nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2012‒04‒03
eighteen papers chosen by
Clarence Nkengne Tsimpo
University of Montreal and World Bank Group

  1. The Effect of Job Displacement on Couples? Fertility Decisions By Kristiina Huttunen; Jenni Kellokumpu
  2. Does Family Composition Affect Social Networking? By Heizler, Odelia; Kimhi, Ayal
  3. The Opt-In Revolution? Contraception and the Gender Gap in Wages By Martha J. Bailey; Brad Hershbein; Amalia R. Miller
  4. Grandfathers and Grandsons: SHould Transfers be Targeted to Women? By Emilio Gutierrez; Laura Juarez; Adrian Rubli
  5. Self-Employment and the Gender Division of Labour: The Swedish Experience By Mångs, Andreas
  6. Household Responses to Information on Child Nutrition: Experimental Evidence from Malawi By Fitzsimons, Emla; Malde, Bansi; Mesnard, Alice; Vera-Hernández, Marcos
  7. Between familial imprinting and institutional regulation: Family related employment interruptions of women in Germany before and after the German reunification By Drasch, Katrin
  8. Malnutrition in South-Asia. Poverty, diet or lack of female empowerment? By Magnus Hatlebakk
  9. What Kinds of Careers do Boys and Girls Expect for Themselves? By OECD
  10. Age and Gender Differences in Job Opportunities By Stephan Humpert
  11. Gender, Economic Development and Islam: A Perspective from France By Adida, Claire L.; Laitin, David D.; Valfort, Marie-Anne
  12. Executive board composition and bank risk taking By Berger, Allen N.; Kick, Thomas; Schaeck, Klaus
  13. Ageing and Literacy Skills: Evidence from Canada, Norway and the United States By Green, David A.; Riddell, W. Craig
  14. Social Involvement and Level of Household Income among Immigrants: New Evidence from the Israeli Experience By Arbel, Yuval; Tobol, Yossi; Siniver, Erez
  15. How Are Girls Doing in School – and Women Doing in Employment – Around the World? By OECD
  16. Czy znamy lekarstwo na nisk¹ dzietnoœæ? Wyniki miêdzynarodowych badañ ewaluacyjnych na temat polityki rodzinnej. By Anna Baranowska-Rataj; Anna Matysiak
  17. Age segregation and hiring of older employees: low mobility revisited By Ilmakunnas, Pekka; Ilmakunnas, Seija
  18. Dynamic Wage and Employment Effects of Elder Parent Care By Meghan Skira

  1. By: Kristiina Huttunen; Jenni Kellokumpu
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of job displacement on fertility using Finnish longitudinal employer-employee data (FLEED) matched to birth records. We distinguish between male and female job losses. We focus on couples where one spouse has lost his/her job due to a plant closure or mass layoff and follow them for several years both before and following the job loss. As a comparison group we use similar couples that were not affected by job displacement. In order to examine the possible channels through which job loss affects fertility we examine also the effect on earnings, employment and divorce. The results show that a woman?s own job loss decreases fertility mainly for highly educated women. For every 100 displaced females there are approximately 4 less children born. A man?s job loss has no significant impact on completed fertility.
    Keywords: Plant closure, employment, earnings, divorce, fertility
    JEL: J13 J12 J65
    Date: 2012–03–22
  2. By: Heizler, Odelia; Kimhi, Ayal
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of family composition, and in particular the number of children, the age gap between the oldest and youngest child and the age of the youngest child, on parents’ involvement in social networks. The predictions of a simple theoretical model are confirmed by an empirical analysis of Israeli Social Survey data for 2002- 2006. The number of children has a U -shaped effect on parents' involvement in social networks, with substantial differences between fathers and mothers. The negative effect is dominant on the mothers’ involvement in social networks, while the positive effect is dominant on the father's involvement in social networks. The age gap between children has a positive effect on both parents’ involvement in social networks, while the age of the youngest child has a positive effect on the father's involvement in social networks. These results imply that social network considerations might be important for fertility decisions.
    Keywords: Social Networks, Family Composition, Children., Community/Rural/Urban Development,
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Martha J. Bailey; Brad Hershbein; Amalia R. Miller
    Abstract: Decades of research on the U.S. gender gap in wages describes its correlates, but little is known about why women changed their career paths in the 1960s and 1970s. This paper explores the role of “the Pill” in altering women’s human capital investments and its ultimate implications for life-cycle wages. Using state-by-birth-cohort variation in legal access to contraception, we show that younger access to the Pill conferred an 8-percent hourly wage premium by age fifty. Our estimates imply that the Pill can account for 10 percent of the convergence of the gender gap in the 1980s and 30 percent in the 1990s.
