nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2012‒03‒14
eleven papers chosen by
Clarence Nkengne Tsimpo
University of Montreal and World Bank Group

  1. Demographic Transition and Economic Welfare: The Role of Humanitarian Aid By Stephen M. Miller; Kyriakos C. Neanidis
  2. Impatience among Preschool Children and Their Mothers By Fabian Kosse; Friedhelm Pfeiffer
  3. Well-being in Germany: What explains the regional variation? By Vatter, Johannes
  4. The Intergenerational Transmission of Education: Evidence from Taiwanese Adoptions By Hammitt, James; Liu, Jin-Tan; Tsou, Meng-Wen
  5. The Five-Phases of Economic Development and Institutional Evolution in China and Japan By Masahiko Aoki
  6. Oh Brother! Testing the Etiology of Sibling Effects Using External Cash Transfers By James Manley; Lia Fernald; Paul Gertler
  7. Gender Inclusion in Climate Change Adaptation By Midori Aoyagi; Eiko Suda; Tomomi Shinada
  8. Gains from child-centred Early Childhood Education: Evidence from a Dutch pilot programme By Bauchmüller, Robert
  9. Child malnutrition and antenatal care: Evidence from three Latin American countries By Ramirez, N.F.; Gamboa, L.F.; Bedi, A.S.; Sparrow, R.A.
  10. Labour Market Penalties of Mothers: the Role of Reconciliation Policies By Lia Pacelli; Silvia Pasqua; Claudia Villosio
  11. "Capital Intensity and U.S. Country Population Growth during the Late Nineteenth Century" By Burton A. Abrams; Jing Li; James G. Mulligan

  1. By: Stephen M. Miller (University of Nevada, Las Vegas and University of Connecticut); Kyriakos C. Neanidis (University of Manchester)
    Abstract: This paper considers the effects of humanitarian aid on economic welfare through a demographic transition channel. We develop a two-period overlapping generations model where reproductive agents face a non-zero probability of death in childhood. As adults, agents allocate their time to work, leisure, and child rearing activities. Health status in adulthood exhibits “state dependence,” as it depends on health in childhood. In this framework, we examine the effects of changes in in-kind and monetary humanitarian aid on economic welfare. We conclude that if parents strongly value children, giving monetary aid produces more children and yields higher welfare. This positive welfare effect dominates an indirect negative welfare effect due to a lower growth rate. But, if parents value the quality of their children (health status), they achieve greater utility by in-kind aid, which also lowers fertility and augments economic growth.
    Keywords: Aid, Fertility, Health, Growth, Welfare
    JEL: C23 F35 F43 I12 O41
    Date: 2012–02
  2. By: Fabian Kosse; Friedhelm Pfeiffer
    Abstract: Using experimental data of children and their mothers, this paper explores the intergenerational relationship of impatience. The child's impatience stems from a delay of gratification experiment. Mother's impatience has been assessed by a choice task where the mothers faced trade-offs between a smaller-sooner and a larger-later monetary reward with a delay of six or twelve months. The findings demonstrate an intergenerational relationship in short-run decision making. Controlling for mother's and child's characteristics the child's impatience at preschool age is significantly correlated with the six month maternal reservation interest rate.
    Keywords: time preferences; impatience; intergenerational transmission, field experiments
    JEL: C93 D03 D90
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Vatter, Johannes
    Abstract: This paper examines regional differences in subjective well-being (SWB) in Germany. Inferential statistics indicate a diminishing but still significant gap between East andWest Germany, but also differing levels of SWB within both parts of Germany. The observed regional pattern of life satisfaction reflects macroeconomic fundamentals, where labour market conditions play a dominant role. Differing levels of GDP and economic growth have contributed rather indirectly to well-being such that the period since the reunification can be considered as a period of joyless growth. Moreover, the effects of unemployment and income differ in size between regions in such a way that one can assume increasing marginal disutility of unemployment. In total, approximately half of 'satisfaction gap' between East and West Germany can be attributed to differing macroeconomic conditions. In contrast, the comparably high levels of life satisfaction in Northern Germany are driven mostly by couples and go along with significantly higher fertility rates. Overall, I conclude that comparisons of SWB within a single country provide valid information. --
    Keywords: subjective well-being,regional disparities,unemployment,economic growth,fertility rate
    JEL: R10 I31
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Hammitt, James; Liu, Jin-Tan; Tsou, Meng-Wen
    Abstract: This paper examines the causal effect of parental schooling on children’s schooling using a large sample of adoptees from Taiwan. Using birth-parents’ education to help control for selective placement of children with adoptive parents, we find that adoptees raised with more highly educated parents have higher educational attainment, measured by years of schooling and probability of university graduation. We also find evidence that adoptive father’s schooling is more important for sons’ and adoptive mother’s schooling is more important for daughters’ educational attainment. These results support the notion that family environment (nurture) is important in determining children’s educational outcomes, independent of genetic endowment.
