nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2014‒06‒02
eleven papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
University of Munich

  1. Education and Household Welfare By Fafchamps, Marcel; Shilpi, Forhad
  2. Son preference, fertility and family structure : evidence from reproductive behavior among Nigerian women By Milazzo, Annamaria
  3. The Difficult Case of Persuading Women: Experimental Evidence from Childcare By Billari, Francesco C.; Galasso, Vincenzo; Profeta, Paola; Pronzato, Chiara
  4. Migration, Education and the Gender Gap in Labour Force Participation By Ilhom Abdulloev; Ira Gang; Myeong-Su Yun
  5. Roadblocks on the Road to Grandma's House: Fertility Consequences of Delayed Retirement By Battistin, Erich; De Nadai, Michele; Padula, Mario
  6. Reversal of Gender Gaps in Child Development: Evidence from Young Children in India By López Bóo, Florencia; Canon, Maria Eugenia
  7. Trends in occupational segregation: What happened with women and foreigners in Germany? By Humpert, Stephan
  8. Women Entrepreneurs from Minority Groups: Best Practices amongst Women from Suriname in The Hague By Rachel Kurian
  9. Aggregate Fertility and Household Savings: A General Equilibrium Analysis using Micro Data By Banerjee, Abhijit; Meng, Xin; Porzio, Tommaso; Qian, Nancy
  10. Individual and Societal Wisdom: Explaining the Paradox of Human Aging and High Well-Being By Jeste, Dilip V; Oswald, Andrew J
  11. To Charge or Not to Charge: Evidence from a Health Products Experiment in Uganda By Greg Fischer; Dean Karlan; Margaret McConnell; Pia Raffler

