nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2012‒04‒10
twenty-two papers chosen by
Clarence Nkengne Tsimpo
University of Montreal and World Bank Group

  1. Missing Daughters, Missing Brides? By Hippolyte D’ALBIS; David DE LA CROIX
  2. The fertility transition in South Africa: A retrospective panel data analysis By Laura Rossouw; Rulof Burger; Ronelle Burger
  3. The Career Costs of Children By Adda, Jérôme; Dustmann, Christian; Stevens, Katrien
  4. Influence of age of child on differencesinlife satisfaction ofmalesand females: A comparative study among East Asian countries By Eiji Yamamura; Antonio Rodriguez
  5. Costly Divorce and Marriage Rates By Yurko, Anna
  6. Geographic and Racial Variation in Premature Mortality in the US: Analyzing the Disparities By Mark R. Cullen; Clint Cummins; Victor R. Fuchs
  7. Economic Growth, Comparative Advantage, and Gender Differences in Schooling Outcomes: Evidence from the Birthweight Differences of Chinese Twins By Rosenzweig, Mark; Zhang, Junsen
  8. From Polygyny to Serial Monogamy: a Unified Theory of Marriage Institutions By David DE LA CROIX; Fabio MARIANI
  9. Explaining Recent Trends in the U.S. Teen Birth Rate By Melissa Schettini Kearney; Phillip B. Levine
  10. Why is the Teen Birth Rate in the United States so High and Why Does it Matter? By Melissa Schettini Kearney; Phillip B. Levine
  11. Do natural disasters decrease the gender gap in schooling? By Yoshito Takasaki
  12. The effect of hospital medical services on child mortality in Japan By Hanaoka, Chie; Ogura, Seiritsu
  13. An analysis of different approaches to women empowerment: a case study of Pakistan By Chaudhary, Amatul R.; Chani, Muhammad Irfan; Pervaiz, Zahid
  14. Gender-Based and Couple-Based Taxation By Bastani, Spencer
  15. Children's and Parents' Time-Use Choices and Cognitive Development during Adolescence By Daniela Del Boca; Chiara Monfardini; Cheti Nicoletti
  16. Children, support in old age and social insurance in rural China By Zhang, Chuanchuan
  17. When do donors trust recipient country systems ? By Knack, Stephen
  18. When Performance Trumps Gender Bias: Joint versus Separate Evaluation By Bohnet, Iris; van Geen, Alexandra; Bazerman, Max H.
  19. Taxing Childcare: Effects on Family Labor Supply and Children By Gathmann, Christina; Sass, Björn
  20. Utilitarianism and Discrimination By Alon Harel; Uzi Segal
  21. Who Suffers During Recessions? By Hilary W. Hoynes; Douglas L. Miller; Jessamyn Schaller
  22. From hardship to benefit: A critical review of the nuclear hardship theory in relation to the emergence of the European Marriage Pattern By Annemarie Bouman; Jaco Zuijderduijn; Tine De Moor

  1. By: Hippolyte D’ALBIS (Paris School of Economics, University Paris I); David DE LA CROIX (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE))
    Abstract: Even in countries where there is a male-biased sex ratio, it is still possible for the marriage market to be balanced if men marry younger women and population is growing. We define a missing Brides Index to reflect the intensity of the possible imbalance at steady state, taking into account the endogeneity of population growth. Taking international data on ages at marriage, fertility rate, and mean age at birth, we rank countries according to the Missing Brides Index.
    Keywords: Missing women, marriage, fertility
    JEL: J12 J13 J16
    Date: 2012–03–28
  2. By: Laura Rossouw (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Rulof Burger (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch); Ronelle Burger (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: Since 1960 South Africa has seen a steep fall in fertility levels and currently the total fertility rate is the lowest on the African continent. Given the high prevailing levels of fertility in African countries, a better understanding of the factors behind the fertility transition can be valuable not only for South Africa, but also more widely for other African countries. This paper uses the National Income Dynamics Study data to construct a retrospective panel to investigate reasons for the decline in fertility in South Africa since the 1960s. The analysis attributes a large share of the observed fertility decline across birth cohorts to improving education levels and the lower prevalence of marriage. However, a considerable segment of the transition is ascribed to the unobservables. This may include HIV/AIDS, the increased use of contraceptives and changes in intra-household relationships and the social role of women.