    Keywords: intergenerational transmission, education, schooling, adoption
    Date: 2011–12
  5. By: Masahiko Aoki (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI))
    Abstract: Based on the variable rate of gross domestic product per capita growth and its sources, this paper first identifies five phases of economic development that are common to China, Japan, and Korea : M (Malthusian), G (government-led), K (à la Kuznets), H (human capital based) and PD (post demographic-transition). But there are also marked differences in the onset, duration, and institutional forms of these phases across these economies. In order to understand these differences, this paper explores the agrarian origins of institutions in Qing China and Tokugawa Japan (and briefly ChosÅn Korea) and their path-dependent transformations over those phases. In doing so, the paper employs game-theoretic reasoning and interpretations of divergent institutional evolution between China and Japan, which also clarifies the simplicity of prevailing arguments that identify East Asian developmental and institutional features with authoritarianism, collectivism, kinship-dominance, Confucianism and the like. Finally, the paper examines the relevance of the foregoing developmental discussions to the institutional agendas faced by China and Japan in their respective emergent phase-transitions. In what way can China avoid the “middle income trapâ€? What institutional shortcomings become evident from the Fukushima catastrophe and how can they be overcome in an aging Japan?
    Keywords: phases of economic development, institutional forms, Institution, game-theoretic reasoning, path-dependent
    JEL: J11 N15 N35 N55 O15 O43 O53 P51
    Date: 2011–12
  6. By: James Manley (Department of Economics, Towson University); Lia Fernald (School of Public Health, UC Berkeley); Paul Gertler (Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley)
    Abstract: Siblings can slow child development, but distinguishing intrinsic from economic circumstances has been more difficult. The grants of the Oportunidades Mexican welfare program allo w us to test this linkage. We investigate whether transfers increase firstborn characteristics faster than other children’s characteristics, and whether the observed negative effects of being part of a larger set of siblings stem from having to share household resources. We find that firstborn children get larger physical and verbal benefits from transfers, but beha vioral improvements are less tied to cash than to program participation. Children in larger households seem resource constrained; there, transfers have larger impacts.
    Keywords: PROGRESA, Oportunidades, Mexico, conditional cash transf ers, child development, child health, sibling effects, intrahousehold allocation.
    JEL: O12 J13 I38
    Date: 2012–03
  7. By: Midori Aoyagi (Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI)); Eiko Suda; Tomomi Shinada
    Keywords: Climate change, gender inclusion, agricultural production, Natural Disasters
    JEL: J16 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2011–09
  8. By: Bauchmüller, Robert (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG, University of Maastricht)
    Abstract: Early Childhood Education (ECE) programmes are presumed to have positive effects in particular for children who are at risk of failing during their school careers. However, there is disagreement on whether such programmes should be more teacher and curriculum based or rather centred on the individual child. In this paper I study child-centred ECE programmes that are used at preschools in the Dutch province of Limburg, which is in fact mainly a study of 'Speelplezier', a new child-centred programme which has recently been certified as being 'in theory' effective in raising children's school readiness, but which has not yet been evaluated. I use a rich dataset covering the first three grades at elementary schools in the Southern part of Limburg for the year 2008/09 to evaluate the impact of child-centred ECE versus alternative preschool options. I estimate ordinary least squares effects of attending a preschool applying child-centred ECE onto test scores from the beginning of elementary schooling, under the control of alternative childcare experiences and various child and family related characteristics and re-weighing observations of the studied sample to represent population averages. I argue that access to a preschool kindergarten applying child-centred ECE is to some degree exogenously determined. In a further effort to identify causal effects, I also use propensity score matching and instrumental variable estimation techniques. I find no evidence of the expected short-term effects on language or on cognitive development who attended a child-centred ECE preschool as compared to preschools applying other or no early education programmes. In order to reach measurable benefits, the child-centred methods and their applications need to be intensified and extended to all disadvantaged groups of children. Yet I find some evidence that children of low educated parents who have been placed in a child-centred ECE preschool tend to have higher language and cognitive outcomes.
