nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2014‒12‒19
eleven papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Performance Pay, Competitiveness, and the Gender Wage Gap: Evidence from the United States By McGee, Andrew; McGee, Peter; Pan, Jessica
  2. Intermarriage and the Unhealthy Assimilation of Immigrant Descendants By Giuntella, Osea
  3. A Life-Course Perspective on Gender Differences in Cognitive Functioning in India By Velamuri, Malathi; Onur, Ilke
  4. Do female officers improve law enforcement quality? Effects on crime reporting and domestic violence escalation By Amalia R. Miller; Carmit Segal
  5. Do Female Executives Make a Difference? The Impact of Female Leadership on Gender Gaps and Firm Performance By Flabbi, Luca; Macis, Mario; Moro, Andrea; Schivardi, Fabiano
  6. Female Self-Employment and Children: The Case of Sweden By Andersson Joona, Pernilla
  7. Gender-preferential intergenerational patterns in primary education attainment : a quantitative analysis of a case of rural Mindanao, the Philippines By Okabe, Masayoshi
  8. Determinants of Bilingualism among Children By Chiswick, Barry R.; Gindelsky, Marina
  9. Attractiveness, Anthropometry or Both? Their Relationship and Role in Economic Research By Oreffice, Sonia; Quintana-Domeque, Climent
  10. Too Busy for School? The Effect of Athletic Participation on Absenteeism By Cuffe, Harold E.; Waddell, Glen R.; Bignell, Wesley
  11. Social Networks and Health Knowledge in India: Who You Know or Who You Are? By Niels-Hugo Blunch; Nabanita Datta Gupta

  1. By: McGee, Andrew (Simon Fraser University); McGee, Peter (National University of Singapore); Pan, Jessica (National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: Evidence that women are less likely to opt into competitive compensation schemes in the laboratory has generated speculation that a gender difference in competitiveness contributes to the gender wage gap. Using data from the NLSY79 and NLSY97, we show that women are less likely to be employed in jobs using competitive compensation. The portion of the gender wage gap explained by gender segregation in compensation schemes is small in the NLSY79 but somewhat larger in the NLSY97 – suggesting an increasing role for competitiveness in explaining the gender wage gap.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, competitiveness, performance pay
    JEL: J16 A12
    Date: 2014–10
  2. By: Giuntella, Osea (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of assimilation on the health of Hispanics in the US. I exploit a unique dataset of linked birth records and use ethnic intermarriage as a metric of acculturation. Intermarried Hispanics have a significantly higher socio-economic status than endogamously married Hispanics. Despite their higher socio-economic status and the positive socio-economic gradient in health, third-generation children of second- generation intermarried Hispanic women are more likely to have poor health at birth, even after I account for second-generation health at birth, employ only within-family variations in the extent of assimilation, and consider the endogeneity of intermarriage. These results do not appear to be driven by father's selectivity nor by individual unobservable characteristics associated with intermarriage. The children of intermarried natives do not receive the same "health penalty", nor do Hispanics intermarried to other ethnic groups. The intermarriage "health penalty" largely reflects the higher incidence of risky behaviors (e.g., smoking during pregnancy) among intermarried Hispanic women.
    Keywords: intermarriage, assimilation, birth outcomes, risky behaviors
    JEL: I10 J15
    Date: 2014–09
  3. By: Velamuri, Malathi; Onur, Ilke
    Abstract: We examine gender differences in four measures of cognitive function among older individuals in India, using the 2010 pilot wave of the Longitudinal Aging Study of India (LASI) survey. We use a life-course approach and estimate the impact of circumstances in childhood, choices in adulthood and current circumstances on current cognitive functioning. Our objective is to understand the correlates of cognitive functioning in later-life more generally, and of female disadvantage in particular. We observe a female disadvantage across all cognitive measures in the raw data. Our estimates indicate that educational attainment and employment status history can account for the entire female disadvantage in verbal skills, but a sizable and significant gap remains in the other cognitive measures even after controlling for these variables. Notably, our estimates indicate that circumstances in childhood have an impact on later-life cognition. A decomposition analysis reveals that the predicted cognition gap is driven by differences in characteristics between men and women, as well as the asymmetric returns to these characteristics. We conclude that policies aimed at correcting the gender imbalance in educational outcomes may not be sufficient to close the gender gaps in cognition. In turn, this has serious implications for a rapidly aging society like India.
