nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2013‒12‒20
ten papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
University of Munich

  1. In brief...Blackout babies: the impact of power cuts on fertility By Thiemo Fetzer; Oliver Pardo; Amar Shanghavi
  2. Childcare Availability and Female Labor Force Participation: An Empirical Examination of the Chile Crece Contigo Program By James Manley; Felipe Vasquez
  3. Are Women “Naturally” Better Credit Risks in Microcredit? Evidence from Field Experiments in Patriarchal and Matrilineal Societies in Bangladesh By Sugato Chakravarty; S. M. Zahid Iqbal; Abu Zafar M. Shahriar
  4. What happen to children's education when their parents emigrate? Evidence from Sri Lanka By Sarma, Vengadeshvaran; Parinduri, Rasyad
  5. Cutting from the future? Impact of a subsidy reduction on child care quality in the Netherlands By Yusuf Emre Akgunduz; Egbert Jongen; Paul Leseman; Janneke Plantenga
  6. Does Growing Up in a High Crime Neighborhood Affect Youth Criminal Behavior? By Anna Piil Damm; Christian Dustmann
  7. Trends in Infant Formula Rebate Contracts: Implications for the WIC Program By Oliveira, Victor; Frazao, Elizabeth; Smallwood, David
  8. Interdisciplinarity and research on local issues: evidence from a developing country By Diego Chavarro; Puay Tang; Ismael Rafols
  9. Does Household Debt Influence the Labor Supply and Benefit Claiming Decisions of Older Americans? By Barbara A. Butrica; Nadia S. Karamcheva
  10. On the Impact of Microcredit: Evidence from a Randomized Intervention in Rural Ethiopia By Jaikishan Desai; Kristin Johnson; Alessandro Tarozzi

