nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2014‒08‒28
eight papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Fertility Responses to Expectations of Child Mortality in a Tuscan Village 1700-1913: A Micro-Data Approach By Mette Ejrnes; Karl Gunnar Persson
  2. Changing Norms about Gender Inequality in Education: Evidence from Bangladesh By Blunch, Niels-Hugo; Das, Maitreyi Bordia
  3. The Math Gender Gap: The Role of Culture By Nollenberger, Natalia; Rodríguez-Planas, Núria; Sevilla, Almudena
  4. Diversity and Social Capital in the U.S: A Tale of Conflict, Contact or Total Mistrust? By Belton, Willie; Huq, Yameen; Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth
  5. The Role of Historical Resource Constraints in Modern Gender Inequality: A Cross-Country Analysis By Hazarika, Gautam; Jha, Chandan Kumar; Sarangi, Sudipta
  6. Household Sharing and Commitment: Evidence from Panel Data on Individual Expenditures and Time Use By Ken Yamada; Jeremy Lise
  7. Inequality of Opportunity in Retirement Age – The Role of Physical Job Demands By Matthias Giesecke; Sarah Okoampah
  8. Sampling Recently Arrived Immigrants in the UK: Exploring the effectiveness of Respondent Driven Sampling By Tom Frere-Smith; Renee Luthra; Lucinda Platt

  1. By: Mette Ejrnes (Department of Economics, Copenhagen University); Karl Gunnar Persson (Department of Economics, Copenhagen University)
    Abstract: This paper exploits microdata from parish registers in a rural Tuscan village to trace the relationship between experienced and expected child mortality on household fertility strategies. It turns out that spacing of births and hence completed fertility are not only linked to economic risks and infant mortality but also to expected mortality risks as proxied by past child mortality in the village and in previous generations. The results indicate that before the demographic transition households made sequential fertility choices within marriage as a response to economic shocks as well as expected child mortality.
    Keywords: Fertility, Child mortality, Historical demography, Hazard model
    JEL: J13 N33 C41
    Date: 2014–04–24
  2. By: Blunch, Niels-Hugo (Washington and Lee University); Das, Maitreyi Bordia (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper examines norms about gender equality of the education of children and adults in Bangladesh using a recent household survey for two cohorts of married women. Education norms are found to differ substantially across cohorts, with women from the younger cohort being far more positive about female vs. male education of both children and adults. The effect of education in determining norms spans own and spousal education, as well as that of older educated females in the household, thus indicating sharing of education norms both within marriage and across generations. Detailed decompositions reveal that more than anything else it is the improvement in education across cohorts that has been driving the narrowing of the generational education norms gap in Bangladesh in recent years.
    Keywords: gender education inequality norms, human capital, decomposition analysis, Bangladesh
    JEL: D19 I29 J12 J16 J24
    Date: 2014–08
  3. By: Nollenberger, Natalia (Queen Mary, University of London); Rodríguez-Planas, Núria (Queens College, CUNY); Sevilla, Almudena (Queen Mary, University of London)
    Abstract: This paper explores the role of cultural attitudes towards women in determining math educational gender gaps using the epidemiological approach. To identify whether culture matters, we estimate whether the math gender gap for each immigrant group living in a particular host country (and exposed to the same host country's laws and institutions) is explained by measures of gender equality in the parents' country of ancestry. We find that the higher the degree of gender equality in the country of ancestry, the higher the performance of second-generation immigrant girls relative to boys. This result is robust to alternative specifications, measures of gender equality and the inclusion of other human development indicators in the country of ancestry. The transmission of culture is higher among those in schools with a higher proportion of immigrants or in co-educational schools. Our results suggest that policies aimed at changing beliefs can prove effective in reducing the gender gap in mathematics.