    Keywords: South Africa, fertility, education, marriage, social norms
    JEL: J13 J12
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Adda, Jérôme; Dustmann, Christian; Stevens, Katrien
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the life-cycle career costs associated with child rearing and decomposes their effects into unearned wages (as women drop out of the labor market), loss of human capital, and selection into more child-friendly occupations. We estimate a dynamic life-cycle model of fertility, occupational choice, and labor supply using detailed survey and administrative data for Germany for numerous birth cohorts across different regions. We use this model to analyze both the male-female wage gap as it evolves from labor market entry onward and the effect of pro-fertility policies. We show that a substantial portion of the gender wage gap is explainable by realized and expected fertility and that the long-run effect of policies encouraging fertility are considerably lower than the short-run effects typically estimated in the literature.
    Date: 2011–11
  4. By: Eiji Yamamura (Seinan Gakuin University, Japan); Antonio Rodriguez (Al Akhawayn University, Morocco)
    Abstract: Using individual-level data for China,South Korea, and Japan for2006, this research examines how life satisfaction for married males and femalesin East Asian countries isinfluenced bythe age of theirchildren. Our results show that the life satisfaction of males is barely affected by a child of the relationship, whereas the life satisfaction of females with a young child is lower than that of females who do not have a child. This result holds for countries at different development stages. There is also a gender differential regarding the effect of young children on life satisfaction. Furthermore, the more developed the country, the greater this difference becomes.
    Keywords: Life satisfaction, child, East Asian countries, Ordered probit
    JEL: D19 J13 J16
    Date: 2012–04
  5. By: Yurko, Anna
    Abstract: This paper develops a model of choice between marriage and cohabitation to study the effect of divorce costs on marriage decision. The paired agents are heterogeneous, the utility is non-transferable, and break up and divorce decisions are modeled explicitly as unilateral, that is, it takes the decision of only one partner to terminate a relationship. This framework is empirically relevant, since unilateral divorce is legal in many countries, and multiple empirical studies of the effect of changes in divorce laws on divorce rates demonstrate that Coase theorem does not hold (partners cannot bargain efficiently). The model seeks to reconcile the conflicting empirical evidence on the relationship between marriage rates and divorce costs.
    Keywords: family economics; marriage; cohabitation; divorce; externalities
    JEL: D62 J12
    Date: 2012–02–01
  6. By: Mark R. Cullen; Clint Cummins; Victor R. Fuchs
    Abstract: Life expectancy at birth, estimated from United States period life tables, has been shown to vary systematically and widely by region and race. We use the same tables to estimate the probability of survival from birth to age 70 (S70), a measure of mortality more sensitive to disparities and more reliably calculated for small populations, to describe the variation and identify its sources in greater detail to assess the patterns of this variation. Examination of the unadjusted probability of S70 for each US county with a sufficient population of whites and blacks reveals large geographic differences for each race-sex group. For example, white males born in the ten percent healthiest counties have a 77 percent probability of survival to age 70, but only a 61 percent chance if born in the ten percent least healthy counties. Similar geographical disparities face white women and blacks of each sex. Moreover, within each county, large differences in S70 prevail between blacks and whites, on average 17 percentage points for men and 12 percentage points for women. In linear regressions for each race-sex group, nearly all of the geographic variation is accounted for by a common set of 22 socio-economic and environmental variables, selected for previously suspected impact on mortality; R2 ranges from 0.86 for white males to 0.72 for black females. Analysis of black-white survival chances within each county reveals that the same variables account for most of the race gap in S70 as well. When actual white male values for each explanatory variable are substituted for black in the black male prediction equation to assess the role explanatory variables play in the black-white survival difference, residual black-white differences at the county level shrink markedly to a mean of -2.4% (+/-2.4); for women the mean difference is -3.7 % (+/-2.3).
    JEL: I0 I00 I10 I14 I3 I31
    Date: 2012–03
  7. By: Rosenzweig, Mark (Yale University); Zhang, Junsen (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
    Abstract: Data from two surveys of twins in China are used to contribute to an improved understanding of the role of economic development in affecting gender differences in the trends in, levels of, and returns to schooling observed in China and in many developing countries in recent decades. In particular, we explore the hypothesis that these phenomena reflect differences in comparative advantage with respect to skill and brawn between men and women in the context of changes in incomes, returns to skill, and/or nutritional improvements that are the result of economic development and growth.
