nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2015‒05‒22
eleven papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Connecting the Dots: The Early Impacts of Increased Paid Maternity Leave on Child Development By Catherine Haeck
  2. On the Historical Roots of Women’s Empowerment across Italian Provinces: Religion or Family Culture? By Monica Bozzano
  3. Distributional and Behavioral Effects of the Gender Wage Gap By Patricia Gallego-Granados; Johannes Geyer
  4. How Cash Transfers Improve Child Development By Denni Tommasi
  5. How Job Changes Affect People's Lives: Evidence from Subjective Well-Being Data By Adrian Chadi; Clemens Hetschko
  6. Winners and Losers among Skilled Migrants: The Case of Post-Accession Polish Migrants to the UK By Kaczmarczyk, Pawel; Tyrowicz, Joanna
  7. Academic Performance and Type of Early Childhood Care By Datta Gupta, Nabanita; Simonsen, Marianne
  8. Prepregnancy Obesity and Birth Outcomes By Averett, Susan L.; Fletcher, Erin K.
  9. Obesity and Economic Performance of Young Workers in Italy By Bruno, Giovanni S. F.; Caroleo, Floro Ernesto; Dessy, Orietta
  10. The Impact of Female Education on Teenage Fertility: Evidence from Turkey By Gunes, Pinar
  11. School choice and segregation: evidence from Sweden By Böhlmark, Anders; Holmlund, Helena; Lindahl, Mikael

  1. By: Catherine Haeck (Department of Economics, University of Quebec in Montreal)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the effect of extended maternal care on children's development at age 4 and 5 using observational data prior to and after the Canadian parental leave reform, which extended total paid leave from 25 to 50 weeks. In contrast with previous research on the Canadian parental leave reform, we estimate the impact of the reform while controlling for underlying trends in the outcome variables. We find that the policy change had positive effects on the cognitive development of children as well as parent-reported measures of child health and family well-being. Effects on behavioral development are mainly not significant. These results must be interpreted with respect to the effective treatment period and the type of care displaced. We find that mothers increased their time at home from 7 to 11 months and that the type of care displaced was mainly unregulated and provided by individuals without specific training. Since child development measured as early as age 5 is a strong predictor of future adulthood skill level, these results have important policy implications.
    Keywords: maternity leave reform, child development, family well-being, natural experiment
    JEL: J13 J18 J22 J24
    Date: 2015–02
  2. By: Monica Bozzano
    Abstract: In most developed countries the gender gap is nearly closing in the health and educational spheres while there is still sizeable gender inequality in the economic and political dimensions. Why do women’s economic decision-making and political empowerment vary so widely? What are the main potential determinants of such variations? In this paper we explore the association between two specific facets of women’s empowerment, the percentage of women holding office in local political bodies and the percentage of women in high-ranking jobs, with the cultural environment in which women make their career decisions. Our hypothesis is that culture, in particular those values embodied by religious culture, plays a central role in shaping norms and beliefs about the role and involvement of women in society. Moreover we suggest that these cultural norms are inherited from the past and therefore have a high degree of inertia. Over a cross section of Italian provincial data, both OLS and IV results indicate that our measures of women’s empowerment are strongly associated with religious culture, as proxied by religious marriages. These results are robust and consistent across specifications
    Keywords: women’s empowerment, politics, glass ceiling, religion, family culture, historical determinants
    JEL: J16 J7 N30 R1 Z10 Z12
    Date: 2015–04
  3. By: Patricia Gallego-Granados; Johannes Geyer
    Abstract: The gender wage gap is a persistent labor market phenomenon. Most research focuses on the determinants of these wage differences. We contribute to this literature by exploring a different research question: if wages of women are systematically lower than male wages, what are the distributional consequences (disposable income) and what are the labor market effects (labor supply) of the wage gap? We demonstrate how the gender gap in gross hourly wages shows up in the distribution of disposable income of households. This requires taking into account the distribution of working hours as well as the tax-benefit system and other sources of household income. We present a methodological framework for deriving the gender wage gap in terms of disposable income which combines quantile decomposition, simulation techniques and structural labor supply estimation. This allows us to examine the implications of the gender wage gap for income inequality and working incentives. We illustrate our approach with an application to German data.
    Keywords: Gender wage gap, quantile regression, wage decomposition, labor supply, microsimulation, income distribution, tax-benefit system
    JEL: D31 J31 J16 H23
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Denni Tommasi
    Keywords: intra-household allocation; collective model; bargaining power; child development; human capital accumulation; conditional cash transfers
    JEL: D13 J13 J16 O15
    Date: 2015–05
  5. By: Adrian Chadi; Clemens Hetschko
    Abstract: For representative German panel data, we document that voluntary job switching is associated with higher levels of life satisfaction, though only for some time, whereas forced job changes do not affect life satisfaction clearly. Using plant closures as an exogenous trigger of switching to a new employer, we find that job mobility turns out to be harmful for satisfaction with family life. By investigating people’s lives beyond their workplaces, our study complements research on the well-being impact of labour mobility, suggesting some positive welfare effects of flexible labour markets, but also a previously undocumented potential for negative implications.
