nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2014‒03‒30
fourteen papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
University of Munich

  1. Do the Perils of Universal Child Care Depend on the Child's Age? By Kottelenberg, Michael J.; Lehrer, Steven F.
  2. The Effects of Family Policy on Mothers' Labor Supply: Combining Evidence from a Structural Model and a Natural Experiment By Johannes Geyer; Peter Haan; Katharina Wrohlich
  3. Gender stereotypes in politics: What changes when a woman becomes the local political leader? By Arvate, Paulo; Firpo, Sergio; Pieri, Renan
  4. The Household Revolution: Childcare, Housework, and Female Labor Force Participation By CARDIA, Emanuela; GOMME, Paul
  5. The Impact of Adult Child Emigration on the Mental Health of Older Parents By Mosca, Irene; Barrett, Alan
  6. Early-Life Environment and Adult Stature in Brazil during the Period 1950 to 1980 By Victor Hugo de Oliveira; Climent Quintana-Domeque
  7. Wealth Gradients in Early Childhood Cognitive Development in Five Latin American Countries By Norbert Schady; Jere Behrman; Maria Caridad Araujo; Rodrigo Azuero; Raquel Bernal; David Bravo; Florencia López Bóo; Karen Macours; Daniela Marshall; Christina Paxson; Renos Vakis
  8. Is universal child care leveling the playing field? By Tarjei Havnes; Magne Mogstad
  9. Gender differences and stereotypes in the beauty contest By María Cubel; Santiago Sanchez-Pages
  10. The Role of Gender in Promotion and Pay over a Career By John T. Addison; Orgul D. Ozturk; Si Wang
  11. The Service Sector and Female Market Work: Europe vs the US By Michelle Rendall
  12. Making Dough or Baking Dough? Spousal Housework Responsibilities in Germany, 1992-2011 By Vivien Procher; Nolan Ritter; Colin Vance
  13. Interdependent durations in joint retirement By Bo Honore; Aureo de Paula
  14. The Evolution of the (Likely to be) Future Poor:Primary School Non-Completion in Indonesia, 1991–2012 By Andy Sumner

  1. By: Kottelenberg, Michael J.; Lehrer, Steven F.
    Abstract: The rising participation of women in paid work has not only heightened demand for universal early education and care programs but also led to increased use of child care amongst children at earlier ages. Prior research investigating Quebec's universal highly-subsidized child care documented significant declines in a variety of developmental outcomes for all children aged 0-4 years. However, past analysis has not explored whether these effects vary for children of different ages. In this paper, we demonstrate substantial heterogeneity in policy impacts by child age. Children who gain access to subsidized child care at earlier ages experience significantly larger negative impacts on developmental scores, health and behavioral outcomes. The sole exception is the negative relationship between access to subsidized child care and hyperactivity scores which steepens with child age. Our analysis additionally provides significant evidence of treatment effect heterogeneity within ages, and reveals benefits from access to universal child care on developmental scores for those that are above three years of age.
    Keywords: childcare policy, child development, treatment effect heterogeneity, change in change estimator, natural experiment
    Date: 2014–03–26
  2. By: Johannes Geyer; Peter Haan; Katharina Wrohlich
    Abstract: Parental leave and subsidized child care are prominent examples of family policies supporting the reconciliation of family life and labor market careers for mothers. In this paper, we combine different empirical strategies to evaluate the employment effects of these policies for mothers in Germany. In particular we estimate a structural labor supply model and exploit a natural experiment, i.e. the reform of parental leave benefits. By exploiting and combining the advantages of the different methods, i.e the internal validity of the natural experiment and the external validity of the structural model, we can go beyond evaluation studies restricted to one particular methodology. Our findings suggest that a combination of parental leave benefits and subsidized child care leads to sizable employment effects of mothers.
