nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2011‒09‒22
eleven papers chosen by
Clarence Nkengne Tsimpo
University of Montreal and World Bank Group

  1. Women's Age at First Marriage and Marital Instability: Evidence from the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth By Lehrer, Evelyn L.; Chen, Yu
  2. Are Children "Normal"? By Black, Dan A.; Kolesnikova, Natalia; Sanders, Seth G.; Taylor, Lowell J.
  3. Did the US Infertility Health Insurance Mandates Affect the Timing of First Birth? By Ohinata, A.
  4. Marriage and Power: Age at first marriage and spousal age gap in Lesser Developed Countries By Sarah Carmichael
  5. Child Gender and Parental Borrowing: Evidence from India By Isabelle Agier; Isabelle Guérin; Ariane Szafarz
  6. R&D-based Growth in the Post-modern Era By Holger Strulik; Klaus Prettner; Alexia Prskawetz
  7. Technical Appendix to "Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare" By Alexander Ludwig; Thomas Schelkle; Edgar Vogel
  8. Gender Inclusion in Climate Change Adaptation By Aoyagi, Midori; Suda, Eiko; Shinada, Tomomi
  9. Climbing the Job Ladder: New Evidence of Gender Inequity By Johnston, David W.; Lee, Wang-Sheng
  10. Does Culture Affect Divorce Decisions? Evidence from European Immigrants in the US By Furtado, Delia; Marcén, Miriam; Sevilla-Sanz, Almudena
  11. Measuring Poverty Without The Mortality Paradox By Mathieu Lefebvre; Pierre Pestieau; Grégory Ponthière

