nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2014‒11‒01
seven papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Family Structure and the Education Gender Gap: Evidence from Italian Provinces By Graziella Bertocchi; Monica Bozzano
  2. Intrahousehold distribution in migrant-sending families By Lucia Mangiavacchi; Federico Perali; Luca Piccoli
  3. Impact of Migration on Fertility and Abortion: Evidence from the Household and Welfare Study of Accra By Slawa Rokicki; Livia Montana; Gunther Fink
  4. Intra Marraige Bargaining Power and Fertility Decisions for Women in Developing Countries By Younoh Kim; Vlad Radoias
  5. A Population Level Study of the Effects of Early Intervention for Autism By Janet Currie; David Figlio; Joshua Goodman; Claudia Persico
  6. Out of sight, out of mind? Educational outcomes of children with parents working abroad. By Joanna Clifton-Sprigg (The University of Edinburgh)
  7. Model Uncertainty and the Effect of Shall-Issue Right-to-Carry Laws on Crime By Steven N. Durlauf; Salvador Navarro; David A. Rivers

  1. By: Graziella Bertocchi; Monica Bozzano
    Abstract: We investigate the determinants of the education gender gap in Italy in historical perspective with a focus on the influence of family structure. We capture the latter with two indicators: residential habits (nuclear vs. complex families) and inheritance rules (partition vs. primogeniture). After controlling for economic, institutional, religious, and cultural factors, we find that over the 1861-1901 period family structure is a driver of the education gender gap, with a higher female to male enrollment rate ratio in upper primary schools being associated with nuclear residential habits and equal partition of inheritance. We also find that only the effect of inheritance rules persists over the 1971-2001 period.
    Keywords: Education gender gap, Italian Unification, family types, inheritance, institutions, religion, convergence
    JEL: E02 H75 I25 J16 N33 O15
    Date: 2014–07
  2. By: Lucia Mangiavacchi (Universitat de les Illes Balears); Federico Perali (Universitá di Verona); Luca Piccoli (Universitat de les Illes Balears)
    Abstract: This study proposes a novel approach for estimating the rules governing the distribution of resources among wife, husband and children, using a complete collective demand system with individual Engel effects. The model contributes to the literature by explicitly modeling intrahousehold inequality and offering a powerful tool to analyze the impact of specific factors or policies on the share of resources of each household member. We apply the model to Albania, a country where gender and inter-generation inequalities are relevant social issues stemming from traditional patriarchal family values and massive international migration of male adults. The results show that the female share of resources is substantially lower respect to a fair distribution. The share of resources freed by the male migrant shifts to the left behind children but not to women, especially when migration increases the influence of women in the decision making process. This effect is increasing with the proportion of daughters.
    Keywords: Intrahousehold distribution, individual welfare, collective consumption models, sharing rule, migration, left behind, Albania.
    JEL: D13 H31 I32 O15
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Slawa Rokicki; Livia Montana; Gunther Fink
    Abstract: Over the last few decades, total fertility rates, child morbidity and mortality rates have declinedin most parts of sub-Saharan Africa. One of the most striking trends observed is the rapid rate ofurbanization, and the often remarkably large gaps in fertility between rural and urban areas.While a large literature has highlighted the importance of migration and urbanization withincountries’ demographic transitions, relatively little is known regarding the impact of migrationon migrants’ reproductive health outcomes in general, and abortion in particular. In this paper,we use detailed pregnancy and migration histories collected as part of the Household andWelfare Study of Accra (HAWS) to examine the association between migration and pregnancyoutcomes among women residing in the urban slums of Accra, Ghana. We find that thecompleted fertility patterns of lifetime Accra residents are remarkably similar to those ofresidents who migrated. Our results suggest that recent migrants have an increased risk ofpregnancy, but not an increased risk of live birth in the first years post-move as compared tothose who had never moved. This gap seems to be largely explained by an increased risk ofmiscarriage or abortion among recent migrants. The increased risk of pregnancy loss may be dueto a lack of social network, increased stress, and increased access to and knowledge on abortivemeasures. Increasing access to contraceptives for recent migrants has the potential to reduce theincidence of unwanted pregnancies, lower the prevalence of abortion and contribute to improvedmaternal health outcomes.
