nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2014‒03‒22
thirteen papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
University of Munich

  1. Suicide and Property Rights in India By Siwan Anderson; Garance Genicot
  2. Women’s Empowerment in Action: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in Africa By Oriana Bandiera; Niklas Buehren; Robin Burgess; Markus Goldstein; Selim Gulesci; Imran Rasul; Munshi Sulaiman
  3. Motherhood after the age of 35 in Poland By Anna Rybiñska
  4. Endogenous fertility with a sibship size effect. By Elise S. Brezis; Rodolphe Dos Santos Ferreira
  5. Newborn Health and the Business Cycle: Is It Good to Be Born in Bad Times? By Aparicio Fenoll, Ainhoa; Gonzalez, Libertad
  6. Demographic transitions in Europe and the world By Frans J. Willekens
  7. Does grief transfer across generations? In-utero deaths and child outcomes By Sandra E. Black; Paul J. Devereux; Kjell G. Salvanes
  8. Female labor force participation and economic growth– re-examination of U-shaped curve By Ewa Lechman
  9. The Power of the Purse: New Evidence on the Distribution of Income and Expenditures within the Family from a Canadian Experiment By Catherine Haeck; Pierre Lefebvre; Xiaozhou Zhou
  10. Does Secular Education Impact Religiosity, Electoral Participation and the Propensity to Vote for Islamic Parties? Evidence from an Education Reform in a Muslim Country By Cesur, Resul; Mocan, Naci
  11. The Quantity and Quality of Children: A Semi-Parametric Bayesian IV Approach By Frühwirth-Schnatter, Sylvia; Halla, Martin; Posekany, Alexandra; Pruckner, Gerald J.; Schober, Thomas
  12. Scraping by: Income and program participation after the loss of extended unemployment benefits By Rothstein, Jesse; Valletta, Robert G.
  13. Education Promoted Secularization By Becker, Sascha O.; Nagler, Markus; Woessmann, Ludger

  1. By: Siwan Anderson; Garance Genicot
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of female property rights on male and female suicide rates in India. Using state level variation in legal changes to women's property rights, we show that better property rights for women are associated with a decrease in the difference between female and male suicide rates, but an increase in both male and female suicides. We conjecture that increasing female property rights increased conflict within household and this increased conflict resulted in more suicides among both men and women in India. Using individual level data on domestic violence we find evidence that increased property rights for women did increase the incidence of wife beating in India. A model of intra-household bargaining with asymmetric information and costly conflict is consistent with these findings.
    JEL: D1 K36 O1
    Date: 2014–03
  2. By: Oriana Bandiera; Niklas Buehren; Robin Burgess; Markus Goldstein; Selim Gulesci; Imran Rasul; Munshi Sulaiman
    Abstract: Women in developing countries are disempowered relative to their contemporaries in developed countries. High youth unemployment and early marriage and childbearing interact to limit human capital investment and enforce dependence on men. In this paper we evaluate an attempt to jump-start adolescent women's empowerment in the world's second youngest country: Uganda. In this two-pronged intervention, adolescent girls are simultaneously provided vocational training and information on sex, reproduction and marriage. Relative to adolescents in control communities, after two years the intervention raises the likelihood that girls engage in income generating activities by 72% (mainly driven by increased participation in self-employment), and raises their monthly consumption expenditures by 41%. Teen pregnancy falls by 26%, and early entry into marriage/cohabitation falls by 58%. Strikingly, the share of girls reporting sex against their will drops from 14% to almost half that level and preferred ages of marriage and childbearing both move forward. The findings indicate that women's economic and social empowerment can be jump-started through the combined provision of vocational and life skills, and is not necessarily held back by insurmountable constraints arising from binding social norms.
    JEL: I25 J13 J24 O12
    Date: 2014–03
  3. By: Anna Rybiñska (Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics)
    Abstract: Postponing motherhood is a widespread phenomenon across developed countries however only few studies look into late motherhood in post-socialist countries, especially on a micro-scale. In this study, I look at the context of the first childbirth in Poland in the midst of the political transformation of 1989. Employing sequence analysis I reconstructed life trajectories of women who experienced the transition to adulthood during the late 1980's and the early 1990's and have just recently completed their fertility histories. Individual data from the 2011 GGS-PL and the 2011 FAMWELL Survey were used. Comparing paths of their lives, I searched for differences in terms of educational, professional and conjugal careers between women who gave birth before the age of 30 and after the age of 35. The results show how various life careers crisscross over the life course leading women to late motherhood.
