nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2011‒11‒28
fifteen papers chosen by
Clarence Nkengne Tsimpo
University of Montreal and World Bank Group

  1. The Causes and Consequences of the Demographic Transition By David Canning
  2. Early childbearing, human capital attainment and mortality risk By Cally Ardington; Alicia Menendez; Tinofa Mutevedzi
  3. The expenditure on children in Japan By Hori, Masahiro
  4. Health outcomes for children born to teen mothers in Cape Town, South Africa By Nicola Branson; Cally Ardington; Murray Leibbrandt
  5. Parental Leave and Mothers' Careers: The Relative Importance of Job Protection and Cash Benefits By Rafael Lalive; Analía Schlosser; Andreas Steinhauer; Josef Zweimüller
  6. Estimating the effect of adolescent fertility on educational attainment in Cape Town using a propensity score weighted regression By Vimal Ranchhod; David Lam; Murray Leibbrandt; Leticia Marteleto
  7. Does gender matter for public spending? Empirical evidence from Italian municipalities. By Rigon, Massimiliano; Tanzi, Giulia M.
  8. Still Unequal at Birth - Birth Weight, Socioeconomic Status and Outcomes at Age 9 By Mark E McGovern
  9. Financial Incentives, the Timing of Births, Birth Complications, and Newborns’ Health: Evidence from the Abolition of Austria’s Baby Bonus By Beatrice Brunner; Andreas Kuhn
  10. Consumption and Differential Mortality By Michael Hurd; Susann Rohwedder
  11. The Weight of Success: The Body Mass Index and Economic Well-being in South Africa By Martin Wittenberg
  12. The fate of Zimbabwe's children: Insights from changes in nutrition outcomes, 1999-2006 By Obert Pimhidzai
  13. Small and as Productive : Female Headed Households and the Inverse Relationship between Land Size and Output in Kenya By Mwangi wa Githinji; Charalampos Konstantinidis; Andrew Barenberg
  14. The Role of the Spouse in Early Retirement Decisions for Older Workers By Malene Kallestrup-Lamb
  15. Residential Segregation and Immigrants' Satisfaction with the Neighborhood in Germany By Verena Dill; Uwe Jirjahn; Georgi Tsertvadze

  1. By: David Canning (Harvard School of Public Health)
    Abstract: The causes and consequences of the demographic transition are considered in light of the recent book by Dyson (2010) on demography and development. In the last 50 years the world has seen an exogenous decline in mortality that generated a decline in fertility and an increase in urbanization that has had profound economic, social and political consequences. However, historically, declines in mortality and fertility, and escape from the Malthusian trap, have required countries to have already undergone considerable economic and political development. We therefore argue for two way causality between the demographic transition and economic and political outcomes.
    Keywords: demographic transition, fertility, mortality
    Date: 2011–11
  2. By: Cally Ardington (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Alicia Menendez (Harris School, University of Chicago); Tinofa Mutevedzi (Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies)
    Abstract: This paper uses a rich longitudinal dataset to examine the relationship between teen fertility and both subsequent educational outcomes and mortality risk in rural South Africa. Human capital deficits among teen mothers are large and significant, with earlier births associated with greater deficits. In contrast to many other studies, we find no clear evidence of selectivity into teen childbearing in either schooling trajectories or pre-fertility household characteristics. Enrolment rates among teen mothers only begin to drop in the period immediately preceding the birth and future teen mothers are not behind in their schooling relative to other girls. Older teen mothers and those further ahead in school for their age pre-birth are more likely to continue schooling after the birth. Following women over a six year period we document a higher mortality risk before the age of 30 for teen mothers that cannot be explained by household characteristics in early adulthood.
    Date: 2011–03
  3. By: Hori, Masahiro
    Abstract: This study estimates average expenditures on children by families in Japan on the basis of the rich information about household expenditures and demographics obtained from the Family Income and Expenditure Survey. We show that the total expenditure on the first child accumulated from birth through age 18 is approximately 16.5 million yen based on 2004-2008 data. Average per child expenditure (accumulated over the same age period) in a household with two children is reduced to about 11million yen, suggesting partly that there are economies of scale in child rearing activities and that families with two children have less money to spend on each child. The share of child rearing expenditure in total consumption appears to have been steadily increasing since mid-1980s.
