nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2015‒12‒08
five papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Human Capital Development and Parental Investment in India By Orazio Attanasio; Costas Meghir; Emily Nix
  2. The performance of politicians. The effect of gender quotas By Michela Braga; Francesco Scervini
  3. Cognitive Ability in Childhood and the Chronicity and Suicidality of Depression By Galen Chin-Lun Hung; Stefanie A. Pietras; Hannah Carliner; Laurie Martin; Larry J. Seidman; Stephen L. Buka; Stephen E. Gilman
  4. Young adults living with their parents and the influence of peers By Effrosyni Adamopoulou; Ezgi Kaya
  5. Structural Transformation and the U-Shaped Female Labor Supply By Claudia Olivetti; Rachel Ngai

  1. By: Orazio Attanasio (University College London, IFS, NBER); Costas Meghir (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Emily Nix (Dept. of Economics, Yale University)
    Abstract: In this paper we estimate production functions for cognition and health throughout four stages of childhood from 5-15 years of age using two cohorts of children drawn from the Young Lives Survey for India. The inputs into the production function include parental background, prior child cognition and health and child investments. We allow investments to be endogenous and they depend on local prices and household income, as well as on the exogenous determinants of cognition and health. We find that investments are very important determinants of child cognition and of health at an earlier age. We also find that inputs are complementary and crucially that health is very important in determining cognition. Our paper contributes in understanding how early health outcomes are important in child development.
    Keywords: Early childhood development, Human capital, India, Nonlinear factor models, Young lives survey, Health, Cognition
    JEL: I14 I15 I25 I32 J13 J24 O15
    Date: 2015–12
  2. By: Michela Braga (Università Bocconi, Milano); Francesco Scervini (Università di Pavia)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether the gender of elected politicians af- fects the political municipal outcomes. Relying on Italian administra- tive data from 1991 to 2009, we are able to instrument the gender of elected politician using an institutional exogenous change: a gender quota in the candidacy list enforced only in a subsample of municipali- ties and for a short period of time. While the gender of politicians does not affect the general `quality of life', proxied by the internal migration rate, it does affect significantly both the efficacy of policies targeted to women and households, proxied by the fertility rate, and the efficiency of municipal administration, proxied by the size of administrative bod- ies. These results are robust to several specifications and robustness checks. Affirmative actions enhancing gender equality in political rep- resentation may be then beneficial not only in terms of social justice, but also from a political outcome perspective.
    Keywords: Gender, Municipal government, Political outcomes, Fertility
    JEL: D72 J13 J16 R23
    Date: 2015–12
  3. By: Galen Chin-Lun Hung; Stefanie A. Pietras; Hannah Carliner; Laurie Martin; Larry J. Seidman; Stephen L. Buka; Stephen E. Gilman
    Abstract: The authors conducted a cohort study using data from 633 participants in the New England Family Study with lifetime depression. Cognitive abilities at age 7 were measured using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. Depression outcomes were assessed using structured diagnostic interviews administered up to four times in adulthood between ages 17 and 49.
    Keywords: Depression, Cognitive Ability, Childhood
    JEL: I
    Date: 2015–11–19
  4. By: Effrosyni Adamopoulou (Bank of Italy); Ezgi Kaya (Cardiff Business School)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on young adults in the US living with their parents and studies the role of peers. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health we analyse the influence of high school friends on the nest-leaving decision of young adults. We achieve identification by exploiting the differences in the timing of leaving the parental home among peers, the individual-specific nature of the peer groups, and by including school and grade fixed effects. Our results indicate that there are statistically significant peer effects on the decision of young adults to leave parental home. This is true even after we control for labour and housing market conditions and for a comprehensive list of individual and family-of-origin characteristics that are not usually observed by the econometrician. We discuss various mechanisms and we confirm the robustness of our results through a placebo exercise. Our findings correspond with the increasing trend of young adults living with their parents that has been observed in the US during the last 50 years.
    Keywords: peer effects, friends, living arrangements, leaving parental home
    JEL: D10 J12 J60 Z13
    Date: 2015–11
  5. By: Claudia Olivetti (Boston University); Rachel Ngai (london school of economics)
    Abstract: The nature and extent of segmentation of economic activity across genders and its changing roles during the course of economic development has been a central topic of inquiry since Ester Boserup's pioneering work on Woman's Role in Economic Development. The evidence, both historically for the U.S. and other developed economies and over large cross-sections of countries, suggests that the relationship between women's labor force participation and economic development is U-shaped. This paper investigates the link between the U-shaped evolution of womens employment and the process of structural transformation in the course of economic development. Specically, it shows how this pattern can be rationalized based on a model of structural transformation with home production.
    Date: 2015

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