nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2014‒01‒10
eleven papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
University of Munich

  1. Gender, ethnicity and cumulative disadvantage in education : evidence from Latin American and African censuses By Tas, Emcet O.; Reimao, Maira Emy; Orlando, Maria Beatriz
  2. Family Structure, Children and Night Work: Italy vs. Sweden By BARONE, Adriana; NESE, Annamaria
  3. Public health spending and infant and child mortality in India: a state-year panel analysis By Kaushal, Kaushalendra Kumar; Abhishek, Abhishek Singh; F Ram, Faujdar Ram; Subu, S V Subramanian
  4. Effects of Compulsory Schooling on Mortality: Evidence from Sweden By Fischer, Martin; Karlsson, Martin; Nilsson, Therese
  5. Human Trafficking and Regulating Prostitution By Lee, Samuel; Persson, Petra
  6. Skill premia and intergenerational education mobility: The French case By B. Ben-Halima; Nathalie Chusseau; Joel Hellier
  7. Client perceptions of the value of microinsurance: evidence from southern Ghana By Lena Giesbert; Susan Steiner
  8. Estimating the relationship between rate of time preferences and healthy lifestyle in Russia By Tatiana Kossova; Elena Kossova; Maria Sheluntcova
  9. Measuring and Comparing Health Care Waiting Times in OECD Countries By Luigi Siciliani; Valerie Moran; Michael Borowitz
  10. Rental Rates under Housing Price Uncertainty: A Real Options Approach By Honglin Wang; Fan Yu; Yinggang Zhou
  11. Outcomes, opportunity and development : why unequal opportunities and not outcomes hinder economic development By Molina, Ezequiel; Narayan, Ambar; Saavedra-Chanduvi, Jaime

  1. By: Tas, Emcet O.; Reimao, Maira Emy; Orlando, Maria Beatriz
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of gender and ethnicity on educational outcomes using cross-country evidence from Bolivia, Mexico, Peru, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. It uses the Minnesota Population Center's Integrated Public Use Microdata Series-International database, which includes individual-level data from large, harmonized, and representative samples of country censuses. Using an estimation method analogous to difference-in-differences, the paper finds that gender-based differences in literacy, primary school completion, and secondary school completion are larger for minority ethnic groups compared with others or, alternatively, ethnicity-based differences are larger for women compared with men. The findings suggest that the intersection of gender and ethnicity confers cumulative disadvantage for minority groups, especially in Latin America. The paper discusses the implications of these findings on the design of, targeting in, and resource allocation for development programs.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Education For All,Primary Education,Disability,Gender and Development
    Date: 2013–12–01
  2. By: BARONE, Adriana (CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno - Italy); NESE, Annamaria (CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno - Italy)
    Abstract: The present paper analyses the probability of night work among Italian females. Using data from the 2010 LFS our results indicate that in Italy women's choices are affected by family structure: the probability of working at night is lower when children are less than two years of age, but it increases when children grow up and in the case of divorce. We also perform a comparative analysis of the choice to work at night between Italy and Sweden, taking into account the different socio-cultural norms and institutional contexts.
    Keywords: Family Structure; Children; Night Work
    JEL: J12 J13 J22
    Date: 2013–12–30
  3. By: Kaushal, Kaushalendra Kumar; Abhishek, Abhishek Singh; F Ram, Faujdar Ram; Subu, S V Subramanian
    Abstract: Background: To investigate the association between public health spending and probability of infant and child death in India. Methods: We used data from the three rounds of National Family Health Survey (NFHS) conducted in India during 1992-93, 1998-99 and 2005-06 to investigate the association between public health spending and probability of infant and child death. We used data from the birth history of three NFHS rounds to create state-year panels of births, infant and child deaths, state-level public finance variables, food grain production, household and individual variables for the period 1980-2005. Two-stage probit regression model is used to investigate the association. State-level per capita gross fiscal deficit is used as an instrument for estimating two-stage probit model. Findings: Findings suggest association between public health spending and infant and child mortality in India. A 10% increase in per capita public health spending is likely to reduce the probability of infant and child deaths by 0•005 (95% CI: 0•003, 0•007) and 0•003 (95% CI: 0•002, 0•004) respectively. The second and third lags of public health spending were also statistically significant. Other factors affecting infant and child death were sex of the child, birth order, mother’s age at birth of the index child, mother’s schooling and urban-rural residence. Interpretation: Public health spending was associated with probability of infant and child death in India. Our findings lend support to the government’s initiative to increase public health spending in India.