    Date: 2011–11
  4. By: Nicola Branson (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Cally Ardington (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Murray Leibbrandt (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of being born to a teen mother on child health outcomes in South Africa using propensity score reweighting. Exploiting the longitudinal nature of the Cape Area Panel Study, we estimate the probability of being a teen mother conditional on pre-childbirth characteristics. We use this score to construct a weighted counterfactual group of children born to mothers over nineteen whose pre-childbirth characteristics are very similar to the teen mother sample except for their age at the birth of their first child. Our reweighted regressions indicate that being born to a teen mother has some significant adverse effects on child health, especially among Coloured children. In particular, children born to teens are more likely to be underweight at birth and to be stunted with the negative effect being double the size for Coloureds than Africans. No negative impact of teenage childbearing is found on head circumference at birth or the incidence of incomplete first year immunizations. These results remain robust even when we simulate influential unobservable effects in both the reweighting equation and the outcome equation.
    Date: 2011–03
  5. By: Rafael Lalive; Analía Schlosser; Andreas Steinhauer; Josef Zweimüller
    Abstract: Parental leave regulations in most OECD countries have two key policy instruments: job protection and cash benefits. This paper studies how mothers’ return to work behavior and labor market outcomes are affected by alternative mixes of these key policy parameters. Exploiting a series of major parental leave policy changes in Austria, we find that longer cash benefits lead to a significant delay in return to work and that the magnitude of this effect depends on the relative length of job protection and cash benefits. However, despite their impact on time on leave, we do not find a significant effect on mothers’ labor market outcomes in the medium run, neither of benefit duration nor of job-protection duration. To understand the relative importance (and interaction) of the two policy instruments in shaping mothers’ return to work behavior, we set up a non-stationary job search model in which cash benefits and job protection determine decisions of when to return to work and whether or not to return to the pre-birth employer. Despite its lean structure, the model does surprisingly well in matching empirically observed return to work profiles. The simulation of alternative counterfactual regimes shows that a policy that combines both job protection and benefits payments succeeds to induce mothers to spend some time with the child after birth without jeopardizing their medium run labor market attachment.
    Keywords: Parental leave, family and work obligations, return to work, labor supply, earnings, family earnings gap
    JEL: J13 J18 J22
    Date: 2011–06
  6. By: Vimal Ranchhod (School of Economics, University of Cape Town); David Lam (University of Michigan); Murray Leibbrandt (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town); Leticia Marteleto (University of Texas at Austin.)
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of a teenage birth on the educational attainment of young mothers in Cape Town, South Africa. Longitudinal and retrospective data on youth from the CAPS dataset are used. We control for a number of early life and pre-fertility characteristics. We also reweight our data using a propensity score matching process to generate a more appropriate counterfactual group. Accounting for respondent characteristics reduces estimates of the effect of a teen birth on dropping out of school, successfully completing secondary school, and years of schooling attained. Our best estimates of the effect of a teen birth on high school graduation by ages 20 and 22 are -5.9 and -2.7 percentage points respectively. The former is significant at the 5% level,while the latter is not statistically significant. Thus, there appears to be some `catching up' in educational attainment by teen mothers. We find only limited support for the hypothesis that there is heterogeneity in the effect of a teen birth, depending on the actual age of the first birth. By age 22, none of the estimates for high school graduation or years of schooling are statistically significant, regardless of the specific age at which the teen birth occurred. Despite this, we do find evidence that a teen birth does correlate with reduced educational expectations. The proportion of teen mothers who report an expected final educational attainment of high school graduation or greater is about 15 percentage points lower than the matched set of non-teen mothers, but this is not manifest amongst the girls whom we know will subsequently become teen mothers at some point after these expectations are measured.
    Date: 2011–03
  7. By: Rigon, Massimiliano; Tanzi, Giulia M.
    Abstract: This paper studies whether municipal expenditure in Italy is influenced by female representation in city councils. To correctly capture the causal relation we use the instrumental variable technique. Our instrument is based on a temporary change in the Italian normative occurred between 1993 and 1995 that reserved a gender quota in party lists for municipal elections, causing an exogenous change in the number of women elected in city councils. We take advantage of the fact that not all the municipalities have been treated by the law, due to its short period of enforcement. Despite the existence of gender specific preferences in the society, we find no evidence that the allocation of resources among different spending categories is affected by the gender of politicians. Our results are consistent with the Median voter theorem. Alternatively, they may suggest that the gender is not a determinant of politicians’ voting behaviour, implying that the preferences of the women involved in political activities are close to those of their male colleagues.
