nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2016‒02‒29
six papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Marriage Age Affects Educational Gender Inequality: International Evidence By Alexander Stimpfle; David Stadelmann
  2. Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq and the socio-economic environment they faced at home: a comparison of European countries By Philip Verwimp
  3. Labour shortages and replacement demand in Germany : The (non)-consequences of demographic change By Garloff, Alfred; Wapler, Rüdiger
  4. Cognitive, Non-Cognitive Skills and Gender Wage Gaps: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data in Bangladesh By Christophe Nordman; Leopold R. Sarr; Smriti Sharma
  5. General Education, Vocational Education, and Labor-Market Outcomes over the Life-Cycle By Eric A. Hanushek; Guido Schwerdt; Ludger Woessmann; Lei Zhang
  6. Does trade liberalization help to reduce gender inequality? A cross-country panel data analysis of wage gap By Nozomi Kimura

  1. By: Alexander Stimpfle; David Stadelmann
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of female age at marriage on female education and educational gender inequality. We provide empirical evidence that early female marriage age significantly decreases female education with panel data from 1980 to 2010. Socio-cultural customs serve as an exogenous identification for female age at marriage. We also show that effects of spousal age gaps between men and women significantly affect female education relative to male education. Each additional year between husband and wife reduces the female secondary schooling completion rate by 14 percentage points, the time women spend at university by 6 weeks, and overall affects female education significantly more negatively than male education. We also document that marriage age and conventional measures of gender discrimination do not act as substitutes.
    Keywords: Marriage age; spousal age gap; female education; gender inequality
    JEL: J12 J16 I24 O47
    Date: 2016–02
  2. By: Philip Verwimp (ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles)
    Abstract: The contribution looks at the gap in labour market and school outcomes between first and second generation migrants and non-migrants in European countries. It correlates these socio-economic data with the number of foreign fighters per million inhabitants. Far from offering a full, causal and micro-level model to understand the story completely, the contribution finds a clear and robust pattern across Europe.
    Keywords: Exclusion, Labor Markets, PISA test scores, Europe, Terrorism
    JEL: J7 O5 I2
    Date: 2015–12
  3. By: Garloff, Alfred (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Wapler, Rüdiger (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "Two stylised facts of the German labour market are that first, the demand for highskilled labour has been growing rapidly for a number of years and second, the country is facing a particularly strong demographic change with the expected size of the population decreasing rapidly and the average age of the labour force increasing sharply. This has led to a widely discussed fear of 'labour shortages'. One of the reasons often stated in the public debate is that within a given time period many more old individuals are retiring than young individuals are entering the labour market. Although there is a certain logic in this argument, it is only prima facie convincing because firstly, a change in labour demand could counteract this effect and secondly, it is unclear whether - given labour demand for the occupations people retire from - people retiring from the labour market are normally 'replaced' by young cohorts entering the labour market. Thirdly, even if the size of a cohort differs between generations, it is by no means clear what the effects on labour supply are as, for example, the participation rates may also differ. We address these issues from a theoretical and empirical perspective. In the theoretical part we focus on the relationship between vacancies and unemployment (labour-market tightness) and show that it does not always increase with demographic change. In the empirical part, we analyse how employment is affected over time by different shares of different age cohorts. We find no evidence that a higher number of retirees in an occupation leads to a higher demand for younger workers. Instead, to a large extent, retirees seem to be 'replaced', if they are replaced at all, by middle-aged cohorts who change occupations. Thus, we conclude that the interaction between large retiring cohorts and small entering cohorts within occupations is less direct than is suggested in the public debate." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: Arbeitskräftenachfrage, demografischer Wandel, Integrierte Arbeitsmarktbiografien, ältere Arbeitnehmer, junge Erwachsene, Berufsausstieg, Berufseinmündung, berufliche Integration, Stellenbesetzung
    JEL: F22 J11 J21 J22
