nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2014‒09‒05
eight papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Within-Mother Estimates of the Effects of WIC on Birth Outcomes in New York City By Janet Currie; Ishita Rajani
  2. Labour Market Progression of Canadian Immigrant Women By Alicia Adsera; Ana Ferrer
  3. Prenuptial Contracts, Labor Supply and Household Investments By Alessandra Voena
  4. Historical Missionary Activity, Schooling, and the Reversal of Fortunes: Evidence from Nigeria By Okoye, Dozie; Pongou, Roland
  5. Worker Mobility in a Global Labor Market: Evidence from the United Arab Emirates By Suresh Naidu; Yaw Nyarko; Shing-Yi Wang
  6. The power of elderly consumers – how demographic change affects the economy through private household demand in Germany By Britta Stoever
  7. Higher Education and Inclusion of Women in Labor Markets and in Business Development in Morocco By Gamar, Alae; Driouchi, Ahmed
  8. The Effect of Income on Obesity among Canadian Adults By Koffi-Ahoto Kpelitse; Rose Anne Devlin; Sisira Sarma

  1. By: Janet Currie; Ishita Rajani
    Abstract: There is a large literature suggesting that “WIC works” to improve birth outcomes. However, methodological limitations related to selection into the WIC program have left room for doubt about this conclusion. This paper uses birth records from New York City to address the limitations of the previous literature. We estimate models with mother fixed effects to control for fixed characteristics of mothers and we directly investigate the way that time-varying characteristics of mothers affect selection into the WIC program. We find that WIC is associated with reductions in low birth weight, even among full term infants, and with reductions in the probability that a child is “small for dates.” These improvements are associated with a reduction in the probability that the mother gained too little weight during pregnancy. Improvements tend to be largest for first born children. We also find that women on WIC are more likely to be diagnosed with chronic conditions, and receive more intensive medical services, a finding that may reflect improved access to medical care.
    JEL: I1 I12 I3
    Date: 2014–08
  2. By: Alicia Adsera (Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University); Ana Ferrer (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo)
    Abstract: We use the confidential files of the 1991-2006 Canadian Census, combined with information from O*NET on the skill requirements of jobs, to explore whether Canadian immigrant women behave as secondary workers, remaining marginally attached to the labour market and experiencing little career progression over time. Our results show that the labor market patterns of female immigrants to Canada do not fit the profile of secondary workers, but rather conform to patterns recently exhibited by married native women elsewhere, with rising participation (and wage assimilation). At best, only relatively uneducated immigrant women in unskilled occupations may fit the profile of secondary workers, with slow skill mobility and low-status job-traps. Educated immigrant women, on the other hand, experience skill assimilation over time: a reduction in physical strength and an increase in analytical skills required in their jobs relative to those of natives.
    Keywords: skill assimilation, labour market outcomes of immigrant women, wage gaps, female labor force participation, Canadian migration
    JEL: J01 J61 F22
    Date: 2014–08
  3. By: Alessandra Voena (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper examines prenuptial contracts that allow couples in Italy to choose, at virtually no cost, how their assets will be divided in case of divorce. Unique administrative data on marriages and divorces from 1995 to 2011 indicate that the majority of newlyweds (67% in 2011) choose to forgo the default community property regime and to maintain separate property, which in other countries would require signing a costly prenuptial contract. In addition, the data suggest that couples choose community property to provide insurance to wives who forgo labor market opportunities and undertake household-specific investments. We estimate a dynamic model of marriage, female labor supply, savings and divorce to match the patterns of regime choice and outcomes observed in the administrative data. The estimates suggest that, as the rate of female labor participation increases and the gender wage gap decreases, there are increasing gains from separate property. Hence, lower costs of prenuptial contracting, as occurs in Italy and other civil law countries, might lead to substantial welfare gains for both husbands and wives, greater rates of female labor participation, lower probability of divorce and higher rates of household savings.
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Okoye, Dozie; Pongou, Roland
    Abstract: This paper shows that historical missionary activity has had a persistent effect on schooling outcomes, and contributed to a reversal of fortunes wherein historically richer ethnic groups are poorer today. Combining contemporary individual-level data with a newly constructed dataset on mission stations in Nigeria, we find that individuals whose ancestors were exposed to greater missionary activity have higher levels of schooling. This effect is robust to omitted heterogeneity, ethnicity fixed effects, and reverse causation. We find inter-generational factors and the persistence of early advantages in educational infrastructure to be key channels through which the effect has persisted. Consistent with theory, the effect of missions on current schooling is larger for population subgroups that have historically suffered disadvantages in access to education.
