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Essays in the economic sociology of inequality -PhD thesis-


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Chapter 1 investigates the relationship between young people's happiness, self-perception and social interactions within the neighbourhood where they live. Using Understanding Society, we investigate how income neighbourhood deprivation impacts on youth happiness and social interactions. Using only children in social housing allows to limit the problems related to the endogeneity of the neighbourhood selection choice. The empirical findings allow us to refuse the relative deprivation hypothesis which suggests that there is not a significantly negative association between neighbourhood income and children happiness, self-perception and social interactions. In chapter 2, using the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) database, we investigate to what degree the association between parental background and sons’ earnings is mediated by various dimensions of sons’ human capital. We find that the intergenerational transmission process is wholly mediated by sons’ formal education only in the US. By contrast, a significant residual association remains even after we control for all four dimensions of sons’ human capital in Italy, Spain and Poland (for both parental background proxies) as well as France and the UK (just for parental education). In chapter 3 we investigate which are the effects of introducing a Universal Independence Income (UII) on inequality, poverty and the incentives to work. We compare our new benefit with various design of Universal Basic Income (UBI). The empirical analysis shows that in terms of inequality, measured in this work with the Gini coefficient, UII scenarios performs better than the baseline and much better than any UBI scenario, the UII shows a larger redistributive power and participation tax rates are much higher under UII and lower under UBI compared to the baseline, proving the UII to be the best measure to discourage work and to move the society out of the work ethic.


Area Effects, Psychology, Human Capital, Young People, Education, Economics, Poverty, Welfare Benefits, Income Dynamics, Wages And Earnings, Well Being, Health, Sociology, and Social Behaviour


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