Olle Hammar disputerar med The Mystery of Inequality: Essays on Culture, Development, and Distributions

2021-06-07

Olle Hammar försvarade sin avhandling, The Mystery of Inequality: Essays on Culture, Development, and Distributions, 4 juni, på Ekonomikum. Efter disputationen kommer Olle att börja som forskare på Institutet för Framtidsstudier (IFFS) och som postdok på Institutet för Näringslivsforskning (IFN). 

Olle Hammar

I avhandlingen studerar Olle ekonomisk ojämlikhet, utveckling och kultur. Avhandlingen analyserar den globala ojämlikheten i arbetsinkomster och löner sedan 1970-talet, sambandet mellan individualism och preferenser för omfördelning, den svenska inkomstfördelningens utveckling sedan 1968, samt kulturella värderingars inverkan på mikrolån.

Opponent är professor Ingvild Almås, Institutet för internationell ekonomi (IIES), Stockholms universitet, och Norges Handelshögskola (NHH). Betygsnämndens ledamöter är professor emeritus Anders Björklund, Institutet för social forskning (SOFI), Stockholms universitet, professor Joakim Palme, Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Uppsala universitet, och professor Helena Svaleryd, Nationalekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet.

Handledare är professor Daniel Waldenström, Institutet för Näringslivsforskning (IFN), och docent Niklas Bengtsson, Nationalekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet.

Abstract (engelska)

Essay I (with Daniel Waldenström): We estimate trends in global earnings dispersion across occupational groups by constructing a new database that covers 68 developed and developing countries between 1970 and 2018. Our main finding is that global earnings inequality has fallen, primarily during the 2000s and 2010s, when the global Gini coefficient dropped by 15 points and the earnings share of the world’s poorest half doubled. Decomposition analyses show earnings convergence between countries and within occupations, while within-country earnings inequality has increased. Moreover, the falling global inequality trend was driven mainly by real wage growth, rather than changes in hours worked, taxes or occupational employment.

Essay II: I analyze the relationship between individualism and preferences for redistribution, using variation in immigrants’ countries of origin to capture the impact of cultural values and beliefs on personal attitudes towards income redistribution and equality. Using global individual-level survey data, I find strong support for the hypothesis that more individualistic cultures are associated with lower preferences for redistribution. At the same time, cultural assimilation in this dimension seems to take place relatively fast.

Essay III (with Paula Roth and Daniel Waldenström): We provide new evidence on income inequality levels and trends in Sweden from 1968 to 2016. By combining data from tax and population registers, we construct a new dataset that includes the distribution of pre-tax total and post-tax disposable income for the full Swedish population since 1968. Our results indicate that the 1980s was the decade with the lowest level of overall income inequality in Sweden, while income inequality as measured by top income shares for the very top has increased steadily over the studied period.

Essay IV (with Katarzyna Burzynska): We apply a panel of 331 microfinance institutions from 37 countries to investigate the relationship between social beliefs and microfinance financial performance over the period of 2003–2011. We find that microfinance institutions in countries with higher levels of trust and more collectivist culture have lower operating and default costs and charge lower interest rates. These results provide the first large cross-country evidence that social beliefs are important determinants of microfinance performance.

Ladda ner avhandlingen här.

Läs mer om Olle på hans hemsida.