nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2016‒03‒17
eight papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Gender inequality, technological progress, and the demographic transition By DAO, N.T.; DAVILA, J.
  2. The gender gap in mathematics achievements: evidence from Italian data. By Contini, Dalit; Di Tommaso, Maria Laura; Mendolia, Silvia
  3. Women’s Leadership and Corporate Performance By Qian, Meijun
  4. Social Contacts, Dutch Language Proficiency and Immigrant Economic Performance in the Netherlands: A Longitudinal Study By Chiswick, Barry R.; Wang, Zhiling
  5. China's Family Planning Policies and Their Labor Market Consequences By Wang, Fei; Zhao, Liqiu; Zhao, Zhong
  6. Seniority wages and the role of firms in retirement By Frimmel W.; Horvath T.; Schnalzenberger M.; Winter-Ebmer R.
  7. Social Norms, Labor Market Opportunities, and the Marriage Gap for Skilled Women By Marianne Bertrand; Patricia Cortés; Claudia Olivetti; Jessica Pan
  8. Regional and Gender Differentials in the Persistence of Unemployment By Maurizio Baussola; Chiara Mussida

  1. By: DAO, N.T. (Mercator Research Insitute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Berlin); DAVILA, J. (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, Belgium)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a new mechanism linking technology, the gender gap in education, and fertility in a growth model in order to explain the long run transition from stagnation to modern sustained growth, through the demographic transition, and the accompanying improvements in gender equality in education and income. The mechanism includes three main components. First, increases in the level of technology not only increase the return to human capital but also reduce women's time in doing housework, leaving women with more time for child care and labor-force participation, since technological progress creates labour-saving products for doing housework. Second, the decreases in women's time devoted to housework in the future make households today invest relatively less in education for their sons in order to invest more in education for their daughters because the marginal return to female education is higher than that to male education, therefore, improving the gender equality in education. Third, the better gender equality in education, in turn, accelerates the technological progress. This positive feedback loop generates a demographic transition accompanied with accelerated economic growth.
    Keywords: Technological progress; gender inequality in education; demographic transition; fertility, human capital
    JEL: J11 J13 J16 O11 O40
    Date: 2015–09–14
  2. By: Contini, Dalit; Di Tommaso, Maria Laura; Mendolia, Silvia (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper describes the Italian gender gap in math utilizing the National Test “Invalsi” for the year 2013, in which all Italian children in school year 2, 5, 6, 8 and 10 are tested. The magnitude of the gender gap is measured using OLS and a school fixed effect model. We find that the female dummy is negative for all years, even after controlling for a socio-economic indicator, parental education, maternal professional status, geographical areas, number of siblings, kindergarten attendance, math self-beliefs (only year 5 and 6), belief about the importance of math and the type of high school (only year 10). In order to check if the gap is increasing with the age of the child, lacking longitudinal data, we use a pseudo panel technique and find that the gap is increasing from age 7 to age 15 with a slight decrease at age 11. Finally, we study the distribution of the gap across test scores, using quantile regressions, and find that the gap is higher for top performing children. This result is confirmed using a metric-free technique.
    Date: 2016–02
  3. By: Qian, Meijun (Australian National University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the gender diversity in corporate boardrooms in Asia and the Pacific and how the diversity affects corporate performance. We find that boardroom gender diversity is low in Asia with 7.5% female representation on average in 2012, but showing a 1.8% improvement in 2013. The appointment of female directors and a gender-diverse boardroom are on average positively associated with a firm’s subsequent performance, but with large cross-country and cross-measurement differences. Firm performance is the highest when there are two females on the board. Using two-stage analyses, we find that (i) a firm’s past performance does not predict its choice to add female directors; (ii) cross-country differences in female corporate leadership respond to its economic demand and supply as measured by gender equality in college education, labor participation, wages, and infant survival; and (iii) female representation on the board, when determined by these economic factors, is a significant predictor of a firm’s future performance.
    Keywords: corporate performance; development equality; director choices; female leadership
    JEL: G38 J71 O16
    Date: 2016–01–26
  4. By: Chiswick, Barry R. (George Washington University); Wang, Zhiling (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Using longitudinal data on immigrants in the Netherlands for the years 1991, 1994, 1998, 2002, we examined the impacts of social contacts and Dutch language proficiency on adult foreign-born men's earnings, employment and occupational status. The main conclusions are as follows. On average, social contacts and a good mastery of the Dutch language enhance immigrants' economic performances. The effects are stronger for immigrants with low-skill-transferability than for immigrants with high-skill-transferability, and are stronger for economic migrants than for non-economic migrants. Contact with Dutch people and Dutch organisations unambiguously enhances all aspects of immigrants' economic performance, however, we found no evidence for the positive effect of co-ethnic contact on employment status.
