nep-dem New Economics Papers
on All new papers
Issue of 2014‒09‒08
seven papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. The Effects of Paid Family Leave in California on Labor Market Outcomes By Baum, Charles L.; Ruhm, Christopher J.
  2. Education for children with special needs in the Flemish community of Belgium: side effects of the current educational integration system By Leen Sebrechts
  3. Living on the Edge: Youth Entry, Career and Exit in Drug-Selling Gangs By Leandro Siqueira Carvalho; Rodrigo R. Soares
  4. Attitudes Towards Gender Equality And Perception Of Democracy In The Arab World By Veronica Kostenko; Pavel Kuzmichev; Eduard Ponarin
  5. The Effect of Violence on Birth Outcomes: Evidence from Homicides in Rural Brazil By Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner; Marco Manacorda
  6. Transfers to Households with Children and Child Development By Del Boca, Daniela; Flinn, Christopher; Wiswall, Matthew
  7. Enforcing Compulsory Schooling by Linking Welfare Payments to School Attendance: Lessons from Australia’s Northern Territory* By Moshe Justman; Kyle Peyton

  1. By: Baum, Charles L. (Middle Tennessee State University); Ruhm, Christopher J. (University of Virginia)
    Abstract: Using data from the 1997 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY-97), we examine the effects of California's paid family leave program (CA-PFL) on mothers' and fathers' use of leave during the period surrounding child birth, and on the timing of mothers' return to work, the probability of eventually returning to pre-childbirth jobs, and subsequent labor market outcomes. Our results show that CA-PFL raised leave-taking by around three weeks for the average mother and approximately one week for the average father. The timing of the increased leave use – immediately after birth for men and around the time that temporary disability insurance benefits are exhausted for women – is consistent with causal effects of CA-PFL. Rights to paid leave are also associated with higher work and employment probabilities for mothers nine to twelve months after birth, possibly because they increase job continuity among those with relatively weak labor force attachments. We also find positive effects of California's program on hours and weeks of work during their child's second year of life and possibly also on wages.
    Keywords: parental leave, paid leave, family leave, employment, wages, leave-taking, return-to-work decisions
    JEL: J1 J2 J3 J13 J18
    Date: 2014–08
  2. By: Leen Sebrechts
    Abstract: While the Flemish education sector has begun to evolve alongside international developments towards more inclusive types of education for children with special needs, the segregated special school remains the dominant model and a valued type of education in Flanders. An advantage of the Flemish system is that parents of children with special needs are currently able to choose the educational setting that is most suitable for their children: integrated education or special education. This choice is however complex as our research results show that the patterns of choice are determined systematically by the social position of the family of the child; besides the influence of other characteristics like type and severity of the disability and age of the child. The initiatives for integrated education implemented to date in the Flemish community of Belgium appear to rely heavily on the capacities of the families with the result that families in stronger socio-cultural and socioeconomic positions are best able to cope in integrated education. At the same time, there remains an overrepresentation of vulnerable families in segregated specialist education. We concluded that policies aimed at increasing equality serve to exacerbate the embedded structural social inequalities.
    Keywords: child with special needs, special needs education, integrated education, social position, educational inequality, Flanders
    Date: 2014–08
  3. By: Leandro Siqueira Carvalho (RAND Corporation); Rodrigo R. Soares (Department of Economics PUC-Rio)
    Abstract: We use data from a unique survey of members of drug-trafficking gangs in favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to characterize drug-trafficking jobs and study the selection into gangs, analyzing what distinguishes gang-members from other youth living in favelas. We also estimate wage regressions for gang-members and examine their career path: age at entry, progression within the gangs’ hierarchy, and short- to medium-term outcomes. Individuals from lower socioeconomic background and with no religious affiliation have higher probability of joining a gang, while those with problems at school and early use of drugs join the gang at younger ages. Wages within the gang do not depend on education, but are increasing with experience and involvement in gang-related violence. The two-year mortality rate in the sample of gang-members reaches 20%, with the probability of death increasing with initial involvement in gang violence and with personality traits associated with unruliness.
