nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2011‒10‒22
nine papers chosen by
Clarence Nkengne Tsimpo
University of Montreal and World Bank Group

  1. Multi-Trait Matching and Intergenerational Mobility: A Cinderella Story By Chen, Natalie; Conconi, Paola; Perroni, Carlo
  2. Timing of childbirth, capital accumulation, and economic welfare By Momota, Akira; Horii, Ryo
  3. More Schooling, More Children: Compulsory Schooling Reforms and Fertility in Europe By Fort, Margherita; Schneeweis, Nicole; Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf
  4. Social Interactions and Long-Term Fertility Dynamics.A Simulation Experiment in the Context of the French Fertility Decline By Sandra González-Bailón; Tommy E. Murphy
  5. The Disappearing Gender Gap: The Impact of Divorce, Wages, and Preferences on Education Choices and Women's Work By Raquel Fernández; Joyce Cheng Wong
  6. Fertility and Economic Instability: The Role of Unemployment and Job Displacement By Emilia Del Bono; Andrea Weber; Rudolf Winter-Ebmer
  7. Fathers and Youth's Delinquent Behavior By Deborah A. Cobb-Clark; Erdal Tekin
  8. Ethnic Inventors, Diversity and Innovation in the UK: Evidence from Patents Microdata By Max Nathan
  9. Economic Security in an Aging Canadian Population By Robert L. Brown