    JEL: I15 I25 J16 J24 O15
    Date: 2012–02
  8. By: David DE LA CROIX (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)); Fabio MARIANI (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), Paris School of Economics and IZA)
    Abstract: Consider an economy populated by males and females, both rich and poor. The society has to choose one of the following marriage institutions: polygyny, strict monogamy, and serial monogamy (divorce and remarriage). After having identified the conditions under which each of these equilibria exists, we show that a rise in the share of rich males can explain a change of regime from polygyny to monogamy. The introduction of serial monogamy follows from a further rise in either the proportion of rich males, or an increase in the proportion of rich females. Strict monogamy is a prerequisite to serial monogamy, as it promotes the upward social mobility of females more than polygyny. We also show that polygyny is compatible with democracy.
    Keywords: Marriage; Polygyny; Monogamy; Divorce; Human capital; Political economy
    JEL: J12 O17 Z13
    Date: 2012–03–30
  9. By: Melissa Schettini Kearney; Phillip B. Levine
    Abstract: We investigate possible explanations for the large decline in U.S. teen childbearing that occurred in the twenty years following the 1991 peak. Our review of previous evidence and the results of new analyses presented here leads to the following main set of observations. First, the observed decline in teen childbearing is even more surprising given the increasing share of Hispanic teens, who have higher birth rates. Second, we find that a reduction in sexual activity and an increase in contraceptive use contributed to the decline roughly equally. Third, we are able to identify a statistically discernible impact of declining welfare benefits and expanded access to family planning services through Medicaid, but combined they can only account for 12 percent of the observed decline in teen childbearing between 1991 and 2008. We are unable to find any impact of other policies (including abstinence only or mandatory sex education) or labor market conditions. In the end we conclude that the standard factors which are claimed to be related to the rate at which teens give birth appear to explain little of the recent trend.
    JEL: I28 J13
    Date: 2012–03
  10. By: Melissa Schettini Kearney; Phillip B. Levine
    Abstract: This paper examines two aspects of teen childbearing in the United States. First, it reviews and synthesizes the evidence on the reasons why teen birth rates are so uniquely high in the United States and especially in some states. Second, it considers why and how it matters. We argue that economists' typical explanations are unable to account for any sizable share of the geographic variation. We describe some recent analysis indicating that the combination of being poor and living in a more unequal (and less mobile) location, like the United States, leads young women to choose early, non-marital childbearing at elevated rates, potentially because of their lower expectations of future economic success. Consistent with this view, the most rigorous studies on the topic find that teen childbearing has very little, if any, direct negative economic consequence. If it is explained by the low economic trajectory that some young women face, then it makes sense that having a child as a teen would not be an additional cause of poor economic outcomes. These findings lead us to conclude that the high rate of teen childbearing in the United States matters mostly because it is a marker of larger, underlying social problems.
    JEL: I28 J13
    Date: 2012–03
  11. By: Yoshito Takasaki
    Abstract: Rapidly decreasing gender gaps in schooling in developing countries can be a result of a gendered division of child farm labor as a coping response to increased natural disasters. This paper makes a case for this conjecture by analyzing original household survey data from rural Fiji. Boys, not girls, contribute to farming only among cyclone victims with dwelling damage, independent of housing aid receipt. Boys' school enrollment is significantly lower than girls' only among victims who did not receive aid early enough. Boys with no elder brother and an educated father are particularly vulnerable in their progression to higher-level schools.
    Date: 2012–03
  12. By: Hanaoka, Chie; Ogura, Seiritsu
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to conduct a fact-finding study on how differences in the supply of medical care affect the cause-specific mortality among children aged 1 to 4 years in Japan. We find that the supply of emergency medical care in hospitals has a significant negative effect on the mortality. Furthermore, the availability of primary emergency care at hospitals on weekend nights has a significant negative effect on the mortality owing to either external or internal causes. Finally, the availability of physicians has a more pronounced effect on mortality from external causes than from internal causes.
    Keywords: supply of medical care
    JEL: I12
    Date: 2012–03
  13. By: Chaudhary, Amatul R.; Chani, Muhammad Irfan; Pervaiz, Zahid
    Abstract: Women empowerment has attracted the attention of researchers as an active area of research since 1980s. It can be viewed as an ultimate end as well as a mean to achieve other development goals. The present study is an attempt to investigate how consciousness /sensitization of women about their rights, economic empowerment of women and women’s overall development can be helpful in achieving the goal of women’s empowerment. The study uses data for the period of 1996 to 2009 for Pakistan. Empirical results reveal that consciousness of women about their rights, economic empowerment of women and women’s overall development have positive and significant effect on women’s empowerment as measured by Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) index. Granger Causality Test confirms the existence of bi-directional causality between women’s overall development and women’s empowerment. A unidirectional causality exists between sensitization of women and women’s empowerment.
