nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2015‒07‒11
six papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. The baby boom, baby busts, and the role of grandmothers in childcare By Goksel, Türkmen; Gurdal, Mehmet Y.; Orman, Cuneyt
  2. The Unintended Effects of Increasing the Legal Working Age on Family Behavior By Cristina Bellés-Obrero; Sergi Jiménez-Martín; Judit Vall-Castello
  3. Children of Migrants: The Impact of Parental Migration on Their Children's Education and Health Outcomes By Meng, Xin; Yamauchi, Chikako
  4. Seniority Wages and the Role of Firms in Retirement By Wolfgang Frimmel , Thomas Horvath, Mario Schnalzenberger, Rudolf Winter-Ebmer
  5. Education and criminal behavior: insights from an expansion of upper secondary school By Åslund, Olof; Grönqvist, Hans; Hall, Caroline; Vlachos, Jonas
  6. International Migration of Couples By Junge, Martin; Munk, Martin D.; Poutvaara, Panu

  1. By: Goksel, Türkmen; Gurdal, Mehmet Y.; Orman, Cuneyt
    Abstract: Studies in family economics and anthropology suggest that grandmothers are a highly valuable source of childcare assistance. As such, the availability of grandmothers affects the cost of having children, and hence the fertility decisions of young parents. In this paper, we develop a simple model to assess the fertility implications of the fluctuations in both output (as argued by demographers) and grandmother-availability induced child-care costs over the period of 1920-1970. The model does a good job of mimicking the bust-boom-bust pattern during this period. When the child-care cost channel is shut down, the model’s performance weakens significantly; in particular, it fails altogether to capture the bust in the 1960’s.
    Keywords: fertility, baby boom, baby bust, female labor-force participation, grandmother availability for childcare.
    JEL: J13 J20
    Date: 2014–12
  2. By: Cristina Bellés-Obrero; Sergi Jiménez-Martín; Judit Vall-Castello
    Abstract: We use an exogenous variation in the Spanish legal working age to investigate the ef-fect of education on fertility and infant health. The reform introduced in 1980 raised the minimum legal age to work from 14 to 16 years old. We show that the reform increased educational attainment, which led to 1786 more women remaining childless and 3307 less children being born in the 10 generations after the reform. These negative effects operate through a postponement of first births until an age where the catching up effect cannot take place. We show that woman’s marriage market is one channel through which education impacts fertility, delaying the age at which women marry for the first time and reducing the likelihood that a woman marries. Even more importantly, this postponement in fertility seems to be also detrimental for the health of their offspring at the moment of delivery. The reform caused 2,789 more children to be born with less than 37 weeks of gestation, 268 died during the first 24 hours of life and 4,352 were born with low birth weight. We are able to document two channels that contribute to the negative effects on infant health: the postponement in age of delivery as well as a higher employment probability of more educated women, which enhances unhealthier behaviors (smoking and drinking).
    Date: 2015–05
  3. By: Meng, Xin (Australian National University); Yamauchi, Chikako (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies Japan)
    Abstract: In the past 15 years around 160 million Chinese rural workers migrated to cities to work. Because of restrictions on migrant access to local health and education system a large cohort of migrant children are left-behind in rural villages and growing up without parental care. This paper examines how parental migration affects children's health and education outcomes. Using the Rural-Urban Migration Survey in China (RUMiC) data we are able to measure the share of children's lifetime during which parents migrated away from home. By instrumenting this measure of parental migration with weather changes in their home village when they were young we find a sizable adverse impact of exposure to parental migration on children's health and education outcomes. We also find that what the literature has always done (using contemporaneous measure for parental migration) is likely to underestimate the effect of exposure to parental migration on children's outcomes.
    Keywords: migration, children, education, health, China
    JEL: J38 I28
    Date: 2015–06
  4. By: Wolfgang Frimmel , Thomas Horvath, Mario Schnalzenberger, Rudolf Winter-Ebmer
    Abstract: In general, retirement is seen as a pure labor supply phenomenon, but firms can have strong incentives to send expensive older workers into retirement. Based on the seniority wage model developed by Lazear (1979), we discuss steep seniority wage profiles as incentives for firms to dismiss older workers before retirement. Conditional on individual retirement incentives, e.g., social security wealth or health status, the steepness of the wage profile will have different incentives for workers as compared to firms when it comes to the retirement date. Using an instrumental variable approach to account for selection of workers in our firms and for reverse causality, we find that firms with higher labor costs for older workers are associated with lower job exit age.
    Keywords: retirement, seniority wages, firm incentives
    JEL: J14 J26 J31 H55
    Date: 2015–07
  5. By: Åslund, Olof (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Grönqvist, Hans (SOFI, Stockholm University); Hall, Caroline (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Vlachos, Jonas (Department of Economics, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We study the impact on criminal activity from a large scale Swedish reform of vocational upper secondary education, extending programs from two to three years and adding more general theoretical content. The reform directly concerns age groups where criminal activity is high and students who are highly overrepresented among criminal offenders. The nature of the reform and the rich administrative data allow us to shed light on several behavioral mechanisms. Our results show that the prolonged and more general education lead to a reduction in property crime, but no significant decrease in violent crime. The effect is mainly concentrated to the third year after enrollment, which suggests that being in school reduces the opportunities and/or inclinations to commit crime.
    Keywords: Education; delinquency
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2015–06–22
  6. By: Junge, Martin; Munk, Martin D.; Poutvaara, Panu
    Abstract: We develop a theoretical model regarding the migration of dual-earner couples and test it in the context of international migration. Our model predicts that the probability that a couple emigrates increases with the income of the primary earner, whereas the income of the sec-ondary earner may affect the decision in either direction. We conduct an empirical analysis that uses population-wide administrative data from Denmark, and the results are consistent with our model. We find that primary earners in couples are more strongly self-selected with respect to income than single persons. This novel result counters the intuition that family ties weaken self-selection.
    Keywords: International migration; Family migration; Education; Gender differences; Dual-earner couples
    JEL: F22 J12 J16 J24
    Date: 2015–06–23

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