nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2014‒11‒28
ten papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. The Glass Ceiling and The Paper Floor: Gender Differences among Top Earners, 1981-2012 By Fatih Guvenen; Greg Kaplan; Jae Song
  2. Manufacturing Growth and the Lives of Bangladeshi Women By Heath, Rachel; Mobarak, A. Mushfiq
  3. Convergences in Men's and Women's Life Patterns: Lifetime Work, Lifetime Earnings, and Human Capital Investment By Jacobsen, Joyce P.; Khamis, Melanie; Yuksel, Mutlu
  5. Early child care and child outcomes: the role of grandparents. By Del Boca, Daniela; Piazzalunga, Daniela; Pronzato, Chiara
  6. Intergenerational transmission of unemployment: Evidence for German sons By Mäder, Miriam; Müller, Steffen; Riphahn, Regina T.; Schwientek, Caroline
  7. Heat Waves at Conception and Later Life Outcomes By Joshua Wilde; Benedicte Apouey; Toni Jung
  8. Short-run fertility effects of parental leave benefits: Evidence from a structural model By Stichnoth, Holger
  9. Successful Scientific Replication and Extension of Levitt (2008): Child Seats Are Still No Safer than Seat Belts By Jones, Lauren E.; Ziebarth, Nicolas R.
  10. Evidence and Persistence of Education Inequality in an Early-Tracking System: The German Case By Krause, Annabelle; Schüller, Simone

  1. By: Fatih Guvenen; Greg Kaplan; Jae Song
    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.
    JEL: E24 E25 J31
    Date: 2014–10
  2. By: Heath, Rachel (University of Washington); Mobarak, A. Mushfiq (Yale University)
    Abstract: We study the effects of explosive growth in the Bangladeshi ready-made garments industry on the lives on Bangladeshi women. We compare the marriage, childbearing, school enrollment and employment decisions of women who gain greater access to garment sector jobs to women living further away from factories, to years before the factories arrive close to some villages, and to the marriage and enrollment decisions of their male siblings. Girls exposed to the garment sector delay marriage and childbirth. This stems from (a) young girls becoming more likely to be enrolled in school after garment jobs (which reward literacy and numeracy) arrive, and (b) older girls becoming more likely to be employed outside the home in garment-proximate villages. The demand for education generated through manufacturing growth appears to have a much larger effect on female educational attainment compared to a large-scale government conditional cash transfer program to encourage female schooling.
    Keywords: ready-made garment exports, Bangladesh, marriage, fertility, schooling
    JEL: O12 F16 I25 J23
    Date: 2014–09
  3. By: Jacobsen, Joyce P. (Wesleyan University); Khamis, Melanie (Wesleyan University); Yuksel, Mutlu (Dalhousie University)
    Abstract: The changes in women and men's work lives have been considerable in recent decades. Yet much of the recent research on gender differences in employment and earnings has been of a more snapshot nature rather than taking a longer comparative look at evolving patterns. In this paper, we use 50 years (1964-2013) of US Census Annual Demographic Files (March Current Population Survey) to track the changing returns to human capital (measured as both educational attainment and potential work experience), estimating comparable earnings equations by gender at each point in time. We consider the effects of sample selection over time for both women and men and show the rising effect of selection for women in recent years. Returns to education diverge for women and men over this period in the selection-adjusted results but converge in the OLS results, while returns to potential experience converge in both sets of results. We also create annual calculations of synthetic lifetime labor force participation, hours, and earnings that indicate convergence by gender in worklife patterns, but less convergence in recent years in lifetime earnings. Thus, while some convergence has indeed occurred, the underlying mechanisms causing convergence differ for women and men, reflecting continued fundamental differences in women's and men's life experiences.
    Keywords: gender earnings gap, lifetime work, lifetime earnings, human capital investment
    JEL: J3 J16 J24 N3
    Date: 2014–08
  4. By: Gokce Uysal (Bahcesehir University Center for Economic and Social Research); Duygu Guner (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
    Abstract: Does culture affect female labor supply? In this paper, we address this question using a recent approach to measuring the effects of culture on economic outcomes, i.e. the epidemiological approach. We focus on migrants, who come from different cultures, but who share a common economic and institutional set-up today. Controlling for various individual characteristics including parental human capital as well as for current economic and institutional setup, we find that female employment rates in 1970 in a female migrant’s province of origin affects her labor supply behavior in 2008. We also show that it is the female employment rates and not male in the province of origin in 1970 that affects the current labor supply behavior. We also extend the epidemiological approach to analyze the effects of religion on female labor supply. More specifically, we use a proxy of parental religiosity, i.e. share of party votes in 1973 elections in Turkey to study female labor supply in 2008. Our findings indicate that female migrants from provinces that had larger (smaller) shares of the religious party votes in 1973 are less (more) likely to participate in the labor market in 2008. An extended model where both cultural and religiosity proxies are included shows that culture and religiosity have separately significant effects on female labor supply behavior.
