nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2014‒11‒07
twelve 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. Life Expectancy and Mother-Baby Interventions. Evidence from A Historical Trial By Sonia Bhalotra; Martin Karlsson; Therese Nilsson
  3. The Glass Ceiling and the Paper Floor: Gender Differences among Top Earners, 1981–2012 By Guvenen, Fatih; Kaplan, Greg; Song, Jae
  4. The Impact of Being Poor During Crisis on Child Health and Cognitive Development in Indonesia By Rosy Wediawaty
  5. Intergenerational Transmission of Unemployment: Evidence for German Sons By Miriam Mäder; Steffen Müller; Regina T. Riphahn; Caroline Schwientek
  6. Measuring agricultural knowledge and adoption By Kondylis, Florence; Mueller, Valerie; Zhu, Siyao Jessica
  7. Is It just a matter of personality? On the role of life satisfaction in childbearing behavior By Marco Le Moglie; Letizia Mencarini; Chiara Rapallini
  8. Inequality and trust: new evidence from panel data By Guglielmo Barone; Sauro Mocetti
  9. Are we architects of our own happiness? The importance of family background for well-being By Schnitzlein, Daniel D.; Wunder, Christoph
  10. Social security schemes and labor supply in the formal and informal sectors By Rodrigo Ceni
  11. Can Early Intervention Policies Improve Well-being? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial By Michael Daly; Liam Delaney; Orla Doyle; Nick Fitzpatrick; Christine O’Farrelly
  12. Labour Market and Flexibility. A logistic regression model to estimate the likelihood of being atypical for a woman employed in Pisa By Paola Meozzi

  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: Sonia Bhalotra; Martin Karlsson; Therese Nilsson
    Abstract: This paper investigates the potential of maternal and infant health programs to improve the life expectancy of women and children. We study a program trialed 1931-33 in seven Swedish medical districts, assembling individual data from parish records and aggregate data from annual reports of medical districts. We estimate short run program effects on maternal and infant mortality. In addition, we track individuals exposed to the program together with unexposed individuals from neighbouring birth-cohorts so as to establish whether they survive to age 40, an age by which maternal mortality of the offspring is determined, and age 75, an age by which 35% of the sample cohorts had died. We find significant impacts of exposure to the infant program on infant survival and on the probability of surviving to ages 5, 40 and 75. The estimates suggest that the impact on life expectancy is largely driven by infant survival. The program narrowed health inequalities. Its impact was systematically larger among children born out of wedlock, who also exhibit higher baseline rates of infant mortality. There is no evidence of endogenous fertility responses or of selection into the program on a range of relevant observables. The evidence is consistent with parents reinforcing treatment by the public health intervention. We are unable to identify any impacts of program components delivered to mothers.
    Keywords: Maternal care; infant care; early life interventions; barker hypothesis; program evaluation; Sweden
    JEL: I15 I18 H41
    Date: 2014–09
  3. By: Guvenen, Fatih (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis); Kaplan, Greg (Princeton University); Song, Jae (Social Security Administration)
    Abstract: We analyze changes in the gender structure at the top of the earnings distribution in the United States over the last 30 years using a 10% sample of individual earnings histories from the Social Security Administration. Despite making large inroads, females still constitute a small proportion of the top percentiles: the glass ceiling, albeit a thinner one, remains. We measure the contribution of changes in labor force participation, changes in the persistence of top earnings, and changes in industry and age composition to the change in the gender composition of top earners. A large proportion of the increased share of females among top earners is accounted for by the mending of, what we refer to as, the paper floor – the phenomenon whereby female top earners were much more likely than male top earners to drop out of the top percentiles. We also provide new evidence at the top of the earnings distribution for both genders: the rising share of top earnings accruing to workers in the Finance and Insurance industry, the relative transitory status of top earners, the emergence of top earnings gender gaps over the life cycle, and gender differences among lifetime top earners.
