nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2015‒10‒04
eight papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Is there an Advantage to Working? The Relationship between Maternal Employment and Intergenerational Mobility By Martha H. Stinson; Peter Gottschalk
  2. Family Law Effects on Divorce, Fertility and Child Investment By Joseph Mullins; Christopher Flinn; Meta Brown
  3. Birth Order and Health of Newborns: What Can We Learn from Danish Registry Data? By Anne Ardila Brenøe; Ramona Molitor
  4. Increasing Father Involvement in Child Care: What Do We Know about Effects on Child Development? By Pia S. Schober
  5. Does Education Reduce Teen Fertility? Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws By Philip DeCicca; Harry Krashinsky
  6. Childhood Homelessness and Adult Employment: The Role of Education, Incarceration, and Welfare Receipt By Deborah A. Cobb-Clark; Anna Zhu
  7. Intra-household Commuting Choices and Local Labour Markets By Jennifer Roberts; Karl Taylor
  8. Mining closure, gender and employment reallocations: the case of UK coal mines By Fernando M. Aragon; Juan Pablo Rud; Gerhard Toews

  1. By: Martha H. Stinson; Peter Gottschalk
    Abstract: We investigate the question of whether investing in a child’s development by having a parent stay at home when the child is young is correlated with the child’s adult outcomes. Specifically, do children with stay-at-home mothers have higher adult earnings than children raised in households with a working mother? The major contribution of our study is that, unlike previous studies, we have access to rich longitudinal data that allows us to measure both the parental earnings when the child is very young and the adult earnings of the child. Our findings are consistent with previous studies that show insignificant differences between children raised by stay-at-home mothers during their early years and children with mothers working in the market. We find no impact of maternal employment during the first 5 years of a child’s life on earnings, employment, or mobility measures of either sons or daughters. We do find, however, that maternal employment during children’s high school years is correlated with a higher probability of employment as adults for daughters and a higher correlation between parent and daughter earnings ranks.
    Keywords: human capital, child development, female labor supply
    JEL: J13 J22 J24
    Date: 2015–09
  2. By: Joseph Mullins (NYU); Christopher Flinn (New York University); Meta Brown (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
    Abstract: In order to assess the child welfare impact of policies governing divorced parenting, such as child support orders, child custody and placement regulations, and marital dissolution standards, one must consider their influence not only on the divorce rate but also on spouses' fertility choices and child investments. We develop a model of marriage, fertility and parenting, with the main goal being the investigation of how policies toward divorce influence outcomes for husbands, wives and children. Estimates of preferences and the technology of child development are disciplined by data on parental time inputs, and simulations based on the model explore the effects of changes in custody allocations and child support standards on outcomes for intact and divided families. Simulations indicate that, while a small decrease in the divorce rate may be induced by a significant child support hike, the major effect of child support levels for both intact and divided households is on the distribution of welfare between parents. Simulated divorce, fertility, test scores and parental welfare all increase with a move toward shared physical placement. Finally, the simulations indicate that children's interests are not necessarily best served by minimizing divorced parenting.
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Anne Ardila Brenøe (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); Ramona Molitor (Department of Business Administration University of Copenhagen and Economics, University of Passau)
    Abstract: Research has shown a strong negative correlation between birth order and cognitive test scores, IQ, and educational outcomes. We ask whether birth order differences in health are present at birth using matched administrative data for more than 1,000,000 children born in Denmark between 1981 and 2010. Using family fixed effects models, we find a positive and robust birth order effect; earlier born children are less healthy at birth. Looking at the potential mechanisms, we find that during earlier pregnancies women have higher labor market attachment, behave more risky in terms of smoking, receive more prenatal care, and are diagnosed with more medical pregnancy complications. Yet, none of these factors explain the birth order differences at birth. Combining our results with findings from the medical literature, we propose that biology is driving the early life advantage (nature). Finally, we show that these birth order differences at birth do not explain the negative birth order effect in educational performace, suggesting that nurture rather than nature is an important player later in life.