    Date: 2014–06
  4. By: Younoh Kim (Department of Economics, Eastern Michigan University); Vlad Radoias (Department of Economics, Towson University)
    Abstract: Two types of theoretical bargaining models can be employed to study issues on intra marriage bargaining - a competitive and a cooperative bargaining model. While many seem to support the idea that couples make their decisions together in trying to maximize household level welfare, there is no general consensus on which type of model is more appropriate. One particular result that seems to suggest that couples do actually bargain competitively is the result that links fertility decisions to bargaining power. The argument is that women prefer less children than men, and that bargaining power influences fertility. However, we argue, these studies are suffering from endogeneity issues that are not properly instrumented for. We propose instruments for bargaining power based on individual risk and time preferences which affect the threat point and bargaining power of spouses, but not the fertility decisions directly. Using this identification strategy, we show that fertility decisions do not depend on bargaining power, which supports the unitary bargaining model. We argue that the previous results were either not addressing the endogeneity issues at all, or based on invalid instruments that were not fully exogenous.
    Keywords: Bargaining Power, Fertility.
    JEL: D13 J13
    Date: 2014–10
  5. By: Janet Currie; David Figlio; Joshua Goodman; Claudia Persico
    Abstract: Billions of dollars are spent each year on early diagnosis and intervention programs for autism. However, there is little reliable evidence about the effectiveness of these programs. Few studies that evaluate early interventions for autism use random assignment or quasi-experimental designs, and studies of the effects of early intervention programs have relied on small, selected samples that lacked power to detect even moderate associations. A recent meta-analysis by Spreckley and Boyd (2009) on the efficacy of applied behavior intervention in preschool children with autism found that compared with standard care, applied behavior interventions did not significantly improve the cognitive outcomes of the children in these programs. Using population-level data of all children with autism spectrum disorders who were born in the state of Florida between 1994-2002, we evaluate the effects of a free, statewide early diagnosis and intervention program for autism called Early Steps. Families can receive autism diagnoses from one of 18 Early Steps centers located around the state; we make use of distance to the nearest Early Steps center as an instrument for receipt of autism services prior to a child’s fourth birthday. The first stage is very strong: Children living in the same community as an Early Steps center at the time of birth are nearly twice as likely to receive early services as those In communities more than 30 miles away from a center. We use instrumental variables methods to determine whether early diagnosis and intervention impacts (1) short term outcomes, such as kindergarten readiness scores and attending kindergarten on time, (2) grade repetition, (3) significant behavioral problems, and (4) longer term cognitive outcomes, including elementary school test scores. Preliminary results show strong, significant effects of early intervention for autism by age four on attending kindergarten on time, and on third and fourth grade FCAT (Florida’s Comprehensive Assessment Test)�scores. In addition, children who have had early intervention for autism by age four via Early Steps are significantly less likely to have a behavioral incident at school or to be suspended, and have fewer days of suspension than children with later diagnoses of autism. This study is the first population-level study of the effects of early intervention on autism. In addition, this is the first evaluation of a statewide free early diagnosis and intervention program for autism.� Finally, this is the first study to examine the effects of early intervention for autism on school-based cognitive and behavioral outcomes. Thus, this study will hopefully lend insight into how policies that provide free treatment for autistic individuals can lead to a variety of positive developmental outcomes for these children.
    Date: 2014–06
  6. By: Joanna Clifton-Sprigg (The University of Edinburgh)
    Abstract: Impact of parental emigration on educational outcomes of children is theoretically ambiguous. Using novel data I collected on migration experience and its timing, family background and school performance of lower secondary pupils in Poland, I analyse the question empirically. Migration is mostly temporary in nature, with one parent engaging in employment abroad. As many as 63% of migrant parents have vocational qualifications, 29% graduated from high school, 4% have no qualifications and the remaining 4% graduated from university. Almost 18% of children are affected by parental migration. Perhaps surprisingly, estimates suggest that parental employment abroad has a positive immediate impact on a pupil's grade. Parental education appears pivotal; children of high school graduates benefit most. Longer term effects appear more negative, however, suggesting that a prolonged migration significantly lowers a child's grade. Interestingly, siblings' foreign experiences exert a large, positive impact on pupils' grades.
    Keywords: education of adolescents, migration
    JEL: F22 I29 J13
    Date: 2014–10–16
  7. By: Steven N. Durlauf (University of Wisconsin at Madison); Salvador Navarro (University of Western Ontario); David A. Rivers (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: In this paper, we explore the role of model uncertainty in explaining the different findings in the literature regarding the effect of shall-issue right-to-carry concealed weapons laws on crime. In particular, we systematically examine how different modeling assumptions affect the results. We find little support for some widely used assumptions in the literature (e.g., population weights), but find that allowing for the effect of the law to be heterogeneous across both counties and over time is important for explaining the observed patterns of crime. In terms of model uncertainty, we find that there is substantial variation in the estimated effects for each model across all dimensions of the model space. This suggests that one should be cautious in using the results from any particular model to inform policy decisions.
    Keywords: None.
    Date: 2014

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