nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2015‒01‒19
seven papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Early Health Shocks, Intrahousehold Resource Allocation, and Child Outcomes By Junjian Yi; James J. Heckman; Junsen Zhang; Gabriella Conti
  2. Retirement Timing of Women and the Role of Care Responsibilities for Grandchildren By Robin L. Lumsdaine; Stephanie J.C. Vermeer
  3. The Effect of Family Disruption on Children's Personality Development: Evidence from British Longitudinal Data By Prevoo, Tyas; ter Weel, Bas
  4. Does flexible employment pay? European evidence on the wage perspectives of female workers By Iga Magda; Monika Potoczna
  5. What Happens To Happiness When People Get Older? Socio-Economic Determinants Of Life Satisfaction In Later Life By Marina G. Kolosnitsyna; Natalia A. Khorkina; Khongor N. Dorzhiev
  6. Is It the Family or the Neighborhood? Evidence from Sibling and Neighbor Correlations in Youth Education and Health By Elisabeth Bügelmayer; Daniel D. Schnitzlein
  7. Low-Skilled Labor Migration in Tajikistan: Determinants and Effects on Expenditure Patterns By Kristina Meier

  1. By: Junjian Yi; James J. Heckman; Junsen Zhang; Gabriella Conti
    Abstract: An open question in the literature is whether families compensate or reinforce the impact of child health shocks. Discussions usually focus on one dimension of child investment. This paper examines multiple dimensions using household survey data on Chinese child twins whose average age is 11. We find that, compared with a twin sibling who did not suffer from negative early health shocks at ages 0-3, the other twin sibling who did suffer negative health shocks received RMB 305 more in terms of health investments, but received RMB 182 less in terms of educational investments in the 12 months prior to the survey. In terms of financial transfers over all dimensions of investment, the family acts as a net equalizer in response to early health shocks for children. We estimate a human capital production function and establish that, for this sample, early health shocks negatively affect child human capital, including health, education, and socioemotional skills. Compensating investments in health as measured by BMI reduce the adverse effects of health shocks by 50%, but exacerbate the adverse impact of shocks on educational attainment by 30%.
    JEL: C23 D13 I12 J13
    Date: 2014–12
  2. By: Robin L. Lumsdaine; Stephanie J.C. Vermeer
    Abstract: This paper considers the potential relationship between providing care for grandchildren and retirement, among women nearing retirement age. Using 47,400 person-wave observations from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we find the arrival of a new grandchild is associated with a more than eight percent increase in the retirement hazard despite little overall evidence of a care/retirement interaction. We document that while family characteristics seem to be the most important factors driving the care decision, they are also important determinants of retirement. In contrast, while financial incentives such as pensions and retiree health insurance have the largest influence on retirement, the opportunity cost associated with outside income seems to have little effect on whether or not a grandmother provides care. There is little evidence of substitution between caring for grandchildren versus providing care for elderly parents or engaging in volunteer activities; grandchild care is instead taken on as an additional responsibility. Our findings suggest that policies aimed at prolonging worklife may need to consider grandchild care responsibilities as a countervailing factor while those policies focused on grandchild care may also affect elderly labor force composition.
    JEL: J12 J13 J14 J22 J26
    Date: 2014–12
  3. By: Prevoo, Tyas (Maastricht University); ter Weel, Bas (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)
    Abstract: This research documents the effects of different forms of family disruptions – measured by separation, divorce and death – on personality development of British children included in the 1970 British Cohort Study. There are statistically significant correlations between family disruptions prior to the age of 16 and personality development in early childhood. Parental divorce has the largest negative effect on a child's personality development. Family disruptions have smaller effects on personality development when children are older and patterns differ by gender. The relationship between personality development and family disruption is partially driven by selection. Placebo regressions reveal significant correlations between family disruption and personality development before disruption. The omitted variable bias is mitigated by investigating mechanisms through which the selection operates.
    Keywords: family disruption, personality development
    JEL: J12 J24
    Date: 2014–12
  4. By: Iga Magda; Monika Potoczna
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to explore three issues relating to the financial dimension of female labour market outcomes. Firstly we analyze the gender pay differentials, adding to the existing literature an age - and distribution specific gender pay gaps. Next, we investigate the wage returns associated with two flexible types of employment, namely temporary and part time jobs. Our results show that flexible employment forms offer no consistent pattern of age-specific wage returns. Eastern and Western European countries differ in some aspects: young women in the former experience much larger pay gaps at the beginning of their working careers (compared to men), and their wage penalties associated with fixed term contracts tend to increase with age. Part time work appears to be beneficial mainly for the high paid women.
    Keywords: Gender pay gap, Part-time work
    JEL: J16 J31
    Date: 2014–03
  5. By: Marina G. Kolosnitsyna (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Natalia A. Khorkina (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Khongor N. Dorzhiev (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The world population is ageing and this demographic trend has become the subject of numerous research projects and discussions. In Russia, this process has also become a topic for many studies examining socio-economic characteristics and health status of elderly, their retirement behaviours. That said, research on the life satisfaction of Russian seniors and its determinants is still rather scarce. At the same time, revealing the factors of life satisfaction in old age could help develop a sound state policy towards the elderly thus enhancing the well-being of society as a whole. This paper explores the determinants of elderly life satisfaction using micro-data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey. Our research show that for all Russian seniors aged 55+ the strongest and most common predictors of life satisfaction are: health status, personal income, type of settlement, and social status. We found significant gender differences in factors of life satisfaction: an inverse U-relation of age and happiness is characteristic for the oldest old females only; holding a job enhances life satisfaction for women but not for men; and the education level of seniors has almost no correlation with life satisfaction, while having children decreases an individual’s happiness.
    Keywords: happiness, life satisfaction, subjective well-being, ageing, elderly, Russia
    JEL: I31 J14
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Elisabeth Bügelmayer; Daniel D. Schnitzlein
    Abstract: In this paper we present sibling and neighbor correlations in school grades and cognitive skills as well as indicators of physical and mental health for a sample of German adolescents. In a first step, we estimate sibling correlations and find substantial influence of shared family and community background on all outcomes. To further disentangle the influence of family background and neighborhood, we estimate neighbor correlations. Our results show that for all outcomes, estimated neighbor correlations are clearly lower than estimated sibling correlations. However, especially for cognitive skills and mental health, neighbor correlations are still substantial in relation to sibling correlations. Thus, compared to existing results from other countries, the influence of the neighborhood is not negligible in Germany for some outcomes.
    Keywords: Sibling correlations, intergenerational mobility, neighbor correlations
    JEL: J62
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Kristina Meier
    Abstract: It is often assumed that international labor migration from Tajikistan, while having no noticeable effects on investment (usually defined as medium and long-term consumption, such as education, or investment into housing or business), on average leads to an increase in short-term consumption, mostly food. In this paper, a simple household-level model determining the migration decision is developed and tested empirically. In a second step, the effect of low-skilled labor migration on household expenditure shares is analyzed using 2SLS. While only weak effects of migration measured by a simple dummy are visible, repeating the analysis using the length of the migration spell instead, as well as its squared term, reveals that labor migration apparently takes a while to "kick in" and become profitable to those remaining at home. The observed long-term effects on household consumption patterns, albeit being rather small, actually speak in favour of investment of remittances, with the respective shares increasing over time, while the budget share spent on food slowly decreases.
    Keywords: labor migration, remittances, consumption shares, Tajikistan
    JEL: J61 F22 I31
    Date: 2014

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