[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article investigates the association between stock market activity and mental well-being, exploiting the availability
of interview dates in the British Household Panel Survey to match changes in the FTSE 100 stock price index to respondents
over the period 1991–2008. We present evidence that annual changes in the price index are associated with better mental well-being
whilst greater uncertainty, proxied by volatility in the price index, is associated with poorer mental well-being—even after
controlling for macroeconomic conditions. Our findings provide support of a wealth mechanism and also suggest that the stock
market is a barometer of economic prospects and/or social movements and mood.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cyclical fluctuations—which affect both asset and labour markets—can have an ambiguous effect on retirement. We explore this empirically using data from the British Household Panel Survey, exploiting small area geographic identifiers to match local house prices, earnings and unemployment to respondents. We match stock prices via the date of interview. Our results show little evidence of any positive wealth effects despite large spatial and temporal variations in asset prices over the period analysed. We find more response to local labour market conditions—increases in unemployment are associated with earlier retirement, while increases in wages delay retirement.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the impact of the London bombings on attitudes toward ethnic minorities, examining outcomes in housing and labor markets across London boroughs. We use a difference-in-differences approach, specifying “treated” boroughs as those with the highest concentration of Asian residents. Our results indicate that house prices in treated boroughs fell by approximately 2% in the 2 years after the bombings relative to other boroughs, with sales declining by almost 6%. Furthermore, we present evidence of a rise in the unemployment rate in treated compared to control boroughs, as well as a rise in racial segregation. (JEL J15, J71, R21)
No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Economic Inquiry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This research exploits large variations in local house prices to investigate whether house prices correlate with mental wellbeing, and uses contrasting implications for the effect of house prices on the mental wellbeing of homeowners and renters to shed light on why this correlation might arise. I document a positive correlation between house prices and the mental wellbeing of both homeowners and non-homeowners, which is inconsistent with a pure wealth effect. Instead this finding suggests that local house prices provide a reflection of available amenities and economic opportunities in the area.
Preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Review of Income and Wealth
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper investigates whether house prices are linked to mental health outcomes, and whether this association arises through wealth effects or whether third factors such as area amenities or economic conditions drive both house prices and psychological health. These alternative explanations have contrasting implications for the effect of house prices on the well-being of homeowners and non-homeowners, which are exploited in the empirical analysis. I document a positive association between house prices and the mental health of homeowners and non-homeowners, which is not consistent with wealth effects. Further analysis indicates that house prices matter via a role as an economic barometer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper provides evidence on the effect of welfare reform on fertility, focusing on UK reforms in 1999 that increased per-child
spending by 50% in real terms. We use a difference-in-differences approach, exploiting the fact that the reforms were targeted
at low-income households. The reforms were likely to differentially affect the fertility of women in couples and single women
because of the opportunity cost effects of the welfare-to-work element. We find no increase in births among single women,
but evidence to support an increase in births (by around 15%) among coupled women.
Preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Journal of Population Economics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 1999 the UK government made major reforms to the system of child-contingent benefits, including the introduction of Working Families’ Tax Credit and an increase
in means-tested Income Support for families with children. Between 1999-2003 government spending per-child on these benefits rose by 50 per cent in real terms, a
change that was unprecedented over a thirty year period. This paper examines whether there was a response in childbearing. To identify the effect of the reforms,
we exploit the fact that the spending increases were targeted at low-income households and we use the (exogenously determined) education of the woman and her
partner to define treatment and control groups. We argue that the reforms are most likely to have a positive fertility effect for women in couples and show that this is the case. We find that there was an increase in births (by around 15 per cent) among the group affected by the reforms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study investigates whether and why house prices matter for well-being. House prices may influence well-being via a wealth/access-to-credit mechanism, as a rise in prices increases housing wealth and the collateral value of a house, and via a relative concerns mechanism, if renters compare themselves to homeowners and vice versa. Alternatively, any correlation between house prices and well-being may simply reflect broader economic conditions rather than a causal effect. Using local area house price data, this study distinguishes between these alternative explanations by comparing the correlation between local house prices and well-being for homeowners and renters. A small positive correlation between house prices and well-being exists for both homeowners and renters, indicating the absence of a wealth/credit mechanism or relative concerns mechanism. This correlation cannot be explained by economic variables such as local unemployment, earnings or earnings expectations, hinting at a purely psychological phenomenon.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Women’s family and working lives have changed enormously over the last 25 years in the United Kingdom (UK). Most of the changes
are well-documented and several have been discussed in other chapters – women are increasingly delaying childbearing and more
are remaining childless (see Simpson, 2009); they are also delaying partnership, increasingly choosing cohabitation instead
of marriage, and a growing number are raising children as lone mothers; and women are working more, both before and after
childbearing (see Hansen et al., 2009).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence shows that real-effort investments can affect bilateral bargaining outcomes. This paper investigates whether similar investments can inhibit equilibrium convergence of experimental markets. In one treatment, sellers’ relative effort affects the allocation of production costs, but a random productivity shock ensures that the allocation is not necessarily equitable. In another treatment, sellers’ effort increases the buyers’ valuation of a good. We find that effort investments have a short-lived impact on trading behavior when sellers’ effort benefits buyers, but no effect when effort determines cost allocation. Efficiency rates are high and do not differ across treatments.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2008 · Journal of Public Economics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Against a background of falling and low fertility, this paper presents an analysis of trends in fertility in the UK across cohorts born between 1935 and 1975. The decline in fertility is shown to have two distinct phases – first, a fall in third and higher-order births (affecting cohorts born 1935-45) and second, a delay in childbearing and a rise in childlessness (affecting cohorts born since 1945). The delay in childbearing and rise in childlessness cannot all be explained by the rise in female participation in higher education, rather there has been increasing polarization in fertility and employment by education.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We estimate the causal effect of mandatory participation in the military service on the involvement in criminal activities. We exploit the random assignment of young men to military service in Argentina through a draft lottery to identify this causal effect. Using a unique set of administrative data that includes draft eligibility, participation in the military service, and criminal records, we find that participation in the military service increases the likelihood of developing a criminal record in adulthood. The effects are not only significant for the cohorts that performed military service during war times, but also for those that provided service at peace times. We also find that military service has detrimental effects on future performance in the labor market.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2007 · Journal of Population Economics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 1999, the Labour government substantially increased benefits for (poorer) households with children with the introduction of the working families tax credit (WFTC) and more generous Income Support benefits. The employment effects of WFTC have been extensively analysed, but far less attention has been paid to the possible impact on fertility. This paper exploits the fact that the 1999 reforms were targeted on low-income households and uses a differences- in-differences approach to evaluate their impact on fertility. It finds that the group affected by the reforms experienced a (relative) significant increase in their fertility. In line with previous work, the effect is greatest for first births. The paper adds to the existing literature on the possible effect of the tax and benefit system on fertility by focusing on the fertility of couples and in looking at the effect of pure financial incentives.