nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2016‒08‒07
ten papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Gender-Oriented Languages and Female Labour Force Participation: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa By Michelle Rao
  2. How Do Pre-School and/or School-Age Children Affect Parents' Likelihood of Migration and Off-Farm Work in Rural China's Minority Regions? By Ding, Sai; Dong, Xiao-Yuan; Maurer-Fazio, Margaret
  3. Ethnic and Racial Disparities in Children's Education: Comparative Evidence from Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam By Mohamed Arouri; Adel Ben Youssef; Cuong Nguyen
  4. Demand for prenatal care and its impact on neonatal, infant and child mortality in Zimbabwe: Evidence from the Demographic and Health Surveys By Makate, Marshall; Makate, Clifton
  5. Cognitive Performance and Labor Market Outcomes By Lin, Dajun; Lutter, Randall; Ruhm, Christopher J.
  6. Family, Community and Long-Term Earnings Inequality By Bingley, Paul; Cappellari, Lorenzo; Tatsiramos, Konstantinos
  7. Viewpoint: Estimating the Causal Effects of Policies and Programs By Smith, Jeffrey A.; Sweetman, Arthur
  8. Cultural Transmission and Socialization Spillovers in Education By Del Bello, Carlo; Panebianco, Fabrizio; Verdier, Thierry; Zenou, Yves
  9. Ethnic Inequality By Alesina, Alberto Francesco; Michalopoulos, Stelios; Papaioannou, Ellias
  10. Return Plans and Migrants' Behavior By Chabé-Ferret, Bastien; Machado, Joel; Wahba, Jackline

  1. By: Michelle Rao
    Abstract: Using the data from the Demographic and Health Surveys, this paper estimates the relationship between language and labour force participation of women in Sub-Saharan Africa. The results suggest that women who speak languages with stronger distinctions between masculine and feminine are less likely to participate in the labour force. This relationship holds both across and within countries, even after controlling for individual characteristics, religion and proxies for gender social norms related to ones ethnicity, such as historical use of the plough. The results suggest that language has a direct effect on preferences regarding labour market decisions, above and beyond gender norms arising from ethnicity and religion. These findings contribute to the growing literature on the relationship between socio-psychological factors and gender differences in economic outcomes.
    Keywords: Language; Identity; Culture; Gender social norms; Female labour force participation ; Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
    JEL: D03 J16 N37 O55
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Ding, Sai (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences); Dong, Xiao-Yuan (University of Winnipeg, Manitoba); Maurer-Fazio, Margaret (Bates College)
    Abstract: In this paper we explore the intersectionality of religious and ethnic norms and gender relations across the domestic and public spheres of work in post-reform rural, minority-concentrated China. We focus on the role that children play in their parents' off-farm work decisions for three aggregated ethnic groups (majority Han, Muslim minorities, and non- Muslim minorities). We control for households' composition and economic characteristics and individuals' human capital and as well as local economic conditions. Children generally decrease women's willingness to work away from/outside the home and increase men's willingness to do so. When we focus specifically on the effects of pre-school children, our results suggest it is more socially acceptable for non-Muslim than Muslim women to work away from home. When we turn our attention to school-age children, the gender of the child becomes as important to the analysis as the gender of the parent. With regard to household composition, we find that in Muslim households the presence of extra adult men (of any age between 15 and 70) in the household reduces the likelihood that women engage in off-farm work. The presence in the household of a woman of grandmotherly age (between 46 and 70) supports Muslim minority women's ability to migrate for work. For non-Muslim households, grandfathers and grandmothers alike, facilitate the ability of parents (male and female) to migrate for work.
    Keywords: off-farm work, ethnicity, household composition, children, migration, China
    JEL: J14 J15 J16 J26 D13 O53
    Date: 2016–07
  3. By: Mohamed Arouri (Centre Clermontois de Recherche en Gestion et Management (CRCGM)); Adel Ben Youssef (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS); Cuong Nguyen (National Economic University, Hanoi, Vietnam)
    Abstract: We investigate whether there are racial and ethnic disparities in children's education in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam. We find that in all four countries, and especially Vietnam, children from small ethnic groups have lower education attainment and cognitive ability. The gap in educational attainment and cognitive ability among ethnic children is larger than the gap in school enrolment, and the gap tends to be wider for older children. Using the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition, we find that the main contribution to the gap in education between children from small ethnic groups and children from large ethnic groups in India, Peru and Vietnam is the difference in endowments (i.e., characteristics of children and their families) rather than a in the coefficients of endowments. However, in Ethiopia, the difference in the coefficients contributes more than the difference in endowments to the gap in education. Child health, parental education, household expenditure and an urban environment are important variables for explaining the gap in education between children from small and large ethnic groups.
