Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Assorted Links

David McWilliams presents a one man show at the Peackock until July 3rd.

Diarmaid Ferriter of UCD has been presenting a three-part documentary series on Tuesdays on RTE retelling the history of 20th-century Ireland. Available on RTEPlayer (ROI only). Last week he touched briefly on the disastrous destruction of the Public Records Office in June 1922 and the census records from the 19th century.

The Economist – By Invitation, “Join our invited guests to debate economics”

New working papers.
From the IZA:

Olivier Bargain, Libertad Gonzalez, Claire Keane, Berkay Özcan:

Female Labour Supply and Divorce: New Evidence from Ireland
If participation in the labour market helps to secure women's outside options in the case of divorce/separation, an increase in the perceived risk of marital dissolution may accelerate the increase in female labour supply. This simple prediction has been tested in the literature using time and/or spatial variation in divorce legislation (e.g., across US states), leading to mixed results. In this paper, we suggest testing this hypothesis by exploiting a more radical policy change, i.e., the legalization of divorce. In Ireland, the right to divorce was introduced in 1996, followed by an acceleration of marriage breakdown rates. We use this fundamental change in the Irish society as a natural experiment. We follow a difference-in-difference approach, using families for whom the dissolution risk is small as a control group. Our results suggest that the legalization of divorce contributed to a significant increase in female labour supply, mostly at the extensive margin. Results are not driven by selection and are robust to several specification checks, including the introduction of household fixed effects and an improved match between control and treatment groups using propensity score reweighting.

From NBER:
Decomposition Methods in Economics
Nicole Fortin, Thomas Lemieux, Sergio Firpo - #16045 (LS)
This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of decomposition methods that have been developed since the seminal work of Oaxaca and Blinder in the early 1970s. These methods are used to decompose the difference in a distributional statistic between two groups, or its change over time, into various explanatory factors. While the original work of Oaxaca and Blinder considered the case of the mean, our main focus is on other distributional statistics besides the mean such as quantiles, the Gini coefficient or the variance. We discuss the assumptions required for identifying the different elements of the decomposition, as well as various estimation methods proposed in the literature. We also illustrate how these methods work in practice by discussing existing applications and working through a set of empirical examples throughout the paper.

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