nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2014‒03‒01
twelve papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
University of Munich

  1. Tariffs, Social Status, and Gender in India By Anukriti, S; Kumler, Todd J.
  2. Gender Gaps in Spain: Policies and Outcomes over the Last Three Decades By Nezih Guner; Ezgi Kaya; Virginia Sánchez-Marcos
  3. Sons as Widowhood Insurance: Evidence from Senegal By Sylvie Lambert; Pauline Rossi
  4. The Quiet Revolution and the Family: Gender Composition of Tertiary Education and Early Fertility Patterns By Alena Bicakova; Stepan Jurajda
  5. The Impact of Eliminating a Child Benefit on Birth Timing and Infant Health By Borra, Cristina; Gonzalez, Libertad; Sevilla, Almudena
  6. Food for Thought? Breastfeeding and Child Development By Emla Fitzsimons; Marcos Vera-Hernández
  7. Immigrants and Demography: Marriage, Divorce, and Fertility By Adsera, Alicia; Ferrer, Ana
  8. Retirement Security in an Aging Society By James M. Poterba
  9. The Divorce Revolution and Generalized Trust: Evidence from the United States 1973-2010 By Viitanen, Tarja
  10. Do parents matter? Occupational outcomes among ethnic minorities and British natives in England and Wales (2009-2010) By Carolina V. Zuccotti
  11. Does Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program Improve Child Nutrition? By Legesse Debela, Bethelhem; Shively, Gerald; Holden, Stein
  12. Life-Cycle Consumption and Children By Thomas H. Jørgensen

  1. By: Anukriti, S (Boston College); Kumler, Todd J. (Columbia University)
    Abstract: This paper shows that trade policy can have significant intergenerational distributional effects across gender and social strata. We compare women and births in rural Indian districts more or less exposed to tariff cuts. For low socioeconomic status women, tariff cuts increase the likelihood of a female birth and these daughters are less likely to die during infancy and childhood. On the contrary, high-status women are less likely to give birth to girls and their daughters have higher mortality rates when more exposed to tariff declines. Consistent with the fertility-sex ratio trade-off in high son preference societies, fertility increases for low-status women and decreases for high-status women. An exploration of the mechanisms suggests that the labor market returns for low-status women (relative to men) and high-status men (relative to women) have increased in response to trade liberalization. Thus, altered expectations about future returns from daughters relative to sons seem to have caused families to change the sex-composition of and health investments in their children.
    Keywords: trade liberalization, India, gender, sex ratio, child mortality, fertility
    JEL: F13 I15 J12 J13 J16 J82 O15 O18 O19 O24
    Date: 2014–02
  2. By: Nezih Guner; Ezgi Kaya; Virginia Sánchez-Marcos
    Abstract: We document recent trends in gender equality in employment and wages in Spain. Despite an impressive decline in the gender gap in employment, females are still less likely to work than males: about 76% of working age males and 63% of working age females were employed in 2010. If females work they are more likely to be employed part time and with temporary contracts. The large increase in female employment, from 28% in 1977 to 63% in 2010, was accompanied by a significant decline in fertility. The gender gap in wages, after controlling for worker and job characteristics as well as for selection, is high. It was about 20% in 2010, quite close to its value in 1994. Furthermore, the gender gap in wages is driven mainly by differences in returns to individual characteristics. While women are more qualified than men in observable labor market characteristics, they end up earning less. There have been several important policy changes that try to help families reconcile family responsibilities with market work. The existing literature suggests that households do react to incentives generated by different policies and policy changes are at least partly responsible for changes in female labor supply. In recent decades, the large inflow of immigrants, who provided relatively cheap household services, allowed more educated women to enter the labor market. Policy challenges, however, remain.
    Keywords: gender employment gap, gender wage gap, occupational segregation, quantile regressions, selection, public policy
    JEL: J16 J21 J22 J24
    Date: 2014–02
  3. By: Sylvie Lambert (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris); Pauline Rossi (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - INSEE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique)
    Abstract: Exploiting original data from a Senegalese household survey, we provide evidence that fertility choices are partly driven by women's needs for widowhood insurance. We use a duration model of birth intervals to show that women most exposed to the risk of widowhood intensify their fertility until they get a son. Insurance through sons entails substantial health costs : short birth spacing raises maternal and infant mortality rates.
