nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2015‒05‒16
eight papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Economic Uncertainty, Parental Selection and Children’s Educational Outcomes By Arnaud Chevalier; Olivier Marie
  2. The Occupational Segregation of Black Women in the United States: A Look at its Evolution from 1940 to 2010 By Olga Alonso-Villar; Coral del Río
  3. Work Capacity and Longer Working Lives in Belgium By Jousten, Alain; Lefèbvre, Mathieu
  4. Peak Car for urban Swedish men? By Bastian, Anne; Börjesson, Maria
  5. Inequality of Opportunities of Educational Achievement in Turkey over Time By Aysit Tansel
  6. Who can predict their own Demise? Accuracy of Longevity Expectations by Education and Cognition By Teresa Bago d'Uva; Esen Erdogan Ciftci; Owen O'Donnell; Eddy van Doorslaer
  7. The Relationship between Forgone Health Care and High School Dropout: Evidence from US Adolescents By Migali, G,;; Zucchelli, E,;
  8. Political Aspirations in India: Evidence from Fertility Limits on Local Leaders By Anukriti, S; Chakravarty, Abhishek

  1. By: Arnaud Chevalier (IZA; Royal Holloway, University of London; UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin; ROA, Maastricht University; SFI, Copenhagen); Olivier Marie (ROA, Maastricht University; CEP, London School of Economics, IZA; CESIfo, Munich)
    Abstract: After the fall of the Berlin Wall, East Germany experienced an unprecedented temporary drop in fertility driven by economic uncertainty. Using various educational measures, we show that the children born during this nativity slump perform worse from an early age onwards. Consistent with negative selection, mothers who gave birth in that period had worse observed personal characteristics. These children are also less likely to have grown up within stable family environment. Investigating underlying mechanisms reveals that parental educational input and emotional attachment were also lower for these children. Finally, sibling analysis enable us to reject time of birth effects.
    Keywords: Parental selection; fertility; economic uncertainty; education
    Date: 2015–04–24
  2. By: Olga Alonso-Villar; Coral del Río
    Abstract: Based on detailed occupation titles and making use of measures that do not require pairwise comparisons among demographic groups, this paper shows that the occupational segregation of Black women declined dramatically in 1940-1980, decreased slightly in 1980-2000, and remained stagnant in 2000-2010. An important contribution of this paper is the quantification of the well-being losses that these women derive from their occupational sorting. The segregation reduction was indeed accompanied by well-being improvements, especially in the 1960s and 1970s. Regarding the role that education has played, this study highlights that, only from 1990 onward, Black women with either some college or university degrees had lower segregation (as compared with their peers) than those with lower education. Nevertheless, the well-being loss that Black women with university degrees derived in 2010 for being segregated from their peers in education was not too different from that of Black women with lower education.
    Keywords: occupational segregation measurement, race, gender, Black women, wages, United States
    JEL: J15 J16 J71
    Date: 2015–03
  3. By: Jousten, Alain (University of Liège); Lefèbvre, Mathieu (Université de Strasbourg)
    Abstract: We explore the link between health indicators and employment rates of the population aged 55 or more. Our focus lies on work capacity as a key determinant of employment. Using cohort mortality information as a proxy for overall health outcomes, we establish a substantial untapped work capacity in the population 55+. Similar results are obtained when relying on individual-level objective and subjective health and socioeconomic parameters as predictors.
    Keywords: employment, retirement, work capacity
    JEL: J14 J21 J26
    Date: 2015–04
  4. By: Bastian, Anne (KTH); Börjesson, Maria (KTH)
    Abstract: We study long-term trends in regional car travel demand within and across socio-demographic groups in Sweden, using cross-sectional data from National Travel Surveys, spanning the period from 1978 to 2011. We find that the reduction in per-adult driving in Sweden mainly occurs among urban men. Urban men of all income groups reduced their driving for both commuting and non-commuting trips in conjunction with rising gasoline prices, which may have contributed to this development. We find that driving among those socio-demographic groups, who have better opportunities to reduce their driving, and driving for discretionary rather than commute purposes is being reduced over time. Sweden is ranked among the most gender-equal countries in the world; yet we find a substantial remaining gender gap in the share of adults driving a car on an average day, even when controlling for other socio-economic differences.