    Keywords: gender; political representation; municipal expenditure
    JEL: H72 C23 D78 J16
    Date: 2011–11
  8. By: Mark E McGovern (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: Birth weight is an important aspect of public health which has been linked to increased risk of infant death, increased cost of care, and a range of later life outcomes. Using data from a new Irish cohort study, I document the relationship between birth weight and socioeconomic status. A strong asso- ciation with maternal education does not appear to be due to the timing of birth or complications during pregnancy, even controlling for a wide range of background characteristics. However, results do suggest intergenerational persistence in the transmission of poor early life conditions. A compar- ison with the UK Millennium Cohort Study reveals similar social gradients in both countries. Birth weight predicts a number of outcomes at age 9, including test scores, hospital stays and health. An advantage of the data is that I am able to control for a number of typically unmeasured variables. I determine whether parental investments as measured by the quality of interaction with the child, parenting style, or school quality mediate the association between birth weight and later indicators. For test scores, there is evidence of non-linearity. Boys are more adversely affected than girls, and I find that the effects of low birth weight (<2,500g) are particularly strong. I also consider whether there are heterogeneous effects by ability using quantile regression. These results are consistent with a literature which finds that there is a causal relationship between early life conditions and later outcomes.
    Keywords: Early Life Conditions, Birth Weight, Health Inequalities, Test Scores
    Date: 2011–11–16
  9. By: Beatrice Brunner (University of Zurich, Department of Economics); Andreas Kuhn (University of Zurich, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We analyze the fertility and health effects resulting from the abolition of the Austrian baby bonus in January 1997. The abolition of the benefit was publicly announced about ten months in advance, creating the opportunity for prospective parents to (re-)schedule conceptions accordingly. We find robust evidence that, within the month before the abolition, about 8% more children were born as a result of (re-)scheduling conceptions. At the same time, there is no evidence that mothers deliberately manipulated the date of birth through medical intervention. We also find a substantial and significant increase in the fraction of birth complications, but no evidence for any resulting adverse effects on newborns’ health.
    Keywords: baby bonus; scheduling of conceptions; timing of births; policy announcement; abolition effect; birth complications; medical intervention
    JEL: H31 J13
    Date: 2011–11
  10. By: Michael Hurd (RAND); Susann Rohwedder (RAND)
    Abstract: It is well-established that differential mortality according to wealth or income introduces bias into age profiles of these variables when estimated on cross-sectional or synthetic cohort data. However, little is known about whether this association is also found with consumption, and if so, how strong this association is. In this paper we use panel data on total household spending from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and its supplemental study, the Consumption and Activities Mail Survey (CAMS), to estimate differences in consumption by survival status to the next survey wave. We quantify the bias in age profiles of consumption that results from differential mortality when estimating the age profiles on cross-sectional data or on synthetic cohort data. We find that the bias is smaller than that found for wealth or income.
    Date: 2011–09
  11. By: Martin Wittenberg (DataFirst, SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: We show that body mass increases with economics resources among most South Africans, although not all. Among Black South Africans the relationship is non-decreasing over virtually the entire range of incomes/wealth. Furthermore in this groupd other measures of success (e.g. employment and education) are also associated with increases in body mass. This is true both in 1998 (the Demographic and Health Survey) and 2008 (National Income Dynamics Survey). This suggests the body mass can be used as a crude measure of wellbeing. Used in this way it suggests that unemployment is involuntary. This is true even if we control for household fixed effects. This is joint SALDRU/DataFirst Working Paper as part of the Mellon Data Quality Project.
