nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2016‒07‒02
seven papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. How Does Parental Divorce Affect Children's Long-term Outcomes? By Martin Halla; Wolfgang Frimmel; Rudolf Winter-Ebmer
  2. Grandparental Availability for Child Care and Maternal Employment: Pension Reform Evidence from Italy By Bratti, Massimiliano; Frattini, Tommaso; Scervini, Francesco
  3. The Impact of Abortion Legalization on Fertility and Maternal Mortality: New Evidence from Mexico By Clarke, Damian; Mühlrad, Hanna
  4. Gendered Entrepreneurship Networks By Markussen, Simen; Røed, Knut
  5. Are the Japanese Unique? Evidence from Household Saving and Bequest Behavior By Charles Yuji Horioka
  6. Waking up from the American dream: on the experience of young Americans during the housing boom of the 2000s By Laeven, Luc; Popov, Alexander
  7. Neighborhood Effects, Peer Classification, and the Decision of Women to Work By Mota, Nuno; Patacchini, Eleonora; Rosenthal, Stuart S.

  1. By: Martin Halla; Wolfgang Frimmel; Rudolf Winter-Ebmer
    Abstract: Numerous papers report a negative association between parental divorce and child outcomes. To provide evidence whether this correlation is driven by a causal effect, we exploit idiosyncratic variation in the extent of sexual integration in fathers’ workplaces: Fathers who encounter more women in their relevant age-occupationgroup on-the-job are more likely to divorce. This results holds also conditioning on the overall share of female co-workers in a firm. We find that parental divorce has persistent, and mostly negative, effects on children that differ significantly between boys and girls. Treated boys have lower levels of educational attainment, worse labor market outcomes, and are more likely to die early. Treated girls have also lower levels of educational attainment, but they are also more likely to become mother at an early age (especially during teenage years). Treated girls experience almost no negative employment effects. The latter effect could be a direct consequence from the teenage motherhood, which may initiate an early entry to the labor market. JEL Classification: .
    Keywords: Divorce; children; human capital; fertility; sexual integrated workplaces;
    JEL: J12 D13 J13 J24
    Date: 2016–05
  2. By: Bratti, Massimiliano (University of Milan); Frattini, Tommaso (University of Milan); Scervini, Francesco (Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori di Pavia (IUSS))
    Abstract: In this paper, we exploit pension reform-induced changes in retirement eligibility requirements to assess the role of grandparental child care availability in the employment of women who have children under 15. We focus on Italy for two reasons: first, it has low rates of female employment and little formal child care provision, and second, it has undergone several pension reforms in a relatively short time span. Our analysis shows that, among the women studied, those whose own mothers are retirement eligible have a 13 percent higher probability of being employed than those whose mothers are ineligible. The pension eligibility of maternal grandfathers and paternal grandparents, however, has no significant effect on the women's employment probability. We also demonstrate that the eligibility of maternal grandmothers mainly captures the effect of their availability for child care. Hence, pension reforms, by potentially robbing households of an important source of flexible, low-cost child care, could have unintended negative consequences for the employment rates of women with children.
    Keywords: grandparental child care, maternal employment, pension reform, retirement
    JEL: J13 J22
    Date: 2016–06
  3. By: Clarke, Damian (Department of Economics, Universidad de Santiago de Chile); Mühlrad, Hanna (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: We examine the effect of a large-scale, free, elective abortion program implemented in Mexico City in 2007. Prior to this program, all states and districts in Mexico had very limited, or no, access to elective abortion. A localized reform in Mexico City resulted in a sharp increase in the request and use of early term elective abortions: approximately 90,000 abortions were administered by public health providers in the four years following the reform, versus only 62 in the five years preceding the reform. We provide evidence using national vital statistics data from Mexico covering over 23 million births and over 11,000 cases of maternal deaths. Our difference-in-difference estimates suggest that this program resulted in a reduction in births by 2.3 to 3.8% among women aged 15-44 and by 5.1 to 7.1% among teenage women (15-19 year-olds). Similar results are found for maternal mortality, for which we find a sharp fall in the rate of maternal deaths, by 8.8 to 16.2% for women aged 15-44 and by 14.9 to as much as 30.3% among teenagers. All told, the reform appears to increase the average age of women at first birth, and reduce the number of mothers giving birth at higher parities.
