nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2015‒09‒05
seven papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Blame the Parents? How Financial Incentives Affect Labor Supply and Job Quality for Young Adults By Fradkin, Andrey; Panier, Frédéric; Tojerow, Ilan
  2. Relative Affluence and Child Labor - Explaining a Paradox By Dwibedi, Jayanta Kumar; Marjit, Sugata
  3. Friendship at Work: Can Peer Effects Catalyze Female Entrepreneurship? By Field, Erica; Jayachandran, Seema; Pande, Rohini; Rigol, Natalia
  4. The Contribution of Female Health to Economic Development By Bloom, David E.; Kuhn, Michael; Prettner, Klaus
  5. The Value of Socialized Medicine: The Impact of Universal Primary Healthcare Provision on Birth and Mortality Rates in Turkey By Resul Cesur; Pınar Mine Güneş; Erdal Tekin; Aydogan Ulker
  6. What is the source of the intergenerational correlation in earnings? By Gayle, George-Levi; Golan, Limor; Soytas, Mehmet A.
  7. Does Encouragement Matter in Improving Gender Imbalances in Technical Fields? Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial By Unkovic, Cait; Sen, Maya; Quinn, Kevin M.

  1. By: Fradkin, Andrey (National Bureau of Economic Research); Panier, Frédéric (McKinsey&Co); Tojerow, Ilan (Free University of Brussels)
    Abstract: Young adults entering the labor force typically have little access to unemployment insurance or other formal insurance mechanisms. Instead, they rely on family insurance in the form of parental support to smooth consumption. We study the labor market response of Belgian young adults to decreases in parental support caused by parental job displacements. Our estimates correct for unobserved heterogeneity by using the timing of parental shocks before and after labor market entry. We find that a child whose parents lose a job prior to the child's labor market entry is, on average, induced to work 6% more in the 3 years following labor market entry than a child whose parents lose a job after the child's entry (where labor market entry is defined as the end of the child's full-time education). This effect is concentrated on the extensive margin, meaning that the child finds a job faster, and disappears within four years of entry. We find no evidence that parental support affects the quality of the initial job that entrants find.
    Keywords: labor supply, unemployment insurance, first-time job seekers, job quality, family insurance
    JEL: J13 J22 J64 J65
    Date: 2015–08
  2. By: Dwibedi, Jayanta Kumar; Marjit, Sugata
    Abstract: Some micro level empirical studies questioned the validity of the poverty hypothesis of child labour. In some cases child labour incidence found to be increasing even with improvement in the economic conditions of the poor. This paper provides a possible explanation as to why increase in absolute income may not be sufficient to solve the problem of child labour, at least in some cases. We argue that people in general are not just concerned about their own consumption; they are very much affected by the consumption of their peers. While taking decisions regarding the time allocation of their children between work and leisure, parents do keep an eye on their relative position in the society. We may have a situation where the absolute income of the poor is increasing but their relative position is the society is deteriorating and this may lead to an increase in child work. We develop a theoretical model of household decision making to show that child labour supply from a poor family can increase even with improvements in its economic conditions if the family’s relative position in the society deteriorates and if the relative concern effect is sufficiently strong.
    Keywords: Child labour, Relative concern, Status effect, Inequality
    JEL: D11 I31 J10 J13
    Date: 2015–08–28
  3. By: Field, Erica (Duke University); Jayachandran, Seema (Northwestern University); Pande, Rohini (Harvard University); Rigol, Natalia (MIT)
    Abstract: Does the lack of peers contribute to the observed gender gap in entrepreneurial success, and is the constraint stronger for women facing more restrictive social norms? We offered two days of business counseling to a random sample of customers of India's largest women's bank. A random sub-sample was invited to attend with a friend. The intervention had a significant immediate impact on participants' business activity, but only if they were trained in the presence of a friend. Four months later, those trained with a friend were more likely to have taken out business loans, were less likely to be housewives, and reported increased business activity and higher household income. The positive impacts of training with a friend were stronger among women from religious or caste groups with social norms that restrict female mobility.
