nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2016‒08‒21
eight papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Social Norms and Teenage Smoking: The Dark Side of Gender Equality By Rodríguez-Planas, Núria; Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna
  2. The Family Working Time Model - Toward More Gender Equality in Work and Care By Kai-Uwe Müller; Michael Neumann; Katharina Wrohlich
  3. Marginal effects of physician coverage on infant and disease mortality By Liebert, H.; Mäder, B.
  4. The gender gap in mortality: How much is explained by behavior? By Schünemann, Johannes; Strulik, Holger; Trimborn, Timo
  5. Dishonesty: From Parents to Children By Anya Samek; Daniel Houser; Joachim Winter; John List; Marco Piovesan
  6. The impact of pension system reform on projected old-age income: the case of Poland By Elena Jarocinska; Anna Ruzik-Sierdzinska
  7. Gender Differences in Cooperative Environments? Evidence from the U.S. Congress By Gagliarducci, Stefano; Paserman, M. Daniele
  8. Gender Wage Gaps and Risky vs. Secure Employment: An Experimental Analysis By Jung, Seeun; Choe, Chung; Oaxaca, Ronald L.

  1. By: Rodríguez-Planas, Núria (Queens College, CUNY); Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: This paper is the first to provide evidence that cultural attitudes towards gender equality affect behaviors with potentially devastating health consequences, and that they do so differently for male and female teenagers. In particular, we show that descending from more gender-equal societies makes girls relatively more prone to smoke than boys. Using data from over 6,000 second-generation immigrant teenagers coming from 45 different countries of ancestry and living in Spain, we find that the higher the degree of gender equality in the country of ancestry, the higher the likelihood that immigrant girls smoke relative to boys, even after we control for parental, sibling, and peer smoking. Importantly, we uncover similar patterns when analyzing other risky behaviors such as drinking or smoking marijuana. This reinforces the idea that more gender-equal social norms may come at an extra cost to women's health, as they increasingly engage in risky behaviors (beyond smoking) traditionally more prevalent among men.
    Keywords: culture and institutions, smoking, risky behaviors, gender equality, gender gap index
    JEL: I10 I12 J15 J16 Z13
    Date: 2016–08
  2. By: Kai-Uwe Müller; Michael Neumann; Katharina Wrohlich
    Abstract: Since the millennium, the labor market participation of women and mothers is increasing across European countries. Several work/care policy measures underlie this evolution. At the same time, the labor market behavior of men and fathers, as well as their involvement in care work, is relatively unchanging, meaning that employed mothers are facing an increased burden with respect to gainful employment and providing care. We propose a family working time model that incentivizes fathers and mothers to both work in extended part-time employment. It provides a benefit in form of a lumpsum transfer or income replacement for each parent if, and only if, both parents work 30 hours per week. Thus, it explicitly addresses fathers and – contrary to most conventional family policies – actively promotes the dual earner/dual carer paradigm. Combining microsimulation and labor supply estimation, we empirically analyze the potential of the family working time model in the German context. The relatively small share of families already choosing the symmetric distribution of about 30 working hours would increase by 60 per cent. By showing that a lump-sum transfer especially benefits low-income families, we contribute to the debate about redistributive implications of family policies. The basic principles of the model generalize to other European countries where families increasingly desire an equal distribution of employment and care. In order to enhance the impact of such a policy, employers’ norms and workplace culture as well as the supply of high-quality childcare must catch-up with changing workforce preferences.
    Keywords: care work, gender equality, family policy, labor supply
    JEL: J22 J16 J38
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Liebert, H.; Mäder, B.
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of changes in the physician coverage ratio on infant mortality, perinatal mortality and the incidence of common childhood diseases. We utilize historical data and variation in the regional physician density provided by discriminatory policies in Germany in 1933, when Jewish physicians were expulsed from health insurance schemes and subsequently emigrated in large numbers. The results indicate substantial health effects. One additional physician per 1,000 of population reduces infant mortality by 23% and perinatal mortality by 16%. We find similar negative effects for gastrointestinal diseases, stillbirths and the incidence of measles, influenza and bronchitis. Using a semiparametric control function approach, we demonstrate that the marginal returns to coverage are nonlinear and decreasing. A coverage ratio of two physicians per 1,000 of population is sufficient to prevent mortality effects in the population.