    Keywords: India, Public Spending on Health, infant and child mortality, Endogeneity, two-stage probit regression, instrument
    JEL: I18 I3 I38
    Date: 2013–09–06
  4. By: Fischer, Martin (University of Duisburg-Essen); Karlsson, Martin (University of Duisburg-Essen); Nilsson, Therese (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: Theoretically, there are several reasons to expect education to have a positive effect on health and empirical research suggests that education can be an important health determinant. However, it has not yet been established whether education and health are indeed causally related, and the effects found in previous studies may be partially attributable to methodological weaknesses. Moreover, existing evidence on the education-health relationship using information of schooling reforms for identification, generally use information from fairly recent reforms implying that health outcomes are observed only over a limited time period. This paper examines the effect of education on mortality using information on a national roll-out of a reform leading to one extra year of compulsory schooling in Sweden. In 1936, the national government made a seventh school year compulsory; however, the implementation was decided at the school district level, and the reform was implemented over a period of 12 years. Taking advantage of the variation in the timing of the implementation across school districts, by using county-level proportions of reformed districts, census data and administrative mortality data, we find that the extra compulsory school year reduced mortality. In fact, the mortality reduction is discernible already before the age of 30 and then grows in magnitude until the age of 55–60.
    Keywords: Returns to schooling; Education Reform; Mortality
    JEL: I12 I18 I21
    Date: 2013–12–03
  5. By: Lee, Samuel (New York University); Persson, Petra (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: We study sex trafficking in a marriage market model of prostitution. When traffickers can coerce women to sell sex, trafficked prostitutes constitute a non-zero share of supply in any unregulated market for sex. We ask if regulation can eradicate trafficking and restore the equilibrium that would arise in an unregulated market without traffickers. While all existing approaches – criminalization of prostitutes (“the traditional model”), licensed prostitution (“the Dutch model”), and criminalization of johns (“the Swedish model”) – fail to accomplish this goal, we show that there exists an alternative regulatory model that does. Political support for regulation hinges on the level of gender income inequality.
    Keywords: Prostitution; Trafficking; Contemporary slavery; Marriage; Illegal goods
    JEL: D10 J16 J47 J49 K14 K23
    Date: 2013–12–13
  6. By: B. Ben-Halima (EQUIPPE, University of Lille 1, France); Nathalie Chusseau (EQUIPPE, University of Lille 1, France); Joel Hellier (EQUIPPE, University of Lille 1 and LEMNA, IEMN-IAE, France)
    Abstract: In the case of France, we analyse the changes in the wage value of each education level and the impact of parents' education and income upon the education attainment of children, sons and daughters. We find a critical decline in the skill premium of the Baccalaureat (`bac') in relation to the lowest educational level, and an increase in the skill premia of higher education degrees in relation to the bac, which is however not large enough to erase the decrease in all the skill premia relative to the lowest education. We also find a significant rise in the impact of family backgrounds upon education from 1993 to 2003, i.e. a decrease in intergenerational education mobility, which primarily derives from higher impact of parental incomes. Finally, the gender wage gap is particularly large for the lowest and the highest education degrees, and ntergenerational persistence is greater for sons than for daughters.
    Keywords: Family backgrounds, intergenerational education mobility, skill premium.
