nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2016‒06‒14
four papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal By Bhalotra, Sonia R.; Chakravarty, Abhishek; Mookherjee, Dilip; Pino, Francisco J.
  2. Joint custody laws and mother's welfare: Evidence from the US By Daniela Vuri
  3. Family Disadvantage and the Gender Gap in Behavioral and Educational Outcomes By David Autor; David Figlio; Krzysztof Karbownik; Jeffrey Roth; Melanie Wasserman
  4. The Cultural Diffusion of the Fertility Transition: Evidence from Internal Migration in 19th Century France By Daudin, Guillaume; Franck, Raphaël; Rapoport, Hillel

  1. By: Bhalotra, Sonia R. (University of Essex); Chakravarty, Abhishek (University of Essex); Mookherjee, Dilip (Boston University); Pino, Francisco J. (University of Chile)
    Abstract: While land reforms are typically pursued in order to raise productivity and reduce inequality across households, an unintended consequence may be increased within-household gender inequality. We analyse a tenancy registration programme in West Bengal, and find that it increased child survival and reduced fertility. However, we also find that it intensified son preference in families without a first-born son to inherit the land title. These families exhibit no reduction in fertility, an increase in the probability that a subsequent birth is male, and a substantial increase in the survival advantage of subsequent sons over daughters.
    Keywords: land reform, property rights, gender, infant mortality, sex ratio, fertility
    JEL: I14 I24 J71 O15
    Date: 2016–05
  2. By: Daniela Vuri (DEF & CEIS,University of Rome Tor Vergata, IZA, CESifo)
    Abstract: Recent research has focused on the consequences on the unilateral divorce laws on several aspects of individual behavior but the issue of children custody after divorce has been almost neglected. This paper studies the implications on mothers of the changes in child custody law from maternal preference to joint custody using the 1960-2000 Census Public Use Micro Sample (IPUMS). Variation in the timing of joint custody reforms across states provides a natural experimental framework to study the causal effect of shared custody on mothers' economic outcomes. We also study the heterogeneity of the effect according to the years of exposure and to the age of the child at the time of the reform. The results show that divorced/separated mothers are negatively affected by the adoption of the joint custody laws in terms of a decrease in total income and earnings, exposing them to a higher risk of poverty. The paper discusses a possible rationale for these fidings in terms of higher child support payments the mother gets from the non custodial father in case of joint custody which might discourage them from looking for high paid jobs or investing in their careers.
    Keywords: joint custody laws, bargaining, difference in difference
    JEL: J12 J13
    Date: 2016–05–27
  3. By: David Autor; David Figlio; Krzysztof Karbownik; Jeffrey Roth; Melanie Wasserman
    Abstract: Using birth certificates matched to schooling records for Florida children born 1992 - 2002, we assess whether family disadvantage disproportionately impedes the pre-market development of boys. We find that, relative to their sisters, boys born to disadvantaged families have higher rates of disciplinary problems, lower achievement scores, and fewer high-school completions. Evidence supports that this is a causal effect of the post-natal environment; family disadvantage is unrelated to the gender gap in neonatal health. We conclude that the gender gap among black children is larger than among white children in substantial part because black children are raised in more disadvantaged families.
    JEL: I24 J12 J13 J16
    Date: 2016–05
  4. By: Daudin, Guillaume (Université Paris-Dauphine); Franck, Raphaël (Bar-Ilan University); Rapoport, Hillel (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: France experienced the demographic transition before richer and more educated countries. This paper offers a novel explanation for this puzzle that emphasizes the diffusion of culture and information through internal migration. It tests how migration affected fertility by building a decennial bilateral migration matrix between French regions for 1861-1911. The identification strategy uses exogenous variation in transportation costs resulting from the construction of railways. The results suggest the convergence towards low birth rates can be explained by the diffusion of low-fertility norms by migrants, especially by migrants to and from Paris.
    Keywords: fertility, France, demographic transition, migration
    JEL: J13 N33 O15
    Date: 2016–05

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