    Keywords: Children's education, racial disparities, low-income countries
    JEL: J13 J15 I21
    Date: 2016–08
  4. By: Makate, Marshall; Makate, Clifton
    Abstract: Abstract: The effect of the quality of prenatal care on child mortality outcomes has received less attention in sub-Saharan Africa. This study sought to explore the consequence of the quality of prenatal care and its individual components on neonatal, infant and under-five mortality using the three most recent rounds of the nationally representative Demographic and Health Survey data for Zimbabwe conducted in 1999, 2005/06 and 2010/11. The model for the demand for the quality of prenatal care is estimated using an OLS regression while the child mortality models are estimated using standard probit regressions. Since infant mortality rates and access to quality prenatal care might differ by rural and urban residence, we estimate separate models for the overall sample, urban and rural samples. The results indicate that a one-unit increase in the quality of prenatal care lowers the risks of neonatal, infant and under-five mortality by nearly 36%, 29.31%, and 27.53% respectively for the overall sample. The probability of neonatal, infant and under-five mortality is lowered by about 41.67%, 35.18%, and 30.77% respectively for urban-born children following a one-unit increase in the quality of prenatal care. For the rural sample, we found that a one-unit increase in the quality of prenatal care lowers the risks of neonatal, infant and under-five mortality by nearly 34.61%, 27.12%, and 25.35% respectively. These findings are all statistically significant at the 1% significance level. Examining the effect of individual prenatal care components on child mortality revealed that blood pressure checks, information on pregnancy complications, iron supplementations, and tetanus vaccinations are all important in lowering child deaths. Overall, our results suggest the need for public health policy makers in Zimbabwe to focus on ensuring high-quality prenatal care especially in low-income and rural segments of the population to save Zimbabwe’s children.
    Keywords: Key words: Quality of prenatal care; neonatal, infant and under-five mortality; rural and urban communities; sub-Saharan Africa; Zimbabwe
    JEL: I1 I12 I18
    Date: 2016–04–06
  5. By: Lin, Dajun (University of Virginia); Lutter, Randall (University of Virginia); Ruhm, Christopher J. (University of Virginia)
    Abstract: We use information from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79) and supplementary data sources to examine how cognitive performance, measured at approximately the end of secondary schooling, is related to the labor market outcomes of 20 through 50 year olds. Our estimates control for a wide array of individual and family background characteristics, a limited set of non-cognitive attributes, survey year dummy variables and, sometimes, geographic place effects. The analysis reveals five main findings. First, cognitive performance is positively associated with future labor market outcomes at all ages. The relationship is attenuated but not eliminated by the addition of controls for non-cognitive characteristics, while the inclusion of place effects does not change the estimated associations. Second, the returns to cognitive skill increase with age. Third, the effect on total incomes reflects a combination of positive impacts of cognitive performance for both hourly wages and annual work hours. Fourth, the returns to cognitive skill are greater for women than men and for blacks and Hispanics than for non-Hispanic whites, with differential effects on work hours being more important than corresponding changes in hourly wages. Fifth, the average gains in lifetime incomes predicted to result from greater levels of cognitive performance are only slightly above those reported in prior studies but the effects are heterogeneous, with larger relative and absolute increases, in most models, for nonwhites or Hispanics than for non-Hispanic whites, and higher relative but not absolute returns for women than men.
    Keywords: cognitive performance, cognitive skill, labor market outcomes, labor income, earnings, work hours
    JEL: J23 J24 J31 J38
    Date: 2016–07
  6. By: Bingley, Paul (Danish National Centre for Social Research (SFI)); Cappellari, Lorenzo (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Tatsiramos, Konstantinos (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: This paper studies the influence of family, schools and neighborhoods on life-cycle earnings inequality. We develop an earnings dynamics model linking brothers, schoolmates and teenage parish neighbors using population register data for Denmark. We exploit differences in the timing of family mobility and the partial overlap of schools and neighborhoods to separately identify sorting from community and family effects. We find that family is far more important than community in influencing earnings inequality over the life cycle. Neighborhoods and schools influence earnings only early in the working life and this influence falls rapidly and becomes negligible after age 30.