    JEL: J13 J16 J3 N32
    Date: 2012–03
  4. By: Emilio Gutierrez (Centro de Investigacion Economica (CIE), Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM)); Laura Juarez (Centro de Investigacion Economica (CIE), Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM)); Adrian Rubli
    Abstract: This paper uses the introduction of an unconditional cash transfer to older adults in Mexico City to test whether the gender of the person who receives money transfers affects household expenditures and children’s school enrollment. We conclude, as most of the existing literature on this topic has, that households cannot be treated as unitary entities. Some specific results, however, differ from the literature. While money in the hands of women has a higher impact on household expenditures on children and education, it does not affect the probability that children will enroll in school. On the other hand, money distributed to men does not increase schooling expenditures, but it does have a strong and positive effect on children’s school enrollment. We conclude that targeting cash transfers to women may not be an optimal strategy when they are aimed at improving some specific children’s outcomes.
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Mångs, Andreas (Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO))
    Abstract: In this study we examine time allocation between market work and domestic activities and the division of labour for a sample of gainfully employed women, focusing particularly on female self employed. Of primary interest for the present study is whether having resident children, and small children in particular, has an impact on time allocated to market work, domestic activities and the division of labour that can be differentiated between self employed and wage-employed. We use a unique data set that combines survey data with register data covering 10 000 individuals. In this study we use a subsample consisting of 2 155 married or cohabiting women of which 925 are self-employed. Our results suggest that Swedish self-employed women spend significantly more time on market work compared to female wage-employed. About 30 percent of all married/cohabiting self-employed women work on average 45 hours or more per week, the corresponding share for wage-employed being around 7 percent. The fact that this share is high among married or cohabiting self-employed women shows that the assumed gain in flexibility through self-employment is not due to a reduction of working hours. Rather, the flexibility offered by self employment manifests itself in an adaptation of when and presumably also where to work. However, it appears that female self-employed reduce the time spent on market work relatively more than wage-employed women do when they have resident small children. But on average, female self-employed with small children still devote more time to market work than corresponding wage-employed women. Our estimations also suggest that for mothers the number of children affects the time devoted to domestic and care activities differently according to employment status: One more resident child contributes to a significantly smaller increase in the time devoted to housework and care activities for married or cohabiting self-employed women compared to corresponding wage-employed women. We find also that, ceteris paribus, married/cohabitant female self employed have a higher tendency to report a more equal division of domestic tasks than married/cohabitant female wage-employed.
    Keywords: Self-employment; Time allocation; Gender
    JEL: J16 J22 J24
    Date: 2011–11–25
  6. By: Fitzsimons, Emla; Malde, Bansi; Mesnard, Alice; Vera-Hernández, Marcos
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence on household responses to the relaxation of one barrier constraining adoption of health practices - lack of information - in a resource constrained setting. It examines the effects of a randomized intervention in Malawi which provides mothers with information on infant nutrition and health. It finds that the intervention results in increases in household food consumption, particularly of protein-rich foods by children. The increased household consumption is funded by increased father’s labor supply, constituting evidence that changes in the perceived child health production function affect adult labor supply. Improved consumption also results in better child health.
    Keywords: cluster randomised control trial; health information; infant health
    JEL: D10 I15 I18 O12 O15
    Date: 2012–03
  7. By: Drasch, Katrin (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "In this paper, I examine how family related employment interruptions for women in the FRG (Federal Republic of Germany) and the GDR (German Democratic Republic) looked like in the period prior to German reunification. Furthermore, I investigate how career interruptions developed after the German reunification in the old and new states and whether a convergence of re-entry behaviour can be observed. Following research questions are addressed: Which factors are more important: attitudes towards the employment of mothers, which were transferred through socialisation in childhood and adolescence, or institutional arrangements shaped by parental leave regulations? Based on data from the IAB ALWA study ('Working and Learning in a Changing World'), the results show that even twenty years after the German reunification, significant differences between women in East and West Germany are found to exist with respect to family related employment interruptions. These interruptions are subject to strong institutional control. Women who were raised in the GDR and moved to one of the old federal states after the reunification do not behave differently than West German women. This result suggests that institutional arrangements including for example also childcare availability are more important for re-entry behaviour than socialisation. However, the results must be interpreted carefully: it could be that the willingness to move of East German women is also influenced by socialisation." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: J C41
    Date: 2012–03–28
  8. By: Magnus Hatlebakk
    Abstract: Despite economic growth, and a reduction in poverty, malnutrition is still rampant in South-Asia. This indicates that non-economic factors are important, and we use a nation-wide survey from Nepal to identify factors that may explain why small children are stunted. In contrast to designated studies of child nutrition we do not have information on individual food intake, but we demonstrate that analysis of large sample surveys is a good supplement to designated studies, with the main benefit being that findings are nationally representative. We find that pulses are critical for child growth, and that boys are more often malnourished, maybe because they are expected to take other food than breast milk. Furthermore we find that girls are more likely malnourished if they have many older brothers, and we find that female empowerment improves child nutrition.
