nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2016‒10‒23
nine papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. When rationing plays a Role By Del Boca, Daniela; Pronzato, Chiara; Sorrenti, Giuseppe
  2. On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: New Evidence on Abortion, Fertility, and Parental Investments By Anukriti, S; Bhalotra, Sonia R.; Tam, Hiu
  3. What is the Added Value of Preschool? Long-Term Impacts and Interactions with a Health Intervention By Rossin-Slater, Maya; Wüst, Miriam
  4. The more the merrier? Adjusting fertility to weather shocks By Olivia Bertelli
  5. Parents' education and child body weight in France: The trajectory of the gradient in the early years By Bénédicte H. Apouey; Pierre-Yves Geoffard
  6. Changes in Marriage and Divorce as Drivers of Employment and Retirement of Older Women By Claudia Olivetti; Dana E. Rotz
  7. Transfers to Households with Children and Child Development By Del Boca, Daniela; Flinn, Christopher J; Wiswall, Matthew
  8. Domestic work, wages, and gender equality : lessons from developing countries By Oelz, Martin.; Rani, Uma.
  9. Breastfeeding and Early Childhood Outcomes: Is There a Causal Relationship? By Masayuki Onda

  1. By: Del Boca, Daniela; Pronzato, Chiara; Sorrenti, Giuseppe
    Abstract: Our study explores the impact of selection criteria on the costs and benefits of early child care for mothers' employment, child development, and municipalities' revenues by exploiting the selection criteria of different Italian municipalities in assigning child care slots. In Italy, only around 13% of the demand for public child care coverage is met, and the number of applications exceeds the number of places in child care services in all regions. In conditions of excess demand, municipalities introduce selection criteria to give priority to families for whom access to public child care appears to be more valuable. We analyse through simulations the consequences of introducing different selection criteria, using a representative Italian sample of households with children under three years of age (EU-SILC), and the selection criteria employed by six representative Italian municipalities. Our results have interesting policy implications. The benefits for child outcomes and mothers' employment are stronger in municipalities where the selection criteria give priority to more disadvantaged households. However, in these contexts selected households are less able to contribute to the financial sustainability of the service.
    Date: 2016–10
  2. By: Anukriti, S (Boston College); Bhalotra, Sonia R. (University of Essex); Tam, Hiu (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: The introduction of prenatal sex-detection technologies in India has led to a phenomenal increase in abortion of female fetuses. We investigate their impact on son-biased fertility stopping behavior, parental investments in girls relative to boys, and the relative chances of girls surviving after birth. We find a moderation of son-biased fertility, erosion of gender gaps in breastfeeding and immunization, and complete convergence in the post-neonatal mortality rates of boys and girls. For every five aborted girls, we estimate that roughly one additional girl survives to age five. The results are not driven by endogenous compositional shifts, being robust to the inclusion of mother fixed effects. Our findings have implications not only for counts of missing girls but also for the later life outcomes of girls, conditioned by greater early life investments in them.
    Keywords: abortion, child mortality, fertility, gender, health, India, missing girls, parental investments, prenatal sex detection, sex-selection, ultrasound
    JEL: I15 J13 J16
    Date: 2016–10
  3. By: Rossin-Slater, Maya (University of California, Santa Barbara); Wüst, Miriam (Danish National Centre for Social Research (SFI))
    Abstract: We study the impact of targeted high quality preschool over the life cycle and across generations, and examine its interaction with a health intervention during infancy. Using administrative data from Denmark together with variation in the timing of program implementation between 1933 and 1960, we find lasting benefits of access to preschool at age 3 on outcomes through age 65 – educational attainment increases, income rises (for men), and the probability of survival increases (for women). Further, the benefits persist to the next generation, who experience higher educational attainment by age 25. However, exposure to a nurse home visiting program in infancy reduces the added value of preschool. The positive effect of preschool is lowered by 85 percent for years of schooling (of the first generation) and by 86 percent for adult income among men.
    Keywords: preschool, intergenerational, interactions
    JEL: I38 I14 J13
    Date: 2016–10
  4. By: Olivia Bertelli (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Despite the worldwide decrease in fertility rates, Sub-Saharan Africa is still an exception, showing an almost non-declining trend over the past 50 years. In a high child mortality context parents might prefer a larger number of children, anticipating the risk of child mortality. This paper tests the short-term impact of an exogenous decrease in child mortality on household fertility. By exploiting positive exogenous weather shocks together with household panel data, I find that abundant rainfall increases child survival in the Nigerian context. Large households are the ones who benefit the most from this, and they are also the ones who respond by decreasing their fertility the most. Conversely, small households only slightly benefit from a decrease in child mortality and they continue to increase their birth rate. For a household with the average number of three children, mortality decreases by 0.013 while fertility increases by 0.046 children. When positive shocks occur, households get on average larger, as more children survive and parents only partially reduce their fertility. Consistent with such partial adjustment, household food security and children's anthropometric measures deteriorate. This matches the predictions of the theoretical framework, which shows that the magnitude of the fertility adjustment depends on the number of children alive at the moment of the shock. The empirical analysis tests this prediction, by using the gender of the first-born as instrument for the initial number of children.