    Keywords: Fertility; Maternal Mortality; Abortion legalization; Mexico
    JEL: I15 I18 J13 O15
    Date: 2016–06
  4. By: Markussen, Simen (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Røed, Knut (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)
    Abstract: In virtually all industrialized countries, women are underrepresented in entrepreneurship, and the gender gap exhibits a remarkable persistence. We examine one particular source of persistence, namely the prevalence of gendered networks and associated peer effects. We study how early career entrepreneurship is affected by existing entrepreneurship among neighbors, family members, and recent schoolmates. Based on an instrumental variables strategy, we identify strong peer effects. While men are more influenced by other men, women are more influenced by other women. We estimate that differences between male and female peer groups explain approximately half of the gender gap in early career entrepreneurship.
    Keywords: early career entrepreneurship, peer effects, gender gap, instrumental variables
    JEL: L26 M13 J16
    Date: 2016–06
  5. By: Charles Yuji Horioka
    Abstract: In this paper, we attempt to shed light on whether Japanese households are rational or if their behavior is influenced by culture and social norms by examining their saving and bequest behavior. To summarize our main findings, we find that Japan’s household saving rate showed great volatility, was often low and even negative, and was high only during the 25-year period from around 1960 until the mid-1980s (if we exclude the war years) and that we can explain the high level of, and trends over time in, Japan’s household saving rate via various socioeconomic and policy variables. This seems to suggest that the Japanese are not a saving-loving people and that their saving behavior is not governed by culture and social norms. Moreover, the bequest behavior of the Japanese suggests that they are less altruistic toward their children and less reliant on their children than other peoples, suggesting that the alleged social norm of strong family ties in Japan is largely a myth, and the Japanese do not appear to be appreciably more concerned about the continuation of the family line or the family business than other peoples, suggesting that the influence of the “ie” system is apparently not so pervasive either. However, we argue that these findings do not necessarily mean that culture and social norms do not matter.
    Date: 2016–06
  6. By: Laeven, Luc; Popov, Alexander
    Abstract: We exploit regional variations in house price fluctuations in the United States during the early to mid-2000s to study the impact of the housing boom on young Americans' choices related to home ownership, household formation, and fertility. We also introduce a novel instrument for changes in house prices based on the predetermined industrial structure of the local economy. We find that in MSAs which experienced large increases in house prices between 2001 and 2006, the youngest households were substantially less likely to purchase residential property, to be married, and to have a child, both in 2006 and in 2011. JEL Classification: E32, G21, J10, R21
    Keywords: credit constraints, fertility, home ownership, house prices, household formation
    Date: 2016–05
  7. By: Mota, Nuno (Fannie Mae); Patacchini, Eleonora (Cornell University); Rosenthal, Stuart S. (Syracuse University)
    Abstract: We examine the influence of neighborhood peer effects on the decision of women to work using panel data that follows clusters of adjacent homes between 1985-1993. Modeling assumptions imply rank order restrictions that enable us to classify individuals into peer groups while identifying peer effects and underlying mechanisms. For women, peer effects influence labor supply in part because women appear to emulate the work behavior of nearby women with similar age children. For men, peer effects are mostly absent, consistent with inelastic work decisions. Geographically concentrated panel data are crucial for these estimates. Our approach could also be applied to other instances in which neighborhood peer effects are important.
    Keywords: neighborhood peer effects, female labor supply
    JEL: R2 J2
    Date: 2016–06

This nep-dem issue is ©2016 by Michele Battisti. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.