    Keywords: Life satisfaction; satisfaction with family life; job changes; honeymoon-hangover effect; employment protection legislation
    JEL: I32 J28 J61 J63
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Kaczmarczyk, Pawel (Warsaw University); Tyrowicz, Joanna (Warsaw University)
    Abstract: We test if migration leads to increased wages. We take the example of Polish migrants to the United Kingdom and focus on the mobility of well educated Poles. We offer insights into absolute and relative change in wages of the migrants, utilizing the data from the UK and Polish labor force surveys. We find that while overall the returns to migration are low, they are negligible or even insignificant for the highly skilled migrants from Poland to the UK. These results hold for both absolute and relative measures.
    Keywords: mobility of the highly educated, return to human capital, relative deprivation, Propensity Score Matching
    JEL: J24 J31 J61
    Date: 2015–05
  7. By: Datta Gupta, Nabanita (Aarhus University); Simonsen, Marianne (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: This is one of the few studies that estimates the effects of type of childhood care on academic achievement at higher grade levels by linking day care registers and educational registers. We use entire birth cohorts of ethnic Danish children, enrolled in either center based day care or family day care at age 2. Exploiting variation across municipalities in guaranteed access to center based care as an instrument for type of care our results show that center based day care improves grades in Danish language in the final year of compulsory school with around 0.2 standard deviations.
    Keywords: center based care, family day care
    JEL: J13
    Date: 2015–05
  8. By: Averett, Susan L. (Lafayette College); Fletcher, Erin K. (Harvard Kennedy School)
    Abstract: We investigate the association between prepregnancy obesity and birth outcomes using fixed effect models comparing siblings from the same mother. A total of 7,496 births to 3,990 mothers from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 survey are examined. Outcomes include macrosomia, gestational length, incidence of low birthweight, preterm birth, large and small for gestational age (LGA, SGA), c-section, infant doctor visits, mother's and infant's days in hospital post-partum, whether the mother breastfed, and duration of breastfeeding. Association of income outcomes with maternal pre-pregnancy obesity was examined using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression to compare across mothers and fixed effects to compare within families. In fixed effect models we find no statistically significant association between most outcomes and prepregnancy obesity with the exception of LGA, SGA, low birth weight and preterm birth. We find that prepregnancy obesity is associated with a with lower risk of low birthweight, SGA, and preterm birth but controlling for prepregnancy obesity, increases in GWG lead to increased risk of LGA. Contrary to previous studies, which have found that maternal obesity increases the risk of c-section, macrosomia and LGA, while decreasing the probability of breastfeeding, our sibling comparison models reveal no such association. In fact, our results suggest a protective effect of obesity in that women who are obese prepregnancy have longer gestation lengths, and are less likely to give birth to a preterm or low birthweight infant.
    Keywords: infant health, birth outcomes, BMI, maternal obesity, gestational weight gain
    JEL: I12 J13
    Date: 2015–05
  9. By: Bruno, Giovanni S. F. (Bocconi University); Caroleo, Floro Ernesto (University of Naples Parthenope); Dessy, Orietta (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)
    Abstract: In this paper we explore recent ISFOL-PLUS 2006-2008-2010 data available for Italy about height and weight of young workers with the purpose of analysing the relationship between measures of obesity and measures of economic performance. Among the latter, we introduce job satisfaction, both overall and for nine specific aspects, which has not been previously considered in the literature on the effects of obesity. Interestingly enough, we find that BMI does not discriminate young workers with respect to their job earnings, but it does affect negatively young workers' job satisfaction with important gender effects.
    Keywords: obesity, overweight, body mass index, job satisfaction, gross income
    JEL: J28 J81 I14
    Date: 2015–05
  10. By: Gunes, Pinar (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper explores the causal relationship between female education and teenage fertility by exploiting a change in the compulsory schooling law (CSL) in Turkey. Using variation in the exposure to the CSL across cohorts and variation across provinces by the intensity of additional classrooms constructed in the birth provinces as an instrumental variable, the results indicate that primary school completion reduces teenage fertility by 0.37 births and the incidence of teenage childbearing by around 25 percentage points. Exploring heterogeneous effects indicates that female education reduces teenage fertility more in provinces with lower population density and higher agricultural activity. Finally, the CSL postpones childbearing by delaying marriage, thereby reducing fertility.
    Keywords: Economic Development; Fertility; Female Education; Compulsory Schooling; Instrumental Variables; Turkey
    JEL: I25 J13 O10
    Date: 2015–05–01
  11. By: Böhlmark, Anders (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University); Holmlund, Helena (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Lindahl, Mikael (Department of Economics, Uppsala University)
    Abstract: This paper studies the evolution of school segregation in Sweden in the aftermath of the 1992 universal school voucher reform, which spurred the establishment of new independent voucher schools and introduced parental choice. The empirical analysis assesses the relative importance of neighbourhood sorting, parental choice and the location of independent schools for school segregation. In particular, it exploits variation in school choice opportunities across municipalities, and provides descriptive evidence that in regions where school choice has become more prevalent, school segregation between immigrants and natives, and between children of high/low educated parents, has increased more than in regions where choice is limited. This result also holds when we account for residential sorting and focus on excess school segregation over and above the segregation that would occur if all pupils attended their assigned schools. The estimates suggest that the increase in school segregation 15 years after the voucher reform that can be attributed to choice is relatively small, and in an international comparison Sweden still ranks as a country with a low-to-medium segregated school system. Our findings are suggestive of the implications for student sorting in other settings where similar voucher schemes are introduced.
    Keywords: school segregation; school choice
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2015–05–04

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