    Keywords: Intra-household insurance ; Gender ; Fertility ; Health ; Senegal
    Date: 2014–02–17
  4. By: Alena Bicakova; Stepan Jurajda
    Abstract: It is well known that highly 'female' fields of study in tertiary education are characterized by higher fertility. However, existing work does not disentangle the selection- causality nexus. We use variation in gender composition of fields of study implied by the recent expansion of tertiary education in 19 European countries and a difference- in-differences research design, to show that the share of women on study peer groups affects early fertility levels only little. Early fertility by endogamous couples, i.e., by tertiary graduates from the same field of study, declines for women and increases for men with the share of women in the group, but non-endogamous fertility almost fully compensates for these effects, consistent with higher early fertility in highly 'female' fields of study being driven by selection of family-oriented students into these fields. We also show that the EU-wide level of gender segregation across fields of study has not changed since 2000.
    Keywords: field-of-study gender segregation; tertiary graduates; fertility;
    JEL: I23 J13 J16
    Date: 2014–01
  5. By: Borra, Cristina (University of Seville); Gonzalez, Libertad (Universitat Pompeu Fabra); Sevilla, Almudena (Queen Mary, University of London)
    Abstract: We study the effects of the cancellation of a sizeable child benefit in Spain on birth timing and neonatal health. In May 2010, the government announced that a 2,500-euro universal "baby bonus" would stop being paid to babies born on or after January 1st, 2011. We use detailed micro data from birth certificates from 2000 to 2011, and find that more than 2,000 families were able to anticipate the date of birth of their babies from (early) January 2011 to (late) December 2010 (for a total of about 9,000 births a week nationally). This shifting of deliveries led to a significant increase in the number of low birth weight babies, as well as a peak in neonatal mortality. These results suggest that announcement effects are important in shaping economic decisions and outcomes. They also provide new, credible evidence highlighting the negative health consequences of scheduling births for non-medical reasons.
    Keywords: incentives, policy change, fertility, child health
    JEL: H00 H30 J00 J13 J17
    Date: 2014–02
  6. By: Emla Fitzsimons (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London); Marcos Vera-Hernández (University College London)
    Abstract: We show that children who are born at the weekend or just before are less likely to be breastfed, owing to poorer breastfeeding support services at weekends. We use this variation to estimate the effect of breastfeeding on children’s development for a sample of uncomplicated births from low educated mothers. We find that breastfeeding has large effects on children’s cognitive development, but not on non-cognitive development or health. Regarding mechanisms, we estimate how breastfeeding affects parental investments in the child and the quality of the mother-child relationship.
    Keywords: Breastfeeding; timing of birth; hospital support; instrumental variables; optimal instruments; cognitive and non-cognitive development; health.
    JEL: I14 I18 J13
    Date: 2014–02–17
  7. By: Adsera, Alicia (Princeton University); Ferrer, Ana (University of Waterloo)
    Abstract: This is a draft chapter for B. R. Chiswick and P. W. Miller (eds.) Handbook on the Economics of International Migration. It discusses some of the data and methodological challenges to estimating trends in family formation and union dissolution as well as fertility among immigrants, and examines the evidence collected from the main studies in the area. The literature on immigrant family formation is diverse but perhaps the key findings highlighted in this chapter are that outcomes depend greatly on the age at migration and on the cultural norms immigrants bring with them and their distance to those of the host country. With regard to marriage we focus on the determinants of intermarriage, the stability of these unions, and the timing of union formation. The last section of the chapter reviews, among other things, a set of mechanisms that may explain the fertility behavior of first generation immigrants; namely, selection, disruption and adaptation. The section ends with a focus on the second generation.
