nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2016‒07‒09
seven papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Grandparental Availability for Child Care and Maternal Employment: Pension Reform Evidence from Italy By Massimiliano Bratti; Tommaso Frattini; Francesco Scervini
  2. Pension Incentives and the Retirement Decisions of Couples By Atalay, Kadir; Barrett, Garry
  3. Which Should the Government Subsidize: Child Care or Elderly Care? By Atsushi Miyake; Masaya Yasuoka
  4. Informal parental care and female labor supply in Japan By Oshio, Takashi; Usui, Emiko
  5. Intensive Mothering and Well-being: The Role of Education and Child Care Activity By Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio; Sevilla, Almudena
  6. Gender Performance Gaps: Quasi-Experimental Evidence on the Role of Gender Differences in Sleep Cycles By Lusher, Lester; Yasenov, Vasil
  7. Is Childcare Bad for the Mental Health of Grandparents? Evidence from SHARE By Brunello, Giorgio; Rocco, Lorenzo

  1. By: Massimiliano Bratti; Tommaso Frattini; Francesco Scervini
    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 womenÕs 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. Length: 45 pages
    Keywords: grandparental child care, maternal employment, pension reform, retirement
    Date: 2016–06
  2. By: Atalay, Kadir (University of Sydney); Barrett, Garry (University of Sydney)
    Abstract: Recent reforms to social security in many countries have sought to delay retirement. Given the family context in which retirement decisions are made, social security reforms have potentially important spill-over effects on the participation of spouses. This paper analyses the impact of women's pension incentives on the retirement decision of their husband. The 1993 Age Pension reform in Australia increased the eligibility age for Age Pension benefits for women. This reform caused an increase in participation of men married to women in the affected cohorts. The behavioral responses are due to wealth effects and preferences for shared leisure.
    Keywords: retirement, age pension, joint retirement, spousal effect
    JEL: D91 I38 J26
    Date: 2016–06
  3. By: Atsushi Miyake (Faculty of Economics, Kobe Gakuin University); Masaya Yasuoka (School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University)
    Abstract: This paper presents an examination of how a government should provide subsidies for households. An elderly care subsidy for services can increase the purchase of elderly care services. Therefore, it can reduce the need for elderly care provision by adult children. This decrease implies an increase in the labor supply. The consequent increase in the labor supply raises the household income, making increased fertility a ordable: this paper presents derivation that the child care subsidy service cannot increase the fertility and labor supply if the productivity of elderly care services is high. However, the subsidy for older people has the e ect of preventing a decrease in the number of children. Therefore, the elderly care subsidy can alleviate social problems caused by fewer children.
    Keywords: Child care, Elderly care, Fertility
    JEL: H51 H21 J14
    Date: 2016–06
  4. By: Oshio, Takashi; Usui, Emiko
    Abstract: Using the Japanese Study of Aging and Retirement (JSTAR), Japan's first globally comparable panel survey of the elderly, we estimate the effect on female employment in Japan due to the provision of informal parental care. We observe that informal parental care has little impact on female employment, after controlling for endogeneity of informal care or individual unobserved time-invariant heterogeneity. This finding is consistent with those observed in Europe and the U.S., underscoring a limited association between care and work in Japan, which is facing aging at the fastest pace among advanced economies.
    Keywords: Informal care, Caregiving, Employment, Japan
    JEL: J22 J14 I12
    Date: 2016–06
  5. By: Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio (University of Zaragoza); Sevilla, Almudena (Queen Mary, University of London)
    Abstract: The ideology of intensive mothering, whereby mother's time is thought of as crucial for child development, continues to be the dominant cultural framework in the United States. Yet there is little evidence about how mothers differ in their child care experiences from large representative surveys. We use data from the Well-being Module of the American Time Use Survey to understand emotions in mothering experiences, and how these vary by maternal educational attainment and the type of child care activity mothers engage in. We document that, compared to less-educated mothers, higher educated mothers report lower happiness and meaning, and higher levels of fatigue when engaging in mothering activities. The gap in momentary wellbeing among mothers across the educational distribution does not depend on the type of child care activity and suggests that intensive mothering practices are more likely to pressurize the most-educated women, who may subscribe to more time-intensive forms of mothering.
    Keywords: mothering, emotional well-being, education gradient, child care, ideology of intensive mothering, time use
    JEL: J10
    Date: 2016–06
  6. By: Lusher, Lester (University of California, Davis); Yasenov, Vasil (University of California, Davis)
    Abstract: Sleep studies suggest that girls go to sleep earlier, are more active in the morning, and cope with sleep deprivation better than boys. We provide the first causal evidence on how gender differences in sleep cycles can help explain the gender performance gap. We exploit over 240,000 assignment-level grades from a quasi-experiment with a community of middle and high schools where students' schedules alternated between morning and afternoon start times each month. Relative to girls, we find that boys' achievement benefits from a later start time. For classes taught at the beginning of the school day, our estimates explain up to 16% of the gender performance gap.
    Keywords: gender performance gap, gender difference in sleep cycles, school start time
    JEL: H52 I20 I21
    Date: 2016–06
  7. By: Brunello, Giorgio (University of Padova); Rocco, Lorenzo (University of Padova)
    Abstract: We estimate the causal effects of regular and occasional grandchild care on the depression of grandmothers and grandfathers, using data from the Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe and an instrumental variables strategy which exploits the variation in the timing of interviews across individuals and the fact that childcare declines with the age of grandchildren. We find that 10 additional hours of childcare per month, a 31 percent increase with respect to the sample average, increases the probability of developing depressive symptoms by 3.0 to 3.2 percentage points for grandmothers and by 5.4 to 5.9 percentage points for grandfathers. These results suggest that policies that substitute informal with formal childcare can improve the mental wellbeing of grandparents.
    Keywords: childcare, grandparents, depression, Europe
    JEL: J13 I12
    Date: 2016–06

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