    Keywords: Cognition, Gender differences, Early-life conditions, Education, Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition
    JEL: C21 I12 J16 N35
    Date: 2014–10
  4. By: Amalia R. Miller; Carmit Segal
    Abstract: We study the impact of the integration of women in US policing between the late 1970s and early 1990s on violent crime reporting and domestic violence escalation. Along these two key dimensions, we find that female officers improved police quality. Using crime victimization data, we find that as female representation increases among officers in an area, violent crimes against women in that area, and especially domestic violence, are reported to the police at significantly higher rates. There are no such effects for violent crimes against men or from increases in the female share among civilian police employees. Furthermore, we find evidence that female officers help prevent the escalation of domestic violence. Increases in female officer representation are followed by significant declines in intimate partner homicide rates and in rates of repeated domestic abuse. These effects are all consistent between fixed effects models with controls for economic and policy variables and models that focus exclusively on increases in female police employment driven by externally imposed affirmative action plans resulting from employment discrimination cases.
    Keywords: Women in policing, occupational sex segregation, affirmative action, crime reporting, domestic violence, intimate partner homicide
    JEL: J16 J78 K14 K31 K42 N92 I12
    Date: 2014–08
  5. By: Flabbi, Luca (Inter-American Development Bank); Macis, Mario (Johns Hopkins University); Moro, Andrea (Vanderbilt University); Schivardi, Fabiano (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: We analyze a matched employer-employee panel data set and find that female leadership has a positive effect on female wages at the top of the distribution, and a negative one at the bottom. Moreover, performance in firms with female leadership increases with the share of female workers. This evidence is consistent with a model where female executives are better equipped at interpreting signals of productivity from female workers. This suggests substantial costs of under-representation of women at the top: for example, if women became CEOs of firms with at least 20% female employment, sales per worker would increase 6.7%.
    Keywords: executives' gender, gender gap, firm performance, glass ceiling, statistical discrimination
    JEL: M5 M12 J7 J16
    Date: 2014–10
  6. By: Andersson Joona, Pernilla (SOFI, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Previous studies, mostly from Anglo-Saxon countries, find a positive correlation between the presence of young children in the household and self-employment probabilities among women. This has been seen as an indication of women with young children choosing self-employment as a way of balancing work and family commitments. This paper studies the relationship between children and female self-employment in a country with family friendly policies and a generous welfare system: Sweden. The initial hypothesis is that we will not find evidence of a positive effect of children on self-employment among Swedish women since there are other institutions in place aiming at facilitating the combination of work and family. Using Swedish register data for the period 2004-2008 we do, however, find that the presence of young children increases the probability of choosing self-employment also among Swedish women. The effect is strongest for women with very young children, 0-3 years of age. These results also hold in a panel data model that takes individual unobserved heterogeneity into account. We also analyze time-use data and find, contrary to what has been found in many other countries, that self-employed women spend more, or as much, time on market work than wage-earning women. This raises doubts about whether women in Sweden chose self-employment as a way of balancing work and family commitments. We suggest an alternative interpretation which is that women who chose self-employment while the children are young in fact are women with strong preferences for market work.
    Keywords: work, family, self-employment, fertility
    JEL: J22 L26 J13
    Date: 2014–09
  7. By: Okabe, Masayoshi
    Abstract: The Philippines has achieved a relatively high standard of education. Previous researches, most of which deal with Luzon Island, have indicated that rural poverty alleviation began partly due to the increased investment in education. However, the suburban areas beyond Luzon Island have rarely been studied. This study examines a case from rural Mindanao, and investigates the determinants and factors associated with children's education, with a special focus on delays in schooling, which may be a cause of dropout and holdover incidences, as well as exploring gender-specific differential patterns. The result shows that after controlling other socioeconomic attributes, (1) delays in schooling, as well as years completed, are more favorable for girls than boys; (2) the level of maternal education is equally associated with the child(ren)’s education level regardless of their gender; and (3) paternal education is preferentially and favorably influential to the same-gender child(ren), i.e., son(s). To reduce the boy-unfriendly gender bias in primary education, this study suggests two future tasks, i.e., providing boy-specific interventions to enhance the magnitude of the father-son educational virtuous circle, and comparing the magnitude of gender-equal maternal education influence and boy-preferential paternal education influence to specify which effect is larger.
