nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2015‒10‒25
nine papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Gradual Retirement, Financial Incentives, and Labour Supply of Older Workers: Evidence from a Stated Preference Analysis By Elsayed, Ahmed; de Grip, Andries; Fouarge, Didier; Montizaan, Raymond
  2. Parental education and child health: Evidence from an education reform in China By Samantha B. Rawlings
  3. Gender Gaps in Performance: Evidence from Young Lawyers By Ghazala Azmat; Rosa Ferrer
  4. Fertility, Health and Education of UK Immigrants: The Role of English Language Skills By Yu Aoki; Lualhati Santiago
  5. Immigration and the Gender Wage Gap By Anthony Edo; Farid Toubal
  6. Female Migration and Native Marital Stability: Insights from Italy By Vignoli, Daniele; Venturini, Alessandra; Pirani, Elena
  7. Selling daughters: age at marriage, income shocks and bride price tradition By Alessandra Voena; Lucia Corno
  8. Higher education and fertility: Evidence from a natural experiment in Ethiopia By Miron Tequame; Nyasha Tirivayi
  9. Country-Specific Preferences and Employment Rates in Europe By Simone Moriconi; Giovanni Peri

  1. By: Elsayed, Ahmed (IZA); de Grip, Andries (ROA, Maastricht University); Fouarge, Didier (ROA, Maastricht University); Montizaan, Raymond (ROA, Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Using data from a stated preferences experiment in the Netherlands, we find that replacing full-time pension schemes with schemes that offer gradual retirement opportunities induce workers to retire one year later on average. Total life-time labour supply, however, decreases with 3.4 months because the positive effect of delayed retirement on labour supply is cancelled out by the reduction in working hours before full retirement. The impact of gradual retirement schemes is, however, heterogeneous across groups of workers. Workers with non-routine job tasks retire at a later age when they can gradually retire. Financial incentives, either in terms of changing pension income or the price of leisure, also affect the expected retirement age, but the impact of these financial incentives does not differ with the possibility of gradual retirement. Finally, we find that gradual retirement is not a preferred option among workers as the large majority still prefers full retirement. This especially holds for workers with a lower wage and those with higher life expectancy.
    Keywords: gradual retirement, labour supply, financial incentives
    JEL: J14 J26
    Date: 2015–10
  2. By: Samantha B. Rawlings (University of Aberdeen)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of parental education on child health, exploiting a compulsory schooling law implemented in China in 1986 that extended schooling from 6 to 9 years. It finds that it is maternal, rather than paternal, education that matters most for child health. There are also important differences in the effect according to child gender. An additional year of mother’s education raises boys height-for-age by 0.163 standard deviations, whilst there is no statistically significant effect on girls height. Parental education appears to have little effect on weight-for-age of children. Estimated effects on height are driven by the rural sample, where an additional year of mother’s education raises boys height for age by 0.228 standard deviations and lowers the probability of a boy being classified as stunted by 6.6 percentage points. Results therefore suggest that - at least in rural areas - son preference in China has additional impacts beyond the sex-ratio at birth.
    Keywords: Intergenerational Mobility, Health, China
    JEL: C21 I12 I21
    Date: 2015–08
  3. By: Ghazala Azmat (Queen Mary University of London, and Centre for Economic Performance (LSE)); Rosa Ferrer (Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona GSE)
    Abstract: This paper documents and studies the gender gap in performance among associate lawyers in the United States. Unlike other high-skilled professions, the legal profession assesses performance using transparent measures that are widely used and comparable across firms: the number of hours billed to clients and the amount of new client revenue generated. We find clear evidence of a gender gap in annual performance with respect to both measures. Male lawyers bill ten percent more hours and bring in more than twice the new client revenue than do female lawyers. We demonstrate that the differential impact across genders in the presence of young children and differences in aspirations to become a law firm partner account for a large share of the difference in performance. We also show that accounting for performance has important consequences for gender gaps in lawyers' earnings and subsequent promotion. Whereas individual and firm characteristics explain up to 50 percent of the earnings gap, the inclusion of performance measures explains a substantial share of the remainder. Performance measures also explain a sizeable share of the gender gap in promotion.