    Keywords: obesity, asset index, body mass index
    JEL: D31 I19 I32
    Date: 2011–09
  12. By: Obert Pimhidzai (World Bank)
    Abstract: The economic situation in Zimbabwe deteriorated significantly between 2000 and 2009. However, little empirical effort has been directed towards analysing changes in outcomes at micro levels during this challenging period. This paper therefore investigates changes in welfare during this period, with specific reference to child health outcomes. In addition to using height and weight for age as proxies for welfare, the analysis further overcomes the absence of consumption data expenditure by using a food variety score to proxy for access to food and an asset index based on principal component analysis to provide an alternative for economic ranking. Results from a comparative analysis of the 1999 and 2005/6 DHS data show that average height and weight for age z-scores for children aged 5 years or under worsened by 19% and 16% respectively while food consumption declined by 34%. These declines were across the entire wealth distribution but were more pronounced among children in middle quartile and the poorest households, but least for the rich. Multivariate regressions of height and weight for age show that a large part of their decline between 1999 and 2005/06 is explained by the deterioration in access to food over this period. Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions show that deterioration in access to food explains half the overall decline in mean height for age.
    Keywords: Zimbabwe, Africa, Nutrition, Stunting, Food Variety Score, Diet Diversity Score, Height for age, Weight for age
    Date: 2011–09
  13. By: Mwangi wa Githinji (University of Massachusetts Amherst); Charalampos Konstantinidis (University of Massachusetts Amherst); Andrew Barenberg (University of Massachusetts-Amherst)
    Abstract: Access to land and particularly its distribution has reemerged as an important part of both academic and policy discussions in the last decade, leading to the resuscitation of the debate on the relationship between size of holdings and output per land unit. Across the world, studies have suggested the existence of a decreasing relationship between land size and output per unit of land. The most-widely accepted explanation for this relationship is that households with smaller holdings tend to be labor rich relative to land, and therefore can achieve higher output through the increased application of labor. Despite the rich literature on this topic there has been little work on whether this relationship is valid for female-headed households, particularly in the case of African countries. Past African studies have found female-headed households to be smaller by close to one adult in comparison to male-headed households. Given this difference one would expect there to be a difference in the outcome of land redistribution for different types of households, ceteris paribus. Additionally, the aggregate impact in African countries could be substantial, as female-headed households comprise in several cases up to 30 percent of the rural households. In this paper we will examine empirically whether the inverse size and output relationship is different between female and male headed households in the case of Kenya, using the Kenya Integrated Household Budget and Expenditure Survey of 2006, which includes modules on agricultural holdings and agricultural output in addition to the standard demographic characteristics. By controlling for the endogeneity of crop choice and fertilizer use we are able to find that cash crop production and human capital, and not differences in household size, determines the differences in male and female headed land productivity. Hence, our study goes beyond the simple discussion of the inverse relationship between land size and output per unit and the potential impact of redistribution. Specifically we will be able to address the kind of broad rural development policies in addition to land redistribution that would allow female headed households to do at least as well as (if not better than) male headed households. JEL Categories: J16, O13, Q15
    Keywords: Agriculture, Gender, Kenya, Africa, Crop Choice, Land Productivity
    Date: 2011–11
  14. By: Malene Kallestrup-Lamb (Department of Economics and Business and CREATES)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of older workers' early retirement behavior in Denmark. Instead of considering dual retirement we recognize the importance of the spouse in the early retirement decision by assessing the effect of a rich number of spousal variables. Given the grouped nature of the data we set up a semi-parametric single risk grouped duration proportional hazard model accounting for right censoring and allows for time-varying covariates, a nonparametric baseline and unobserved heterogeneity. We find that spousal characteristics do influence the retirement decision and significant gender asymmetries also exist in the effects of spouse's characteristics.Classification-JEL: J26, C41.
    Keywords: Early Retirement, Gender Asymmetries, Spousal Effects, Duration analysis, Grouped data, Unobserved heterogeneity.
    Date: 2011–11–16
  15. By: Verena Dill; Uwe Jirjahn; Georgi Tsertvadze
    Abstract: Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, this study examines the relationship between immigrant residential segregation and immigrants’ satisfaction with the neighborhood. The estimates show that immigrants living in segregated areas are less satisfied with the neighborhood. This is consistent with the hypothesis that housing discrimination rather than self-selection plays an important role in immigrant residential segregation. Our result holds true even when controlling for other influences such as household income and quality of the dwelling. It also holds true in fixed effects estimates that account for unobserved time-invariant influences.
    Keywords: Immigrant Residential Segregation, Housing Discrimination, Self-Segregation, Neighborhood Satisfaction
    JEL: J15 J61 R23 R30
    Date: 2011

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