    Keywords: Labor supply, parental leave benefits, childcare costs, structural model, natural experiment
    JEL: J22 H31 C52
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Arvate, Paulo; Firpo, Sergio; Pieri, Renan
    Abstract: This study documents how the presence of a woman in an executive political role affects the gender stereotype of women in politics. We use Brazilian electoral data and restrict our focus to close mayoral races (using an RDD design) in which the top two candidates are of opposite sexes. Our most important result was a reduction in the number of candidates and votes for female mayoral candidates after a woman is elected, regardless of her eligibility status for reelection. This negative result is linked only to the position of mayor and not to other political positions (councilor, state or federal deputy). In addition, our results may be interpreted as evidence that voters do not use their update on women as local leaders to change their beliefs on women’s ability to run for other political positions. Finally, female mayors do not appear to have a role model effect on younger cohorts of women. We also note that our results are not influenced by differences in mayoral policies (generally and specifically for women), which could influence voters’ gender stereotypes.
    Date: 2014–02–12
  4. By: CARDIA, Emanuela; GOMME, Paul
    Abstract: Over the twentieth century, the allocation of womens' time changed dramatically. This paper explores the implications for the allocation of married womens' time stemming from: (1) the household revolution associated with the introduction of a variety of labor-saving devices in the home; (2) the remarkable increase in the relative wage of women; and (3) changes in childcare requirements associated with changes in fertility patterns. To do so, we construct a life-cycle model with home production and childcare constraints. The parameters of the childcare production function are estimated using micro evidence from U.S. time use data. We find that the increase in the relative wage of women is the most important explanation of the increase in married womens' market work time over the twentieth century. Changes in fertility had large effects up to 1980, but little effect thereafter. The declining price of durables has an appreciable effect only since 1980, an effect that is consistent with a broader interpretation of durable goods reflecting the marketization of home production..
    Keywords: Household technology; childcare; women labor force participation; home production
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Mosca, Irene (Trinity College Dublin); Barrett, Alan (ESRI, Dublin)
    Abstract: A growing literature within economics has sought to examine the impacts of emigration on sending countries. Some of the studies have looked within families and have investigated how emigration affects those family members who are left behind. In this paper, we explore whether older parents of adult children who emigrate experience declines in mental health compared to parents whose children do not migrate. We use data from the first two waves of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. This is a nationally representative sample of 8,500 people aged 50 and above living in Ireland collected in 2009-11 (Wave 1) and 2012-13 (Wave 2). To deal with the endogeneity of migration, we apply fixed effects estimation models and control for a broad range of life-events occurring between the two waves. These include the emigration of a child but also events such as bereavement, onset of disease, retirement and unemployment. We find that depressive symptoms and feelings of loneliness increase among the parents of migrant children but that the effect is only present for mothers. Given the relationship between mental health and other health outcomes, the potential impacts for the older populations of migrant-sending regions and countries are significant.
    Keywords: emigration, depression, mental health
    JEL: I15 J61
    Date: 2014–03
  6. By: Victor Hugo de Oliveira (IPECE); Climent Quintana-Domeque
    Abstract: We study the relationship between environmental conditions at birth and adult stature using cohort-state level data in Brazil. We find that GDP per capita in the year of birth, not infant mortality rate, is a robust correlate of population stature in Brazil during the period 1950-1980. Our results are robust to a battery of robustness checks. Using a useful bracketing property of the (state) fixed effects and lagged dependent variables (heights) estimators, we find that an increase in GDP per capita of the magnitude corresponding to that period is associated with 43%-68% of the increase in adult height occurring in the same time span. Income, not disease, appears to be the main correlate of Brazilian population heights in the second half of the 20th Century.
    Keywords: infant mortality, income, adult height, bracketing property, fixed effects estimator, lagged dependent variable estimator
    JEL: I12 O54
    Date: 2014–03
  7. By: Norbert Schady (Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)); Jere Behrman (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania); Maria Caridad Araujo (World Bank Group; Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)); Rodrigo Azuero (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania); Raquel Bernal (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics; Northwestern University - Department of Economics); David Bravo (Department of Economics, Universidad de Chile); Florencia López Bóo (Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); IZA); Karen Macours (Paris School of Economics); Daniela Marshall (Populations Study Center, University of Pennsylvania); Christina Paxson (Office of the Dean, Brown University); Renos Vakis (District of Columbia, Washington DC, The World Bank)
    Abstract: Research from the United States shows that gaps in early cognitive and non-cognitive ability appear early in the life cycle. Little is known about this important question for developing countries. This paper provides new evidence of sharp differences in cognitive development by socioeconomic status in early childhood for five Latin American countries. To help with comparability, we use the same measure of receptive language ability for all five countries. We find important differences in development in early childhood across countries, and steep socioeconomic gradients within every country. For the three countries where we can follow children over time, there are few substantive changes in scores once children enter school. Our results are robust to different ways of defining socioeconomic status, to different ways of standardizing outcomes, and to selective non-response on our measure of cognitive development.