    Keywords: Performance measures, Gender gaps, High-skilled professionals
    JEL: M52 J16 K40 J44
    Date: 2015–10
  4. By: Yu Aoki (University of Aberdeen); Lualhati Santiago (Warwick University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper aims to identify the causal effect of English language skills on fertility, health and education outcomes of immigrants in England and Wales. To estimate this causal effect, we use the instrumental variable estimation strategy where age at arrival in the United Kingdom (UK) is exploited to construct an instrument for language skills. The idea of exploiting age at arrival is based on the phenomenon that a person who is exposed to a new language within the critical period of language acquisition (i.e., childhood) learns the language more easily. This implies that immigrants who arrive in the UK at a young age have on average better English language skills than those who arrive when they are older. Using a unique individual-level dataset that links census and life event records for the population living in England and Wales at the 2011 Census, we find that better English language skills significantly delay the age at which a woman has her first child, lower the likelihood that she has a child in her teens, and decrease the number of children she gives birth to, but do not affect her children’s birthweight and an individual’s self-reported health. The impact on educational achievement is also considerable: better English skills significantly raise the probability of obtaining academic degrees and significantly lower the probability of having no qualifications.
    Keywords: Language skills, fertility, health, education, natural experiment
    JEL: I10 I20 J13
    Date: 2015–08
  5. By: Anthony Edo; Farid Toubal
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of immigration on the gender wage gap. Using a detailed individual French dataset, we shed lights on the strong feminization of the immigration workforce from 1990 to 2010. Our theoretical model predicts that a shift in the supply of female workers increases gender wage inequality when men and women are imperfect substitute in production. Our structural estimate shows an imperfect substituability between men and women workers of similar education and experience. Our econometric analysis shows that a 10% increase in immigrant female labor supply relative to immigrant male labor supply in a given education-experience group lowers the relative earnings of female native workers of that group by 4%. We finally use a structural model to account for the cross-group effects induced by immigration and show that the rise in the relative number of female immigrants has decreased the relative wage of female native workers, thereby contributing to a widening native gender wage gap.
    Keywords: Migration;labor supply;gender wage gap
    JEL: F22 J16 J21 J31 J61
    Date: 2015–10
  6. By: Vignoli, Daniele; Venturini, Alessandra; Pirani, Elena (University of Turin)
    Abstract: In this paper, we argue that the size and the composition of the female migrant population in a given area can affect the marital stability of natives. We take Italy as a case-study and we offer discrete-time event history models predicting marital disruption on data from the nationally–representative 2009 Family and Social Subjects survey. We found that the increasing presence of first mover migrant women (coming from Latin America and Eastern Europe) is associated with higher separation risks among natives, especially for couples with lower human capital. Our findings add to our understanding of family formation and dissolution dynamics in recent immigration countries.
    Date: 2015–10
  7. By: Alessandra Voena (University of Chicago); Lucia Corno (Queen Mary, University of London)
    Abstract: Cultural and social norms may play a role in supporting economic development, but they can also reduce the wellbeing of some groups. In this paper, we explore how the practice of bride price -- a transfer made by the groom to the brides family at marriage -- increases the probability of adolescent and child marriages. We develop a simple dynamic model with incomplete markets in which households have a higher probability of marrying their daughter early when hit by an adverse income shocks. To estimate the causal effects of income shocks on early marriages, we exploit exogenous variation in rainfall shocks over a woman's life cycle. Using a 19-years panel dataset from Tanzania, we find that adverse shocks increase the probability of teenage marriages. This is particularly true in the sub- sample of respondents who report a bride price payment at marriage. Finally, numerical simulations of our theoretical model show that improving access to credit markets could substantially delay the age at marriage.
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Miron Tequame; Nyasha Tirivayi (University of Maastricht)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of womens higher education on fertility outcomes in Ethiopia. We exploit an abrupt increase in the supply of tertiary education induced by a liberalisation policy. Using an age discontinuity in the exposure to higher education reform, we find that education lowers fertility by 8 and increases the likelihood of never giving birth by 25. We explore the role of potential underlying mechanisms and find that this negative effect on fertility is channelled through positive assortative mating and the postponement of marriage and motherhood.
    Keywords: Fertility, Higher Education, Assortative Matching, Marriage, Policy Evaluation
    JEL: O12 I23 I25 I38 J12 J13
    Date: 2015–08
  9. By: Simone Moriconi (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore; Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Giovanni Peri
    Abstract: European countries exhibit significant differences in employment rates of adult males. Differences in labor-leisure preferences, partly determined by cultural values that vary across countries, can be responsible for part of these differences. However, differences in labor market institutions, productivity, and skills of the labor force are also crucial factors and likely correlated with preferences. In this paper we use variation among first- and second-generation cross-country European migrants to isolate the effect of culturally transmitted labor-leisure preferences on individual employment rates. If migrants maintain some of their country of origin labor-leisure preferences as they move to different labor market conditions, we can separate the impact of preferences from the effect of other factors. We find country-specific labor-leisure preferences explain about 24% of the top-bottom variation in employment rates across European countries.
    Keywords: Labor-Leisure Preferences, Cultural Transmission, Employment, Europe, Migrants.
    JEL: J22 J61 Z10
    Date: 2015–09

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