  1. By: Fafchamps, Marcel; Shilpi, Forhad
    Abstract: Using census data from Nepal we examine how the partial derivatives of predicted household welfare vary with parental education.We focus on fertility, child survival, schooling, and child labor. Female education is not as strongly associated with beneficial outcomes as is often assumed. Male education often matters more, and part of the association between female education and welfare is driven by marriage market matching with more educated men. Controlling for the average education of parental cohorts does not change this finding. But when we use educational rank to proxy for unobserved ability and family background, the positive association between female education and beneficial outcomes becomes weaker or is reversed. For women the association between educational rank and outcomes is strong: women who obtain more schooling than their peers in school have fewer children and educate them better. In contrast, for men the statistical association between education and household welfare remains strong even after we control for educational rank within their birth cohort.
    Keywords: child welfare; marriage market; Nepal; parental education; South Asia
    JEL: I25
    Date: 2013–11
  2. By: Milazzo, Annamaria
    Abstract: Strong boy-bias and its consequences for young and unborn girls have been widely documented for Asia. This paper considers a country in Sub-Saharan Africa and finds that parental gender preferences do affect fertility behavior and shape traditional social institutions with negative effects on adult women's health and well-being. Using individual-level data for Nigeria, the paper shows that, compared to women with first-born sons, women with first-born daughters have (and desire) more children and are less likely to use contraceptives. Women with daughters among earlier-born children are also more likely to have shorter birth intervals, a behavior medically known to increase the risk of child and maternal mortality. Moreover, they are more likely to end up in a polygynous union, to be divorced, and to be head of the household. The preference for sons is also supported by child fostering patterns in which daughters are substitutes for foster girls, while the same does not hold for sons and foster boys. These results can partly explain excess female mortality among adult women in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Gender and Law,Gender and Health,Adolescent Health,Population&Development
    Date: 2014–05–01
  3. By: Billari, Francesco C.; Galasso, Vincenzo; Profeta, Paola; Pronzato, Chiara
    Abstract: Gender stereotypes are well established also among women. Yet, a recent literature suggests that learning from other women experience about the effects of maternal employment on children outcomes may increase female labor force participation. To further explore this channel, we design a randomized survey experiment, in which 1500 Italian women aged 20 to 40 are exposed to two informational treatments on the positive consequences of formal childcare on children future educational attainments. Surprisingly, we find that women reduce their intended labor supply. However, this result hides strong heterogenous effects: high educated non-mothers are persuaded by the informational treatments to increase their intended use of formal child care (and to pay more); whereas low educated non-mothers to reduce their intended labor supply. These findings are consistent with women responding to monetary incentive and/or having different preferences for maternal care. These heterogenous responses across women send a warning signal about the true effectiveness – in terms of take up rates – of often advocated public policies regarding formal child care.
    Keywords: education; female labour supply; gender culture
    JEL: C99 J13 J16 J18 J2 Z1
    Date: 2013–10
  4. By: Ilhom Abdulloev (Rutgers University-New Brunswick); Ira Gang (Rutgers University-New Brunswick); Myeong-Su Yun (Tulane University)
    Abstract: Women who want to work often face many more hurdles than men. This is true in Tajikistan where there is a large gender gap in labour force participation. We highlight the role of two factors – international migration and education – on the labour force participation decision and its gender gap. Using probit and decomposition analysis, our investigation shows that education and migration have a significant association with the gender gap in labour force participation in Tajikistan. International emigration from Tajikistan, in which approximately 93.5% of the participants are men, reduces labour force participation by men domestically; increased female education, especially at the university and vocational level, increases female participation. Both women acquiring greater access to education and men increasing their migration abroad contribute to reducing the gender gap.
    Keywords: migration, education, gender gap, labour force participation, Tajikistan
    JEL: J01 J16 O15
    Date: 2014–05
  5. By: Battistin, Erich; De Nadai, Michele; Padula, Mario
    Abstract: We investigate the role of grandparental childcare for fertility decisions of their offspring. Exploiting pension reforms in Italy, we argue that delayed retirement means a negative shock to the supply of informal childcare for the next generation. We show that one additional grandparent available in the early child-bearing years increases by 5% the number of children. Effects are limited to the most familistic close-knits, and are not the mechanical consequence of changes in living arrangements, investment in education or labor supply. Given the Italian lowest low fertility, we conclude that pension reforms may have had unintended inter-generational effects.
    Keywords: Fertility; Informal Child Care; Pension Reforms
    JEL: H42 J08 J13
    Date: 2014–04
  6. By: López Bóo, Florencia (Inter-American Development Bank); Canon, Maria Eugenia (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.
    Keywords: cognitive skills, India, gender, caste inequality, children, Oaxaca
    JEL: I2 J1 J7
    Date: 2014–05
  7. By: Humpert, Stephan
    Abstract: We use recent German survey data for over three decades to analyze long-run trends in occupational segregation. Segregation declines for both women and foreigners in Germany. However, using different ISCO classifications in given years, segregation tends to be a rather stable phenomenon.
    Keywords: Occupational Segregation; Gender; Immigration; Dissimilarity Index; Karmel-MacLachlan Index;
    JEL: J15 J16 J24
    Date: 2014–05–28
  8. By: Rachel Kurian (Assistant Professor, International Labour Economics, Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: This paper is a contribution to this field of knowledge of female migrant entrepreneurship, an occupation that continues to be taken up a relatively small group of women. It considers the experiences of ‘successful’ businesswomen from the Surinamese community in and around The Hague, and identifies ‘best practices’ that optimised the development and management of their enterprises.2 The paper pays special attention to the ways in which ethnicity and gender influenced these practices, as well as the women’s own perception of their success. When analysing the experiences of migrant women entrepreneurs, the paper considers two important questions put forward by Baycan-Levent in her study on “Migrant Female Entrepreneurship in OECD countries” (2010). Where these women, in the main, ethnic entrepreneurs or women entrepreneurs? Did the fact that they were migrant and female entrepreneurs mean that they had to overcome “double barriers or, whether in fact were they exposed to more opportunities?” (2010:229). Based on these discussions, the paper puts forward priorities for government policies and policies and programmes to support the female immigrant entrepreneurship and promote these ‘best practices’.
    Date: 2014–05
  9. By: Banerjee, Abhijit; Meng, Xin; Porzio, Tommaso; Qian, Nancy
    Abstract: This study uses micro data and an OLG model to show that general equilibrium forces are critical for understanding the relationship between aggregate fertility and household savings. First, we document that parents perceive children as an important source of old-age support and that in partial equilibrium, increased fertility lowers household savings. Then, we construct an OLG model that parametrically matches the partial equilibrium empirical evidence. Finally, we extend the model to conduct a general equilibrium analysis and show that under standard assumptions and with the parameters implied by the data, general equilibrium forces can substantially offset the partial equilibrium effects. Thus, focusing only on partial equilibrium effects can substantially overstate the effect of a change in aggregate fertility on households savings.
    Keywords: Demographic Structure; fertility; Savings
    JEL: J11 J13 O11 O4
    Date: 2014–04
  10. By: Jeste, Dilip V (University of California, San Diego); Oswald, Andrew J (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Objective - Although human aging is characterized by loss of fertility and progressive decline in physical abilities, later life is associated with better psychological health and well-being. Furthermore, there has been an unprecedented increase in average lifespan over the past century without corresponding extensions of fertile and healthy age spans. We propose a possible explanation for these paradoxical phenomena. Method - We reviewed the relevant literature on aging, well-being, and wisdom. Results - An increase in specific components of individual wisdom in later life may make up for the loss of fertility as well as declining physical health. However, current data on the relationship between aging and individual wisdom are not consistent, and do not explain increased longevity in the general population during the past century. We propose that greater societal wisdom (including compassion) may account for the notable increase in average lifespan over the last century. Data in older adults with serious mental illnesses are limited, but suggest that many of them too experience improved psychosocial functioning, although their longevity has not yet increased, suggesting persistent stigma against mental illness and inadequate societal compassion. Conclusions - Research should focus on the reasons for discrepant findings related to age-associated changes in different components of individual wisdom; also, more work is needed on the construct of societal wisdom. Studies of wisdom and well-being are warranted in older people with serious mental illnesses, along with campaigns to enhance societal compassion for these disenfranchised individuals. Finally, effective interventions to enhance wisdom need to be developed and tested. Key words: Life-cycle happiness ; subjective well-being ; wisdom ; psychiatry ; U shape JEL classification: I31 ; D01 ; C18
    Date: 2014
  11. By: Greg Fischer (London School of Economics); Dean Karlan (Economic Growth Center, Yale University); Margaret McConnell (Harvard University); Pia Raffler (Yale University)
    Abstract: Pricing policy for any experience good faces a key tradeoff. On the one hand, a price reduction increases immediate demand and hence more people learn about the product. On the other hand, lower prices may serve as price anchors and, through a comparison effect, decrease subsequent demand. This tension is particularly important for the distribution of health products in low-income countries, where free or heavily subsidized distribution is a common but controversial practice. Based on a model combining the learning aspect of experience goods with reference-dependent preferences, we set up a field experiment in Northern Uganda in which three health products differing in their scope for learning were initially offered either for free or for sale at market prices. In line with prior studies, when the product has potential for positive learning, we do not find an effect of free distribution on future demand. However, for products without scope for positive learning, we find evidence of price anchors: future demand is lower after a free distribution than after a distribution at market prices.
    Keywords: subsidies, health, pricing, learning
    JEL: D11 D12 D83 I11 I18 O12
    Date: 2014–05

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