    Date: 2016–02–16
  4. By: Christophe Nordman (IRD, UMR 225 DIAL, PSL, Université Paris Dauphine, LEDa); Leopold R. Sarr (The World Bank, South Asia Human Development Unit, Washington DC, USA); Smriti Sharma (UNU-WIDER, Helsinki, Finland)
    Abstract: (english) We use a first-hand linked employer-employee dataset representing the formal sector of Bangladesh to explain gender wage gaps by the inclusion of measures of cognitive skills and personality traits. Our results show that while cognitive skills are important in determining mean wages, personality traits have little explanatory power. However, quantile regressions indicate that personality traits do matter in certain parts of the conditional wage distribution, especially for wages of females. Cognitive skills as measured by reading and numeracy also confer different benefits across the wage distribution to females and males respectively. Quantile decompositions indicate that these skills and traits reduce the unexplained gender gap, mainly in the upper parts of the wage distribution. Finally, results suggest that employers place greater consideration on observables such as academic background and prior work experience, and may also make assumptions about the existence of sex-specific skills of their workers, which could then widen the within-firm gender wage gap. _________________________________ (français) A partir de données liées employeurs-employés de première main couvrant le secteur formel du Bangladesh, nous expliquons l'écart salarial de genre en introduisant des mesures des compétences cognitives et des traits de personnalité des employés. Tandis que les compétences cognitives s'avèrent être d'importants déterminants des salaires lorsque ceux-ci sont observés au point moyen, les traits de personnalité présentent en revanche à ce niveau peu de pouvoir explicatif. Néanmoins, l'emploi de régressions quantiles sur les salaires indiquent que ces traits de personnalité jouent à certains endroits de la distribution conditionnelle, en particulier lorsqu'il s'agit des salaires des femmes. Les compétences cognitives, approchées par des scores en lecture et en calcul des salariés, montrent elles aussi des effets différenciés selon le sexe le long de la distribution des salaires. Des décompositions en quantile indiquent ensuite que ces compétences et traits de personnalité réduisent la part inexpliquée de l'écart salarial de genre, et ce principalement dans la partie haute de la distribution des salaires. Enfin, les résultats suggèrent que les employeurs privilégieraient davantage dans leurs pratiques de recrutement et politique salariale l'acquis scolaire et l’expérience professionnelle antérieure. Ils ont aussi tendance à faire usage de stéréotypes sur l'existence de compétences spécifiques selon le sexe des salariés, ce qui a tendance à creuser l'écart salarial de genre au sein même de l'entreprise.
    Keywords: gender wage gap, cognitive skills, personality traits, matched worker-firm data, quantile decompositions, Bangladesh
    JEL: J16 J24 J31 J71 C21 O12
    Date: 2015–12
  5. By: Eric A. Hanushek; Guido Schwerdt; Ludger Woessmann; Lei Zhang
    Abstract: Policy proposals promoting vocational education focus on the school-to-work transition. But with technological change, gains in youth employment may be offset by less adaptability and diminished employment later in life. To test for this trade-off, we employ a difference-in-differences approach that compares employment rates across different ages for people with general and vocational education. Using micro data for 11 countries from IALS, we find strong and robust support for such a trade-off, especially in countries emphasizing apprenticeship programs. German Microcensus data and Austrian administrative data confirm the results for within-occupational-group analysis and for exogenous variation from plant closures, respectively.
    JEL: J24 J64 J31 I20
    Date: 2015–10
  6. By: Nozomi Kimura (Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between trade openness and the gender wage gap using the wage data divided into six sectors and three different skill levels (high-, medium- and low-skill) in 19 developed countries from 1995 to 2005. We apply static and dynamic panel data models to investigate whether greater trade openness has affected the gender wage gap. The results from the fixed effects model indicate that trade openness decreases the wage gap between men and women in medium- and low-skill jobs, while the relationship between trade openness and the wage gap is insignificant in high-skill jobs. When the two-step difference generalized method of moments (GMM) is employed, trade openness is found to reduce the wage gap in medium-skill jobs, but its effect on the wage gap is insignificant in high- and low-skill jobs.
    Keywords: Trade and gender, wage gap, trade openness
    JEL: F16 J16
    Date: 2016–02

This nep-dem issue is ©2016 by Michele Battisti. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.