    Keywords: Female autonomy, Stunting, Intra-household allocation
    Date: 2012
  9. By: OECD
    Abstract: When you think of someone who is an engineer, do you imagine a man or a woman wearing a hardhat? How about when you imagine a teacher standing in front of a class of schoolchildren? If you answer “a man” to the first question, and “a woman” to the second, there’s probably a reason. And the reason is simply that more men than women pursue careers in fields such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics, while women are over-represented in the humanities and medical sciences. This type of gender segregation in the labour market is still prevalent in many countries. But will it continue? Girls now do as well as, and often better than, boys in most core school subjects; and proficiency in a subject influences 15-year-olds’ thinking about the kind of career they want to pursue. Or does it?
    Date: 2012–03
  10. By: Stephan Humpert (Institute of Economics, Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany)
    Abstract: There is only a few literature on age specific occupational segregation. In this descriptive paper, I focus on job opportunities for newly hired older male and female workers. It is an enriched replication study of Hutchens (ILRR,1988), who showed that firms employ older workers, but hire them less. I use a rich dataset for West Germany with information for almost thirty years, the regional file of the IAB Employment Sample (IABS-R04). By drawing segregation curves and calculating different measures, such as Dissimilarity Index and Hutchens Square Root Segregation Index, I find clear evidence that age related segregation exists. While newly hired workers in the age groups of 18 to 34 and 35 to 54 are quiet similar distributed in terms of the indices, the oldest age group of 55 years and older, and especially older women, are more segregated. Differences for older male and female workers over time, may be explained by changes in labor and retirement policies.
    Keywords: Labor Demand, Age Segregation, Older Workers, Gender
    JEL: J23 J24 J21 J14 J16
    Date: 2012–03
  11. By: Adida, Claire L. (University of California, San Diego); Laitin, David D. (Stanford University); Valfort, Marie-Anne (University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: Muslims do less well on the French labor market than their non Muslim counterparts. One explanation for this relative failure can be characterized by the following syllogism: (1) the empowerment of women is a sine qua non for economic progress; (2) in-group norms among Muslims do not empower women; and hence (3) Muslim communities will underperform economically relative to non-Muslim communities. This paper, relying on a unique identification strategy that isolates religion from national origin and ethnicity, and on experimental as well as survey evidence collected in France, puts this syllogism to a test. Our data show that Muslim and Christian gender norms are as postulated. However, the correlations between Muslim vs. Christian immigrants and the channels purported to link in-group gender norms to economic progress are weak and inconsistent. Speculations are offered on the intervening variables that mitigate the effect of Muslim gender norms on economic performance.