    Keywords: Travel behavior; Peak car; GDP elasticity; Fuel price elasticity; Car use
    JEL: R40
    Date: 2015–04–30
  5. By: Aysit Tansel (Department of Economics, Middle East Technical University, IZA, ERF Cairo)
    Abstract: This study investigates inequality of opportunity in educational achievements in Turkey over time. For this purpose we use test scores of PISA in mathematics, science and reading achievement of 15-year-olds over the period 2003-2012. Since the different waves of the samples cover only a fraction of the cohorts of 15-year olds we take into account the inequality of opportunity in access to the PISA test as well as the inequality of opportunity of the academic achievement in the PISA test. This procedure enables proper over time comparisons. We estimate the effect of circumstances children are born into on their academic achievement as evidenced in their PISA test scores. The main findings are as follows. First, confirming the previous studies we find that inequality of opportunity is a large part of the inequality of educational achievement in Turkey. Second, the inequality of opportunity in educational achievement shows a slightly decreasing trend over time in Turkey. Third, the inequality of opportunity figures based on the mathematics, science and reading achievements exhibited the similar trend over time. Forth, the family background variables are the most important determinants of the inequality in educational achievement which is a consistent pattern over time. However, there is also evidence of slight weakening of these factors over time. Policies are necessary to improve equality of opportunity in education in Turkey.
    Keywords: Inequality of opportunity, Education, Turkey.
    JEL: I24 D63
    Date: 2015–05
  6. By: Teresa Bago d'Uva (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands); Esen Erdogan Ciftci (Novartis, Turkey); Owen O'Donnell (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands, University of Macedonia, Greece); Eddy van Doorslaer (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands)
    Abstract: Biased longevity expectations will lead to suboptimal decisions regarding saving, retirement, annuitization and health, with consequences for wellbeing in old age. Systematic differences in the accuracy of longevity expectations may partly explain heterogeneity in economic behaviour by education and cognitive functioning. Analysis of eight waves of the US Health and Retirement Study reveals that individuals with lower levels of education and cognitive functioning report survival probabilities that are less accurate in predicting their in-sample mortality. There is little evidence that the gradients in the veracity of expectations are due to the less educated and cognitively able responding less to changes in objective mortality risks. However, high school dropouts and the least cognitively able report survival probabilities that are less stable and display greater un explained variability. These disadvantaged groups appear to be less confident in their longevity beliefs, which is justified given that their expectations are less accurate.
    Keywords: Expectations; Mortality; Health; Cognition; Education
    JEL: D83 D84 I12 J14
    Date: 2015–05–07
  7. By: Migali, G,;; Zucchelli, E,;
    Abstract: High school dropout is an important policy issue and its determinants are a longstanding interest of economics. However, very little is known on the roles of noncognitive traits in influencing school dropoutdecisions. We employ voluntary forgone health care as a proxy for the underlying noncognitive traits that may induce adolescents to drop out and estimate its effects on early school attrition. We exploit data from the US National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) and employ a series of flexible specifications with school fixed effects and cohort effects. Our models account for well-established determinants of dropout, including individual and parental characteristics, together with personality traits. Forgone health care consistently appears to be a statistically significant and substantial predictor of dropout among adolescents. We suggest that forgone health care could be used as a signalling device for policy makers targeting potential high school dropouts.
    Keywords: forgone health care; high school dropout; Add Health
    JEL: I1 I2 I18
    Date: 2015–01
  8. By: Anukriti, S (Boston College); Chakravarty, Abhishek (University of Essex)
    Abstract: Despite theoretical advances, measurement issues have impeded empirical research on aspirations. We quantify political aspirations in a developing country by estimating individuals' willingness to trade-off family size for political candidacy. Utilizing quasi-experimental variation in legal fertility limits on village council members in India, we find that at least 2.21% of married couples of childbearing age altered their fertility to remain eligible for council membership. This implies that returns to local leadership in low-income democracies are potentially high. Poorer, less educated, and lower-caste families display strong political aspirations, thereby lowering the extent of elite-capture at the local level of governance.
    Keywords: India, Panchayat elections, political aspirations, fertility limits, sex ratios
    JEL: J13 J16 H75 O11
    Date: 2015–04

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