    JEL: I2 J24 J31
    Date: 2013–11
  7. By: Lena Giesbert; Susan Steiner
    Abstract: Abstract India has one of the highest underweight burdens in the world, with signs of rising obesity. Coexistence of underweight and overweight women is symptomatic of the double burden of malnutrition. The present study aims to throw new light on the double burden of malnuThe uptake of microinsurance in developing countries falls short of projections, which has recently made stakeholders focus on client value. However, empirical research on what constitutes client value in microinsurance has been limited. As a starting point for further investigations, we draw a first conceptual sketch of the dimensions of client value. Our analysis is based on qualitative data from focus group discussions among both existing and potential clients of a micro life insurance in southern Ghana. Using a multidimensional approach, we show that client value is based on the perceived quality, costs and consumption outcome, as well as the emotional and social value of micro life insurance. In their value judgments, focus group participants particularly emphasize the quality of customer service provision, the (expected) insurance benefits, and positive emotions associated with insurance coverage. The evaluation of the value of the microinsurance under study is mixed. We therefore also investigate why clients form the value perceptions they do. This investigation finds that large discrepancies between people’s expectations and experiences reduce the perceived value of the insurance product. It shows that contextual factors, such as clients’ knowledge about insurance, their interaction with peers, and the availability and effectiveness of alternative risk management options, largely shape whether they perceive high or low value in micro life insurance.trition among Indian women in the age group 22-49 years. The analysis is based on a nationally representative household survey, InAlthough growth has improved substantially in most African countries in recent years, poverty across the continent has fallen very little in the aggregate, even though there have been outstanding performances by some countries. Indeed, some African countries have slipped back, and exhibit higher poverty rates than in 1990. This paper seeks to understand the reasons for this variance between countries; the reasons why, certainly if one uses headcount poverty data, there are ‘two Africas’, one with powerful ability to reduce poverty and one without. We argue that some of the reasons for this difference are rooted in colonial times, and those countries which developed dynamic exports of smallholder cash crops, the ‘peasant export economies’, received a headstart in relation to mineral- and large farm-based economies, because of the more equitable income distribution which labour-intensive, smallholder-based economies generate. However, in the post-colonial period, many peasant export economies wasted this headstart, and some mine/plantation economies were able to transcend the limitation of not having received one. The key reasons for this evolution, we argue, lie in the motivation and ability of African elites to form pro-poor coalitions, which in some cases were then able to implement tax and expenditure policies with the ability to bring a pro-poor pattern of growth into being. This story is tested both econometrically and by means of four contrasted country case studies.dia Human Development Survey, 2005. The results indicate that the factors underlying this burden include socio-economic status (SES), location, marital status, age, education, physical activity, media exposure, and dietary composition and frequency of eating. We find that there is a socio-economic patterning of underweight and overweight women, with a large concentration of underweight women among those with a low SES and of overweight women among high SES. Given that the health implications of being underweight and overweight are grim, it is imperative that there is a simultaneous increase in the focus on the health needs of overweight and obese people and on the needs of the large number of severely undernourished people in society. For Indian women, the glaring health/nutrition disparities are matched only by the grimness of their existence and survival prospects.
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Tatiana Kossova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Elena Kossova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Maria Sheluntcova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper aims to reveal the relationship between rate of time preferences (RTP) and healthy lifestyles of Russians. This rate shows individual preferences for the distribution of consumption over time. We examine such healthy and unhealthy behavior as smoking, drinking alcohol, doing physical exercise and having medical check-ups. The research is based on data from a survey which was conducted by the Yuri Levada Analytical Center in 2011. Our findings suggest that the RTP along with such factors as age, gender, marital status, income, health status and employment status influence the lifestyle of Russians
    Keywords: rate of time preferences, individual discount rate, healthy lifestyle, smoking, drinking, physical exercises, medical check-ups, Russia
    JEL: D9 I1
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Luigi Siciliani; Valerie Moran; Michael Borowitz