    Keywords: Top earners; Glass ceiling; Gender gap; Paper floor; Industry
    JEL: E24 G10 J31
    Date: 2014–10–22
  4. By: Rosy Wediawaty (Directorate of State Finance and Monetary Analysis (BAPPENAS))
    Abstract: Shocks, such as economic crisis, that occur in the critical periods of children development are believed to have lasting effects. Using data from Indonesia Family Life Survey (IFLS), this study investigates the timing issue and whether Asian Financial 1997/1998 crisis has impacts on child health and cognitive development in Indonesia. By running pooled cross-section model, this study finds that generally crisis has not had negative impacts on child health and cognitive development for those who were poor. Yet, in urban areas, crisis struck harder and negatively affected the cognitive score of specific age groups. This study also finds that the critical periods of children development might be in the first two years of early life. Expenditure levels and mothers’ education are strong predictors for child health and cognitive development.
    Keywords: Crisis, Child Health, Cognitive Development, Indonesia
    JEL: I15 O15 O53
    Date: 2014–10
  5. By: Miriam Mäder; Steffen Müller; Regina T. Riphahn; Caroline Schwientek
    Abstract: This paper studies the association between the unemployment experience of fathers and their sons. Based on German survey data that cover the last decades we find significant positive correlations. Using instrumental variables estimation and the Gottschalk (1996) method we investigate to what extent fathers' unemployment is causal for offsprings' employment outcomes. In agreement with most of the small international literature we do not find a positive causal effect for intergenerational unemployment transmission. This outcome is robust to alternative data structures and to tests at the intensive and extensive margin of unemployment.
    Keywords: youth unemployment, non-employment, intergenerational mobility, causal effect, Gottschalk method
    JEL: J62 C21 C26
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Kondylis, Florence; Mueller, Valerie; Zhu, Siyao Jessica
    Abstract: Understanding the trade-offs in improving the precision of agricultural measures through survey design is crucial. Yet, standard indicators used to determine program effectiveness may be flawed and at a differential rate for men and women. The authors use a household survey from Mozambique to estimate the measurement error from male and female self-reports of their adoption and knowledge of three practices: intercropping, mulching, and strip tillage. Despite clear differences in human and physical capital, there are no obvious differences in the knowledge, adoption, and error in self-reporting between men and women. Having received training unanimously lowers knowledge misreports and increases adoption misreports. Other determinants of reporting error differ by gender. Misreporting is positively associated with a greater number of plots for men. Recall decay on measures of knowledge appears prominent among men but not women. Findings from regression and cost-effectiveness analyses always favor the collection of objective measures of knowledge. Given the lowest rate of accuracy for adoption was around 80 percent, costlier objective adoption measures are recommended for a subsample in regions with heterogeneous farm sizes.
    Keywords: Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems,Population Policies,Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems,Crops and Crop Management Systems,Primary Education
    Date: 2014–10–01
  7. By: Marco Le Moglie; Letizia Mencarini; Chiara Rapallini (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the role of individual subjective wellbeing (SWB) in conjunction with personality traits (PTs) in childbearing behavior. We use the German Socio Economic Panel to estimate the way satisfaction matters for having a child. We find that SWB positively predicts childbearing, with the effect significant for both genders only for the second child. By controlling that this is not caused by PTs either on SWB or fertility, we assure that the effect of SWB on fertility is not determined by PTs, therefore leaving room for adequate policy measures aimed at raising SWB, which in turn would sustain fertility.
    Keywords: Subjective well-being, fertility by parity, personality traits, GSOEP survey
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Guglielmo Barone (Bank of Italy); Sauro Mocetti (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The relationship between inequality and trust has attracted the interest of many scholars who have found a negative relationship between the two variables. However, the causal link from inequality to trust is far from being identified and the existing empirical evidence admittedly remains weak, as the omitted variable bias, reverse causation and/or measurement error might be at work. In this paper, we reconsider the country-level evidence to address this issue. First, we exploit the panel dimension of the data, thus controlling for any country unobservable time-invariant variables. Second, we provide instrumental variable estimates using the predicted exposure to technological change as an exogenous driver of inequality. According to our findings, income inequality significantly and negatively affects generalised trust. However, this result only holds for developed countries. We also explore new insights on the effects of different dimensions of inequality, exploiting measures of both static inequality – such as the Gini index and top income shares – and dynamic inequality – proxied by intergenerational income mobility.