  1. By: Lehrer, Evelyn L. (University of Illinois at Chicago); Chen, Yu (University of Illinois at Chicago)
    Abstract: One of the most salient demographic trends in the U.S. landscape in recent decades has been the pronounced increase in age at first marriage. This paper examines the implications of women's delayed entry to marriage for marital stability using data from the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth. The main finding is that the association between age at marriage and marital instability without holding constant the couple's characteristics at marriage is negative up to the late twenties, with the curve leveling off thereafter. Women who marry in the late twenties and thirties generally enter unconventional matches (e.g., the husband is more likely to have been married before, and to be younger than the wife by three years or more), suggestive of a "poor match" emerging as the biological clock begins to tick. However, the flattening out of the curve beyond the late twenties suggests that the stabilizing influence associated with greater maturity at older ages is strong enough to cancel out the poor match effect.
    Keywords: divorce, marriage dissolution, marital instability, marriage
    JEL: J12
    Date: 2011–09
  2. By: Black, Dan A. (Harris School, University of Chicago); Kolesnikova, Natalia (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis); Sanders, Seth G. (Duke University); Taylor, Lowell J. (Carnegie Mellon University)
    Abstract: We examine Becker's (1960) contention that children are "normal." For the cross section of non-Hispanic white married couples in the U.S., we show that when we restrict comparisons to similarly-educated women living in similarly-expensive locations, completed fertility is positively correlated with the husband's income. The empirical evidence is consistent with children being "normal." In an effort to show causal effects, we analyze the localized impact on fertility of the mid-1970s increase in world energy prices – an exogenous shock that substantially increased men's incomes in the Appalachian coal-mining region. Empirical evidence for that population indicates that fertility increases in men's income.
    Keywords: economics of fertility, location choice, Appalachian fertility
    JEL: J13 J40
    Date: 2011–09
  3. By: Ohinata, A. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: From 1977-2001, 15 US states mandated health insurance providers to offer coverage for infertility treatment. Although the majority of the past literature has studied impacts on older women who are likely to seek treatment, this paper proposes that the mandates may have had a wider impact on the US population. Specifically, it may have given an option for younger women to delay birth since these policies reduced the opportunity cost of having a child in the future. Results suggest a significant delay of 1-2 years in the time of first birth among highly educated white women.
    Keywords: Infertility;Insurance mandates;Fertility;Timing of birth.
    JEL: I18 J13 J18
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Sarah Carmichael
    Abstract: This paper examines age at first marriage for women and spousal age gap as an indicator for female agency from 1950 until 2005. Using a dataset of 77 LDCs this paper seeks to explore which variables determine differences at a country level in marriage patterns. We look at the influence of urbanisation, education, percentage population of Muslim faith, and family type. We find that education is key in determining at what age women marry, having as would be expected a positive effect on age at first marriage and depressing spousal age gap. Urbanisation is significant, with a positive effect on age and negative on spousal age gap, although the effect is not very large. The percentage Muslim variable depresses female age at first marriage and increases spousal age gap but only when family type is not controlled for. The initially strong negative effect of percentage population Muslim over the period under consideration on age of first marriage has decreased, which raises some interesting questions about the role of Islam in female empowerment.
    Keywords: Marriage patterns, female agency, age at first marriage, spousal age gap
    Date: 2011–09
  5. By: Isabelle Agier; Isabelle Guérin; Ariane Szafarz
    Abstract: The unequal treatment of children is not gender neutral from the parent side. Our results show that women try to compensate through debt for the unbalanced situation faced by their daughters compared to their sons. However, the lack of symmetry between mothers' and fathers' financial situations leads to the perpetuation of gender inequality through generations.
    Keywords: Gender; discrimination; borrowing,; debt; children; mother; father
    JEL: O16 D13 J12 O15 O17 G21 I32
    Date: 2011–09
  6. By: Holger Strulik; Klaus Prettner (Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies); Alexia Prskawetz (Vienna Institute of Demography)
    Abstract: Conventional R&D-based growth theory suggests that productivity growth is positively correlated with population size or population growth, an implication which is hard to see in the data. Here we integrate R&D-based growth into a unified growth setup with micro-founded fertility and schooling behavior. We then show how a Beckerian child quality-quantity trade-off explains why higher growth of productivity and income per capita are associated with lower population growth. The medium-run prospects for future economic growth - when fertility is going to be below replacement level in virtually all developed countries - are thus much better than predicted by conventional R&D-based growth theory.
    Keywords: R&D, unified growth theory, declining population, fertility, schooling, human capital, post-modern society.
    Date: 2011–08
  7. By: Alexander Ludwig (Universität zu Köln); Thomas Schelkle (London School of Economics); Edgar Vogel (Universität Mannheim)
    Abstract: This appendix of our paper, "Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare", contains further material that could not be included in the paper due to space limitations. It is organized as follows. Section A contains the formal equilibrium definition. Section B provides more results on the fit of our model to observed life-cycle profiles of hours and wages, the implied labor-supply elasticities of our model, additional results on predicted aggregate variables during the demographic transition as well as the associated welfare effects and a sensitivity analysis. Our population model is explained in Section C. Details on our computational procedures can be found in Section D.
    Keywords: Population aging; Human capital; Rate of return; Distribution of welfare
    JEL: C68 E17 E25 J11 J24
    Date: 2011
  8. By: Aoyagi, Midori (Asian Development Bank Institute); Suda, Eiko (Asian Development Bank Institute); Shinada, Tomomi (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: There is increasing evidence that climate change has an impact on natural disasters, such as flooding, and on agricultural production, both of which have implications for gender issues. In this paper the authors briefly review issues related to gender and poverty and examine the relationships between gender and various indices. They then look at systems of land ownership and inheritance, and discuss an example of job recovery after a disaster through interviews with three female agricultural workers in Japan. The results of the interviews demonstrate the recent empowerment of women in agricultural production and that these women have strong adaptive abilities.
    Keywords: climate change; natural disasters; gender issues; agricultural production
    JEL: J16 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2011–09–12
  9. By: Johnston, David W. (Monash University); Lee, Wang-Sheng (RMIT University)
    Abstract: An explanation for the gender wage gap is that women are less able or less willing to 'climb the job ladder.' However, the empirical evidence on gender differences in job mobility has been mixed. Focusing on a subsample of younger, university-educated workers from an Australian longitudinal survey, we find strong evidence that the dynamics of promotions and employer changes worsen women's labour market position.
    Keywords: promotions, job changes, gender, wage gap
    JEL: J16 J33 J71
    Date: 2011–09
  10. By: Furtado, Delia (University of Connecticut); Marcén, Miriam (University of Zaragoza); Sevilla-Sanz, Almudena (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: This paper explores the role of culture in determining divorce decisions by examining country of origin differences in divorce rates of immigrants in the United States. Because childhood-arriving immigrants are all exposed to a common set of US laws and institutions, we interpret relationships between their divorce tendencies and home country divorce rates as evidence of the effect of culture. Our results are robust to controlling for several home country variables including average church attendance and GDP. Moreover, specifications with country of origin fixed effects suggest that divorce probabilities are especially low for immigrants from countries with low divorce rates that reside amidst a large number of co-ethnics. Supplemental analyses indicate that divorce culture has a stronger impact on the divorce decisions of females than of males pointing to a potentially gendered nature of divorce taboos.
    Keywords: immigrants, culture, divorce
    JEL: J12 Z13 J61
    Date: 2011–09
  11. By: Mathieu Lefebvre (CREPP - Center of Research in Public Economics and Population Economics - Université de Liège); Pierre Pestieau (CREPP - Center of Research in Public Economics and Population Economics - Université de Liège, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - INRA, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - Université Catholique de Louvain, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR); Grégory Ponthière (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - INRA, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: Under income-differentiated mortality, poverty measures reflect not only the "true" poverty, but, also, the interferences or noise caused by the survival process at work. Such interferences lead to the Mortality Paradox: the worse the survival conditions of the poor are, the lower the measured poverty is. We examine several solutions to avoid that paradox. We identify conditions under which the extension, by means of a fictitious income, of lifetime income profiles of the prematurely dead neutralizes the noise due to differential mortality. Then, to account not only for the "missing" poor, but, also, for the "hidden" poverty (premature death), we use, as a fictitious income, the welfare-neutral income, making indifferent between life continuation and death. The robustness of poverty measures to the extension technique is illustrated with regional Belgian data.
    Keywords: premature mortality ; income-differentiated mortality ; poverty measurement ; censored income profile
    Date: 2011–09

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