    Keywords: sibling correlations, neighborhoods, schools, life-cycle earnings, inequality
    JEL: D31 J62
    Date: 2016–07
  7. By: Smith, Jeffrey A. (University of Michigan); Sweetman, Arthur (McMaster University)
    Abstract: Estimation, inference and interpretation of the causal effects of programs and policies have all advanced dramatically over the past 25 years. We highlight three particularly important intellectual trends: an improved appreciation of the substantive importance of heterogeneous responses and of their methodological implications, a stronger focus on internal validity brought about by the "credibility revolution," and the scientific value that follows from grounding estimation and interpretation in economic theory. We discuss a menu of commonly employed partial equilibrium approaches to the identification of causal effects, emphasizing that the researcher's central intellectual contribution always consists of making an explicit case for a specific causal interpretation given the relevant economic theory, the data, the institutional context and the economic question of interest. We also touch on the importance of general equilibrium effects and full cost-benefit analyses.
    Keywords: causal effects, heterogeneous treatment effects, partial equilibrium identification
    JEL: C18 C21 C26 C50 C90
    Date: 2016–07
  8. By: Del Bello, Carlo; Panebianco, Fabrizio; Verdier, Thierry; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: We propose a model of the intergenerational transmission of education where children belong to either high-educated or low-educated families. Children choose the intensity of their social activities while parents decide how much educational effort to exert. We characterize the equilibrium and show under which condition cultural substitution or complementarity emerges. There is cultural substitution (complementarity) if parents decrease (increase) their education effort when their child socializes more with other children of the same type. By structurally estimating our model to the AddHealth data in the United States, we find that there is cultural complementarity for high-educated parents and cultural substitution for low-educated parents. This means that, for both parents, the more their children interact with kids from high-educated families, the more parents exert educational effort. We also perform some policy simulations. We find that policies aiming at mixing high and low educated children perform well in terms of average educational outcomes. We also show that a policy that gives vouchers to children from high-educated families have a positive and significant impact on the educational outcomes of all children while a policy that gives vouchers to children from low-educated families has a negative effect on the outcomes of both groups.
    Keywords: cultural transmission.; education; homophily; Social Networks
    JEL: D85 I21
    Date: 2016–07
  9. By: Alesina, Alberto Francesco; Michalopoulos, Stelios; Papaioannou, Ellias
    Abstract: This study explores the consequences and origins of between-ethnicity economic inequality across countries. First, combining satellite images of nighttime luminosity with the historical homelands of ethnolinguistic groups we construct measures of ethnic inequality for a large sample of countries. We also compile proxies of overall spatial inequality and regional inequality across administrative units. Second, we uncover a strong negative association between ethnic inequality and contemporary comparative development; the correlation is also present when we condition on regional inequality, which is itself related to under-development. Third, we investigate the roots of ethnic inequality and establish that differences in geographic endowments across ethnic homelands explain a sizable fraction of the observed variation in economic disparities across groups. Fourth, we show that ethnic-specific inequality in geographic endowments is also linked to under-development.
    Date: 2016
  10. By: Chabé-Ferret, Bastien (Université catholique de Louvain); Machado, Joel (University of Luxembourg); Wahba, Jackline (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: This paper studies how return migration intentions affect immigrants' behavior. Using a unique French data set, we analyze the relationship between return plans and several immigrants' behavior in the host and origin countries addressing the potential endogeneity between return plans and different investment decisions. We also investigate the potential trade-off and complementarities between various immigrants' investment behaviors. We find that temporary migrants are more likely to remit and invest in the country of origin, but less likely to invest in the host country. Moreover, our results show that there is no trade-off between immigrants' investment in the home and in the host country. In turn, we find substantial heterogeneity in behavior across migrants of different origins.
    Keywords: temporary migration, return intention, remittances
    JEL: F22 F24 D14
    Date: 2016–07

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