    Keywords: trust, inequality, top incomes, intergenerational mobility
    JEL: D31 O15 Z13
    Date: 2014–09
  9. By: Schnitzlein, Daniel D.; Wunder, Christoph
    Abstract: This paper analyzes whether individuals have equal opportunity to achieve happiness (or well- being). We estimate sibling correlations and intergenerational correlations in self-reported life satisfaction, satisfaction with household income, job satisfaction, and satisfaction with health. We find high sibling correlations for all measures of well-being. The results suggest that family background explains, on average, between 30% and 60% of the inequality in permanent well-being. The influence is smaller when the siblings’ psychological and geographical distance from their parental home is larger. Results from intergenerational correlations suggest that parental characteristics are considerably less important than family and community factors.
    Keywords: subjective well-being, family background, intergenerational mobility, siblings
    JEL: D3 I31 J62
    Date: 2014–10
  10. By: Rodrigo Ceni (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how changes in the social security scheme affect the participation path of workers between the formal and the informal sectors. The choice between the formal and informal sectors is completely voluntary. In this framework, individuals, depending on the retirement program and their endowment of human capital, construct their decision paths in the labor market. I use Argentinean panel data from the period 1995-2011 to estimate a structural model, and this is used to evaluate changes in the workers' behavior when the pension scheme changes. Among the main results, if the parameters are fixed as in the PAYG, there is a slight reduction in the years of the formality and the percentage of workers who achieve a full pension. Moreover, the increase of the requirement to achieve a full pension to 35 years in the formality, increases the percentage of workers in formality over 45 and the number of the years working formally but it decreases the achievement of a pension at all educational levels. The decrease of that requirement has an effect on the reduction of the years in formality even for those who are not affected directly, the high part of the distribution of the high educated. Finally, if the minimum age to achieve a pension is now 67 instead of 65, there is an important increment in the formality and the full pension achievement especially for the low educated workers.
    Keywords: informality, discrete choice, pension schemes, Argentina
    JEL: E26 J24 J26 O17
    Date: 2014–10
  11. By: Michael Daly (Stirling University); Liam Delaney (Stirling University); Orla Doyle (University College Dublin); Nick Fitzpatrick (University College Dublin); Christine O’Farrelly (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: Many authors have proposed incorporating measures of well-being into evaluations of public policy. Yet few evaluations use experimental design or examine multiple aspects of well-being, thus the causal impact of public policies on well-being is largely unknown. In this paper we examine the effect of an intensive early intervention program on maternal well-being in a targeted disadvantaged community. Using a randomized controlled trial design we estimate and compare treatment effects on global well-being using measures of life satisfaction, experienced well-being using both the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) and a measure of mood yesterday, and also a standardized measure of parenting stress. The intervention has no significant impact on negative measures of well-being, such as experienced negative affect as measured by the DRM and global measures of well-being such as life satisfaction or a global measure of parenting stress. Significant treatment effects are observed on experienced measures of positive affect using the DRM, and a measure of mood yesterday. The DRM treatment effects are primarily concentrated during times spent without the target child which may reflect the increased effort and burden associated with additional parental investment. Our findings suggest that a maternal-focused intervention may produce meaningful improvements in experienced well-being. Incorporating measures of experienced affect may thus alter cost-benefit calculations for public policies.
    Keywords: Well-Being, Randomised Controlled Trial, Early Intervention
    JEL: I00 I39
    Date: 2014–10–13
  12. By: Paola Meozzi
    Abstract: How do demographic and educational factors affect a woman’s occupational status? How common is non standard employment for different labour force groups and in different sectors of the labour market? This paper aims at analysing the impact of different “structural variables” in terms of risk for a woman working in the province of Pisa to be employed with a non-standard contract. Determinants of women’s atypical employment in Pisa are studied using microdata for approximately 425.000 women employed in Pisa. Section 1 summarizes previous literature. Section 2 shows some descriptive evidence and the incidence patterns that exist for different demographic groups. In Section 3 regression methods are used to explore the association between particular worker characteristics and the likelihood of being employed in atypical jobs. Multivariate analyses conducted on administrative microdata during the economic crisis (2008-2013) show that some structural variables (citizenship, age and educational level) affect the type of employment stability. Moreover some female atypical workers have a higher probability of working in some sectors rather than some other ones, providing support to the horizontal occupational hypothesis.
    Keywords: labour market, flexibility, atypical employment, women employment, precarious work, labour market institutions.
    JEL: J08 J15 J16 J24 J71
    Date: 2014–10–01

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