17 November 2022
ISEAK Working Paper

The impact of the increase in the minimum wage on inequality and employment

This report analyses, through the use of MCVL microdata, the relationship between the increase in the Minimum Interprofessional Wage (SMI) for 2019 and inequality, both in terms of wages and income, as well as its impact on employment. The results confirm that the groups most affected by this increase are women, young people and immigrants. A reduction in wage inequality and an increase in the income share of the lowest quintiles are observed, which would suggest that the increase in the minimum wage has fulfilled its objective of wage compression. On the other hand, this measure has a limited negative causal impact on employment, nil in the short term but growing slightly and gradually over time, mainly in terms of job losses and, to a lesser extent, an adjustment in the labour intensity of those affected.
7 November 2022
Ekonomiaz, 2022

The evaluation of social welfare

We address here the evaluation of social welfare and how it relates to individual utility, in a non-technical way. We focus on the notion of social welfare as an evaluation procedure rather than discussing its philosophical content. The key elements are, therefore, social alternatives and individual utilities. We analyze the difficulties of transforming individual utilities into group evaluations and discuss the options that appear when we skip utilities and define the evaluation directly on the space of alternatives. We include four applications to different fields: inequality, the labour market, human development, and poverty.
30 August 2022
Journal of Educational Computing Research, 2022

The negative impact of ICT overuse on student performance: evidence from OECD countries

The increasing presence of technologies at school has triggered a vivid debate on the way ICT influences students’ learning process. Using PISA 2018 data for 15-year-old students and hierarchical linear models, we find an inverted U-shaped relationship between ICT use at school and students’ performance in mathematics in 22 OECD countries. In all cases, the excessive use of technology is associated with a lower academic performance, although this penalty differs across countries, which points to the importance of addressing country-specific analyses. The differentiated profile of those very intensive users, who suffer from above-average bullying exposure, draws into question whether the effect can be deemed as causal. Based on Inverse Probability Weighting techniques, the findings indicate that the very intensive use of ICT at school causes an underperformance of students equivalent to around half an academic course in Estonia, Finland and Spain. The results highlight the need to ensure that the integration of ICT at schools is based on well-founded pedagogical methodologies; frequently evaluated; and supported by the continuous update of teachers’ digital skills.
29 March 2022
SERIES, 2022

Internship contracts in Spain: a stepping stone or a hurdle towards job stability?

Internship contracts (ICs) were designed as a stepping stone for educated young work- ers to develop their professional skills upon graduation. Such contracts incentivise employment creation, as firms benefit from lower wages and tax reductions, but at the same time, firms are expected to develop training programmes to improve the profes- sional skills of youth. This paper assesses whether such subsidies help improve the labour market trajectories of the beneficiaries of ICs. To do so, we focus on entrants into the labour market and compare those who start through an IC with a matched control group whose first employment episode is through a nonsubsidised temporary contract. We look at short, medium and long-term effects on job stability and wages. We find that in the short run, labour market performance, in terms of wages and job stability, is poorer for the beneficiaries of the IC, unless they leave the firm right after the IC experience. In the medium and long run, however, the negative impact on wages is mitigated, and its impact on job stability is positive. A possible interpretation is that firms, in the short run, use ICs to lower hiring costs, but beneficiaries send a positive signal to the market that is rewarded in the medium and long terms.
1 December 2021
ICE, 2021

La evaluación como proceso de aprendizaje: una necesidad del presente, una inversión del futuro

En la era del Big Data, una verdadera cultura de la evaluación de las políticas públicas se muestra al alcance de la mano. En el presente documento se plantea el papel que juega la evaluación de políticas públicas en la mejora de las administraciones y la resolución de algunos de los retos socioeconómicos más acuciantes para nuestras sociedades. Se incide asimismo en el gran salto adelante que supondría una mejora del uso de las bases de datos administrativas para la evaluación. De modo ilustrativo, se presenta un estudio de caso para una mejor comprensión de los beneficios potenciales y tangibles de estas inversiones en apertura y conocimiento.
16 September 2021
ISEAK Working Paper

The need for requalification in the Spanish labour market: Mapping employment with workplace skills

This study addresses the empirical relationship between job tasks and employment share changes in Spain for the period 1997-2019. To do so, we use the novel European representative data on skills/tasks ESCO. Overall, we find a need for requalification in the Spanish workforce. We show that changes in employment shares are heterogeneously distributed by task content – there is an overall decline in the demand for routine-manual skills, while technological and social interaction skills have emerged. Next, we contrast empirically the results of the recent literature that has used the United States O*NET data. We obtain consistent results: Routine-manual intensive occupations are declining in employment share relative to non-routine cognitive occupations. Further, we find that different groups have adapted differently to these changes. Older workers are trapped in declining occupations for reasons unrelated to the tasks performed, while men are trapped in declining occupations because they hold skills of declining demand. Last, by doing a case-by-case analysis we identify workers who may need of job reallocation. For them we obtain the optimal pathway towards emerging occupations, so that the gap in terms of tasks is minimized. Following this, we find for the displaced workers the specific requalification needed to face this job reallocation.