nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2016‒03‒23
five papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Health Capacity to Work at Older Ages in Denmark By Paul Bingley; Nabanita Datta Gupta; Peder Pedersen
  2. Childhood Environment and Gender Gaps in Adulthood By Raj Chetty; Nathaniel Hendren; Frina Lin; Jeremy Majerovitz; Benjamin Scuderi
  3. School Quality and the Gender Gap in Educational Achievement By David H. Autor; David N. Figlio; Krzysztof Karbownik; Jeffrey Roth; Melanie Wasserman
  4. Maternal Employment Trajectories and Caring for an Infant or Toddler with a Disability By Anna Zhu
  5. Partners in Crime: Schools, Neighborhoods and the Formation of Criminal Networks By Stephen B. Billings; David J. Deming; Stephen L. Ross

  1. By: Paul Bingley; Nabanita Datta Gupta; Peder Pedersen
    Abstract: Longevity is increasing and many people are spending a greater proportion of their lives reliant on pensions to support consumption. In response to this, several countries have mandated delays to age of first entitlement to pension benefits in order to reduce incentives to retire early. However, it is unknown to what extent older individuals have the health capacity to sustain the longer working lives that delayed pension benefits may encourage. We estimate the health capacity to work longer in Denmark by comparing how much older individuals work today with how much those with similar mortality rates worked in the past, and how much younger individuals today with similar self-assessed health work. We find substantial health capacity for longer working lives among those currently aged 55 and above. We also find significant heterogeneity by education and gender. Those with a high school degree have the greatest additional work capacity, women have more additional capacity than men, especially women with a college degree.
    JEL: I14 J26
    Date: 2016–02
  2. By: Raj Chetty; Nathaniel Hendren; Frina Lin; Jeremy Majerovitz; Benjamin Scuderi
    Abstract: We show that differences in childhood environments play an important role in shaping gender gaps in adulthood by documenting three facts using population tax records for children born in the 1980s. First, gender gaps in employment rates, earnings, and college attendance vary substantially across the parental income distribution. Notably, the traditional gender gap in employment rates is reversed for children growing up in poor families: boys in families in the bottom quintile of the income distribution are less likely to work than girls. Second, these gender gaps vary substantially across counties and commuting zones in which children grow up. The degree of variation in outcomes across places is largest for boys growing up in poor, single-parent families. Third, the spatial variation in gender gaps is highly correlated with proxies for neighborhood disadvantage. Low-income boys who grow up in high-poverty, high-minority areas work significantly less than girls. These areas also have higher rates of crime, suggesting that boys growing up in concentrated poverty substitute from formal employment to crime. Together, these findings demonstrate that gender gaps in adulthood have roots in childhood, perhaps because childhood disadvantage is especially harmful for boys.
    JEL: J0 J16 J21
    Date: 2016–01
  3. By: David H. Autor; David N. Figlio; Krzysztof Karbownik; Jeffrey Roth; Melanie Wasserman
    Abstract: Recent evidence indicates that boys and girls are differently affected by the quantity and quality of family inputs received in childhood. We assess whether this is also true for schooling inputs. Using matched Florida birth and school administrative records, we estimate the causal effect of school quality on the gender gap in educational outcomes by contrasting opposite-sex siblings who attend the same sets of schools—thereby purging family heterogeneity—and leveraging within-family variation in school quality arising from family moves. Investigating middle school test scores, absences and suspensions, we find that boys benefit more than girls from cumulative exposure to higher quality schools.
    JEL: I21 J12 J13
    Date: 2016–01
  4. By: Anna Zhu (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: Mothers caring for an infant or toddler continue to face barriers in returning to work after child birth. Mothers caring for an infant or toddler with a disability, however, may face even greater barriers. This paper contributes to the literature by exploring the employment costs for this group of mothers using a novel Australian administrative data set. The employment patterns of mothers with and without a disabled infant or toddler are compared both before and after child birth. The data follow 7,600 mothers on a bi-weekly basis for the entire period 12 months before and the 24 months after child birth and contain information on the disability status of the child, measures of employment and the intensity of employment. I find that mothers of disabled toddlers and infants suffer employment disadvantages relative to mothers of non-disabled children. The employment gaps grow from approximately six percentage points shortly after their children are born to 14-17 percentage points when their children are 12 to 24 months old. The employment gaps exist for full-time employment as well as for short part-time employment. Classification- I12, J13, J22
    Keywords: Disability, infants or toddlers, mothers’ employment
    Date: 2016–02
  5. By: Stephen B. Billings; David J. Deming; Stephen L. Ross
    Abstract: Why do crime rates differ greatly across neighborhoods and schools? Comparing youth who were assigned to opposite sides of newly drawn school boundaries, we show that concentrating disadvantaged youth together in the same schools and neighborhoods increases total crime. We then show that these youth are more likely to be arrested for committing crimes together – to be “partners in crime”. Our results suggest that direct peer interaction is a key mechanism for social multipliers in criminal behavior. As a result, policies that increase residential and school segregation will – all else equal – increase crime through the formation of denser criminal networks.
    JEL: I21 I24
    Date: 2016–02

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