nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2014‒05‒09
nine papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
University of Munich

  1. Learning for Life: A Cross-National Analysis Comparing Education with Other Determinants of Infant Mortality. By Luigi Maria Solivetti; Alessandra Mirone
  2. The Sooner The Better - The Welfare Effects of the Retirement Age Increase Under Various Pension Schemes By Marcin Bielecki; Karolina Goraus; Jan Hagemejer; Joanna Tyrowicz
  3. Intergenerational Educational Persistence in Europe By Alyssa Schneebaum; Bernhard Rumplmaier; Wilfried Altzinger
  4. Immigrants and Demography: Marriage, Divorce, and Fertility By Alicia Adserà; Ana Ferrer
  5. Gender Discrimination in Job Ads: Evidence from China By Peter Kuhn; Kailing Shen
  6. The Length of Maternity Leave and Family Health By Louise Voldby Beuchert; Maria Knoth Humlum; Rune Vejlin
  7. Education and cancer risk By Edwin Leuven; Erik Plug; Marte Rønning
  8. Husband’s Unemployment and Wife’s Labor Supply – The Added Worker Effect across Europe By Julia Bredtmann; Sebastian Otten; Christian Rulff
  9. Returns to of?ce in national and local politics By Kaisa Kotakorpi; Panu Poutvaara; Marko Tervio