    Keywords: gender gap in math, immigrants, gender identity
    JEL: I21 I24 J16 Z13
    Date: 2014–08
  4. By: Belton, Willie (Georgia Institute of Technology); Huq, Yameen (Georgia Institute of Technology); Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth (Emory University)
    Abstract: In this paper we explore the relationship between ethnic fractionalization and social capital. First, we test for time differences in the impact of ethnic fractionalization on social capital using U.S. data from 1990, 1997 and 2005. Subsequently we examine the data for evidence of the conflict, contact and hunker-down theories espoused by Putman in explaining what happens over time when individuals interact with those of differing ethnicities. We find no evidence of heterogeneity in the impact of ethnic fractionalization on social capital over time. In addition we find evidence of the conflict theory and no evidence of hunker-down or contact theories. Our results suggest that as communities become more diverse, there is a tendency for social capital to decline.
    Keywords: ethnic fractionalization, social capital, trust, diversity, social networks
    JEL: D71 Z10 J10 J19
    Date: 2014–08
  5. By: Hazarika, Gautam (University of Texas at Brownsville); Jha, Chandan Kumar (Louisiana State University); Sarangi, Sudipta (Louisiana State University)
    Abstract: We posit that historical resource scarcities played a role in the emergence of gender norms inimical to women that persist to this day. This thesis is supported by our finding that nations’ historical resource endowments, as measured by the historical availability of arable land, are statistically significantly negatively related to their present levels of gender inequality, as gauged by the United Nations Development Programme’s Gender Inequality Index.
    Keywords: scarcity, culture, history, gender
    JEL: N90 O15
    Date: 2014–08
  6. By: Ken Yamada (Singapore Management University); Jeremy Lise (University College London)
    Abstract: We find that relative wages have a strong impact on the wife's weight in the household problem at the time of marriage. We also find that, during marriage, unpredicted deviations in the relative wage impact on this weight, but the magnitude is substantially smaller, and is only statistically significant for large realizations. These results are consistent with a model of household behavior in which husbands and wives remain committed to allocations agreed at the time of marriage, and only renegotiate in the face of binding participation constraints. Interestingly, the share of total consumption expenditure is essentially invariant to the wage share. The mix of husband and wife's hours in home production is affected by the wage share only through relative prices, but not directly through the household weight on the wife's utility.
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Matthias Giesecke; Sarah Okoampah
    Abstract: We quantify differences in the retirement age between manual and non-manual workers and evaluate these differences in the context of the literature on equality of opportunity. The focus is on the question how individual background during childhood transmits through physical demands of occupations on retirement ages. Individual retrospective data from the German Socio-Economic Panel are used to analyse labour force dynamics over the years 1984 to 2011. Discrete time duration models suggest that retirement ages differ substantially between manual and non-manual workers. To elaborate how such differences are explained by individual background characteristics on the one hand and eff ort and luck on the other hand, we make use of tests for stochastic dominance and a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition. The result is that individual background characteristics explain a share of about one third of inequality in retirement ages as transmitted through physical demands of occupations.
    Keywords: Retirement age; inequality of opportunity; physical job demands; blinderoaxaca-decomposition
    JEL: D63 J26 J62 C14
    Date: 2014–06
  8. By: Tom Frere-Smith (Ipsos MORI); Renee Luthra (University of Essex); Lucinda Platt (London School of Economics and Political Science)
    Abstract: Surveying recently arrived immigrants in countries lacking a population register poses many challenges. We describe our adaptation of Respondent Driven Sampling, a chain-referral technique, to sample migrants from Pakistan and Poland who had arrived in the UK within the previous 18 months. Specifically, we discuss issues around connectedness, privacy, clustering, and motivation, central to the implementation of RDS. We outline techniques adopted and evaluate their success. We conclude that RDS is unlikely to be suitable for accessing newly arrived migrants. However, in the absence of registers which can capture populations at point of entry there are no obvious alternatives.
    Keywords: new immigrants, surveys, RDS, immigrant networks, integration, non-response
    JEL: F22 J15
    Date: 2014–08

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