  1. By: Chen, Natalie; Conconi, Paola; Perroni, Carlo
    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 multi-trait 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: Gender Earnings Gap; Inheritance; Matching; Social Mobility
    JEL: C78 D13 J31
    Date: 2011–10
  2. By: Momota, Akira; Horii, Ryo
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of the timing of childbirth on capital accumulation and welfare in a simple overlapping generations model, where each agent lives for four periods and works for two periods. We show that delayed childbearing not only reduces population, but also generates fluctuations in the age composition of workers in the labor force. This causes the aggregate saving rate to fluctuate, which leads to cycles in the capital-labor ratio. When all agents delay childbearing, we analytically show that both the capital-labor ratio and the welfare of all agents can fall in the long run, despite the population decline. When a fraction of agents delay childbearing, it has differential welfare effects on agents depending on their positions in the demographic cycles. The effects of lower lifetime fertility and technological progress are also examined.
    Keywords: Economic growth; Overlapping generations; Cycles; Population; Delayed childbearing
    JEL: J13 O41
    Date: 2011–10–13
  3. By: Fort, Margherita; Schneeweis, Nicole; Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf
    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.
    Keywords: education; fertility; instrumental variables
    JEL: I2 J13
    Date: 2011–10
  4. By: Sandra González-Bailón; Tommy E. Murphy
    Abstract: We build an agent-based simulation model that incorporates both historical data on population characteristics and spatial information on the geography of France to experimentally study the role of social interactions in fertility decisions. We assess how different behavioural and interdependence assumptions cause variations in macro dynamics and diffusion patterns. The analyses show that incorporating social interactions into the model contribute to mimic empirically observed behaviour. Our findings suggest individual-level mechanisms through which the observed demographic transition was materialised. Keywords fertility decline, demographic transition, diffusion, France, simulation experiments, agent-based models, decision-making, social norms, social interactions. JEL classification N33, J13, C15.
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Raquel Fernández; Joyce Cheng Wong
    Abstract: Women born in 1935 went to college significantly less than their male counterparts and married women’s labor force participation (LFP) averaged 40% between the ages of thirty and forty. The cohort born twenty years later behaved very differently. The education gender gap was eliminated and married women’s LFP averaged 70% over the same ages. In order to evaluate the quantitative contributions of the many significant changes in the economic environment, family structure, and social norms that occurred over this period, this paper develops a dynamic life-cycle model calibrated to data relevant to the 1935 cohort. We find that the higher probability of divorce and the changes in wage structure faced by the 1955 cohort are each able to explain, in isolation, a large proportion (about 60%) of the observed changes in female LFP. After combining all economic and family structure changes, we find that a simple change in preferences towards work can account for the remaining change in LFP. To eliminate the education gender gap requires, on the other hand, for the psychic cost of obtaining higher education to change asymmetrically for women versus men.
    JEL: D91 E2 J12 J16 J22 Z1
    Date: 2011–10
  6. By: Emilia Del Bono; Andrea Weber; Rudolf Winter-Ebmer
    Abstract: We study the effect of job displacement on fertility in a sample of white collar women in Austria. Using instrumental variables methods we show that unemploy- ment incidence as such has no negative effect on fertility decisions, but the very fact of being displaced from a career-oriented job has; fertility rates for women affected by a plant closure are signiffcantly below those of a control group, even after six years.
    Keywords: fertility, unemployment, plant closings, human capital
    JEL: J13 J64 J65 J24
    Date: 2011–04
  7. By: Deborah A. Cobb-Clark; Erdal Tekin
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the relationship between having one or more father figures and the likelihood that young people engage in delinquent criminal behavior. We pay particular attention to distinguishing the roles of residential and non-residential, biological fathers as well as stepfathers. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we find that adolescent boys engage in more delinquent behavior if there is no father figure in their lives. However, adolescent girls' behavior is largely independent of the presence (or absence) of their fathers. The strong effect of family structure is not explained by the lack of paternal involvement that generally comes with fathers’ absence, even though adolescents, especially boys, who spend time doing things with their fathers usually have better outcomes. There is also a link between adult delinquent behavior and adolescent family structure that cannot be explained by fathers' involvement with their adolescent sons and is only partially explained by fathers' involvement with their adolescent daughters. Finally, the strong link between adolescent family structure and delinquent behavior is not accounted for by the income differentials associated with fathers' absence. Our results suggest that the presence of a father figure during adolescence is likely to have protective effects, particularly for males, in both adolescence and young adulthood.
    JEL: J12 J13 K42
    Date: 2011–10
  8. By: Max Nathan
    Abstract: Ethnic inventors play important roles in US innovation systems, especially in high-tech regions like Silicon Valley. Do 'ethnicity-innovation' channels exist elsewhere? This paper investigates, using a new panel of UK patents microdata. In theory, ethnicity might affect positively innovation via 'star' migrants, network externalities from co-ethnic groups, or production complementarities from diverse inventor communities. I use the novel ONOMAP name classification system to identify ethnic inventors. Controlling for individuals' human capital, I find small positive effects of South Asian and Southern European co-ethnic group membership on individual patenting. The overall diversity of inventor communities also helps raise individual inventors' productivity. I find no hard evidence that ethnic inventors crowd out patenting by majority groups.
    Keywords: ethnic inventors, innovation, patents, cultural diversity, diasporas, cities
    JEL: J15 J24 J61 M13 O3 R11 R23
    Date: 2011–10
  9. By: Robert L. Brown
    Abstract: This paper has been written to bring up to date materials in a monograph that was a part of the Butterworths series of monographs in social gerontology, in particular, the 1991 monograph entitled: Economic Security in an Aging Population (Brown, 1991). The paper reports on research that indicates that today’s retirees are doing very well in terms of their replacement ratios and that Canadian poverty rates among the elderly are low relative to OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. Government-sponsored plans have been strengthened either through explicit expansion (e.g., the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)) or through the reform of the Canada/Quebec Pension Plans (C/QPP). Also important is the maturation of Employer-sponsored pension plans. However, for the latter, coverage rates are down. This has created concern that future generations of Canadian retirees may not be able to experience the standard of living that is the reality for today’s elderly. The paper concludes that the aging of the population is not the cause of the increased cost of health care and social security today. Even by 2031, when the entire baby boom will be aged 65+, the impact of population aging on costs will be manageable. The paper also discusses the affordability of these systems if the normal age at retirement were to rise.
    Keywords: Baby boom, old age security, Canada/Quebec pension plans, registered pension plans, registered retirement savings plans, health care cost
    JEL: J18
    Date: 2011–07

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