    Keywords: early childhood, socioeconomic gaps, Latin-American
    JEL: J13 I38
    Date: 2014–01–16
  8. By: Tarjei Havnes; Magne Mogstad (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: We assess the case for universal child care programs in the context of a Norwegian reform which led to a large-scale expansion of subsidized child care. We use non-linear difference-in-differences methods to estimate the quantile treatment effects of the reform. We find that the effects of the child care expansion were positive in the lower and middle part of the earnings distribution of exposed children as adults, and negative in the uppermost part. We complement this analysis with local linear regressions of the child care effects by family income. We find that most of the gains in earnings associated with the universal child care program relate to children of low income parents, whereas upper-class children actually experience a loss in earnings. In line with the differential effects by family income, we estimate that the universal child care program substantially increased intergenerational income mobility. To interpret the estimated heterogeneity in child care effects, we examine the mediating role of educational attainment and cognitive test scores, and show that our estimates are consistent with a simple model where parents make a tradeoff between current family consumption and investment in children. Taken together, our findings could have important implications for the policy debate over universal child care programs, suggesting that the benefits of providing subsidized child care to middle and upper-class children are unlikely to exceed the costs. Our study also points to the importance of universal child care programs in explaining differences in earnings inequality and income mobility across countries and over time.
    Keywords: Universal child care; Child development; Non-linear difference-in-differences; Heterogeneity; Quantile treatment effects; Income mobility
    JEL: J13 H40 I28 D31
    Date: 2014–03
  9. By: María Cubel (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB); Santiago Sanchez-Pages (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Recent literature has emphasized that individuals display different depths of reasoning when playing games. In this paper, we explore gender differences in strategic sophistication and study whether these differences are endogenous. We report results from two different experiments employing the beauty contest. In the first, large study, we show that females react very strongly to incentives to the extent that gender differences disappear when a monetary prize is awarded. In the second study, we use a within subject design to analyze how depth of reasoning varies with gender priming and the gender composition of the set of players. We corroborate that females display higher levels of sophistication and even overtake males when incentives are provided and gender is primed. On the other hand, males who believe that females are better in the game display higher sophistication when playing against females.
    Keywords: Guessing game, strategic sophistication, gender, beliefs, stereotype threat
    JEL: C72 C91 D81 J16
    Date: 2014
  10. By: John T. Addison (Department of Economics, Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, Department of Economics and Finance, Durham University Business School, and GEMF, University of Coimbra); Orgul D. Ozturk (Department of Economics, Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina); Si Wang (Department of Economics, Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina)
    Abstract: Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79), this paper considers the role of gender in promotion and subsequent earnings development and how this evolves over a career. In its use of three career stages, the study builds on earlier work using the NLSY79 that considers gender differences in the early career years alone. The raw data suggest reasonably favorable promotion outcomes for females over a career. But the advantages seem to be confined to less-educated females. And while there are strong returns to education for males through enhanced promotion probability and attendant wage growth in later career this is not the case for females. Although this latter finding is not inconsistent with fertility choices on the part of educated females, choice is seemingly only part of the explanation.
    Keywords: promotion, earnings, early/mid/peak career, gender, public sector, private sector.
