nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2015‒03‒13
six papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Breaking the Glass Ceiling By Bertrand, Marianne; Black, Sandra; Jensen, Sissel; Lleras-Muney, Adriana
  2. As my parents at home? Gender differences in childrens’ housework between Germany and Spain By Giménez-Nadal, J. Ignacio; Molina, Jose Alberto; Ortega, Raquel
  3. The impact of childhood obesity on health and health service use: an instrumental variable approach By Kinge, Jonas Minet; Morris, Stephan
  4. The Impact of Household Participation in Community Based Organizations on Child Health and Education in Rural India By Mugdha Vaidya; Meghna Katoch; Nabanita Datta Gupta
  5. In Good Company – Neighborhood Quality and Female Employment By Peggy Bechara; Lea Eilers; Alfredo R. Paloyo
  6. Globalization: A Woman’s Best Friend? Exporters and the Gender Wage Gap By Bøler, Esther Ann; Javorcik, Beata; Ulltveit-Moe, Karen-Helene

  1. By: Bertrand, Marianne; Black, Sandra; Jensen, Sissel; Lleras-Muney, Adriana
    Abstract: In late 2003, Norway passed a law mandating 40 percent of each gender on the board of publicly limited liability companies. The primary objective of this reform was to increase representation of women in top positions in the corporate sector and decrease gender disparity in earning within that sector. We document that the newly (post-reform) appointed female board members were observably more qualified than their female predecessors, and that the gender gap in earnings within boards fell substantially. While the reform may have improved representation of female employees at the very top of the earnings distribution(top 5 highest earners)within firms that were mandated to increase female participation on their board, there is no evidence that these gains at the very top trickled-down. Moreover the reform had no obvious impact on highly qualified women whose qualifications mirror those of the board members but who were not appointed to boards. We observe no statistically significant change in the gender wage gaps or in the female representation in top positions, although standard errors are large enough that we cannot rule economically meaningful gains. Finally, there is little evidence that the reform affected the decisions of women more generally;it was not accompanied by any change in female enrollment in business education programs, or a convergence in earnings trajectories between recent male and female graduates of such programs. While young women preparing for a career in business report being aware of the reform and expect their earnings and promotion chances to benefit from it, the reform did not affect their fertility and marital plans. Overall, in the short run the reform had very little discernable impact on women in business beyond its direct effect on the newly appointed female board members.
    Keywords: affirmative action; boards; gender gap
    JEL: G38 J31 J7
    Date: 2015–03
  2. By: Giménez-Nadal, J. Ignacio; Molina, Jose Alberto; Ortega, Raquel
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the relationship between parents’ time devoted to housework and the time devoted to housework by their children. Using data of Germany and Spain from the Multinational Time Use Study, we find positive correlations, but gender differences, between parents and children’s housework time, which indicates that the more time parents devote to housework the more time their children devote to housework. While in Germany both fathers and mothers’ housework is positively related with the time devoted to housework by the children, in Spain it is only father’s time in housework that is positively related to children’s housework time. Thus, we find a different relationship between parents and children’s housework time in Mediterranean countries compared to other European countries. We also obtain that these results are not applicable to all sub-groups of population, as our analysis considering the labor force status and education of the parents yield mixed results.
    Keywords: Housework, Children, Time Use
    JEL: J16 J22
    Date: 2015–03
  3. By: Kinge, Jonas Minet (Norwegian Institute of Public Health); Morris, Stephan (University College London)
    Abstract: In the following paper we estimate the impact of obesity in childhood on health and health service use in England using instrumental variables. We use data on children and adolescents aged 3-18 years old from fifteen rounds of the Health Survey for England (1998-2012), which has measures of self-assessed health, primary care use, prescribed medication use, and nurse-measured height and weight. We use instruments for child obesity using genetic variation in weight. We detect a few potential issues with the validity of the instrument; however further testing does not suggest that this has an effect on our results. We find that obesity has a statistically significant and negative impact on self-rated health and a positive impact on health service use in girls, boys, younger children (aged 3-10) and adolescents (aged 11-18). We detect significant endogeneity, which suggest that previous studies underestimate the impact of childhood obesity on health and health service use. For example, obesity is associated with and increased probability of doctor utilisation of 2%, but the IV results show that obesity increase the probability of use by 10%. This suggests that obesity has consequences for health and health service use when the children are still young.
    Keywords: Children; Adolescents; Obesity; Body Mass Index; Self-assessed health; Doctor visits; Medication use
    JEL: H51 I10 I11 I12
    Date: 2015–03–04
  4. By: Mugdha Vaidya (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark); Meghna Katoch (IFMR-LEAD, Bangalore, India); Nabanita Datta Gupta (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)
    Abstract: This paper explores whether rural Indian households’ membership in community based organizations (CBOs) affect child human capital formation in terms of health and education. Using the 2005 Indian Human Development Survey (IHDS), both OLS and IV models show that membership in one or more CBOs improves child educational performance. When considering specific CBOs, women’s groups (Mahila Mandal) emerge as being best at reducing child malnourishment while youth clubs are beneficial for both child health and education. Religious groups have a negative impact on child health but improve school performance. Caste associations have a detrimental effect on both health and education.
    Keywords: community based organizations, child health and education
    Date: 2015–05–03
  5. By: Peggy Bechara; Lea Eilers; Alfredo R. Paloyo
    Abstract: Using a uniquely assembled panel dataset, we estimate the impact of neighborhood and peer effects on female labor supply. Nonrandom sorting and unobserved heterogeneity at the individual and neighborhood levels make recovering these impact parameters more complicated in the absence of (quasi-)experimental variation in neighborhood attributes. Our estimation strategy rests on using a hedonic pricing model to control for neighborhood-level unobserved heterogeneity and using a fixed-effects approach to account for the correlation induced by individual time-invariant unobservables. The results suggest that women’s participation behavior is significantly associated with peer and neighborhood attributes. The extensive margin is driven by the average female employment rate; the intensive margin is driven by the average share of fulltime employed females in the neighborhood. These relationships are stronger in the subsample of mothers. However, these statistically significant associations do not survive when we control for individual time-invariant unobservable heterogeneity.
    Keywords: Neighborhood effects; female labor supply; social interactions; peer effects
    JEL: R23 J13 J22
    Date: 2014–12
  6. By: Bøler, Esther Ann; Javorcik, Beata; Ulltveit-Moe, Karen-Helene
    Abstract: While the impact of globalization on income inequality has received a lot of attention,little is known about its effect on the gender wage gap (GWG). This study argues that there is a systematic difference in the GWG between exporting firms and non-exporters. By the virtue of being exposed to higher competition, exporters require greater commitment and flexibility from their employees. If commitment is not easily observable and women are perceived as less committed workers than men, exporters will statistically discriminate against female employees and will exhibit a higher GWG than non-exporters. We test this hypothesis using matched employer-employee data from the Norwegian manufacturing sector from 1996 to 2010. Our identification strategy relies on an exogenous shock, namely, the legislative changes that increased the length of the parental leave that is available only to fathers. We argue that these changes have narrowed the perceived commitment gap between the genders and show that the initially higher GWG observed in exporting firms relative to non-exporters has gone down after the changes took place.
    Keywords: exporters; gender wage gap; globalization
    JEL: F10 F14 F16 J16
    Date: 2015–03

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