nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2014‒05‒04
eight papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
University of Munich

  1. Reversal of Gender Gaps in Child Development: Evidence from Young Children in India By Lopez Boo, Florencia; Canon, Maria E.
  2. Parental unemployment and child health By Mörk, Eva; Sjögren, Anna; Svaleryd, Helena
  3. Peers Effects on a Fertility Decision: an Application for Medellín Colombia By Leonardo Morales
  4. Gender differences in shirking: monitoring or social preferences? Evidence from a field experiment By Johansson, Per; Karimi, Arizo; Nilsson, Peter
  5. Culture, Religiosity and Female Labor Supply By Guner, Duygu; Uysal, Gökce
  6. Gender Gaps and the Rise of the Service Economy By Ngai, L. Rachel; Petrongolo, Barbara
  7. Do Single?Sex Classes Affect Achievement? A Study in a Coeducational University By Alison L. Booth; Lina Cardona-Sosa; Patrick Nolen
  8. The Productivity of Working Hours By Pencavel, John

  1. By: Lopez Boo, Florencia (Inter-American DevelopmentBank/IZA); Canon, Maria E. (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)
    Abstract: This paper provides unique evidence of a reversal of gender gaps in cognitive development in early childhood. We find steep caste and gender gradients and few substantive changes once children enter school. The gender gap, however, reverses its sign for the upper caste, with girls performing better than boys at age 5 but thereafter following the general pattern in India of boys performing better.
    JEL: I2 J1 J7
    Date: 2014–04–01
  2. By: Mörk, Eva (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies); Sjögren, Anna (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies); Svaleryd, Helena (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies)
    Abstract: We analyze to what extent health outcomes of Swedish children are worse among children whose parents become unemployed. To this end we combine Swedish hospitalization data for 1992-2007 for children 3-18 years of age with register data on parental unemployment. We find that children with unemployed parents are 17 percent more likely to be hospitalized than other children, but that most of the difference is driven by selection. A child fixed-effects approach suggests a small effect of parental unemployment on child health.
    Keywords: Parental unemployment; child Health; human capital
    JEL: I12 J13
    Date: 2014–03–03
  3. By: Leonardo Morales
    Abstract: This paper addresses the estimation of peer group effects on a fertility decision. The peer group is composed of neighbors with similar socio-demographic characteristics. In order to deal with the endogeneity problem associated to the estimation of neighborhood effects, an instrumental variables procedure is performed. To control for the reflection problem, usual in linear effects models, this paper uses an identification strategy that relies on the definition of peer groups at the individual level. This paper provides evidence that peer effects explain the age at which poor women in Medellín (Colombia) decide to have their firstborn. These social forces are hazardous factors that may increase the incidence of adolescent pregnancy.
    Keywords: Fertility, Family Planning, Demographic Economics, Social Interaction Models
    JEL: J13 J13 C31
    Date: 2013–08–22
  4. By: Johansson, Per (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Karimi, Arizo (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Nilsson, Peter (Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES), Stockholm University)
    Abstract: This paper studies gender differences in the extent to which social preferences affect workers' shirking decisions. Using exogenous variation in work absence induced by a randomized field experiment that increased treated workers' absence, we find that also non-treated workers increased their absence as a response. Furthermore, we find that male workers react more strongly to decreased monitoring, but no significant gender difference in the extent to which workers are influenced by peers. However, our results suggest significant heterogeneity in the degree of influence that male and female workers exert on each other: conditional on the potential exposure to same-sex co-workers, men are only affected by their male peers, and women are only affected by their female peers.
    Keywords: Peer effects; employer-employee data; work absence; randomized field experiment
    JEL: C23 C93 J24
    Date: 2014–04–15
  5. By: Guner, Duygu (K.U.Leuven); Uysal, Gökce (Bahcesehir University)
    Abstract: Does culture affect female labor supply? In this paper, we address this question using a recent approach to measuring the effects of culture on economic outcomes, i.e. the epidemiological approach. We focus on migrants, who come from different cultures, but who share a common economic and institutional set-up today. Controlling for various individual characteristics including parental human capital as well as for current economic and institutional setup, we find that female employment rates in 1970 in a female migrant's province of origin affects her labor supply behavior in 2008. We also show that it is the female employment rates and not male in the province of origin in 1970 that affects the current labor supply behavior. We also extend the epidemiological approach to analyze the effects of religion on female labor supply. More specifically, we use a proxy of parental religiosity, i.e. share of party votes in 1973 elections in Turkey to study female labor supply in 2008. Our findings indicate that female migrants from provinces that had larger (smaller) shares of the religious party votes in 1973 are less (more) likely to participate in the labor market in 2008. An extended model where both cultural and religiosity proxies are included shows that culture and religiosity have separately significant effects on female labor supply behavior.
    Keywords: culture, female labor force participation, gender
    JEL: J16 J21 Z10
    Date: 2014–04
  6. By: Ngai, L. Rachel (London School of Economics); Petrongolo, Barbara (Queen Mary, University of London)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of the rise of services in the narrowing of gender gaps in hours and wages in recent decades. We document the between-industry component of the rise in female work for the U.S., and propose a model economy with goods, services and home production, in which women have a comparative advantage in producing market and home services. The rise of services, driven by structural transformation and marketization of home production, acts as a gender-biased demand shift raising women's relative wages and market hours. Quantitatively, the model accounts for an important share of the observed trends.
    Keywords: gender gaps, structural transformation, marketization
    JEL: E24 J22 J16
    Date: 2014–04
  7. By: Alison L. Booth; Lina Cardona-Sosa; Patrick Nolen
    Abstract: We examine the effect of single?sex classes on the pass rates, grades, and course choices of students in a coeducational university. We randomly assign students to all?female, all?male, and coed classes and, therefore, get around the selection issues present in other studies on single?sex education. We find that one hour a week of single?sex education benefits females: females are 7.5% more likely to pass their first year courses and score 10% higher in their required second year classes than their peers attending coeducational classes. We find no effect of single?sex education on the subsequent probability that a female will take technical classes and there is no effect of single?sex education for males. Furthermore we are able to examine potential mechanisms and indirect effects of single?sex education. We find that the effects of single?sex education do not appear to be driven by a tracking mechanism and that there are indirect effects on class attendance and completion of optional assignments for females. However, the indirect effects cannot explain much of the effect of single-sex education for females.
    Keywords: Gender, single?sex groups, cognitive ability
    JEL: C9 C91 C92 J16 J16 J24
    Date: 2013–10–30
  8. By: Pencavel, John (Stanford University)
    Abstract: Observations on munition workers, most of them women, are organized to examine the relationship between their output and their working hours. The relationship is nonlinear: below an hours threshold, output is proportional to hours; above a threshold, output rises at a decreasing rate as hours increase. Implications of these results for the estimation of labor supply functions are taken up. The findings also link up with current research on the effects of long working hours on accidents and injuries.
    Keywords: working hours, output, productivity, women workers
    JEL: J24 J22 N34
    Date: 2014–04

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