    Keywords: development, Islam, gender, discrimination, France, experimental economics
    JEL: C90 D03 J15 J16 J71 Z12
    Date: 2012–03
  12. By: Berger, Allen N.; Kick, Thomas; Schaeck, Klaus
    Abstract: Little is known about how socioeconomic characteristics of executive teams affect corporate governance in banking. Exploiting a unique dataset, we show how age, gender, and education composition of executive teams affect risk taking of financial institutions. First, we establish that age, gender, and education jointly affect the variability of bank performance. Second, we use difference-in-difference estimations that focus exclusively on mandatory executive retirements and find that younger executive teams increase risk taking, as do board changes that result in a higher proportion of female executives. In contrast, if board changes increase the representation of executives holding Ph.D. degrees, risk taking declines. --
    Keywords: Banks,executives,risk taking,age,gender,education
    JEL: G21 G34 I21 J16
    Date: 2012
  13. By: Green, David A. (University of British Columbia, Vancouver); Riddell, W. Craig (University of British Columbia, Vancouver)
    Abstract: We study the relationship between age and literacy skills in Canada, Norway and the U.S. – countries that represent a wide range of literacy outcomes – using data from the 1994 and 2003 International Adult Literacy Surveys. In cross-sectional data there is a weak negative partial relationship between literacy skills and age. However, this relationship could reflect some combination of age and cohort effects. In order to identify age effects, we use the 1994 and 2003 surveys to create synthetic cohorts. Our analysis shows that the modest negative slope of the literacy-age profile in cross-sectional data arises from offsetting ageing and cohort effects. Individuals from a given birth cohort lose literacy skills after they leave school at a rate greater than indicated by cross-sectional estimates. At the same time, more recent birth cohorts have lower levels of literacy. These results suggest a pervasive tendency for literacy skills to decline over time and that these countries are doing a poorer job of educating successive generations. All three countries show similar patterns of skill loss with age, as well as declining literacy across successive cohorts. The countries differ, however, in the part of the skill distribution where falling skills are most evident. In Canada the cross-cohort declines are especially large at the top of the skill distribution. In Norway declining skills across cohorts are more prevalent at the bottom of the distribution. In the U.S. the decline in literacy skills over time is most pronounced in the middle of the distribution.
    Keywords: human capital, cognitive skills, literacy, ageing
    JEL: I20 J14 J24
    Date: 2012–03
  14. By: Arbel, Yuval (School of Business, Carmel Academic Center); Tobol, Yossi (Jerusalem College of Technology (JTC)); Siniver, Erez (College of Management, Rishon Lezion Campus)
    Abstract: Previous studies of immigrant populations suggest that ceteris paribus (after controlling for the number of years in the receiving country and other socio-demographic variables), the level of income is strongly and positively correlated with fluency in the local language. Based on a phone survey held in 2005 among a representative sample of Former Soviet Union (FSU) immigrants, the current study extends this literature and investigates the possibility that the standard model is misspecified. Unlike previous surveys, our dataset includes detailed subjective questions on the degree of social involvement. Our findings indeed support the conclusion that the standard model is misspecified. At 1% significance level, immigrants who are better assimilated within the receiving country are 11% more likely to attain a level of income that is equal to or higher than the average level of net family monthly income. Moreover, compared to the incorrectly-specified model, at 1% significance level a shift from lower to intermediate and high level of language proficiency does not significantly increase the level of income. Consequently, marginal probabilities of income shift, which have been mistakenly attributed to better language proficiency in the misspecified model, should have been, in fact, attributed to a higher level of social involvement. Finally, stratification of the sample based on gender and marital status shows that compared to unmarried females, married males have a higher return on social involvement. Among married men (unmarried women) a higher level of social involvement significantly increases the chances for higher income level by 15% (only 4%). Research findings thus stress the important role of better social involvement, particularly among married males: a higher degree of social involvement leads to improved social networking and, in turn, to better job opportunities and higher income.
    Keywords: social involvement, income level, immigration, gender differences
    JEL: J15 Z13
    Date: 2012–03
  15. By: OECD