    Keywords: Weather shocks,Child mortality,Fertility,Gender bias,Sub-Saharan Africa,Food security
    Date: 2015–11
  5. By: Bénédicte H. Apouey (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics); Pierre-Yves Geoffard (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC))
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between parental education and offspring body weight in France. Using two large datasets spanning the 1991-2010 period, we examine the existence of inequalities in maternal and paternal education and child reported body weight measures, as well as their evolution across childhood. Our empirical specification is flexible and allows this evolution to be non-monotonic. Significant inequalities are observed for both parents’ education – maternal (respectively paternal) high education is associated with a 7.20 (resp. 7.10) percentage points decrease in the probability that the child is reported to be overweight or obese, on average for children of all ages. The gradient with respect to parents’ education follows an inverted U-shape across childhood, meaning that the association between parental education and child body weight widens from birth to age 8, and narrows afterward. Specifically, maternal high education is correlated with a 5.30 percentage points decrease in the probability that the child is reported to be overweight or obese at age 2, but a 9.62 percentage points decrease at age 8, and a 1.25 percentage point decrease at age 17. The figures for paternal high education are respectively 5.87, 9.11, and 4.52. This pattern seems robust, since it is found in the two datasets, when alternative variables for parental education and reported child body weight are employed, and when controls for potential confounding factors are included. The findings for the trajectory of the income gradient corroborate those of the education gradient. The results may be explained by an equalization in actual body weight across socioeconomic groups during youth, or by changes in reporting styles of height and weight.
    Keywords: Socioeconomic Status,Body Weight,Overweight,Children,BMI-for-age z-score,Education
    Date: 2015–11
  6. By: Claudia Olivetti; Dana E. Rotz
    Abstract: We study associations among women’s current marital status, past marital history, and later-life labor force participation. We first document these relationships using data from the 1986 to 2008 waves of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). We then exploit variation in laws governing divorce across states and over time to quasi-experimentally identify how the timing of an exogenous increase in divorce risk (that is, the introduction of unilateral divorce) impacts employment and retirement outcomes for older women. The spread of unilateral divorce, we find, was associated with cross-cohort differences in the probability of divorce over the lifecycle. For women with a low risk of divorce, later exposure to unilateral divorce significantly increases the probability of full-time employment later in life, and significantly decreases retirement wealth. This finding suggests that ever-divorced women are working longer remedially; when a woman unexpectedly divorces later in life, she is less likely to have engaged in precautionary human capital investment and might have to work longer to increase her assets prior to retirement. For women with a high risk of divorce, later exposure to increases in divorce risk does not impact full-time employment after age 50 but is positively associated with investment in education post marriage. These women invest more in their own human capital within marriage, which might insure them against increases in exogenous divorce risk at later ages.
    JEL: J12 J21 J22
    Date: 2016–10
  7. By: Del Boca, Daniela; Flinn, Christopher J; Wiswall, Matthew
    Abstract: In this paper we utilize a model of household investments in the development of children to explore the impact of various transfer policies on the distribution of child outcomes. We develop a cost criterion that can be used to compare the cost effectiveness of unrestricted, restricted, and conditional cash transfer systems, and find that an optimally chosen conditional cash transfer program is the most cost efficient way to attain any given gain in average child quality. We explore several design elements for the conditional cash transfer system and discuss the role of production function uncertainty and measurement error.
    Keywords: child development; conditional cash transfers; Income Transfers; Time allocation
    JEL: D1 J13
    Date: 2016–10
  8. By: Oelz, Martin.; Rani, Uma.
    Keywords: domestic work, women workers, labour market, minimum wage, sex discrimination, labour standards, compliance, role of ILO, developing countries, travail domestique, travailleuses, marché du travail, salaire minimum, discrimination fondée sur le sexe, normes du travail, respect des obligations, rôle de l'OIT, pays en développement, trabajo doméstico, trabajadoras, mercado de trabajo, salario mínimo, discriminación por razones de sexo, normas del trabajo, cobranza coactiva, papel de la OIT, países en desarrollo
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Masayuki Onda
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of breastfeeding on early childhood outcomes. Using Birth Cohort of Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey data and employing a recently developed econometric technique, we estimate the upper and lower bounds of the effect of breastfeeding on early childhood health and cognitive ability. We find that even a small fraction of selection on unobservables explains the entire effect of breastfeeding on early childhood outcomes.

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