    Keywords: social capital, Dutch language proficiency, labour market performance, Dutch immigrants, skill transferability
    JEL: J15 J61 Z13
    Date: 2016–02
  5. By: Wang, Fei (Renmin University of China); Zhao, Liqiu (Renmin University of China); Zhao, Zhong (Renmin University of China)
    Abstract: China initiated its family planning policy in 1962 and one-child policy in 1980 and allows all couples to have two children as of 1st January, 2016. This paper systematically examines the labor market consequences of China's family planning policies. First, we briefly review the major historical evolution of China's family planning policies. Second, we investigate the effects of these policies on the labor market, focusing on the size and quality of the working-age population and its age and gender composition and paying special attention to regional as well as rural-urban differences in the demographic structure resulting from the interaction of the family planning policies and internal migration. Last, we discuss undergoing and prospective policy changes and potential consequences. Though urban areas and coastal provinces have implemented stricter family planning policies, our analysis shows that because of internal migration, the aging problem is more severe in rural areas and in inland provinces. Our simulation results further indicate that the new two-child policy may be too late and too little to alleviate the aging problem in China.
    Keywords: One-Child Policy, aging, sex ratio, quantity–quality model, migration
    JEL: J13 J11 J21 J61
    Date: 2016–02
  6. By: Frimmel W.; Horvath T.; Schnalzenberger M.; Winter-Ebmer R. (GSBE)
    Abstract: In general, retirement is seen as a pure labor supply phenomenon, but firms can have strong incentives to send expensive older workers into retirement. Based on the seniority wage model developed by Lazear 1979, we discuss steep seniority wage proles as incentives for firms to dismiss older workers before retirement. Conditional on individual retirement incentives, e.g., social security wealth or health status, the steepness of the wage profile will have different incentives for workers as compared to firms when it comes to the retirement date. Using an instrumentalvariable approach to account for selection of workers in our firms and for reverse causality, we find that firms with higher labor costs for older workers are associated with lower job exit age.
    Keywords: Social Security and Public Pensions; Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-labor Market Discrimination; Retirement; Retirement Policies; Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials;
    JEL: J14 J26 J31 H55
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Marianne Bertrand (Booth School of Business, University of Chicago); Patricia Cortés (Questrom School of Business, Boston University); Claudia Olivetti (Boston College; NBER); Jessica Pan (National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: In most of the developed world, skilled women marry at a lower rate than unskilled women. We document heterogeneity across countries in how the marriage gap for skilled women has evolved over time. As labor market opportunities for women have improved, the marriage gap has been growing in some countries but shrinking in others. We discuss a theoretical model in which the (negative) social attitudes towards working women might contribute towards the lower marriage rate of skilled women, and might also induce a non-linear relationship between their labor market prospects and their marriage outcomes. The model is suited to understand the dynamics of the marriage gap for skilled women over time within a country with set social attitudes towards working women. The model also delivers predictions about how the marriage gap for skilled women should react to changes in their labor market opportunities across countries with more or less conservative attitudes towards working women. We test the key predictions of this model in a panel of 23 developed countries, as well as in a panel of US states.
    Keywords: Marriage, Social Norms, Gender
    JEL: J11 J12 J16
    Date: 2016–02–03
  8. By: Maurizio Baussola (DISCE, Università Cattolica); Chiara Mussida (DISCE, Università Cattolica)
    Abstract: The persistence of unemployment increased over the recent great recession in many European countries, however, with diversified impacts. We therefore analyse such impacts in four European countries – Italy, Spain, France, and the UK – representing different institutional frameworks which may reflect the so-called continental European and Anglo-Saxon framework, respectively. We analyse the determinants of unemployment persistence by using individual level data from the EU-SILC panel for the period 2007-2013. This data enables us to take into account initial conditions and state dependence in addition to individual and household characteristics. We primarily focus on gender and regional effects which indeed have a strong impact on the persistence in the state of unemployment.
    Keywords: unemployment persistence, state dependence, initial conditions, comparison across countries
    JEL: C23 C25 E24 J60 J64
    Date: 2015–12

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