    Date: 2015–04
  4. By: Bloom, David E. (Harvard University); Kuhn, Michael (Vienna Institute of Demography); Prettner, Klaus (Vienna University of Technology)
    Abstract: We analyze the economic consequences for less developed countries of investing in female health. In so doing we introduce a novel micro-founded dynamic general equilibrium framework in which parents trade off the number of children against investments in their education and in which we allow for health-related gender differences in productivity. We show that better female health speeds up the demographic transition and thereby the take-off toward sustained economic growth. By contrast, male health improvements delay the transition and the take-off because ceteris paribus they raise fertility. According to our results, investing in female health is therefore an important lever for development policies. However, and without having to assume anti-female bias, we also show that households prefer male health improvements over female health improvements because they imply a larger static utility gain. This highlights the existence of a dynamic trade-off between the short-run interests of households and long-run development goals. Our numerical analysis shows that even small changes in female health can have a strong impact on the transition process to a higher income level in the long run. Our results are robust with regard to a number of extensions, most notably endogenous investment in health care.
    Keywords: economic development, educational transition, female health, fertility transition, quality-quantity trade-off
    JEL: O11 I15 I25 J13 J16
    Date: 2015–08
  5. By: Resul Cesur; Pınar Mine Güneş; Erdal Tekin; Aydogan Ulker
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of universal, free, and easily accessible primary healthcare on population health as measured by age-specific birth and mortality rates, focusing on a nationwide socialized medicine program implemented in Turkey. The Family Medicine Program (FMP), launched in 2005, assigns each Turkish citizen to a specific state-employed family physician, who offers a wide range of primary healthcare services that are free-of-charge. Furthermore, these services are provided at family health centers, which operate on a walk-in basis and are located within the neighborhoods in close proximity to the patients. To identify the causal impact of the FMP, we exploit the variation in its introduction across provinces and over time. Our estimates indicate that the FMP caused large declines in mortality rates across all age groups with more pronounced impacts among infants and the elderly, and a moderate reduction in the birth rates, primarily among teenagers. Furthermore, the results are suggestive that the program has also contributed towards equalization in the mortality disparities across provinces. Our findings highlight the importance of a nationwide supply-side intervention on improving public health.
    JEL: I0 I1 I11 I13 I14 I18 J13 J14
    Date: 2015–08
  6. By: Gayle, George-Levi (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis); Golan, Limor (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis); Soytas, Mehmet A. (Graduate School of Business, Ozyegin University)
    Abstract: This paper uses a dynastic model of household behavior to estimate and decomposed the correlations in earnings across generations. The estimate model can explain 75% to 80% of the observed correlation in lifetime earnings between fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, and families across generations. The main results are that the family and division of labor within the household are the main source of the correlation across generation and not just assorting mating. The interaction of human capital accumulation in labor market, the nonlinear return to part-time versus full-time work, and the return parental time investment in children are the main driving force behind the intergenerational correlation in earnings and assortative mating just magnify these forces.
    Keywords: Intergenerational Models; Estimation; Discrete Choice; Human Capital; PSID
    JEL: C13 J13 J22 J62
    Date: 2015–08–24
  7. By: Unkovic, Cait (University of CA, Berkeley); Sen, Maya (Harvard University); Quinn, Kevin M. (University of CA, Berkeley)
    Abstract: Education policy research looking at gender imbalances in technical fields often relies on observational data or small N experimental studies. Taking a different approach, we present the results of one of the first and largest randomized controlled trials on the topic. Using the 2014 Political Methodology Annual Meeting as our context, half of a pool of 3,945 political science graduate students were randomly assigned to receive two personalized emails encouraging them to apply to the conference (n = 1,976), while the other half received nothing (n = 1,969). We find a robust, positive effect associated with this simple intervention and suggestive evidence that women respond more strongly than men. However, we find that women's conference acceptance rates are higher within the control group than in the treated group. This is not the case for men. The reason appears to be that female applicants in the treated group solicited supporting letters at lower rates. The contributions from this research are twofold. First, our findings are among the first large-scale randomized controlled interventions in higher education. Second, and less optimistically, our findings suggest that such "low dose" interventions may promote diversity in STEM fields, but that they have the potential to expose underlying disparities when used alone or in a non-targeted way.
    Date: 2015–06

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