    Keywords: infant mortality; physician coverage; health care supply; childhood diseases;
    JEL: I10 I18 N34
    Date: 2016–08
  4. By: Schünemann, Johannes; Strulik, Holger; Trimborn, Timo
    Abstract: In developed countries, women are expected to live about 4-5 years longer than men. In this paper we develop a novel approach in order to gauge to what extent gender differences in longevity can be attributed to gender-specific preferences and health behavior. For that purpose we set up a physiologically founded model of health deficit accumulation and calibrate it using recent insights from gerontology. From fitting life cycle health expenditure and life expectancy we obtain estimates of the gender-specific preference parameters. We then perform the counterfactual experiment of endowing women with the preferences of men. In our benchmark scenario this reduces the gender gap in life expectancy from 4.6 to 1.4 years. When we add gender-specific preferences for unhealthy consumption, the model can motivate up to 88 percent of the gender gap. Our theory offers also an economic explanation for why the gender gap declines with rising income.
    Keywords: health,aging,longevity,gender-specific preferences,unhealthy behavior
    JEL: D91 J17 J26 I12
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Anya Samek; Daniel Houser; Joachim Winter; John List; Marco Piovesan
    Abstract: Acts of dishonesty permeate life. Understanding their origins, and what mechanisms help to attenuate such acts is an underexplored area of research. This study takes an economics approach to explore the propensity of individuals to act dishonestly across different contexts. We conduct an experiment that includes both parents and their young children as subjects, exploring the roles of moral cost and scrutiny on dishonest behavior. We find that the highest level of dishonesty occurs in settings where the parent acts alone and the dishonest act benefits the child. In this spirit, there is also an interesting, quite different, effect of children on parents' behavior: parents act more honestly under the scrutiny of daughters than under the scrutiny of sons. This finding sheds new light on the origins of the widely documented gender differences in cheating behavior observed among adults, where a typical result is that females are more honest than males.
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Elena Jarocinska; Anna Ruzik-Sierdzinska
    Abstract: This paper analyses the distributional effects of the Polish old-age pension reform introduced in 1999. Following a benchmark Mincer earnings equation, and using a newly developed microsimulation model we project future pension benefits for males born in years 1969–1979. We find that inequality of predicted first pension benefits measured by the Gini coefficient increases from 0.119 to 0.165 for cohorts of men retiring between 2036 and 2046. The observed increased inequality of pension benefits is due to the decreasing share of initial capital that is based on a more generous DB formula in the total accumulated pension capital. At the same time, inequality in replacements rates decreases due to a stronger link between contributions paid through the entire working life and pension benefits.
    Keywords: pension benefits, inequality, replacement rates, microsimulation
    JEL: H55 J26
    Date: 2016–04
  7. By: Gagliarducci, Stefano (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Paserman, M. Daniele (Boston University)
    Abstract: This paper uses data on bill sponsorship and cosponsorship in the U.S. House of Representatives to estimate gender differences in cooperative behavior. We employ a number of econometric methodologies to address the potential selection of female representatives into electoral districts with distinct preferences for cooperativeness, including regression discontinuity and matching. After accounting for selection, we find that among Democrats there is no significant gender gap in the number of cosponsors recruited, but women-sponsored bills tend to have fewer cosponsors from the opposite party. On the other hand, we find robust evidence that Republican women recruit more cosponsors and attract more bipartisan support on the bills that they sponsor. This is particularly true on bills that address issues more relevant for women, over which female Republicans have possibly preferences that are closer to those of Democrats. We interpret these results as evidence that cooperation is mostly driven by a commonality of interest, rather than gender per se.
    Keywords: U.S. Congress, cooperativeness, bipartisanship, gender
    JEL: D72 D70 J16 H50 M50
    Date: 2016–08
  8. By: Jung, Seeun (Inha University); Choe, Chung (Hanyang University); Oaxaca, Ronald L. (University of Arizona)
    Abstract: In addition to discrimination, market power, and human capital, gender differences in risk preferences might also contribute to observed gender wage gaps. We conduct laboratory experiments in which subjects choose between a risky (in terms of exposure to unemployment) and a secure job after being assigned in early rounds to both types of jobs. Both jobs involve the same typing task. The risky job adds the element of a known probability that the typing opportunity will not be available in any given period. Subjects were informed of the exogenous risk premium being offered for the risky job. Women were more likely than men to select the secure job, and these job choices accounted for between 40% and 77% of the gender wage gap in the experiments. That women were more risk averse than men was also manifest in the Pratt-Arrow Constant Absolute Risk Aversion parameters estimated from a random utility model adaptation of the mean-variance portfolio model.
    Keywords: occupational choice, gender wage differentials, risk aversion, lab experiment
    JEL: J16 J24 J31 C91 D81
    Date: 2016–08

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