  1. By: Thiemo Fetzer; Oliver Pardo; Amar Shanghavi
    Abstract: A rolling blackout in Colombia in the early 1990s led to a rise in unplanned births, according to research by Amar Shanghavi and colleagues. What's more, young women who became mothers after the blackout had worse outcomes in later life. The impact of power outages on fertility is an important policy issue. For example, barriers of access to family planning may translate a temporary increase in fertility into a permanent increase in the population. In addition, if a woman is at a critical stage of life, say in her teens or early adulthood, having an unintended birth could damage her educational attainment, her career development and even her romantic relationships.
    Keywords: Fertility, infrastructure, blackouts, unplanned parenthood
    JEL: J13 J16 O18 H41
    Date: 2013–12
  2. By: James Manley (Department of Economics, Towson University); Felipe Vasquez (School of Business and Economics, Universidad del Desarrollo)
    Abstract: Few works have examined the relationship between maternal participation in the labor force and the availability of child care in developing countries. Existing papers also tend to rely on relatively simplistic, correlative analysis of the data rather than modeling the joint decision to invest in formal childcare and to choose a level of labor supply. This paper takes advantage of a policy-induced positive shock in the provision of child care to apply instrumental variables in a simultaneous equations context, resulting in estimates that are more rigorous than any currently available in a developing country context. Policymakers are able to optimize their policy choices if they have better information on the elasticity of labor supply with respect to the cost of child care, and we find no evidence that the program is associated with an increase in women's labor supply.
    Keywords: Female Labor Supply, Child Care, Labor Force, Chile, CASEN, JUNJI.
    JEL: J13 J22 O12 H42
    Date: 2013–12
  3. By: Sugato Chakravarty (Purdue University); S. M. Zahid Iqbal (Purdue University); Abu Zafar M. Shahriar (Monash University)
    Abstract: We use controlled experiments to identify the proximal causes of gender differences in the repayment of microcredit. We recruit male and female subjects from a patriarchal and a matrilineal community in Bangladesh, who live in the same villages, and find that the female subjects have a greater willingness to repay microcredit in every society irrespective of the type of loan. Thus, the observed gender differences in the repayment of microcredit cannot be explained by the different roles that women play in different societies. In other words, women are “naturally” better credit risks than men in microcredit. We confirm that our results are not driven by the common culture and values among our subjects that stem from geographical proximity.
    Keywords: microfinance,nature; nurture; competition; loan repayment
    Date: 2013–12
  4. By: Sarma, Vengadeshvaran; Parinduri, Rasyad
    Abstract: We examine the effects of parental emigration from Sri Lanka on the education of the migrants' children left behind. Using access to foreign-employment agencies at community level as an instrument for migration in two-stage least squares estimations, we do not find parental migration matters on average. However, analyses by the gender of the migrants show the effects are heterogeneous: When the mothers migrate and the fathers stay behind, education of the children worsens; but, when the fathers migrate and the mothers take care of the children, it improves. There are also some evidence boys, younger children, and children of the less educated parents gain more from parental migration.
    Keywords: parental migration, children’s education, South Asia, Sri Lanka
    JEL: F22 I22 O15
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Yusuf Emre Akgunduz; Egbert Jongen; Paul Leseman; Janneke Plantenga
    Abstract: High quality child care has been consistently linked with child development and future life outcomes. We examine how process quality in child care centers is influenced by the reduction of child care subsidies. The analysis is based on a 2012 reduction in subsidies for Dutch parents. Exploiting the different types of funding for child care centers in the Netherlands, we provide linear and non-linear difference-in- difference estimates of the effects subsidy cuts have on child care quality. The results show that the subsidy reduction had a negative effect on quality, and the effects are especially strong for higher quality centers.
    Keywords: child care, ECEC, quality, subsidy
    JEL: J13 H42 L19
    Date: 2013–12
  6. By: Anna Piil Damm (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University); Christian Dustmann (University College London)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of early exposure to neighborhood crime on subsequent criminal behavior of youth exploiting a unique natural experiment between 1986 and 1998 when refugee immigrants to Denmark were assigned to neighborhoods quasi-randomly. We find strong evidence that the share of young people convicted for crimes, in particular violent crimes, in the neighborhood increases convictions of male assignees later in life. No such effects are found for other measures of neighborhood crime including the rate of committed crimes. Our findings suggest social interaction as a key channel through which neighborhood crime is linked to individual criminal behavior.
    Keywords: Neighborhood effects, criminal convictions, social interactions, random allocation
    JEL: J0 H43
    Date: 2013–12
  7. By: Oliveira, Victor; Frazao, Elizabeth; Smallwood, David
    Abstract: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is the major purchaser of infant formula in the United States. To reduce the cost of infant formula to WIC, Federal law requires that WIC State agencies operate a costcontainment system for the purchase of infant formula. Typically, WIC State agencies obtain substantial discounts in the form of rebates from the infant formula manufacturers for each can of formula purchased through the program. Contracts are awarded to the manufacturer offering the WIC State agency the lowest net price (as determined by the manufacturer’s wholesale price minus the rebate). A previous Economic Research Service study based on data through 2008 found that net prices were increasing, raising concern that this trend, if it continued, could constrain WIC’s ability to serve all eligible applicants in the future. This study, based on data through February 2013, allays that concern. Real net prices for contracts in effect in February 2013 decreased by an average 43 percent (or 23 cents per 26 fluid ounces of reconstituted formula) from the previous contracts. As a result, WIC paid $107 million less for infant formula over the course of a year, holding retail markup constant.
    Keywords: Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, WIC, infant formula, rebate, net price, ERS, USDA, Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2013–12
  8. By: Diego Chavarro (SPRU, University of Sussex, UK); Puay Tang (SPRU, University of Sussex, UK); Ismael Rafols (SPRU, University of Sussex, UK)
    Keywords: Interdisciplinary research, S&T capabilities, local knowledge, research assesment, excellence, socio-economic impact
    Date: 2013–12
  9. By: Barbara A. Butrica; Nadia S. Karamcheva
    Abstract: Americans’ indebtedness has increased dramatically since the 1980s – a trend likely to have important implications for retirement security. This study finds that older adults with debt are 8 percentage points more likely to work and 2 percentage points less likely to receive Social Security benefits than those without debt. Not only does the presence of debt influence older adults’ behavior, but so do the amount and type of debt – particularly outstanding mortgages. Increasingly, retirement security will depend on having enough income and assets to pay for basic living expenses and to service debt.
    Date: 2013–12
  10. By: Jaikishan Desai; Kristin Johnson; Alessandro Tarozzi
    Abstract: We use data from a randomized controlled trial conducted in 2003-2006 in rural Amhara and Oromiya (Ethiopia) to study the impacts of the introduction of micro finance in treated communities. We document that borrowing increased substantially in locations where the programs started their operations, but we find mixed evidence of improvements in a number of socio-economic outcomes, including income from agriculture, animal husbandry, non-farm self-employment, schooling and indicators of women's empowerment.
    Keywords: microcredit, cluster randomized controlled trial, Ethiopia
    JEL: O12 O16
    Date: 2013–10

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