nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2016‒12‒04
twelve papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Empirical Evidence on Educational Effects of Physical Activity: Four Examples By Liebert, Helge; Mäder, Beatrice
  2. Gender and cooperative preferences on five continents By Furtner, Nadja C.; Kocher, Martin G.; Martinsson, Peter; Matzat, Dominik; Wollbrant, Conny
  3. Women on Board and Performance of Family Firms: Evidence from India By Jayati Sarkar; Ekta Selarka
  4. Revisiting the Determinants of Child Anthropometric Indicators in India Using Seemingly Unrelated Regressions Model By G. Naline; Brinda Viswanathan
  5. Exploring the childless universe: profiles and fertility intentions of men and women without children in Italy By Valentina Tocchioni
  6. Quality perceptions and school choice in rural Pakistan By Marine de Talancé
  7. Sustaining Impacts When Transfers End: Women Leaders, Aspirations, and Investment in Children By Karen Macours; Renos Vakis
  8. Dynastic human capital, inequality and intergenerational mobility By Adermon, Adrian; Lindahl, Mikael; Palme, Mårten
  9. The generation gap: a cohort analysis of earnings levels, dispersion and initial labor market conditions in Italy, 1974-2014 By Alfonso Rosolia; Roberto Torrini
  10. Public expenditure on education in the time of population aging- Which educational stages does the elderly support? By Miki Miyaki; Masaki Kimura
  11. To Migrate With or Without the Children—A Theoretical Note By Ywen Chen; Benteng Zou
  12. Antisocial Attitudes, Gender and Moral Judgments: An Experimental Study By Juergen Bracht; Adam Zylbersztejn

  1. By: Liebert, Helge; Mäder, Beatrice
    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: 2016–11
  2. By: Furtner, Nadja C.; Kocher, Martin G.; Martinsson, Peter; Matzat, Dominik; Wollbrant, Conny
    Abstract: Evidence of gender differences in cooperation in social dilemmas is inconclusive. This paper experimentally elicits unconditional contributions, a contribution vector (cooperative preferences), and beliefs about the level of others’ contributions in variants of the public goods game. We show that existing inconclusive results can be understood and completely explained when controlling for beliefs and underlying cooperative preferences. Robustness checks based on data from around 450 additional independent observations around the world confirm our main empirical results: Women are significantly more often classified as conditionally cooperative than men, while men are more likely to be free riders. Beliefs play an important role in shaping unconditional contributions, and they seem to be more malleable or sensitive to subtle cues for women than for men.
    Keywords: Public goods; conditional cooperation; gender; experiment
    JEL: C91 D64 H41
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Jayati Sarkar (Madras School of Economics); Ekta Selarka (Assistant Professor, Madras School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence on the effect of women directors on the performance of family firms with a case study of India. Existing literature on the subject has primarily focused on widely held firms, notably in the US. Given that ownership structure and governance environment of family firms are distinctly different from those of non-family firms, the evidence on the relationship between women on board and firm performance in the context of widely held firms may not apply in the context of family firms. India provides an ideal setting for analyzing this question as the presence of family firms is pervasive and since 2013 India has instituted gender quotas on corporate boards. Using a data-set of 10218 firm year observations over a ten year period from 2005 to 2014 which spans the pre-quota and post-quota years, we find robust evidence that women directors on corporate boards positively impact firm value and that this effect increases with the number of women directors on board. However, we find that the positive effect of gender diversity on firm performance weakens with the extent to which the family exerts control through occupying key management positions on the board. In addition, women directors affiliated to the family have no significant effect on firm value, whereas - independent women directors do. Our results with respect to profitability are somewhat different; while as in the case of market value, women directors positively impact profitability with the positive effect driven by independent women directors, the effect does not vary with the extent of family control. Taken together, our results suggest that though gender diversity on corporate boards may positively impact firm performance in family firms in general, the extent of family control can have a significant bearing on this relationship. The findings from this study could be instructive for emerging economies like India in promoting gender-based quotas on corporate boards.
    Keywords: Board of Directors, gender diversity, promoter control, ownership, regulationClassification-JEL: G32, G34, G38
    Date: 2015–10
  4. By: G. Naline (Madras School of Economics); Brinda Viswanathan (Madras School of Economics)
    Abstract: This study uses the NFHS-3 data to estimate SUR model for HAZ, WAZ and WHZ to understand how the determinants of intergenerational transmission, feeding and care practices and ICDS vary in their impact when these commonly used measures of child nutritional status are considered together in a systems framework. Asexpected mother’s height, BMI and anemia levels are all highly important in explaining the variations with large impact of height on HAZ, of BMI on WAZ and more widespread impact of anemia on WHZ. Initiation of breastfeeding within an hour of child’s birth, exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months, and inclusion of protein rich diets for the older children has a large impact on HAZ and so does access of daily food supplements from ICDS by rural children. Other predictors such as wealth status, safe water access, sanitation and use of clean cooking fuel by the households, are found to be strongly associated with all the indicators. The results from this study strengthen the evidence that though multiple determinants play a role in child’s growth the key factors are in the mother to child transmission and in quality of early child care of feeding habits and preventive and curative health care practices.