    Keywords: late motherhood, fertility postponement, sequence analysis, life course, Poland
    JEL: J13
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Elise S. Brezis; Rodolphe Dos Santos Ferreira
    Abstract: Since the seminal work of Becker, the dynamics of endogenous fertility has been based on the trade-off faced by parents between the quantity and the quality of their children. However, in developing countries, when child labor is an indispensable source of household income, parents actually incur a negative cost for having an extra child, so that the trade-off disappears. The purpose of this paper is to restore the Beckerian quantity-quality trade-off in the case intergenerational transfers are upstream, so as to keep fertility endogenous. We do that by adding a negative “sibship size effect” on human capital formation to the standard Becker model. With a simple specification, we obtain multiplicity of steady states or, more fundamentally, the possibility of a jump from a state with high fertility and low income to a state with low fertility and high income, triggered by a continuous increase in the productivity of human capital formation.
    Keywords: Endogenous fertility, Intergenerational transfers, Human capital formation, Demographic transition.
    JEL: E24 J13
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Aparicio Fenoll, Ainhoa (Collegio Carlo Alberto); Gonzalez, Libertad (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
    Abstract: We study the effect of the cycle on the health of newborn babies using 30 years of birth-certificate data for Spain. We find that babies are born healthier when the local unemployment rate is high. Although fertility is lower during recessions, the effect on health is not the result of selection, since the main result survives the inclusion of parents' fixed-effects. Analysis of National Health Survey data shows that fertility-age women engage in healthier behaviors during recessions (in terms of exercise, sleep, smoking and drinking) and report better overall health. We conclude that maternal health is a plausible mediating channel.
    Keywords: newborn health, business cycle, Spain
    JEL: E32 I10 J13
    Date: 2014–03
  6. By: Frans J. Willekens (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: The demographic transition is a universal phenomenon. All regions of the world experience a change from high levels of mortality and fertility to low levels. The onset and pace of the demographic transition vary between regions and countries because of differences in timing of events and conditions that trigger the transition. As a consequence, we observe diverging trends in population growth and ageing around the world. The paper shows that transitions in mortality, fertility and migration have several features in common. Demographic transitions are intertwined with science and technology, the economy, cultural change and social and political processes. The interaction between these processes take place at the level of the individual, not at the population level. The human desire for a long and fulfilling life is the main driver of demographic change. Science and technology provide instruments to control demographic processes but the use of these instruments is conditioned by economic and cultural change. Individuals are more likely to act if they are aware that they can influence the outcome of their action, the outcome is beneficial and they have the instruments to exercise control. The pace of a transition depends on (a) diffusion processes that govern the transmission of values, preferences, norms and practices and (b) inertia in a population due to its composition. Keywords: Demographic transition, path dependence, diffusion, agency, demographic dividends
    Keywords: demographic transition
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2014–03
  7. By: Sandra E. Black; Paul J. Devereux; Kjell G. Salvanes
    Abstract: While much is now known about the effects of physical health shocks to pregnant women on the outcomes of the in-utero child, we know little about the effects of psychological stresses. One clear form of stress to the mother comes from the death of a parent. We examine the effects of the death of the mother’s parent during pregnancy on both the short-run and the long-run outcomes of the infant. Our primary specification involves using mother fixed effects—comparing the outcomes of two children with the same mother but where a parent of the mother died during one of the pregnancies—augmented with a control for whether there is a death around the time of the pregnancy in order to isolate true causal effects of a bereavement during pregnancy. We find small negative effects on birth outcomes, and these effects are bigger for boys than for girls. The effects on birth outcomes seems to be driven by deaths due to cardiovascular causes suggesting that sudden deaths are more difficult to deal with. However, we find no evidence of adverse effects on adult outcomes. The results are robust to alternative specifications.
    JEL: I1 I2 J13
    Date: 2014–03
  8. By: Ewa Lechman (Gdansk University of Technology, Gdansk, Poland)
    Abstract: The paper contributes by providing new insights into the relationship between female labor force and economic growth in 162 countries over the period 1990-2012. We anticipate uncovering U-shaped impact of economic growth on female labor force. To examine the previous we deploy longitudinal data analysis assuming non-linearity between variables. Our main findings support the hypothesis on U-shaped relationship between female labor force participation and economic growth, however high cross-country variability on the field is evident.