    JEL: J16 J31 J51 J62
    Date: 2014–02
  11. By: Michelle Rendall (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: This paper studies cross-country differences in female employment and aggregate labor market hours over time, by quantifying the role of structural transformation and gender differences in sectoral labor productivity. Some countries have developed large service sectors, while others have not. These sectoral patterns can explain a large part of the cross-country differences in female employment and aggregate hours worked. Empirical evidence on why women predominately work in the service sector is provided. Consistent with previous studies, labor and consumption tax differences are able to explain large sectoral differences across countries. The key is households can produce a substitute for market services and women are, on average, less productive in sectors requiring more brawn, such as industry, giving them a comparative advantage to stay at home and work in the service sector. Therefore, an economy that imposes high taxes does not facilitate the movement of women into the labor market, causing service production to remain at home. This reduces the demand for market services, which feeds back into low total hours worked by women (and the total economy). Subsidies to female employment can circumvent the high tax effect, but lead to welfare loses.
    Date: 2013
  12. By: Vivien Procher; Nolan Ritter; Colin Vance
    Abstract: Drawing on German household data from 1992 to 2011, this paper analyzes how couples allocate housework against the backdrop of three questions: (1) Does an individual’s contribution to household income - both in absolute and relative terms - influence his or her contribution to housework? (2) If so, does the magnitude of this influence differ by gender? and (3) How important are traditional gender roles on housework allocation? We address these issues by applying panel quantile regression models and find that as both the share and absolute level of income increase, the amount of housework undertaken decreases, with the latter effect being roughly equal across genders. At the same time, traditional gender roles also appear to dictate housework allocation, which is evidenced by women increasing their housework if they earn more than their partner.
    Keywords: Housework; income; gender; longitudinal study; quantile panel regression
    JEL: D13 J16 J22
    Date: 2014–02
  13. By: Bo Honore (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Princeton); Aureo de Paula (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)
    Abstract: This paper introduces a bivariate version of the generalized accelerated failure time model. It allows for simultaneity in the econometric sense that the two realized outcomes depend structurally on each other. The proposed model also has the feasure that it will generate equal durations with positive probability. The motivating example is retirement decisions by married couples. In that example it seems reasonable to allow for the possibility that the each partner's optimal retirement time depends on the retirement time of the spouse. Moreover, the data suggest that the wife and the husband retire at the same time for a non-negligible fraction of couples. Our approach takes as starting point a stylized economic model that leads to a univariate generalized accelerated failure time model. The covariates of that generalized accelerated failure time model act as utility-flow shifters in the economic model. We introduce simultaneity by allowing the utility flow in retirement to depend on the retirement status of the spouse. The econometric model is then completed by assuming that the observed outcome is the Nash bargaining solution in that simple economic model. The advantage of this approach is that it includes independent realizations from the generalized accelerated failure time model as a special case, and deviations from this special case can be given an economic interpretation. We illustrate the model by studying the joint retirement decisions in married couples using the Health and Retirement Study. We provide a discussion of relevant identifying variation and estimate our model using indirect inference. The main empirical nding is that the simultaneity seems economically important. In our preferred specication the indirect utility associated with being retired increases by approximately 5% if one's spouse is already retired and unobservables exhibit positive correlation. The estimated model also predicts that the indirect eect of a change in husbands' pension plan on wives' retirement dates is about 4% of the direct eect on the husbands.
    JEL: J26 C41 C3
    Date: 2014–03
  14. By: Andy Sumner (King's International Development Institute, King's College London)
    Abstract: The non-completion of primary school and educational attainment in general in Indonesia has been associated with an increased likelihood of being or remaining poor. In light of this, this paper considers the evolution of primary school non-completion using six rounds of the Indonesia Demographic and Health Surveycovering the period 1991–2012. The paper presents new, consistent estimates of the evolution of the incidence of, disparities in, and total composition of, primary education non-completion in Indonesia over two decades by the characteristics of household heads. The paper argues that although such deprivations remain concentrated among households in rural areas and in households with heads not in work or employed in agriculture, counter-intuitively, as deprivations decline,there are growing and sizable proportions in urban and non-agriculture headed households meaning a policy focus largely on the ‘traditional’ characteristics of deprived households might risk missing substantial proportions of the remaining and likely future poor in Indonesia.
    Keywords: Indonesia; deprivation; education; inequality; economic development
    JEL: I32 D63
    Date: 2014–03

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.