nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2016‒08‒28
eight papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Recent trends in US working life expectancy at age 50 by gender, education, and race/ethnicity and the impact of the Great Recession By Christian Dudel; Mikko Myrskylä
  2. The Impact of Women’s Health Clinic Closures on Fertility By Yao Lu; David J.G. Slusky
  3. Who wears the trousers in the family? Intra-household resource control, subjective expectations and human capital investment By Alex Armand
  4. The Effects of the Early Retirement Age on Retirement Decisions By Manoli, Dayanand; Weber, Andrea
  5. Gender gaps of the unemployed - What drives diverging labor market outcomes? By Dauth, Christine
  6. Career Breaks after Childbirth: The Impact of Family Leave Reforms in the Czech Republic By Bicakova, Alena; Kaliskova, Klara
  7. Are the Japanese Unique? Evidence from Household Saving and Bequest Behavior By Horioka, Charles Yuji
  8. Human Capital Investments and Expectations about Career and Family By Matthew Wiswall; Basit Zafar

  1. By: Christian Dudel (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Mikko Myrskylä (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: A key concern about population aging is the decline in the size of the economically active population. Working longer is a potential remedy. However, little is known about the length of working lives. We use the US Health and Retirement Study for 1992-2011 and multistate life tables to analyze working life expectancy at age 50 by gender, race/ethnicity, and education. Despite declines of 1-2 years following the Great Recession, in 2008-2011 American men aged 50 still spent 13 years, or two-fifths of their remaining life, working; while American women of the same age spent 11 years, or one-third of their remaining life, in employment. At age 50, the working life expectancy of college-educated individuals is twice as long as that of individuals with no high school education, and the working life expectancy of whites is one-third longer than that of blacks or Hispanics. These differentials are driven by labor force attachment, not mortality. Although educational differences have been stable over the past 20 years, racial differences started changing after the onset of the Great Recession. Our results show that while Americans generally work longer than people in other countries, there is considerable sub-population heterogeneity. We also find that the time trends are fluctuating, which may prove troublesome as the population ages. Policies targeting the weakest performing groups may be needed to increase the total population trends.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2016–08
  2. By: Yao Lu (Analysis Group, Inc., 111 Huntington Avenue, 14th Floor, Boston, MA 02199); David J.G. Slusky (Department of Economics, The University of Kansas;)
    Abstract: The government of Texas recently enacted multiple restrictions and funding limitations on women’s health organizations that provide abortion services or are associated with those that do. These policies have caused numerous clinic closures throughout the state, drastically reducing access to care. We study the impact of these clinic closures on fertility by combining quarterly snapshots of health center addresses from a network of women's health centers with restricted geotagged data of all Texas birth certificates for 2007–2013. We calculate the driving distance to the nearest clinic for each ZIP code, and find that an increase of 100 miles to the nearest clinic results in a 1.2 percent increase in the birth rate. This increase is driven by fertility changes for unmarried women and those having their first or second child. It also reduces average maternal age.
    Keywords: Women’s Health; Family Planning; Abortion; Contraception; Birth Rate; Access; Restriction; Law; Texas
    JEL: H75 I18 J13
    Date: 2016–08
  3. By: Alex Armand (Navarra Center for International Development)
    Abstract: This paper studies how the interaction between intra-household allocation of resources and parental beliefs about the returns to education influences human capital investment among poor households. For this purpose, I study a conditional cash transfer program in the Republic of Macedonia, aiming at improving secondary school enrollment among children in poor households. For identification I exploit the random allocation of payments either to mothers or household heads, together with a unique information on parental subjective expectations of returns to schooling. I show that targeting mothers leads to an increase in secondary school enrollment only for children whose parental returns are sufficiently high at the beginning of the program. This effect is associated with an increase in individual expenditure shares on education for this group. I find no differential impact for other inputs, such as monitoring of school attendance and time use. Overall, I show that the effect of channeling resources to mothers is strictly related to heterogeneity in parental perceived returns to schooling.