    Keywords: Women Empowerment; labour force participation; Gender Development; Gender inequality
    JEL: D63 C22 J16 J23
    Date: 2012
  14. By: Bastani, Spencer (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: In a recent paper Alesina et al. (2011) construct a model in which different labor supply elasticities for men and women emerge endogenously from intra-household bargaining. In this paper I explore the optimal tax implications of their model in an economy with both singles and couples and inequality across as well as within households. In the model, the welfare of married women can be improved by lowering taxes for single women. Moreover, if single men earn more than single women, the welfare of married women can alternatively be improved by a gender-neutral tax scheme which taxes singles at a higher rate. Because the government is concerned not only with equalizing utilities within families, but also with the redistribution between high income and low income households, gender-based adjustments in the income tax must be weighed against the welfare consequences of changing the progressivity of the tax system. I find that larger lump-sum transfers to women is always optimal. Interestingly, marginal tax rates, on the other hand, should be lower for women only if the exogenous bargaining power of men is moderate. The welfare gains of gender based taxation are sizable and the welfare gains of having tax instruments which depend on household composition are even larger.
    Keywords: optimal taxation; tagging; family economics; intra-household bargaining
    JEL: D13 H21 J16 J20
    Date: 2012–03–28
  15. By: Daniela Del Boca (University of Turin); Chiara Monfardini (University of Bologna); Cheti Nicoletti (University of York)
    Abstract: While a large literature has focused on the impact of parental investments on child cognitive development, very little is known about the children's own investments. Information on how children use their time separately from parents is probably less informative for babies and toddlers, but it becomes more important in later stages of life, such as adolescence, when children start to take decisions independently. The objective of this research is to explore and compare the impacts of time investments by parents and children on child cognitive outcomes. By using the Child Development Supplement of the PSID (Panel Study of Income Dynamics) 1997-2007 we show that own time investments have a significant effect on cognitive outcomes of children aged 11-15, while mothers' time inputs appear less important. For younger children, the impact of mothers' time is greater.
    Keywords: time-use, cognitive ability, child development, adolescence
    JEL: J13 D1
    Date: 2012–03
  16. By: Zhang, Chuanchuan
    Abstract: Most people in rural China have no plans for retirement other than the ingrained Chinese tradition that children care for old parents. Actually there are also no sources of social support such as social old-age insurance to rely on in rural people’ old age for a long time in China. In 1992, a social old-age insurance program, rural pension program, was initiated by the Chinese government to firstly establish a social security system in China’s rural area. The rural pension program experienced rapid development in the beginning years but grounded to halt after 1998. Since either children or pension program provides support for elderly, we expected that these two can be viewed as substitutes to some extent. Using data from China’s 2005 mini-census, we find that rural people who have at least one son are less likely to participate in pension program and each additional son and daughter both decreases their participation rate. Moreover, the effect of an additional son is much larger than that of an additional daughter. In addition, both evidence from mini-census and China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study show that peasants accessing to pension are less likely to rely on their children for support in old age. These findings suggest that demand for children, especially for sons are partly driven by concerns relating to care in old age; children and formal social old-age insurance are substitutes for support in old age. We then expect that implementation of social old-age insurance may mitigate rural people’ demand for children, especially sons and thus correct China’s severe sex ratio bias to some extent. We test this hypothesis using the difference-in-differences strategy, and find that increase of sex ratio at the region level slowed down after the implementation of the rural pension program. Overall, our empirical analysis in this paper implies that sex ratio bias is partly due to demanding for sons for support in old age and carrying out social old-age insurance in rural China are helpful in mitigating demand for children and correcting sex ratio bias.
    Keywords: children; rural pension; sex ratio
    JEL: I12 J38 I38
    Date: 2011
  17. By: Knack, Stephen
    Abstract: The 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness sets targets for increased use by donors of recipient country systems for managing aid. The target is premised on a view that country systems are strengthened when donors trust recipients to manage aid funds, but undermined when donors manage aid through their own separate parallel systems. This study provides an analytical framework for understanding donors'decisions to trust or bypass country systems. Empirical tests are conducted using data from three OECD-DAC surveys designed to monitor progress toward Paris Declaration goals. Tests show that a donor's use of the recipient country's systems is positively related to: (1) the donor's share of aid provided to the recipient (a proxy for the donor's reputational stake in the country's development); (2) perceptions of corruption in the recipient country (a proxy for the trustworthiness or quality of the country's systems); and (3) public support for aid in the donor country (a proxy for the donor's risk tolerance). Findings are robust to corrections for potential sample selection, omitted variables or endogeneity bias.
