nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2011‒10‒15
eleven papers chosen by
Clarence Nkengne Tsimpo
University of Montreal and World Bank Group

  1. The Effects of Conflict on Fertility in Rwanda By Kati Schindler; Tilman Brück
  2. Do Highly Educated Women Choose Smaller Families? By Hazan, Moshe; Zoabi, Hosny
  3. High development and fertility: fertility at older reproductive ages and gender equality explain the positive link By Mikko Myrskylä; Francesco C. Billari; Hans-Peter Kohler
  4. Education in a Marriage Market Model without Commitment By Raphaela Hyee
  5. Multi-Trait Matching and Intergenerational Mobility: A Cinderella Story By Natalie Chen; Paola Conconi; Carlo Perroni
  6. Divorce costs and marital dissolution in a one-to-one matching framework with nontransferable utilities By Saglam, Ismail
  7. House Prices and Birth Rates: The Impact of the Real Estate Market on the Decision to Have a Baby By Lisa J. Dettling; Melissa Schettini Kearney
  8. Culture and household decision making: Native and foreign-born couples' balance of power and labor supply choices in the US By Sonia Oreffice
  10. More Schooling, More Children: Compulsory Schooling Reforms and Fertility in Europe By M. Fort; N. Schneeweis; R. Winter-Ebmer
  11. Schooling, Violent Conflict and Gender in Burundi By Philip Verwimp; Jan Van Bavel

