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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Barbara Petrongolo

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Working Papers

May 2015Can helping the sick hurt the able? Incentives, information and disruption in a disability-related welfare reform
with Nitika Bagaria, John Van Reenen: w21163
Disability rolls have escalated in developed nations over the last 40 years. The UK, however, stands out because the numbers on these benefits stopped rising when a welfare reform was introduced that integrated disability benefits with unemployment insurance (UI). This policy reform improved job information and sharpened bureaucratic incentives to find jobs for the disabled (relative to those on UI). We exploit the fact that policy was rolled-out quasi-randomly across geographical areas. In the long-run the policy improved the outflows from disability benefits by 6% and had an (insignificant) 1% increase in unemployment outflows. This is consistent with a model where information helps both groups, but bureaucrats were given incentives to shift effort towards helping the disabled find jobs ...
August 2011Gender Gaps across Countries and Skills: Supply, Demand and the Industry Structure
with Claudia Olivetti: w17349
The gender wage gap varies widely across countries and across skill groups within countries. Interestingly, there is a positive cross-country correlation between the unskilled-to-skilled gender wage gap and the corresponding gap in hours worked. Based on a canonical supply and demand framework, this positive correlation would reveal the presence of net demand forces shaping gender differences in labor market outcomes across skills and countries. We use a simple multi-sector framework to illustrate how differences in labor demand for different inputs can be driven by both within-industry and between-industry factors. The main idea is that, if the service sector is more developed in the US than in continental Europe, and unskilled women tend to be over-represented in this sector, we expect u...

Published: “Gender Gaps across Countries and Skills: Supply, De mand and the Industry Structure, ” Review of Economic Dynamics , March 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2014.03.001 , with Barbara Petrongolo .

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