    Keywords: early childhood education (ECE), child-centred programme, cognitive and language development, school readiness, distance to preschool
    JEL: I21 J13 J24
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Ramirez, N.F.; Gamboa, L.F.; Bedi, A.S.; Sparrow, R.A.
    Abstract: The importance of ever-earlier interventions to help children reach their physical and cognitive potential is increasingly being recognized. In part, as a result of this, in developing countries, antenatal care is becoming an important element of strategies to prevent child stunting in utero and later. Notwithstanding their policy relevance and substantial expansion, empirical evidence on the role of antenatal care (ANC) programs in combating stunting is scarce. This study analyzes the role of ANC programs in determining the level and distribution of child stunting in three Andean countries - Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru - where since the 1990s, expanding access to such care has been an explicit policy intervention to tackle child malnutrition. We find that the use of such services is associated with a reduction in the level of malnutrition and at the same time access to such services is relatively equally distributed. While this is a positive sign, it also suggests that further expansion of ANC programs is unlikely to play a large role in reducing inequalities in malnutrition.
    Keywords: antenatal care;child malnutrition;inequality decomposition;height for age
    Date: 2012–03–06
  10. By: Lia Pacelli; Silvia Pasqua; Claudia Villosio
    Abstract: A key issue in increasing women’s participation in productive activities is the possibility of achieving a high work-life balance, both in terms of personal wellbeing and in terms of fair career prospects. The crucial event that challenges any level of work-life balance working women achieve is motherhood. We analyse how motherhood affects women's working career, both in terms of participation and in terms of wages, compared to “non-mothers”. The country chosen for the analysis is Italy, a paradigmatic example of low participation rate, scant childcare, high wage inequality and a cultural environment that considers childcare a predominantly “female affair”. While most of the literature focuses either on wages or on participation, we consider both dimensions in a country where female participation is low, thus contributing to filling the gap in the literature of studies of this kind referred to southern European countries. We confirm that the probability of leaving employment significantly increases for new mothers (career-break job penalty); however, this is mitigated by higher job quality and human capital endowment, and by childcare accessibility. Crucially, the availability of part-time jobs reduces the probability of mothers moving out of the labour force. Furthermore, women not leaving employment after becoming mothers face a decrease in wage levels and growth compared to non-mothers, and there are no signs of this gap closing five years after childbirth (family wage gap). Again, part-time employment plays a crucial role, as the family wage gap penalty emerges only among women working full-time both before and after childbirth; a part-time job over the whole period or even only after childbirth prevents any wage gap from opening up between such working mothers and non-mothers. A decisive fact in this context is that in Italy part-time jobs are (scant but) well paid and protected, unlike most other countries.
    Keywords: motherhood, part-time jobs, wage penalty, working career, reconciliation policies
    JEL: J13 J31
    Date: 2012
  11. By: Burton A. Abrams (Department of Economics, university pf Delaware); Jing Li; James G. Mulligan (Department of Economics, University of Delaware)
    Abstract: The United States witnessed substantial growth in manufacturing and urban populations during the last half of the nineteenth century. To date, no convincing evidence has been presented to explain the shift in population to urban areas. We find evidence that capital intensity, particularly new capital in the form of steam horsepower, played a significant role in drawing labor into counties and by inference into urban areas. This provides support for the hypothesis that the locational decisions of manufacturers and their placement of capital in urban areas fueled urban growth in the nineteenth century.
    Keywords: urbanization, capital intensity, regional population growth, technological change
    JEL: J61 N11
    Date: 2012

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