    Date: 2013–02
  4. By: Veronica Kostenko (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Pavel Kuzmichev (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Eduard Ponarin (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the relationship between support of democracy and attitudes to human rights: in particular, support for gender equality in the countries covered by the first wave of the Arab Barometer project. We used cluster analysis and negative binomial regression modeling to show that, unlike in most countries of the world, the correlation between support of democracy and gender equality is very low in Arab countries. There is a group of people in the region who support both democracy and gender equality, but they are a small group (about 17% of the population) of elderly and middle-aged people characterized by higher education and social status. A substantial number of poorly educated males express support for democracy, but not for gender equality. Many people (especially young males aged 25–35 in 2007) are against both gender equality and democracy. Younger people tend to be both better educated and more conservative - those belonging to the 25–34 age group are the most patriarchal in their gender attitudes. Controlling for age, education still has a positive effect on gender equality attitudes. Nevertheless, this phenomenon probably means that there are two simultaneous processes going on in the Middle East. On the one hand, people are becoming more educated, urbanized etc., which means the continuation of modernization. On the other hand, we observed a certain retrogression of social values.
    Keywords: modernization, Arab Barometer, democracy, gender equality, patriarchal values, Islam
    JEL: E11
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner; Marco Manacorda
    Abstract: This paper uses microdata from Brazilian vital statistics natality and mortality data between 2000 and 2010 to estimate the impact of in-utero exposure to local violence -measured by homicide rates- on birth outcomes. Focusing on small communities, where it is more plausible that local homicide rates reflect actual exposure to violence, the analysis shows that exposure to violence during pregnancy leads to deterioration in birth outcomes: one extra homicide during the first trimester of pregnancy increases the probability of low birthweight by around 6 percent. Results are particularly pronounced among children of poorly educated mothers, implying that violence compounds the disadvantage that these children already suffer as a result of their households' lower socioeconomic status.
    JEL: I12 I14 J13 J88
    Date: 2013–06
  6. By: Del Boca, Daniela (University of Turin); Flinn, Christopher (New York University); Wiswall, Matthew (Arizona State University)
    Abstract: In this paper we utilize a model of household investments in the development of children to explore the impact of various transfer policies on the distribution of child outcomes. We develop a cost criterion that can be used to compare the cost effectiveness of unrestricted, restricted, and conditional cash transfer systems, and find that an optimally chosen conditional cash transfer program is the most cost efficient way to attain any given gain in average child quality. We explore several design elements for the conditional cash transfer system and discuss the role of production function uncertainty and measurement error.
    Keywords: child development, time allocation, income transfers, conditional cash transfers
    JEL: J13 D1
    Date: 2014–08
  7. By: Moshe Justman (Department of Economics, Ben Gurion University; Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; and ARC Centre for Children and Families over the Life Course); Kyle Peyton (Department of Political Science, Yale University; and Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: Efforts to enforce compulsory schooling by linking welfare assistance to school attendance are rarely successful in themselves. One reason is a lack of credibility: targeted families may anticipate that welfare administrators will be reluctant to withdraw support when attendance does not improve. Australia's School Enrolment and Attendance through Welfare Reform Measure (SEAM) demonstrates the impact of a credible threat. Targeting the Indigenous population of the Northern Territory, its credibility stemmed from the extreme circumstances created by the Northern Territory Emergency Response Act and from the troubled history of race relations in Australia. We show, using a difference-in-difference analysis of standardized test data (NAPLAN), that SEAM had a substantial, immediate impact: in its first year it triggered an increase in test participation rates of 16- 20 percentage points over pre-SEAM levels; and it significantly increased the share of tested cohorts achieving national minimum standards by 5-10 percentage points. However, welfare payments were rarely withheld from truant families and participation rates fell in subsequent years, though remaining significantly above pre-SEAM levels. This suggests that initiatives such as SEAM will not be fully effective in the longer term unless accompanied by measures that increase parents’ and children’s appreciation of the value of schooling.
    Keywords: Australia, Indigenous population, Northern Territory Emergency Response, SEAM, compulsory schooling, linking school attendance to welfare payments
    JEL: I25 I38
    Date: 2014–08

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