    Keywords: Philippines, Elementary education, Gender, Poverty, Rural societies, Delays in years of schooling, Gender-preferential and intergenerational effect, Primary education, Limited dependent variable regression, Rural Mindanao
    JEL: I20 I21 I29 O53 I24 I25
    Date: 2014–09
  8. By: Chiswick, Barry R. (George Washington University); Gindelsky, Marina (George Washington University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants of bilingualism (i.e., speaks a language other than English at home) among children age 5 to 18 years in the American Community Survey, 2005-2011. Two groups of children are considered: those born in the US (native born) and foreign-born children who immigrated prior to age 14 (the 1.5 generation). The analyses are conducted overall, within genders, and within racial and ethnic groups. Bilingualism is more prevalent if the parents are foreign born, less proficient in English, of the same ancestry (linguistic) group, and if the child lives in an ethnic (linguistic) concentration area. Although the effects are relatively smaller, a foreign-born grandparent living in the household increases child bilingualism, while a higher level of parental education tends to decrease it. Children of Asian and especially of Hispanic origin are more likely to be bilingual than their white, non-Hispanic counterparts. Native-born Indigenous children are more likely to be bilingual.
    Keywords: bilingualism, native born children, immigrant children, family
    JEL: J15 J24 I21 Z13
    Date: 2014–09
  9. By: Oreffice, Sonia (University of Surrey); Quintana-Domeque, Climent (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: We analyze how attractiveness rated at the start of the interview is related to weight (controlling for height), and BMI, separately by gender and also accounting for interviewer fixed effects, in a nationally representative sample. We are the first to show that height, weight, and BMI all strongly contribute to male and female attractiveness when attractiveness is rated by opposite-sex interviewers, whereas only thinner female respondents are considered attractive by same-sex interviewers; that is, anthropometric characteristics are irrelevant to male interviewers in assessing male attractiveness. In addition, we estimate the interplay of these attractiveness and anthropometric measures in labor and marital outcomes such as hourly wage and spousal education, showing that attractiveness and height matter in the labor market, whereas both male and female BMI are valued in the marriage market instead of attractiveness.
    Keywords: beauty, BMI, height, weight, wage, spousal education
    JEL: D1 J1
    Date: 2014–10
  10. By: Cuffe, Harold E. (Victoria University of Wellington); Waddell, Glen R. (University of Oregon); Bignell, Wesley (University of Washington)
    Abstract: While existing research supports that participation in high-school athletics is associated with better education and labour-market outcomes, the mechanisms through which these benefits accrue are not well established. We use data from a large public-school district to retrieve an estimate of the causal effect of high-school athletic participation on absenteeism. We show that active competition decreases absences, with most of the effect driven by reductions in unexcused absences – truancy among active male athletes declines significantly, with the effects larger in earlier grades and for black and Hispanic boys. Strong game-day effects are also evident, in both boys and girls, as truancy declines on game days are offset with higher rates of absenteeism the following day. Addressing the effects on academic performance, we find significant heterogeneity in the response to active athletic participation by race, gender and family structure, with boys not in dual-parent households exhibiting small academic improvements in semesters in which they experienced greater athletic participation.
    Keywords: education, truancy, attendance, athletes, sport
    JEL: I21 L83
    Date: 2014–08
  11. By: Niels-Hugo Blunch (Washington and Lee University & IZA); Nabanita Datta Gupta (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)
    Abstract: Addressing several methodological shortcomings of the previous literature, this paper explores the relationship among health knowledge and caste and religion and a number of important mediating factors in India, estimating causal impacts through a combination of instrumental variables and matching methods. The results indicate the presence of a substantively large caste and religion health knowledge gap in the context of proper treatment of diarrhea in children favoring high caste women relative to low caste and Muslim women. We also provide evidence that while observed individual characteristics such as education and access to social networks explain part of the gap, a substantial part of the health knowledge gap is left unexplained. All groups have greater health knowledge in urban than in rural areas, but the gap is even wider in urban than in rural areas. Additionally, high caste women benefit more in terms of health knowledge from having health networks than women from other groups; except if the health person is of the same caste/religion, in which case low caste and Muslim women sometimes benefit by as much as double that of high caste women, or even more. It may therefore not be enough to give individuals access to high quality networks if caste and religion-related gaps in health knowledge are to be reduced; such networks also have to be homophilous, to have the maximum effect. Improved treatment from and confidence in the medical profession is found to be part of the mechanism linking health social network formation with improved health knowledge about the treatment of diarrhea in children.
    Keywords: Health knowledge, caste, religion, social networks, India
    JEL: I12 I14 I15
    Date: 2014–10–27

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