    Keywords: age at migration, immigrant intermarriage, union dissolution, immigrant fertility, fertility disruption, adaptation, second generation, culture
    JEL: J11 J12 J13 J15
    Date: 2014–02
  8. By: James M. Poterba
    Abstract: The share of the U.S. population over the age of 65 was 8.1 percent in 1950, 12.4 percent in 2000, and is projected to reach 20.9 percent by 2050. The percent over 85 is projected to more than double from current levels, reaching 4.2 percent by mid-century. The aging of the U.S. population makes issues of retirement security increasingly important. Elderly individuals exhibit wide disparities in their sources of income. For those in the bottom half of the income distribution, Social Security is the most important source of support; program changes would directly affect their well-being. Income from private pensions, assets, and earnings are relatively more important for higher-income elderly individuals, who have more diverse income sources. The trend from private sector defined benefit to defined contribution pension plans has shifted a greater share of the responsibility for retirement security to individuals, and made that security more dependent on choices they make. A significant subset of the population is unlikely to be able to sustain their standard of living in retirement without higher pre-retirement saving.
    JEL: E21 G11 H55 J14
    Date: 2014–02
  9. By: Viitanen, Tarja (University of Otago)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of exposure to a culture of easier divorce as a minor on generalized trust using the General Social Survey from 1973-2010. The easier divorce culture is defined as the introduction of no-fault including unilateral divorce reforms across the US. According to the results, the divorce revolution seems to have had some effect on trust levels across the US. While there are no discernible effects for the whole sample of men, there are statistically significant effects for women with an additional year of exposure being associated with a 4 percentage point lower generalized trust in the states with easy divorce culture compared to states with fault based divorce culture. An analysis by sub-group of women indicates that married and divorced/separated women have significantly lower levels of trust associated with exposure to easy divorce culture as a child. The findings are in agreement with the predictions of previous literature regarding no-fault divorce reforms reducing the security offered by marriage, in particular for women.
    Keywords: divorce laws, trust, GSS, panel data analysis
    JEL: J12 K36 Z13
    Date: 2014–02
  10. By: Carolina V. Zuccotti (European University Institute)
    Abstract: The paper studies the role of class of origin in the occupational outcomes of ethnic minorities and British natives in the UK. Two main hypotheses are tested. The first states that the class of origin helps explaining differences in occupational outcomes between ethnic minorities and natives (due to a higher concentration of low parental classes among the former). The second says that social reproduction processes vary between groups (due to divergent explanatory mechanisms). Using data from the United Kingdom Housing Longitudinal Study (Wave 1), the paper finds partial evidence for both hypotheses. Most importantly, it reveals that the lower social reproduction of Pakistani, Caribbean and African men has particularly negative consequences for higher educated minorities, who do not gain – as the natives do – from more advantageous origins. On the other hand, it also shows that the higher social reproduction of Bangladeshi women benefits those with lower educational levels.
    Keywords: Ethnic minorities; England and Wales; second generation; social mobility; status attainment
    JEL: J15
    Date: 2014–02–20
  11. By: Legesse Debela, Bethelhem (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Shively, Gerald (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences); Holden, Stein (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: We study the link between Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) and short-run nutrition outcomes among children age 5 years and younger. We use 2006 and 2010 survey data from Northern Ethiopia to estimate parameters of an exogenous switching regression. This allows us to measure the differential impacts of household characteristics on weight-for-height Z-score of children in member and non-member households in PSNP. We find that the magnitude and significance of household covariates differ in samples of children from PSNP and non-PSNP households. Controlling for a set of observable features of children and households we find that children in member households have weight-for-height Z-scores that are 0.55 points higher than those of children in non-member households. We conclude that the PSNP is providing positive short-term nutritional benefits for children, especially in those households that are able to leverage underemployed female labor.
    Keywords: anthropometrics; Ethiopia; food security; nutrition; safety net
    JEL: I15 I38
    Date: 2014–02–18
  12. By: Thomas H. Jørgensen (Copenhagen University)
    Abstract: I show that conventional estimators based on the consumption Euler equation, extensively used in studies of intertemporal consumption behavior, produce inconsistent estimates of the effect of children on consumption if potentially binding credit constraints are ignored. As a more constructive contribution, I supply a tractable approach to obtaining bounds on the effect of children and a structural estimation strategy when households face constraints. Finally, I estimate the effect of children on consumption using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) for the US and high quality Danish administrative register data. Results suggest that children does not affect household consumption in the same magnitude previously assumed.
    Keywords: Consumption, Children, Life Cycle, Credit Constraints, Structural Estimation
    JEL: D12 D14 D91 E21
    Date: 2014–01–21

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