    Abstract: Waiting times for elective (non-emergency) treatments are a key health policy concern in several OECD countries. This study describes common measures on waiting times across OECD countries from administrative data. It focuses on common elective procedures, like hip and knee replacement, and cataract surgery, where waiting times are notoriously long. It provides comparative data on waiting times across twelve OECD countries and presents trends in waiting times in the last decade. Waiting times appear to be low in the Netherlands and Denmark. In the last decade the United Kingdom (in particular England), Finland and the Netherlands have witnessed large reductions in waiting times which can be attributed to a range of policy initiatives, including higher spending, waiting-times target schemes, and incentive mechanisms which reward higher levels of activity. The negative trend in these countries has however halted in recent years and in some cases reverted. The analysis also emphasizes systematic differences across different waiting-time measures, in particular between the distribution of waiting times of patients treated versus the one of patients on the list. For example, the mean waiting time of patients on the list is generally higher than the mean waiting time of patients treated though we can find examples of the opposite. Mean waiting times are systematically higher than median waiting times and the difference can be quantitatively large. Les délais d'attente pour les traitements électifs (non urgents) constituent un problème majeur de la politique de santé dans plusieurs pays de l'OCDE. Cette étude fondée sur des données administratives décrit les mesures courantes pour réduire les temps d'attente dans les pays de l'OCDE. Elle se concentre sur les interventions non urgentes pratiquées dans les pays, comme le remplacement de la hanche et du genou ainsi que la chirurgie de la cataracte, pour lesquels les délais d'attente sont connus pour être longs. Elle fournit des données comparatives sur les délais d’attente dans douze pays de l'OCDE et montre comment ils ont évolué ces dix dernières années. Ainsi, ils paraissent être courts aux Pays-Bas et au Danemark. Ces dix dernières années, le Royaume-Uni (en particulier l’Angleterre), la Finlande et les Pays-Bas ont vu leurs délais d’attente se réduire considérablement, ceci pouvant être attribué à une série d'initiatives stratégiques, comme une hausse des dépenses, la mise en place de systèmes d’objectif des délais d’attente et des mécanismes d'incitation récompensant des niveaux d'activité plus élevés. La réduction des délais d’attente dans ces pays s’est toutefois interrompue depuis quelques années et, dans certains cas, ils sont même revenus à la hausse. L'analyse souligne également des différences systématiques entre les différentes mesures relatives aux délais d'attente, en particulier entre la répartition des délais d’attente des patients traités et celle des personnes inscrites sur des listes d'attente. Par exemple, le délai d’attente moyen des patients sur une liste est généralement plus élevé que celui des patients traités, bien qu’il existe des contreexemples. Les délais d’attente moyens sont systématiquement plus élevés que les délais d’attente médians et la différence peut être quantitativement importante.
    JEL: I10 I18
    Date: 2013–11–18
  10. By: Honglin Wang (Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research); Fan Yu (Claremont McKenna College); Yinggang Zhou (The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)
    Abstract: The conventional wisdom that house prices are the present value of future rents ignores the fact that rents are not discretionary as in dividends on stocks. Housing price uncertainty can affect household property investment, which in turn affects rent. By extending the theory of investment under uncertainty, we model the renter's decision to buy a house and the landlord's decision to sell as real options of waiting and examine real options effects on rent. Using unique data from Hong Kong, we find significant a causal effect of house prices on rents and draw important policy implications.
    Keywords: Investment Under Uncertainty, Real Options, House Price, Rent, Causal Effect
    Date: 2013–11
  11. By: Molina, Ezequiel; Narayan, Ambar; Saavedra-Chanduvi, Jaime
    Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between inequality of opportunity and development outcomes in a cross-country setting. Scholars have long debated the impact of inequality on growth, development, and the quality of institutions in a society. The empirical relationships are however confounded by the notion that"inequality"can be seen as a composite of inequality arising from differences in effort and ability, which would tend to encourage competition and productivity, and inequality attributable to unequal opportunities, particularly in terms of access to basic goods and services, which might translate to wasted human potential and lower levels of development. The analysis in this paper applies a measure of educational opportunities that incorporates inequality between"types"or circumstance groups. Theories from economic history are used to instrument for this type of inequality in a large cross-country dataset. The results seem to confirm the hypothesis that this measure of inequality of opportunity is a better fit for structural inequality than the Gini index of income. The results suggest that inequality of endowments at the outset of history led to unequal educational opportunities, which in turn affected development outcomes such as institutional quality, infant mortality, and economic growth. The findings are robust to several checks on the instrumental variable specification.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Population Policies,Inequality,Poverty Impact Evaluation,Information Security&Privacy
    Date: 2013–12–01

This nep-dem issue is ©2014 by Michele Battisti. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.