  1. By: Kati Schindler (DIW Berlin, Mohrenstr. 58, 10117 Berlin, Germany); Tilman Brück (DIW Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to study the short and long-term fertility effects of mass violent conflict on different population sub-groups. The authors pool three nationally representative demographic and health surveys from before and after the genocide in Rwanda, identifying conflict exposure of the survivors in multiple ways. The analysis finds a robust effect of genocide on fertility, with a strong replacement effect for lost children. Having lost siblings reduces fertility only in the short term. Most interesting is the continued importance of the institution of marriage in determining fertility and in reducing fertility for the large group of widows in Rwanda.
    Date: 2011–10
  2. By: Hazan, Moshe; Zoabi, Hosny
    Abstract: Conventional wisdom suggests that in developed countries income and fertility are negatively correlated. We present new evidence that between 2001 and 2009 the cross-sectional relationship between fertility and women's education in the U.S. is U-shaped. At the same time, average hours worked increase monotonically with women's education. This pattern is true for all women and mothers to newborns regardless of marital status. In this paper, we advance the marketization hypothesis for explaining the positive correlation between fertility and female labor supply along the educational gradient. In our model, raising children and home-making require parents' time, which could be substituted by services bought in the market such as baby-sitting and housekeeping. Highly educated women substitute a significant part of their own time for market services to raise children and run their households, which enables them to have more children and work longer hours. Finally, we use our model to shed light on differences between the U.S. and Western Europe in fertility and women's time allocated to labor supply and home production. We argue that higher inequality in the U.S. lowers the cost of baby-sitting and housekeeping services and enables U.S. women to have more children, spend less time on home production and work more than their European counterparts.
    Keywords: fertility; U.S. - Europe differences; Women's education
    JEL: E24 J13 J22
    Date: 2011–10
  3. By: Mikko Myrskylä (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Francesco C. Billari (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Hans-Peter Kohler (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: A fundamental switch in the fertility—development relationship has occurred so that among highly developed countries, further socioeconomic development may reverse the declining fertility trend. Here we shed light on the mechanisms underlying this reversal by analyzing the links between development and age and cohort patterns of fertility, as well as the role of gender equality. Using data from 1975 to 2008 for over 100 countries, we show that the reversal exists both in a period and a cohort perspective and is mainly driven by increasing older reproductive-age fertility. We also show that the positive impact of development on fertility in high-development countries is conditional on gender equality: countries ranking high in development as measured by health, income, and education but low in gender equality continue to experience declining fertility. Our findings suggest that gender equality is crucial for countries wishing to reap the fertility dividend of high development.
    Keywords: World, developed areas, equal opportunity, fertility, gender, low fertility zones
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2011–10
  4. By: Raphaela Hyee (Queen Mary, University of London)
    Abstract: This paper develops a model that combines intra-household bargaining with competition on the marriage market to analyse women's and men's incentives to invest in education. Once married, spouses bargain over their share of total household income. They have the option of unilateral divorce and subsequent remarriage. Through this channel, the marriage market situation (the quality of prospective spouses and the distribution of resources in other couples) influences the distribution within existing couples. Individuals differ in their educational attainment, and more educated individuals contribute more to household income. I use this model to study the impact of changes in the rates of educational attainment of men and women on intra-household distribution. An increase in the number of women who obtain a university degree over an above the number of men who do so benefits men without degrees; university educated men, however, are not able to translate this change on the marriage market into a significantly larger share of household income. Hence, men's incentive to invest in education <i>decreases</i> if more women become educated. Even without assuming any heterogeneity in tastes between men and women, equilibria arise in which men and women decide to become educated at different rates.
    Keywords: Family bargaining, Gender education gap, Investment in education
    JEL: D13 D31
    Date: 2011–10
  5. By: Natalie Chen; Paola Conconi; Carlo Perroni
    Abstract: Empirical studies of intergenerational social mobility have found that women are more mobile than men. To explain this finding, we describe a model of multitrait matching and inheritance, in which individuals’ attractiveness in the marriage market depends on their market and non-market characteristics. We show that the observed gender differences in social mobility can arise if market characteristics are relatively more important in determining marriage outcomes for men than for women and are more persistent across generations than non-market characteristics. Paradoxically, the female advantage in social mobility may be due to their adverse treatment in the labor market. A reduction in gender discrimination in the labor market leads to an increase in homogamy in the marriage market, lowering social mobility for both genders.
    Keywords: social mobility; matching; inheritance; gender earnings gap.
    JEL: C78 D13 J31
    Date: 2011–10
  6. By: Saglam, Ismail
    Abstract: In this paper, we use a two-period one-to-one matching model with incomplete information to examine the effect of changes in divorce costs on marital dissolution. Each individual who has a nontransferable expected utility about the quality of each potential marriage decides whether to marry or to remain single at the beginning of the first period. Those who married in the first period learn the qualities of their marriages at the beginning of the second period and then decide whether to stay married or to unilaterally divorce. We show that for any society, there exist matching environments where the probability of the marital dissolution is not decreasing in divorce costs under a gender-optimal matching rule. In such environments an allocation effect of divorce costs with ambiguous sign outweighs an incentive effect which is always negative.
    Keywords: One-to-one matching; marriage dissolution; divorce; incomplete information
    JEL: C78 J12
    Date: 2011–10
  7. By: Lisa J. Dettling; Melissa Schettini Kearney
    Abstract: This project investigates how changes in Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)-level housing prices affect household fertility decisions. Recognizing that housing is a major cost associated with childrearing, and assuming that children are normal goods, we hypothesize that an increase in real estate prices will have a negative price effect on current period fertility. This applies to both potential first-time homeowners and current homeowners who might upgrade to a bigger house with the addition of a child. On the other hand, for current homeowners, an increase in MSA-level house prices might increase available home equity, leading to a positive effect on birth rates. Controlling for MSA fixed effects, trends, and time-varying conditions, our analysis finds that indeed, short-term increases in house prices lead to a decline in births among non-owners and a net increase among owners. Our estimates suggest that a 10 percent increase in house prices would lead to a 4 percent increase in births among home owners, and a roughly one percent decrease among non-owners. The net effect of house price changes on birth rates varies across demographic groups based on rates of home ownership. Our paper provides evidence that homeowners use some of their increased housing wealth, coming from increases in local area house prices, to fund their childbearing goals. More generally, the finding of a “home equity effect” demonstrates empirically that imperfect credit markets affect fertility timing.
    JEL: D1 J13 R21
    Date: 2011–10
  8. By: Sonia Oreffice (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: This study investigates how spouses’ cultural backgrounds mediate the role of intra-household bargaining in the labor supply decisions of foreign-born and US-native couples, in a collective-household framework. Using data from the 2000 US Census I show that the labor supplies of US-born couples, and of those foreign-born coming from countries with family institutions similar to the US, are significantly related to bargaining power forces such as differences between spouses in age, and non-labor income, controlling for both spouses’ demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Households whose culture of origin supports strict and unequal gender roles do not exhibit any association of balance of power and their labor supply decisions. This cultural asymmetry suggests that spousal traits are assessed differently across couples within the US, and that how households make use of their outside opportunities and economic and institutional environment may depend on their ethnicities.
    Keywords: Culture, Household bargaining power, Labor supply.
    JEL: D1 J15 J22
    Date: 2011–09
  9. By: Anna R. Haskins (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
    Abstract: Though sociologists have examined the consequences of mass imprisonment of African-American men on the incarcerated men, their families, and their communities, no study has considered its impact on racial disparities in educational achievement. Analyzing the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and its rich paternal incarceration data, this study asks whether children with fathers who have been in prison are less prepared for school both academically and behaviorally as a result, and whether racial disparities in imprisonment explain some of the gap in white and black children‘s educational outcomes. Using a variety of estimation strategies, I show that experiencing paternal incarceration by age 5 is associated with lower child school readiness in behavioral but not cognitive skills. While the main effect of incarceration does not vary by race, boys with incarcerated fathers in their early childhood years have substantially worse behavioral skills at school entry. Because of the negative effects of incarceration on boys‘ behavioral skills and the much higher exposure of black children to incarceration, mass incarceration facilitates the intergenerational transmission of male behavioral disadvantage, and plays a role in explaining the persistently low achievement of black boys.
    Keywords: imprisionment, families, boys, education, race, educational achievement
    JEL: D10 I39 J12 J13 I21
    Date: 2011–09
  10. By: M. Fort; N. Schneeweis; R. Winter-Ebmer
    Abstract: We study the relationship between education and fertility, exploiting compulsory schooling reforms in Europe as source of exogenous variation in education. Using data from 8 European countries, we assess the causal effect of education on the number of biological kids and the incidence of childlessness. We find that more education causes a substantial decrease in childlessness and an increase in the average number of children per woman. Our findings are robust to a number of falsification checks and we can provide complementary empirical evidence on the mechanisms leading to these surprising results.
    JEL: I2 J13
    Date: 2011–09
  11. By: Philip Verwimp; Jan Van Bavel
    Abstract: Next to the taking of lives and the destruction of infrastructure, violent conflict also affects the long-term growth path of a country by its effect on human capital accumulation. This paper investigates the effect of exposure to violent conflict on the completion of primary schooling. We use a nationwide household survey that collected detailed education, migration, gender and wealth data and combine this with secondary sources on the location and timing of the conflict. Depending on specification we find that the odds to complete primary schooling for a child exposed to the violence declined by 40 to 50% compared to a non-exposed child. The schooling of boys from non-poor households is affected most by conflict, followed by boys and girls from poor households. The schooling of girls from non-poor households is least affected. Forced displacement is found to be one of the channels through which the impact is felt. We perform robustness checks for our results.
    Keywords: schooling; violent conflict; gender; Africa
    JEL: O12 I21 J16
    Date: 2011–10

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