    Keywords: Missions, Africa, Education, Reversal of Fortunes, Nigeria
    JEL: I20 N30 N37 N47 O15 Z12
    Date: 2014–08–20
  5. By: Suresh Naidu; Yaw Nyarko; Shing-Yi Wang
    Abstract: In 2011, a reform in the United Arab Emirates allowed any employer to renew a migrant's visa upon contract expiration without written permission from the initial employer. We find that the reform increased incumbent migrants' earnings and firm retention of these workers. This occurs despite an increase in employer transitions, and is driven by a fall in country exits. While the outcomes of workers already in the United Arab Emirates improved, our analysis suggests that the reform decreased demand for new migrant workers and lowered their earnings. These results are consistent with a model in which the reform reduces the monopsony power of firms.
    JEL: J42 J6 O15 O53
    Date: 2014–08
  6. By: Britta Stoever
    Abstract: Demographic change challenges the economy in many ways. The impact on pension systems, health care, labour force etc. has already been widely analysed. An ageing population directly increases the number of retired persons, the need for nursing places and the contribution rates for social security systems for example. It also indirectly influences the production structure by shifts in the composition of final demand through changes in consumer behaviour. The objective of this paper is to quantify the impact of age specific consumer behaviour and demographic change on production, labour market and GDP components. Earlier research led to consumption functions for 13 different consumption purposes depending on the age structure of the German population (as presented at EcoMod 2012). These are implemented in the macro-econometric input-output model INFORGE (INterindustry FORecasting Germany) developed by GWS. The model has been used for economic forecasts and simulation or scenario analysis in many projects and studies. Amongst other features it is characterised by a high disaggregated sector information provided by National Accounts data and input-output tables. Demand and supply side are equally modelled taking the interacting relationship between production sectors and private household demand as well as price effects into account. Overall, the model structure gives the opportunity to trace impact and linkages of changes in the structure of private household demand on production and other parts of the economy. Two different scenarios are calculated and compared in order to quantify the impact of age induced changes in demand. In the first scenario it is assumed that the population composition does not change, i.e. the shares of the single age groups stay the same over the projection period. The results will be used as baseline. The second scenario includes the future population composition given by the population projection of the Federal Statistical Office. Due to demographic change shares of older age groups increase. Comparing both scenarios, consequences of an ageing population for production and service sectors, the labour market, GDP and its components can be identified. Demographic change induces changes in private household consumption expenditures via age specific consumer behaviour. This will affect the structure of final demand and hence the goods and services that have to be provided. Consequently the structure and amount of intermediate products alters as well. The lower demand for food and beverages by elderly as the share of elderly in the population rises for example will not only reduce the necessary output of the sector manufacture of food products and beverages but also the output of the agriculture and wholesale trade sectors that are main providers of intermediate products for manufacture of food products and beverages. As result it is expected that service sectors (especially household related health services) gain importance. Services are characterised by a comparably small amount of imported intermediate inputs, lower wages and salaries per employee and higher gross value added per sector. The amount of imported goods should decline: Industries are the main importing sectors and their output will reduce relative to services.
    Keywords: Germany, Macroeconometric modeling, Impact and scenario analysis
    Date: 2013–06–21
  7. By: Gamar, Alae; Driouchi, Ahmed
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the inclusion of women in the Moroccan labor markets and businesses through the role of higher education. The paper is based on a descriptive analysis of enrollment in the tertiary education, graduation, business creation, employment and school attainment over the period 1990-2012. This research investigates also the dynamic processes pursued by each variable in relation to gender. It then analyzes the relationships between education and the inclusion of women in the labor markets and businesses. The attained results show that higher education has a statistically significant positive influence on the inclusion of women in the labor market and in business creation. Schooling of women with higher education attainment is an important instrument to be promoted for further inclusion of women in the economy of Morocco.
    Keywords: Keywords: Women, School attainment, Inclusion, Labor Markets, Businesses
    JEL: I25 J2
    Date: 2014–08–22
  8. By: Koffi-Ahoto Kpelitse; Rose Anne Devlin; Sisira Sarma
    Abstract: Although a large body of research demonstrates an association between income and obesity, the causal nature of this relationship remains largely unclear. Using five biennial confidential master files (2000/01-2009/10) of the Canadian Community Health Survey, we examine the causal effect of income on adult body mass index (BMI) and obesity in Canada using an instrumental variables (IV) approach. The neighbourhood level unemployment rate and household income are the instruments used to identify the causal effect. Our results show that the income elasticity of BMI is -0.113 for women and -0.027 for men. These findings suggest that for a person of average height, a 1% increase in income leads to a weight reduction of 0.300 kg and 0.084kg for women and men, respectively. We find that a 1% increase in household income leads to a 0.76% and 0.27% decrease in the probability of being obese for women and men, respectively. Our quantile IV results reveal that the negative effect of income on BMI increases consistently over the BMI distribution in women, while for men it is statistically significant only at the higher end of the BMI distribution. Contrary to theoretical expectations, we do not find any evidence of a larger negative effect of income on BMI and obesity for more educated people. Our findings suggest that household income is potentially an important modifiable risk factor for obesity, especially among women.
    Keywords: body mass index, obesity, income, Instrumental Variable (IV), Quantile IV, Canada
    JEL: I1 I2 I10 C2
    Date: 2014–08

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