  1. By: Luigi Maria Solivetti (Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali ed Economiche, Sapienza University of Rome); Alessandra Mirone (Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali ed Economiche, Sapienza University of Rome)
    Abstract: Notwithstanding extensive improvements over the last decades, infant mortality (IM) still shows huge – and increasing – disparities across the world. This paper compares various paradigms (education, growth, dependency, demographic factors) used to explain this blatant inequality. The paradigm focusing on education emerges as particularly corroborated. A wide series of education indicators are considered and contrasted, vis-à-vis several measures of mortality. The main education indicators seem to have a significant impact on IM, though some of them – in particular, variables taking account of gender – are particularly momentous. The education-IM relation does not change, whatever the indicator used to measure mortality. What is more, the education-IM relation works at both low and high levels of infant mortality, and is limitedly affected by the geographical and cultural-religious context. All in all, with regards to infant/child mortality reduction, education emerges more as a ‘stand-alone’ paradigm than just as an auxiliary variable.
    Keywords: Education; Development; Infant Mortality.
    JEL: I25
    Date: 2014–04
  2. By: Marcin Bielecki (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Karolina Goraus (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Jan Hagemejer (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw; National Bank of Poland); Joanna Tyrowicz (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw; National Bank of Poland)
    Abstract: We evaluate the welfare and macroeconomic effects of increasing the retirement age in the context of population aging. In an overlapping generations framework we simulate the increase of the retirement age by seven years under different pension systems (defined benefit, notionally defined contribution and fully funded). We show that raising the retirement wage is universally welfare enhancing for all living and future cohorts, regardless of the pension system. Quantitatively, this policy intervention is able to counterweight the adverse macroeconomic consequences of aging. We test the validity of our findings in a population with lower pace of aging due to higher fertility. Finally, we show scope for further welfare gains if productivity is relatively high at old ages.
    Keywords: pension system, defined benefit, NDC, retirement age, pension system reform, welfare
    JEL: C68 E17 E25 J11 J24 H55 D72
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Alyssa Schneebaum (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business); Bernhard Rumplmaier (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business); Wilfried Altzinger (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: Primarily using data from the 2010 European Social Survey, we analyze intergenerational educational persistence in 20 European countries, studying cross-country and cross-cluster differences in intergenerational mobility; the role of gender in determining educational persistence across generations; and changes in the degree of intergenerational persistence over time. We find that persistence is highest in the Southern and Eastern European countries, and lowest in the Nordic countries. While intergenerational persistence in the Nordic and Southern countries has declined over time, it has remained relatively steady in the rest of Europe. Further, we find evidence of differences in intergenerational persistence by gender, with mothers’ education being a stronger determinant of daughters’ (instead of sons’) education and fathers’ education a stronger determinant of the education of their sons. Finally we see that for most clusters differences over time are largely driven by increasing mobility for younger women.
    Keywords: Intergenerational Persistence, Educational Attainment, Educational Welfare States, Europe, Gender
    JEL: J62 I24 I38 D63
    Date: 2014–05
  4. By: Alicia Adserà (Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs & Office of Population Research, Princeton University); Ana Ferrer (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo)
    Date: 2014–01
  5. By: Peter Kuhn; Kailing Shen
    Abstract: We study explicit gender discrimination in a population of ads on a Chinese internet job board. Gender-targeted job ads are commonplace, favor women as often as men, and are much less common in jobs requiring higher levels of skill. Employers’ relative preferences for female versus male workers, on the other hand, are more strongly related to the preferred age, height and beauty of the worker than to job skill levels. Almost two thirds of the variation in advertised gender preferences occurs within firms, and one third occurs within firm*occupation cells. Overall, these patterns are not well explained by a firm-level animus model, by a glass-ceiling model, nor by models in which broad occupational categories are consistently gendered across firms. Instead, the patterns suggest a model in which firms have idiosyncratic preferences for particular job-gender matches, which are overridden in skilled positions by factors such as thinner labor markets or a greater incentive to search broadly for the most qualified candidate.
    Date: 2013–10–14
  6. By: Louise Voldby Beuchert (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark); Maria Knoth Humlum (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark); Rune Vejlin (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)
    Abstract: We study the relationship between the length of maternity leave and the physical and psychological health of the family. Using a reform of the parental leave scheme in Denmark that increased the number of weeks of leave with full benefit compensation,we estimate the effect of the length of maternity leave on a range of health indicators including the number of hospital admissions for both mother and child and the probability of the mother receiving antidepressants. The reform led to an increase in average post-birth maternity leave of 32 days. We find limited evidence that the increase in the length of maternity leave matters for child or maternal health outcomes and thus we complement the existing evidence on maternity leave expansions that tends to find limited effcts on children's later developmental, educational, and labor market outcomes. Our results suggest that any benecial effects of increasing the length of maternity leave are greater for low-resource families.
    Keywords: Maternity leave, Family health, Regression- Discontinuity
    JEL: I18 J13 J18
    Date: 2014–05–01
  7. By: Edwin Leuven; Erik Plug; Marte Rønning (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: There exists a strong educational gradient in cancer risk, which has been documented in a wide range of populations. Yet relatively little is known about the extent to which education is causally linked to cancer incidence and mortality. This paper exploits a large social experiment where an education reform expanded compulsory schooling during the 1960s in Norway. The reform led to a discontinuous increase in educational attainment, which we exploit to estimate the effect of the reform on various cancer outcomes. Our main finding is that education has little if any impact on cancer risk. This holds for all cancer sites together as well as the most common cancer sites in isolation, with two exceptions. The compulsory school reform lowered the risk of lung cancer for men, but increased the risk of colorectal cancer for women.
    Keywords: Education; Causality; Health; Cancer
    JEL: I12 I21
    Date: 2014–04
  8. By: Julia Bredtmann (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark); Sebastian Otten (Ruhr University Bochum); Christian Rulff (RWI Essen)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the responsiveness of women’s labor supply to their husband’s loss of employment – the so-called added worker effect. While previous empirical literature on this topic mainly concentrates on a single country, we take an explicit internationally comparative perspective and analyze whether the added worker effect varies across the European countries. In doing so, we use longitudinal data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) covering the period 2004 to 2011. For our pooled sample of 28 European countries, we find evidence for the existence of an added worker effect, both at the extensive and at the intensive margin of labor supply. Women whose husbands become unemployed have a higher probability of entering the labor market and changing from part-time to full-time employment than women whose husbands remain employed. However, our results further reveal that the added worker effect varies over both the business cycle and the different welfare regimes within Europe.
    Keywords: added worker effect, labor supply, unemployment, cross-country analysis
    JEL: J22 J64 J82
    Date: 2014–05–08
  9. By: Kaisa Kotakorpi (University of Turku, Department of Economics and CESifo); Panu Poutvaara (University of Munich, Ifo Institute, CESifo, and IZA); Marko Tervio (Aalto University and HECER)
    Abstract: We study the returns to political office using data from Finnish parliamentary elections in 1970-2007 and municipal elections in 1996-2008. The discontinuity of electoral outcomes in individual candidate votes allows us to estimate the causal effect of being electedon subsequent income. Getting elected to parliament increases annual earnings initially by about 20 000 euro, but most of this effect fades out over time. Getting elected to a municipal council has a positive effect of about 1000 euro on subsequent annual earnings.
    Keywords: returns to of?ce, elections, regression discontinuity
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2013–09

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