nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2016‒07‒30
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. Like Father, Like Daughter (Unless There Is a Son): Sibling Sex Composition and Women's STEM Major Choice in College By Oguzoglu, Umut; Ozbeklik, Serkan
  3. Birth Order Effects on Educational Attainment and Child Labour: Evidence from Lesotho By Ramaele Moshoeshoe
  4. Child and Adolescent Obesity in Ireland: A Longitudinal Perspective By Madden, D.
  5. Juvenile Crime and the Four-Day School Week By Stefanie Fischer; Daniel Argyle
  6. Personality, ability, marriage and the gender wage gap: Evidence from Germany By Collischon, Matthias
  7. From Late to MTE: Alternative Methods for the Evaluation of Policy Interventions By Cornelissen, Thomas; Dustmann, Christian; Raute, Anna; Schönberg, Uta

  1. By: Massimiliano Bratti (Università degli Studi di Milano, IZA and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano); Tommaso Frattini (Università degli Studi di Milano, CReAM, IZA, Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano and Dondena); Francesco Scervini (HDCP, Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori di Pavia)
    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: 2016–05–07
  2. By: Oguzoglu, Umut (University of Manitoba); Ozbeklik, Serkan (Claremont McKenna College)
    Abstract: We investigate the potential role of fathers in females' decision to choose a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) major in college. The main innovation of our paper is to analyze how sibling sex composition affects the probability of being a STEM major in college for females whose fathers are in a STEM occupation. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79), we find that, for females, having brother(s) significantly decreases the likelihood of choosing a STEM major in college when their fathers are also in a STEM occupation. The inclusion of variables pertaining to respondents' attitudes toward traditional gender roles, birth order, and the presence of an older brother as well as frequently used cognitive skill measures does not change the results. Thus, the observed effect appears to be driven by change in the college major preferences of females. We replicate the analysis using a more recent data set from the U.S. and data from Australia, and find similar results. Our findings suggest that fathers are much more likely to transmit occupation-specific tastes and preferences to their daughters in the absence of a son potentially, contributing to the persistence of the gender gap in STEM majors in college.
    Keywords: STEM, gender gap, college major, siblings sex composition, intergenerational transmission
    JEL: J24 J16 I23
    Date: 2016–07
  3. By: Ramaele Moshoeshoe
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of birth order on educational attainment and child labour in Lesotho. Using family fixed effects models, I find robust negative birth order effects on educational attainment and child labour. The birth order effects on educational attainment are in sharp contrast with the evidence from many other developing countries such as Ecuador and Kenya, but are consistent with the evidence from developed countries. I further find that these birth order effects are pronounced in large families, and families with first-born girls, which suggests presence of girls' education bias. Turning to potential pathways of these effects, I find that they are not propagated through family wealth, but mainly through birth-spacing. These results are robust to different sample restrictions.
    Keywords: Educational attainment, Child labour, Birth Order
    JEL: D13 I21 J1 O12
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Madden, D.
    Abstract: This paper examines developments in childhood and adolescent obesity in Ireland using two waves of the Growing Up in Ireland survey. Obesity appears to level off between the two waves though there is tentative evidence that the socioeconomic gradient, measured with respect to maternal education and family income, becomes steeper. Exploiting the longitudinal nature of the data, transitions into and out of obesity are examined, with higher rates of transition into obesity observed for those whose mothers have the lowest level of education. Decomposition of the concentration index with respect to income reveals a greater role for income related obesity mobility rather than obesity related income mobility.
    Keywords: obesity; socioeconomic gradient; longitudinal
    JEL: I12 I14
    Date: 2016–07
  5. By: Stefanie Fischer (Department of Economics, California Polytechnic State University); Daniel Argyle (FiscalNote)
    Abstract: Little is known regarding the extent to which school changes youth criminal behavior in the short-term, if at all, and even less in known on this issue in rural areas. We leverage a unique policy, the adoption of the four-day school week across rural counties and years in Colorado, a school schedule that is becoming more common nationwide especially in rural areas, to examine the causal link between school and youth crime. Those affected by the policy spend the same number of hours in school each week as students on a typical fiveday week, however treated students have Friday off. This policy allows us to learn about two aspects of the school-crime relationship that have previously been unstudied; one, the effects of a more frequent and long lasting schedule change on short-term crime, and two, the impact that school has on youth crime in rural areas. Our difference-in-difference estimates indicate that switching all students in a county from a five-day week to a four-day week increases juvenile arrests for property crimes, in particular larceny, by about 73%. We show that larceny and property crimes increase on all days of the week and are not driven by crime shifting from one day to another, i.e. Wednesday to Friday.
    Keywords: Crime, Inequality, Rural Public Policy, Education Policy
    JEL: R1 H7 I0 I2 H4
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Collischon, Matthias
    Abstract: This study investigates the interplay between personality traits, cognitive ability, marriage and the gender wage gap for West Germany by using data from the GSOEP. The findings indicate that personality traits in the form of the five factors of personality account for 11% of the total gender wage gap, while ability does not have an effect on the wage differential. There also seems to be a strong and significant marriage premium for men. Comparing unmarried men to unmarried women, a gender wage gap of 4.7 log points remains. This study also takes selection into the labor market into account, which hardly changes the results.
    Keywords: gender wage gap,big five,Germany
    JEL: J16 J31
    Date: 2016
  7. By: Cornelissen, Thomas (University of York); Dustmann, Christian (University College London); Raute, Anna (University of Mannheim); Schönberg, Uta (University College London)
    Abstract: This paper provides an introduction into the estimation of Marginal Treatment Effects (MTE). Compared to the existing surveys on the subject, our paper is less technical and speaks to the applied economist with a solid basic understanding of econometric techniques who would like to use MTE estimation. Our framework of analysis is a generalized Roy model based on the potential outcomes framework, within which we define different treatment effects of interest, and review the well-known case of IV estimation with a discrete instrument resulting in a local average treatment effect (LATE). Turning to IV estimation with a continuous instrument we demonstrate that the 2SLS estimator may be viewed as a weighted average of LATEs, and discuss MTE estimation as an alternative and more informative way of exploiting a continuous instrument. We clarify the assumptions underlying the MTE framework and illustrate how the MTE estimation is implemented in practice.
    Keywords: marginal treatment effects, instrumental variables, heterogeneous effects
    JEL: C26 I26
    Date: 2016–07

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