    Keywords: Gender and Health,Development Economics&Aid Effectiveness,Disability,Coastal and Marine Environment,Microfinance
    Date: 2012–04–01
  18. By: Bohnet, Iris (Harvard University); van Geen, Alexandra (Harvard University); Bazerman, Max H.
    Abstract: We examine a new intervention to overcome gender biases in hiring, promotion, and job assignments: an "evaluation nudge," in which people are evaluated jointly rather than separately regarding their future performance. Evaluators are more likely to focus on individual performance in joint than in separate evaluation and on group stereotypes in separate than in joint evaluation, making joint evaluation the money-maximizing evaluation procedure. Our findings are compatible with a behavioral model of information processing and with the System 1/System 2 distinction in behavioral decision research where people have two distinct modes of thinking that are activated under certain conditions.
    JEL: C91 D03
    Date: 2012–03
  19. By: Gathmann, Christina (University of Heidelberg); Sass, Björn (University of Mannheim)
    Abstract: Previous studies report a wide range of estimates for how female labor supply responds to childcare prices. We shed new light on this question using a reform that raised the prices of public daycare. Parents respond by reducing public daycare and increasing childcare at home. Parents also reduce informal childcare indicating that public daycare and informal childcare are complements. Female labor force participation declines and the response is strongest for single parents and low-income households. The short-run effects on cognitive and non-cognitive skills are mixed, but negative for girls. Spillover effects on older siblings suggest that the policy affects the whole household, not just targeted family members.
    Keywords: childcare, labor supply, cognitive skills, family policy, Germany
    JEL: J13 J22 J18
    Date: 2012–03
  20. By: Alon Harel (Hebrew University School of Law); Uzi Segal (Boston College)
    Abstract: Since Becker (1971), a common argument against asymmetric norms that promote minority rights over those of the majority is that such policies reduce total welfare. While this may be the case, we show that there are simple environments where aggregate sum of individual utilities is actually maximized under asymmetric norms that favor minorities. We thus maintain that without information regarding individual utilities one cannot reject or promote segregation-related policies based on utilitarian arguments.
    Keywords: Utilitarianism, discrimination, segregation, minority and majority rights
    Date: 2012–02–19
  21. By: Hilary W. Hoynes; Douglas L. Miller; Jessamyn Schaller
    Abstract: In this paper we examine how business cycles affect labor market outcomes in the United States. We conduct a detailed analysis of how cycles affect outcomes differentially across persons of differing age, education, race, and gender, and we compare the cyclical sensitivity during the Great Recession to that in the early 1980s recession. We present raw tabulations and estimate a state panel data model that leverages variation across US states in the timing and severity of business cycles. We find that the impacts of the Great Recession are not uniform across demographic groups and have been felt most strongly for men, black and Hispanic workers, youth, and low education workers. These dramatic differences in the cyclicality across demographic groups are remarkably stable across three decades of time and throughout recessionary periods and expansionary periods. For the 2007 recession, these differences are largely explained by differences in exposure to cycles across industry-occupation employment.
    JEL: J11 J21
    Date: 2012–03
  22. By: Annemarie Bouman (Utrecht University); Jaco Zuijderduijn; Tine De Moor
    Abstract: In this paper we address several issues, all with the underlying intention of refining and reorienting the nuclear-hardship-debate. There is a need for such reorientation of the debate as several indicators show that the long-term outcome of this process towards a society built upon nuclear households has not lead to more hardship, quite the contrary. Nor would it be fair to claim that this outcome has to be thanked entirely to top-down provisions, and then in particular via charity. In this article we stress the institutional diversity of the solutions for hardship, and we hereby focus on one particular group in society, namely the elderly. We will demonstrate that elderly had more “agency” than is usually expected and that a combination of institutional arrangements besides the top-down provisions in which the elderly participated actively offered more resilience in society to deal with the so-called “hardship”.
    Keywords: European Marriage Pattern, agency, institutions, nuclear household
    Date: 2012–03

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