nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2016‒05‒14
six papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Poverty and Children’s Cognitive Trajectories: Evidence from the United Kingdom Millennium Cohort Study By Yekaterina Chzhen; Zlata Bruckauf; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
  2. School Entry, Compulsory Schooling, and Human Capital Accumulation: Evidence from Michigan By Hemelt, Steven W.; Rosen, Rachel B.
  3. Family Size, Sibling Rivalry and Migration: Evidence from Mexico By Massimiliano Bratti; Simona Fiore; Mariapia Mendola
  4. "Teaching to Teach" Literacy By Stephen Machin; Sandra McNally; Martina Viarengo
  5. Late Career Job Loss and the Decision to Retire By Irina Merkurieva
  6. Does Microcredit Have an Impact on Children? Evidences from Vietnam By Dinh, Cuong; Nguyen, Cuong; Pham, Phuong

  1. By: Yekaterina Chzhen; Zlata Bruckauf; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
    Abstract: Existing evidence is inconclusive on whether a socio-economic gradient in children’s cognitive ability widens, narrows or remains stable over time and there is little research on the extent of ‘cognitive mobility’ of children who had a poor start in life compared to their peers. Using data from five sweeps of the United Kingdom (UK) Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) at the ages of 9 months, 3 years, 5 years, 7 years and 11 years, this paper explores the cognitive ability trajectory of children in the bottom decile of the distribution at a given age, and the factors that drive or hinder their progress relative to their peers. The paper analyses children’s risks of moving in and out of the bottom decile of the cognitive ability distribution. The findings indicate a relatively high level of cognitive mobility between ages 3 and 11, especially in the pre-school period (between ages 3 and 5), with children from income-poor households more likely to get ‘trapped’ in the bottom of the age-specific cognitive ability distribution.
    Keywords: cognitive development; household surveys; poverty; social surveys;
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Hemelt, Steven W. (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill); Rosen, Rachel B.
    Abstract: Extant research on school entry and compulsory schooling laws finds that these policies increase the high school graduation rate of relatively younger students, but weaken their academic performance in early grades. In this paper, we explore the evolution of postsecondary impacts of the interaction of school entry and compulsory schooling laws in Michigan. We employ a regression-discontinuity (RD) design using longitudinal administrative data to examine effects on high school performance, college enrollment, choice, and persistence. On average, we find that children eligible to start school at a relatively younger age are more likely to complete high school, but underperform while enrolled, compared to their counterparts eligible to start school at a relatively older age. In turn, these students are 2 percentage points more likely to first attend a two-year college, and enroll in fewer postsecondary semesters, relative to their older counterparts. We explore heterogeneity in these effects across subgroups of students defined by gender and poverty status. For example, we illustrate that the increase in the high school graduation rate of relatively younger students attributable to the combination of school entry and compulsory schooling laws is driven entirely by impacts on economically disadvantaged students.
    Keywords: school entry, compulsory schooling, postsecondary enrollment
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2016–04
  3. By: Massimiliano Bratti (Università degli Studi di Milano, IZA and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano); Simona Fiore (Università degli Studi di Bologna); Mariapia Mendola (Università degli Studi di Milano - Bicocca, IZA and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of family size and demographic structure on offspring’s international migration. We use rich survey data from Mexico to estimate the impact of sibship size, birth order and sibling composition on teenagers’ and Young adults’ migration outcomes. We find little evidence that high fertility drives migration. The positive correlation between sibship size and migration disappears when endogeneity of family size is addressed using biological fertility miscarriages) and infertility shocks. Yet, the chances to migrate are not equally distributed across children within the family. Older siblings, especially firstborn males, are more likely to migrate, while having more sisters than brothers may increase the chances of migration, particularly among girls.
    Keywords: International Migration, Mexico, Family Size, Birth Order, Sibling Composition
    JEL: J13 F22 O15
    Date: 2016–04–13
  4. By: Stephen Machin; Sandra McNally; Martina Viarengo
    Abstract: Significant numbers of people have very low levels of literacy in many OECD countries and, because of this, face significant labour market penalties. Despite this, it remains unclear what teaching strategies are most useful for actually rectifying literacy deficiencies. The subject remains hugely controversial amongst educationalists and has seldom been studied by economists. Research evidence from part of Scotland prompted a national change in the policy guidance given to schools in England in the mid-2000s about how children are taught to read. We conceptualise this as a shock to the education production function that affects the technology of teaching. In particular, there was phasing in of intensive support to some schools across Local Authorities: teachers were trained to use a new phonics approach. We use this staggered introduction of intensive support to estimate the effect of the new 'teaching technology' on children's educational attainment. We find there to be effects of the teaching technology ('synthetic phonics') at age 5 and 7. However, by the age of 11, other children have caught up and there are no average effects. There are long-term effects only for those children with a higher initial propensity to struggle with reading.
    Keywords: Literacy, phonics
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2016–04
  5. By: Irina Merkurieva (University of St Andrews)
    Abstract: This paper provides an empirical analysis of the effect of involuntary job loss on the lifetime income and labor supply of older workers. I develop and estimate a dynamic programming model of retirement and savings with costly job search and exogenous layoffs. The structural estimates from the Health and Retirement Study data show that older displaced workers lose up to one and a half years of pre-displacement earnings over the remaining lifetime. Most of this loss (80%) is due to the permanent wage penalty following displacement, while the rest is explained by search frictions. Involuntary job loss makes an average worker retire fifteen months earlier. However, workers who were approaching retirement at the onset of the Great Recession will increase their labor supply by approximately five months in response to the joint impact of changes in the value of household assets and the probabilities of losing and finding a job.
    Keywords: retirement, life-cycle labor supply, layoff cost, saving, cyclical unemployment
    JEL: J14 J26 J64
    Date: 2016–04–12
  6. By: Dinh, Cuong; Nguyen, Cuong; Pham, Phuong
    Abstract: Vietnam has been successful in economic growth and poverty reduction. One of important antipoverty program is micro-credit for the poor. Although there are a large number of studies on the impact of micro-credit programs on income and poverty reduction, there is little evidence on its impact of children. This paper aims to evaluate the impact of micro-credit on child labor and education in Vietnam using Vietnam Household Living Standard Survey (VHLSS) 2006 and 2008. Overall, this study does not find significant impacts of micro-credit on education and labor of children.
    Keywords: Child education, child labor, microcredit.
    JEL: I3 I38
    Date: 2014–05–15

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