nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2016‒05‒08
six papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Retirement and Changes in Housework: A Panel Study of Dual Earner Couples By Thomas Leopold; Jan Skopek
  2. Mortality Inequality: The Good News from a County-Level Approach By Janet Currie; Hannes Schwandt
  3. Secular changes in the association between advanced maternal age and the risk of low birth weight: a cross-cohort comparison in the UK By Alice Goisis; Daniel Schneider; Mikko Myrskylä
  4. Estimation of Shadow Wage in Agricultural Household Model in Nepal By Nepal, Atul; Nelson, Carl
  5. Environmental Taxes and Rural-Urban Migration - A Study from China By Jing Cao
  6. Patience and the Wealth of Nations By Thomas Dohmen; Benjamin Enke; Armin Falk; David Huffman; Uwe Sunde

  1. By: Thomas Leopold; Jan Skopek
    Abstract: To examine how transitions to retirement influenced the division of household labor in dual earner couples. We tested hypotheses about changes (a) between a couple’s pre-retirement and post-retirement stage, and (b) across the transitionalphase during which both spouses retired from the workforce. We estimated fixed-effects models for the effects of the husband’s and the wife’s retirement on changes in their hours and share of routine housework. The data came from 29 waves of the German Socio-economic Panel Study, comprising N = 27,784 annual observations of N = 3,071 dual earner couples ages 45 to 75. Spouses who retired first performed more housework, whereas their partners who continued working performed less. This occurred irrespective of the retirement sequence. Husbands who retired first doubled up on their share of housework, but never performed more than 40 percent of a couple’s total hours. None of the observed shifts was permanent. After both spouses had retired, couples reverted to their pre-retirement division of housework. Although the findings on changes after retirement support theories of relative resources, gender construction theories still take precedence in explaining the division of household labor over the life course.
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Janet Currie; Hannes Schwandt
    Abstract: Analysts who have concluded that inequality in life expectancy is increasing have generally focused on life expectancy at age 40 to 50. However, we show that among infants, children, and young adults, mortality has been falling more quickly in poorer areas with the result that inequality in mortality has fallen substantially over time. This is an important result given the growing literature showing that good health in childhood predicts better health in adulthood and suggests that today’s children are likely to face considerably less inequality in mortality as they age than current adults. We also show that there have been stunning declines in mortality rates for African-Americans between 1990 and 2010, especially for black men. The fact that inequality in mortality has been moving in opposite directions for the young and the old, as well as for some segments of the African-American and non-African-American populations argues against a single driver of trends in mortality inequality, such as rising income inequality. Rather, there are likely to be multiple specific causes affecting different segments of the population.
    JEL: J11
    Date: 2016–04
  3. By: Alice Goisis; Daniel Schneider (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Mikko Myrskylä (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Existing studies provide contradictory evidence concerning the association between child well-being and advanced maternal ages. A potential explanation for the lack of consensus are changes over time in the costs and benefits of giving birth at advanced ages. This is the first study that tests secular changes in the association between advanced maternal age and child health. We use data from four UK cohort studies covering births from 1958-2001, and use low birth weight as a marker for child health. We find that across successive birth cohorts, the association between advanced maternal age and low birth weight becomes progressively weaker, and is negligible statistically and substantively for the 2001 cohort. Among current cohorts advanced maternal age does not predict low birth weight, but if selection into older maternal ages had not changed, it would still predict strongly increased risk of giving birth to a low birth weight child.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2015–11
  4. By: Nepal, Atul; Nelson, Carl
    Abstract: In developing countries, where most of the families work on their own farms, wage or labor-related income cannot be observed directly. This paper contributes to the literature on gender wage difference in labor and development economics by developing a new approach to estimate the shadow wage of agricultural households in Nepal. Using a general functional form, we first derive the shadow wage from a theoretical model. Then, ward-level fixed effect is used to estimate the shadow wage by gender for Nepalese agricultural households. We find that productivity of women is higher at the mean, median and 75th quantile than that of men. Despite their higher productivity, females are underpaid at the mean and median in the labor market compared to their marginal productivity, calling for greater investments to involve female in the production process.
    Keywords: Wage, Separability, Agricultural Household, Consumer/Household Economics, Financial Economics, C18, J43.,
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Jing Cao (Harvard China Project, Harvard University Center for the Environment and School of Economics and Management Tsinghua University, Beijing)
    Abstract: This study investigates the potential impact of two environmental tax regimes on the movement of rural people to China's cities. The study models the impact of a fuel tax and an output tax on the country's economy to get a full picture of how they would affect people's livelihoods and welfare, and how this would, in turn, affect rural-urban migration. The study sheds light on the implications of future environmental taxes and how they would affect urbanization and "rural-urban" migration in China. The study finds that both proposed taxes would discourage the flow of migrants from China's countryside to its cities. This would therefore exacerbate the current distortions in the country's labour market, where there is a surplus of rural labour. A comparison of the impact of the two taxes shows the fuel tax to be more efficient in terms of reducing pollution emissions and their associated environmental and health impacts. It also produces less distortion in the rural-urban migration process than the output tax. The study therefore recommends that this would be the preferable policy.
    Keywords: environmental taxation, rural-urban, China
    Date: 2016–04
  6. By: Thomas Dohmen (Universität Bonn); Benjamin Enke (University of Bonn); Armin Falk (Universität Bonn); David Huffman (University of Pittsburgh); Uwe Sunde (University of Munich)
    Abstract: According to standard dynamic choice theories, patience is a key driving factor behind the accumulation of the proximate determinants of economic development. Using a novel representative data set on time preferences from 80,000 individuals in 76 countries, we investigate the empirical relevance of this hypothesis in the context of a development accounting framework. We find a significant reduced-form relationship between patience and development in terms of contemporary income as well as medium- and long-run growth rates, with patience explaining a substantial fraction of development differences across countries. Consistent with the idea that patience affects national income through accumulation processes, patience also strongly correlates with human and physical capital accumulation, investments into productivity, and institutional quality. Additional results show that the relationship between patience, human capital, and income extends to analyses across regions within countries, and across individuals within regions.
    Keywords: time preference, comparative development, growth, savings, human capital, physical capital, innovation, institutions
    JEL: D03 D90 O10
    Date: 2016–04

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