policy analysis," CeMMAP working papers CWP05/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    5. Gernandt, Johannes & Maier, Michael & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm & Rat-Wirtzler, Julie, 2006. "Distributional effects of the high school degree in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-088, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2014. "Consumption and Labor Supply with Partial Insurance: An Analytical Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2075-2126, July.
    7. Philippe Belley & Lance Lochner, 2007. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 37-89.
    8. Jonathan Colmer, 2013. "Climate Variability, Child Labour and Schooling: Evidence on the Intensive and Extensive Margin," GRI Working Papers 132, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    9. Brodaty, Thomas & Gary-Bobo, Robert J. & Prieto, Ana, 2014. "Do risk aversion and wages explain educational choices?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 125-148.
    10. Christian Belzil, 2006. "Subjective beliefs and Schooling Decisions," Post-Print halshs-00265466, HAL.
    11. Teodora Boneva & Christopher Rauh, 2017. "Socio-Economic Gaps in University Enrollment: The Role of Perceived Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Returns," CESifo Working Paper Series 6756, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1593-1660.
    13. Chris Belfield & Teodora Boneva & Christopher Rauh & Jonathan Shaw, 2016. "Money or fun? Why students want to pursue further education," IFS Working Papers W16/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    14. Simonsen, Marianne & Skipper, Lars, 2012. "The family gap in wages: What wombmates reveal," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 102-112.
    15. Heckman, James J. & Navarro, Salvador, 2007. "Dynamic discrete choice and dynamic treatment effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 341-396, February.
    16. Flávio Cunha & James Heckman, 2016. "Decomposing Trends in Inequality in Earnings into Forecastable and Uncertain Components," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S2), pages 31-65.
    17. James J. Heckman, 2008. "The Principles Underlying Evaluation Estimators with an Application to Matching," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 91-92, pages 9-73.
    18. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance J. & Todd, Petra E., 2006. "Earnings Functions, Rates of Return and Treatment Effects: The Mincer Equation and Beyond," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    19. James J. Heckman, 2008. "Schools, Skills, And Synapses," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(3), pages 289-324, July.
    20. Hazarika, Gautam & Viren, Vejoya, 2013. "The effect of early childhood developmental program attendance on future school enrollment in rural North India," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 146-161.
    21. Bernarda Zamora Talaya & Eduard Gracia, 2007. "Nature, nurture and market conditions: Ability and education in the policy evaluation approach," Working Papers. Serie AD 2007-29, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    22. Stéphane Gregoir & Tristan‐Pierre Maury, 2013. "The Impact Of Social Housing On The Labour Market Status Of The Disabled," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(9), pages 1124-1138, September.
    23. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm & Reuß, Karsten, 2013. "Education and lifetime income during demographic transition," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-021, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    uncertainty; anonymity postulate; inequality; policy evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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