    Abstract: As the world celebrates the achievements of women this month, what can be said about the progress of girls and young women in education, and of women in employment, throughout the world? As the third issue of the OECD's new brief series Education Indicators in Focus describes, girls and women are making solid gains on both fronts - though still more can be done to promote gender equality.<p>On the 2009 PISA assessment, for example, 15-year-old girls outperformed boys in every country, and on average by 39 score points - the equivalent of one year of schooling. Meanwhile, boys outperformed girls on the PISA mathematics assessment in most countries. In higher education, women are now in the majority among entrants to higher education across the world, with an estimated 66% expected to enter university-level programmes at some point during their lives. However, men are more likely than women to earn advanced research qualifications in most countries. Moreover, some fields of study - like engineering, manufacturing, and construction - are still branded as masculine, with comparatively few women graduates.<p>At the same time, women's strides in education have led to improved labour market outcomes for women overall. Across the world, gender gaps in employment between men and women have narrowed at every level of education, and are narrowest among those with a higher education qualification - shrinking from 11 percentage points in 2000 to 9 percentage points in 2009.<p>Be sure to check your inbox for future issues of Education Indicators in Focus, which each month will provide analysis and policy insights into the most pressing issues in education today, using evidence from Education at a Glance, the flagship publication of the OECD's Indicators of Education Systems (INES) programme.<p>Find out more at:,3746,e n_2649_39263238_49401006_1_1_1_1,00.html
    Date: 2012–03
  16. By: Anna Baranowska-Rataj; Anna Matysiak (Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics)
    Abstract: Niniejszy artyku³ prezentuje ideê badañ ewaluacyjnych oraz dokonuje przegl¹du badañ mierz¹cych wp³yw przyczynowo-skutkowy reform polityki rodzinnej na dzietnoœæ. W œwietle doœwiadczeñ miêdzynarodowych pozytywny wp³yw na dzietnoœæ mog¹ mieæ: poprawa dostêpnoœci us³ug opiekuñczych dla dzieci, system premiowania szybkiego przejœcia do drugiego dziecka poprzez odpowiedni¹ konstrukcjê zasi³ków wychowawczych czy te¿ system opodatkowania i zasi³ków rodzinnych. Nale¿y jednak pamiêtaæ, ¿e instrumenty polityki rodzinnej, które okaza³y siê skuteczne w innych krajach Europy, niekoniecznie musz¹ przynieœæ dok³adnie takie same efekty w Polsce. Dlatego wa¿ne jest, by wype³niæ lukê w stanie wiedzy na temat wp³ywu poszczególnych komponentów polityki rodzinnej na poziom dzietnoœci w Polsce, korzystaj¹c z metodologii badañ ewaluacyjnych. W przeciwnym wypadku kolejne reformy bêd¹ opieraæ siê na przyjêtych ad hoc przes³ankach, a nie na rzetelnej wiedzy p³yn¹cej z badañ.
    Keywords: polityka rodzinna, ewaluacja, przegl¹d literatury
    JEL: J11 J13 J18
    Date: 2012
  17. By: Ilmakunnas, Pekka; Ilmakunnas, Seija
    Abstract: We analyse age segregation in hirings and separations using linked employer-employee data from Finland in the period 1990-2004. This allows us to identify at the firm level employees in different age groups that have been hired during the previous year, and employees who have exited the firms. We analyze firm-level age segregation using segregation curves and Gini indices. The hirings of older employees have clearly been more segregated than exits or the stock of old employees even though hirings have become slightly less segregated towards the end of the period in question. At the same time age segregation in exits and stocks has increased and these trends are not sensitive to small unit bias in measurement. We also examine trends in hiring and exit rates using aggregate data. According to our results the oldest age group is again underrepresented in hirings. There is a positive upward trend in their recruitments related to the increasing cohort size, but it is much weaker than the trend in the relative share of older workers in employment. The exit rate of the older employees indicates cyclical variation while the small number of hirings seems to be insensitive to changing labour demand. We present a decomposition of employment change by age group and with that decomposition we disentangle the role of hirings and exits from factors related to demographics and cohort effects. The latter factors include the effect of the large baby boom generation entering the age group of older employees with higher employment rates than earlier cohorts. Finally, our regression analysis shows that larger firms are more likely to hire older employees, but their hiring rates are lower.
    Keywords: ageing; hiring; segregation; labour demand
    JEL: J14 J26 J23
    Date: 2012–01
  18. By: Meghan Skira (Boston College)
    Abstract: This paper formulates and estimates a dynamic discrete choice model of elder parent care and work to analyze how caregiving affects a woman’s current and future labor force participation and wages. Intertemporal tradeoffs, such as decreased future earning capacity due to a current reduction in labor market work, are central to the decision to provide care. The existing literature, however, overlooks such long-term considerations. I depart from the previous literature by modeling caregiving and work decisions in an explicitly intertemporal framework. The model incorporates dynamic elements such as the health of the elderly parent, human capital accumulation and job offer availability. I estimate the model on a sample of women from the Health and Retirement Study by efficient method of moments. The estimates indicate that intertemporal tradeoffs matter considerably. In particular, women face low probabilities of returning to work or increasing work hours after a caregiving spell. Using the estimates, I simulate several government sponsored elder care policy experiments: a longer unpaid leave than currently available under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; a paid work leave; and a caregiver allowance. The leaves encourage more work among intensive care providers since they guarantee a woman can return to her job, while the caregiver allowance discourages work. A comparison of the welfare gains generated by the policies shows that half the value of the paid leave can be achieved with the unpaid leave, and the caregiver allowance generates gains comparable to the unpaid leave.
    Keywords: Informal care, employment, dynamic discrete choice, structural estimation, Fam- ily and Medical Leave Act
    JEL: J14 J18 J22 C51
    Date: 2012–03–27

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