    Keywords: female labor force, women, economic growth, U-shaped curve, panel data
    JEL: J21 O10 O50
    Date: 2014–03
  9. By: Catherine Haeck; Pierre Lefebvre; Xiaozhou Zhou
    Abstract: To increase mother’s participation in the labour market and enhance child development, the Canadian province of Québec developed from 1997 a large scale low-fee childcare network. Previous studies have shown that the policy has significantly increased the labour force participation and annual weeks worked of mothers with children exposed to the program. Using Statistics Canada’s annual 1997 to 2009 Survey on Households Spending we document the increase in the maternal share of total household income in Québec and use of instrumental variables approach to estimate the impact of the policy on intra-household expenditures. The results show that more income in the hands of mothers impacts the expenditures structure within the household by raising budget shares on expenditures related to children, family goods and services having a collective aspect.
    Keywords: Childcare policy, mother’s labor supply, intrahousehold expenditures, treatment effects, natural experiment
    JEL: H42 J21 J22
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Cesur, Resul (University of Connecticut); Mocan, Naci (Louisiana State University)
    Abstract: Using a unique survey of adults in Turkey, we find that an increase in educational attainment, due to an exogenous secular education reform, decreases women's propensity to identify themselves as religious, lowers their tendency to wear a religious head cover (head scarf, turban or burka) and increases the tendency for modernity. Education reduces women's propensity to vote for Islamic parties. There is no statistically significant impact of education on men's religiosity or their tendency to vote for Islamic parties and education does not influence the propensity to cast a vote in national elections for men or women. The impact of education on religiosity and voting preference is not working through migration, residential location or labor force participation.
    Keywords: education, religion, Islam, Muslim, voting, modernity, head scarf, burka, Islamic party
    JEL: I2 Z12 D72
    Date: 2014–03
  11. By: Frühwirth-Schnatter, Sylvia (Vienna University of Economics and Business); Halla, Martin (University of Linz); Posekany, Alexandra (Vienna University of Economics and Business); Pruckner, Gerald J. (University of Linz); Schober, Thomas (University of Linz)
    Abstract: Prior empirical research on the theoretically proposed interaction between the quantity and the quality of children builds on exogenous variation in family size due to twin births and focuses on human capital outcomes. The typical finding can be described as a statistically nonsignificant two-stage least squares (2SLS) estimate, with substantial standard errors. We regard these conclusions of no empirical support for the quantity-quality trade-off as premature and, therefore, extend the empirical approach in two ways. First, we add health as an additional outcome dimension. Second, we apply a semi-parametric Bayesian IV approach for econometric inference. Our estimation results substantiate the finding of a zero effect: we provide estimates with an increased precision by a factor of approximately twenty-three, for a broader set of outcomes.
    Keywords: quantity-quality model of fertility, family size, human capital, health, semi-parametric Bayesian IV approach
    JEL: J13 C26 C11 I20 J20 I10
    Date: 2014–03
  12. By: Rothstein, Jesse (University of California, Berkeley); Valletta, Robert G. (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)
    Abstract: Despite unprecedented extensions of available unemployment insurance (UI) benefits during the “Great Recession” of 2007-09 and its aftermath, large numbers of recipients exhausted their maximum available UI benefits prior to finding new jobs. Using SIPP panel data and an event-study regression framework, we examine the household income patterns of individuals whose jobless spells outlast their UI benefits, comparing the periods following the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions. Job loss reduces household income roughly by half on average, and for UI recipients benefits replace just under half of this loss. Accordingly, when benefits end the household loses UI income equal to roughly one-quarter of total pre-separation household income (and about one-third of pre-exhaustion household income). Only a small portion of this loss is offset by increased income from food stamps and other safety net programs. The share of families with income below the poverty line nearly doubles. These patterns were generally similar following the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions and do not vary dramatically by household age or income prior to job loss.
    Date: 2014–01
  13. By: Becker, Sascha O. (University of Warwick); Nagler, Markus (University of Munich); Woessmann, Ludger (University of Munich)
    Abstract: Why did substantial parts of Europe abandon the institutionalized churches around 1900? Empirical studies using modern data mostly contradict the traditional view that education was a leading source of the seismic social phenomenon of secularization. We construct a unique panel dataset of advanced-school enrollment and Protestant church attendance in German cities between 1890 and 1930. Our cross-sectional estimates replicate a positive association. By contrast, in panel models where fixed effects account for time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity, education – but not income or urbanization – is negatively related to church attendance. In panel models with lagged explanatory variables, educational expansion precedes reduced church attendance.
    Keywords: Secularization, education, history, Germany
    Date: 2014

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