nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2016‒03‒29
six papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Discrimination in a Search-Match Model with Self-Employment By Jonathan Lain
  2. Social Norms, Labor Market Opportunities, and the Marriage Gap for Skilled Women By Marianne Bertrand; Patricia Cortés; Claudia Olivetti; Jessica Pan
  3. Violence Against Women: A Cross-cultural Analysis for Africa By Alberto Alesina; Benedetta Brioschi; Eliana La Ferrara
  4. The Evolution of Gender Gaps in Industrialized Countries By Claudia Olivetti; Barbara Petrongolo
  5. Ashes to ashes, time to time - Parental time discounting and its role in the intergenerational transmission of smoking By Philipp Huebler; Andreas Kucher
  6. Having a Second Child and Access to Childcare: Evidence from European Countries By Hippolyte d'Albis; Paula Gobbi; Angela Greulich

  1. By: Jonathan Lain
    Abstract: In this paper, we build a search-match model to help explain differences in the outcomes of women and men in urban African labour markets. First, we use longitudinal data from a panel collected in four of Ghana's largest cities to establish a set of stylised facts relating to the size of different sectors in the economy, the earnings gaps that persist within those sectors, and transitions between different jobs. We then construct a model, which allows for individual heterogeneity and participation in both self- and wage-employment, as well as discrimination against female workers in the wage sector. By numerically solving and simulating this model, we show that wage sector discrimination leads to average earnings gaps in all sectors of the economy, even if the underlying ability distribution is the same for both sexes. This result arises because discrimination creates extra frictions for women, making it harder for them to select jobs according to comparative advantage. We also conduct a series of experiments to examine how women and men may be affected differently by government policy, and consider the robustness of our results to alternative assumptions about individual heterogeneity.
    Keywords: Search Models; Discrimination; Comparative Advantage; Self-Employment; Informal Sectors
    JEL: J60 J71
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Marianne Bertrand; Patricia Cortés; Claudia Olivetti; Jessica Pan
    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.
    JEL: J0 J01 J11 J12 J16
    Date: 2016–02
  3. By: Alberto Alesina; Benedetta Brioschi; Eliana La Ferrara
    Abstract: Using a new dataset, we investigate the determinants of violence against women in Africa. We focus on cultural factors arising from pre-colonial customs and find evidence consistent with two hypotheses. First, ancient socioeconomic conditions determine social norms about gender roles, family structures and intrafamily violence which persist even when the initial conditions change. Norms about marriage patterns, living arrangements and the productive role of women are associated with contemporary violence. Second, women’s contemporary economic role affects violence in a complex way which is itself related to traditional norms in ancient times and current bargaining power within the marriage.
    JEL: E62
    Date: 2016–01
  4. By: Claudia Olivetti; Barbara Petrongolo
    Abstract: Women in developed economies have made major inroads in labor markets throughout the past century, but remaining gender differences in pay and employment seem remarkably persistent. This paper documents long-run trends in female employment, working hours and relative wages for a wide cross-section of developed economies. It reviews existing work on the factors driving gender convergence, and novel perspectives on remaining gender gaps. The paper finally emphasizes the interplay between gender trends and the evolution of the industry structure. Based on a shift-share decomposition, it shows that the growth in the service share can explain at least half of the overall variation in female hours, both over time and across countries.
    JEL: E24 J16 J31
    Date: 2016–01
  5. By: Philipp Huebler (University of Augsburg, Department of Economics); Andreas Kucher (University of Augsburg, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Intergenerational correlations of risky health behaviors such as tobacco consumption are well established. However, there is still limited empirical evidence about the underlying process through which the transmission is driven. This paper aims at analyzing parental time discounting and its role in the intergenerational transmission of smoking. The analysis is based on longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) for the years 2006, 2008 and 2010. We use a linear panel regression model to estimate the child’s likelihood of being a current smoker. The SOEP contains a great many of socio-economic characteristics and also meaningful measures of individual discounting behavior, namely, general patience and impulsivity. This enables us to distinguish between time preference and self-control, respectively. We ï¬ nd signiï¬ cant effects of time preference for both, mothers and fathers. That is, an increasing level of patience of parents is associated with a lower smoking probability of the child. Regarding self-control, only father’s impulsivity has a similar decreasing impact. Stratifying the sample by gender reveals substantial mother-daughter, mother-son and father-son effects. Additionally, we estimate the influence of health-related mediating factors such as parental smoking and alcohol consumption. It turns out that role modeling as well as time discounting of the parents are highly relevant in this transmission process.
    Keywords: family economics, intergenerational transmission, smoking, time discounting, time preference, patience, self-control, impulsivity
    JEL: D9 D10 I12 J13
    Date: 2016–03
  6. By: Hippolyte d'Albis (Paris School of Economics - Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne); Paula Gobbi (Université Catholique de Louvain); Angela Greulich (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: This paper shows that differences in fertility across European countries mainly emerge due to fewer women having two children in low fertility countries. It further suggests that childcare services are an important determinant for the transition to a second child to occur. The theoretical framework we propose suggests that: (i) in countries where childcare coverage is low, there is a U-shaped relationship between a couple's probability to have a second child and female's wage, while (ii) in countries with easy access to childcare, this probability is positively related with the woman's potential wage. Data from the European Survey of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) confirm these implications when estimating a woman's probability of having a second child as a function of education. This implies that middle income women are the most affected ones by the lack of childcare coverage
    Keywords: Childcare; Education; Fertility; Female Employment
    JEL: J11 J13 J16 O11
    Date: 2016–02

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