    Keywords: Intrahousehold; Conditional cash transfers; expectations; returns to schooling; gender; cognitive biases
    JEL: D13 J12 J16 D8 I2 J16 O15
    Date: 2014–09–01
  4. By: Manoli, Dayanand (University of Texas at Austin); Weber, Andrea (Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: We present quasi-experimental evidence on the effects of increasing the Early Retirement Age (ERA) on older workers' retirement decisions. The analysis is based on social security reforms in Austria in 2000 and 2004, and administrative data allows us to distinguish between pension claims and job exits. Using a Regression Kink Design, we estimate that, within a birth cohort, a 1.0 year increase in the ERA leads to a 0.4 year increase in the average job exiting age and a 0.5 year increase in the average pension claiming age. When the ERA increases, many older workers remain in their jobs longer.
    Keywords: retirement, early retirement age, pension reform, life cycle labor supply, regression kink design
    JEL: H55 J21 J22 J26
    Date: 2016–08
  5. By: Dauth, Christine (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "Analyzing gender gaps of unemployed job-seekers, this study uniquely complements the broad literature focussing predominantly on gender gaps of employed workers. I consider a broad range of labor market outcomes, and disentangle the factors driving the labor market gaps of unemployed men and women. I show that unemployed women perform worse on the labor market due to earlier choices in occupations, their labor force attachment, and working time. By contrast, regional labor market disparities including differences of local employment offices, which are assigned to place unemployed job-seekers, are of minor importance. Married women and those with young children perform particularly bad compared to men. High unexplainable gender gaps for these groups suggest that family-related preferences, employer discrimination, and institutional settings matter for unemployment duration and the quality of reemployment." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: J16 J21 J64 J71
    Date: 2016–08–22
  6. By: Bicakova, Alena (CERGE-EI); Kaliskova, Klara (CERGE-EI)
    Abstract: The Czech Republic is a country with a strong attachment of women to the labor market, but with one of the longest paid family leaves, which is often followed by a spell of unemployment. Using a difference-in-differences methodology, we study the impact of two reforms of the duration of the parental allowance on the labor market status of mothers 2 to 7 years after childbirth. While the 1995 reform prolonged the allowance from 3 to 4 years, the 2008 reform allowed some parents to shorten the duration of the allowance to only 2 or 3 years with an equivalent total monetary amount. The impact of the reforms on the length of women's career breaks following childbirth is substantial.
    Keywords: family leave, female labor supply, unemployment, policy evaluation
    JEL: J13 J18 J22
    Date: 2016–08
  7. By: Horioka, Charles Yuji
    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 otherpeoples, 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.
    Keywords: Altruism, bequest behavior, bequest division, bequest motives, Confucianism, culture, economic rationality, family ties, frugality, households, household behavior, household saving, “ie†system, Japan, Nihonjinron, parent-child relations, rationality, saving, saving behavior, social norms, values 1, Altruism, bequest behavior, bequest division, bequest motives, Confucianism, culture, economic rationality, family ties, frugality, households, household behavior, household saving, “ie†system, Japan, Nihonjinron, parent-child relations, rationality, saving, saving behavior, social norms, values 1, D10, D14, D64, D91, E21, H55, J11, Z10
    Date: 2016–06
  8. By: Matthew Wiswall; Basit Zafar
    Abstract: This paper studies how individuals "believe" human capital investments will affect their future career and family life. We conducted a survey of high-ability currently enrolled college students and elicited beliefs about how their choice of college major, and whether to complete their degree at all, would affect a wide array of future events, including future earnings, employment, marriage prospects, potential spousal characteristics, and fertility. We find that students perceive large "returns" to human capital not only in their own future earnings, but also in a number of other dimensions (such as future labor supply and potential spouse's earnings). In a recent follow-up survey conducted six years after the initial data collection, we find a close connection between the expectations and current realizations. Finally, we show that both the career and family expectations help explain human capital choices.
    JEL: D81 D84 I21 I23 J10 J12 J13 J16 J24
    Date: 2016–08

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