    Date: 2014–04
  5. By: Del Boca, Daniela; Piazzalunga, Daniela; Pronzato, Chiara (University of Turin)
    Abstract: In this pap er, we fo cus on the impact of early grandparents' care on child cognitive out- comes, in the short and medium term, using data from the Millennium Cohort Study (UK). Compared with children lo oked after in a formal care centre, children cared by grandparents (as well as parents) are b etter in naming ob jects, but worse in tests concerning basic concepts development, problem-solving, mathematical concepts and constructing ability. In order to assess a causal link b etween early care and child outcomes, we employ panel metho ds and in- strumental variables techniques that conrm that grandparental care matters more for naming ability while formal care is more imp ortant for problem-solving ability and basic concepts de- velopment. These results hide strong heterogeneities: on the one hand, the p ositive asso ciation b etween grandparents' care and child outcomes is stronger for children in more advantaged households; on the other hand, the negative asso ciation is signicant only for children in more disadvantaged households
    Date: 2014–10
  6. By: Mäder, Miriam; Müller, Steffen; Riphahn, Regina T.; Schwientek, Caroline
    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
  7. By: Joshua Wilde (Department of Economics, University of South Florida); Benedicte Apouey (Paris School of Economics -- CNRS); Toni Jung (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)
    Abstract: We ask whether individuals conceived during heat waves have better education and health outcomes later in life. Using Census and DHS data from sub-Saharan Africa, we show that individuals conceived during heat waves have higher educational attainment and literacy, less disabilities, and lower child mortality. We then explore several channels through which this effect may occur. Although there is some evidence that parents who conceive during heat waves have different characteristics than those who do not, these differences do not explain our findings. Instead, we find that natural selection through fetal loss is the most likely mechanism driving our result.
    Keywords: Temperature, Climate, Conception, Disability, Education, Fertility, Health, Human Capital, Literacy, Schooling, Sexual Activity, Spontaneous Abortion, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: I12 I15 J13 O15
    Date: 2014–10
  8. By: Stichnoth, Holger
    Abstract: Based on a structural model of fertility and female labour force supply with unobserved heterogeneity and state dependence, we evaluate the 2007 reform of parental leave benefits in Germany, which replaced a flat, means-tested benefit by a generous earnings-related transfer. The model predicts a short-term fertility effect of about 4%, which is consistent with recent quasi-experimental evidence. The fertility effect is strongest for first births and increases with income. We use the model for a number of counterfactual policy experiments in which we vary the generosity of parental leave benefits.
    Keywords: Fertility,female labour supply,family policy,parental leave,latent class models,state dependence
    JEL: C25 C53 J13 J22
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Jones, Lauren E. (Cornell University); Ziebarth, Nicolas R. (Cornell University)
    Abstract: Using US fatality data from 1975 to 2003, Levitt (2008) shows that child safety seats do not significantly reduce fatalities for children aged two to six as compared to standard seat belts. Although we were unable to gain access to the original programs and dataset used, we were able to replicate Levitt's (2008) findings almost exactly. We extend Levitt (2008) by showing that the findings also hold for the years 2004 to 2011 despite changing driver characteristics and restraint use patterns. We fail to find evidence that SUVs provide additional safety for children.
    Keywords: scientific replication, Steven Levitt, child safety seats, improper use, SUVs, fatalities, FARS
    JEL: I18 I31 Z13 Q54
    Date: 2014–10
  10. By: Krause, Annabelle (IZA); Schüller, Simone (IRVAPP)
    Abstract: This article reviews empirical evidence on the early tracking system in Germany and the educational inequalities associated with it. Overall, the literature confirms the existence of considerable social, ethnic, gender- and age-related inequalities in secondary school track placement. Studies on tracking timing and track allocation mechanisms reveal that postponement of the selection decision and binding teacher recommendations may reduce certain (mainly social) inequalities. Furthermore, recent evidence concerning long-term consequences of tracking on labor market outcomes suggests that sizeable built-in flexibilities in the German system succeed in compensating for initial (age-related) education inequalities. The paper concludes with an outline and discussion of the most promising pathways for future research in order to help design inequality-reducing policy recommendations.
    Keywords: educational inequality, tracking, school system, Germany
    JEL: I24 I28 J24
    Date: 2014–10

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