    Keywords: Birth order, parity, child health, fetal health, health at birth, education
    JEL: I10 I12 J12 J13
    Date: 2015–09–22
  4. By: Pia S. Schober
    Abstract: The time fathers spend and the activities they perform with children have risen continuously in most Western countries. Increasing father involvement in child care has also been an explicit policy objective with many European countries implementing individual parental leave entitlements for fathers. Whereas these policies mainly aimed at facilitating reconciliation of market work and family care and promoting maternal employment, consequences for child development have received less attention in the policy debate. This DIW Roundup describes potential mechanisms how increased father involvement in child care may impact children’s development in different domains and provides an overview of the existing empirical evidence. Overall, previous studies generally point to some moderate positive effects of fathers involvement, in particular when father-child-activities and -relationships are stimulating and of high quality and distinct from mother-child activities or maternal parenting styles.
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Philip DeCicca; Harry Krashinsky
    Abstract: While less-educated women are more likely to give birth as teenagers, there is scant evidence the relationship is causal. We investigate this possibility using variation in compulsory schooling laws (CSLs) to identify the impact of formal education on teen fertility for a large sample of women drawn from multiple waves of the Canadian Census. We find that greater CSL-induced schooling reduces the probability of giving birth as a teenager by roughly two to three percentage points. We find evidence that education affects the timing of births in a way that strongly implies an “incarceration” effect of education. In particular, we find large negative impacts of education on births to young women aged seventeen and eighteen, but little evidence of an effect after these ages, consistent with the idea that being enrolled in school deters fertility in a contemporaneous manner. Our findings are robust to the inclusion of several province-level characteristics including multiple dimensions of school quality, expenditures on public programs and region-specific time trends.
    JEL: I1 I18 I24 J13
    Date: 2015–09
  6. By: Deborah A. Cobb-Clark (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne); Anna Zhu (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes children’s long-term consequences of experiencing homelessness. Our primary goal is to assess the importance of the potential pathways linking childhood homelessness to adult employment. We use novel panel data that link survey and administrative data for a sample of disadvantaged adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. We find that those experiencing homelessness for the first time as children are less likely to be employed than those who were never homeless as a child. For women, this relationship is largely explained by the lower educational attainment and higher welfare receipt (both in general and in the form of mental illness-related disability payments) of those experiencing childhood homelessness. Higher rates of high-school incompletion and incarceration explain some of the link between childhood homelessness and men’s employment, however, childhood homelessness continues to have a substantial direct effect on male employment rates. Classification-J1, J2, I2
    Keywords: Employment, homelessness, welfare receipt, education, incarceration
    Date: 2015–09
  7. By: Jennifer Roberts (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield); Karl Taylor (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: While the job search literature has increasingly recognised the importance of the spatial distribution of employment opportunities, local labour market conditions have been a notable omission from much of the empirical literature on commuting outcomes. This study of the commute times of dual earner couples in England and Wales finds that local labour market conditions are closely associated with commute times and their effects are not gender neutral. Male commute times are much more sensitive to local unemployment rates than women’s; where women earn less than one–third of household income, their commute times do not seem to be sensitive to local unemployment. In addition, the more conducive the local labour market is to female employment, the less time women spend commuting. On average the ‘female friendliness’ of the local labour market has no effect on male commute times, but in households where women earn the majority of household income, men commute further if the local labour market is female friendly. We also show that it is important to account for the heterogeneity of household types; there are important differences in our results according to female income share, housing tenure, mover status and mode of travel.
    Keywords: local labour market; dual earner households
    JEL: D19 J24 R40
    Date: 2015–09
  8. By: Fernando M. Aragon (Simon Fraser University); Juan Pablo Rud (Royal Holloway, University of London); Gerhard Toews (Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies)
    Abstract: This paper examines the heterogenous effect of mining shocks on local employment, by gender. Using the closure of coal mines in UK starting in mid 1980s, we find evidence of substitution of male for female workers in the manufacturing sector. Mine closures increase number of male manufacturing workers but decrease, in absolute and relative terms, number of female manufacturing workers. We document a similar, though smaller, effect in the service sector. This substitution effect has been overlooked in the debate of local impacts of extractive industries, but it is likely to occur in the context of other male-dominated industries. We also find that mine closures led to persistent reductions in population size and participation rates.
    JEL: O13 J16
    Date: 2015–07

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