    Keywords: Child under-nutrition, stunting, underweight, wasting, Seemingly Unrelated Regression, India Classification-JEL: C51, I12, I13, I14, J13, O15.
  5. By: Valentina Tocchioni (Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti", Università di Firenze)
    Abstract: In the last decades, several western countries experienced a large increase in childlessness. Relatively little is known about the profiles of childless women in Italy, and virtually nothing about men, as well as their fertility intentions. This paper aims to fill this gap by identifying typical life course trajectories of childless women and men in Italy, and by exploring how childless people’s fertility intentions differ according to the various life course profiles. For eliciting typical patterns, I followed a holistic perspective and applied sequence analysis to a childless sample derived from the Italian 2009 Family and Social Subjects survey, taking into account a few relevant spheres, including partnership, employment, and education. Reconstructing the major life course trajectories, several similarities emerged between childless women and men, who shared some typical patterns. Determinants of fertility intentions were investigated through a logistic regression approach applied to a subsample of childless people nearly at the end of their reproductive period. Interestingly, similar childless profiles did not lead to similar attitudes towards fertility intentions.
    Keywords: childless women, childless men, fertility intentions, sequence analysis, Italy
    JEL: J13 N34 C25 C49
    Date: 2016–11
  6. By: Marine de Talancé (PSL, University Paris-Dauphine, LEDa, DIAL UMR 225)
    Abstract: A large body of research has well documented the growing contribution of private schools, including low-fee private providers, to education in underprivileged areas. Using a unique database from rural Pakistan, this paper determines the drivers of schooling behavior using a Heckman probit and a household fixed effects models that take into account non-random enrollment choice. The results suggest that gender and socioeconomic barriers still prevent certain parts of the population from accessing education and especially private schools. Both the lack of public schools and the perceived low quality of these schools explain why parents choose private schools even if free public schools are available. The household fixed effects model confirms the results and also shows that there is a significant intra-household gender gap in private school enrollment.
    Keywords: Demand for schooling, Pakistan, Perceptions, Private schooling, Quality of education, School choice
    JEL: I21 I25 I28
    Date: 2016–11
  7. By: Karen Macours; Renos Vakis
    Abstract: Numerous evaluations show that conditional cash transfer programs change households’ investments in their young children, but there are many open questions about how such changes can be sustained after transfers end. This paper analyzes the role of social interactions with local female leaders for sustaining program impacts. The social interactions are identified through the randomized assignment of leaders and other beneficiaries to different cash transfer packages. Random exposure to leaders that received the largest package was found to augment short-term program impacts on households’ investments in education and nutrition, and to affect households’ attitudes towards the future during the intervention. This paper shows that the strong social multiplier effects from leaders’ treatment persisted two years after the end of the program. Households randomly exposed to female leaders with the largest package sustained higher investments in their children and reported higher expectations and aspirations for the future of their children. These results suggest that program design features that enhance ownership of a program’s objectives by local leaders may shift other beneficiaries’ norms and sustain higher levels of human capital investments.
    JEL: I15 I25 O12 O15
    Date: 2016–11
  8. By: Adermon, Adrian (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Lindahl, Mikael (Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg; IFAU; IZA; UCLS; CESifo); Palme, Mårten (Department of economics, Stockholm University; IZA)
    Abstract: We study the importance of the extended family – or the dynasty – for the persistence in human capital inequality across generations. We use data including the entire Swedish population, linking four generations. This data structure enables us to – in addition to parents, grandparents and great grandparents – identify parents’ siblings and cousins, as well as their spouses, and the spouses’ siblings. We introduce and estimate a new parameter, which we call the intergenerational transmission of dynastic inequality. This parameter measures the between-dynasty variation in intergenerational transmission of human capital. We use three different measures of human capital: years of schooling, family income and an index of occupational status. Our results show that traditional parent-child estimates miss about half of the persistence across generations estimated by the extended model.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility; extended family; dynasty; human capital
    JEL: I24 J62
    Date: 2016–11–07
  9. By: Alfonso Rosolia (Banca d'Italia); Roberto Torrini (Banca d'Italia)
    Abstract: We discuss entry wages, career patterns and inequality developments of successive cohorts who have entered the Italian labour market between 1974 and 2014. We find that entry wages started to decline around the mid-1990s; the drop continued at least until the onset of the global financial crisis, seemingly slowing down thereafter. This pattern cannot be explained by changes in observable job characteristics. Falling entry wages have not been accompanied by faster subsequent career paths; rather, subsequent career paths have increasingly featured rising earnings dispersion due to both increased workers heterogeneity and greater temporary earnings instability. We relate such developments to the changes in labour market institutions that took place between the early 1990s and the mid-2000s.
    Keywords: earnings distribution, cohort effects, labor market reforms, earnings dispersion
    JEL: J31
    Date: 2016–11
  10. By: Miki Miyaki (Rikkyo University, College of Business); Masaki Kimura (Bank of Japan, Financial Markets Department)
    Abstract: This paper examines the elderly fs preference on public educational expenditures by each stage of education, i.e., from preschool to higher education. Utilizing a dynamic panel estimation method with Japanese prefectural data in the 1975-2012 period (38 years), we found that before 1990s the elderly tended to support public spending on almost every educational stage, especially on higher stages such as high school and university education. After 2000s, however, their preference was not to support government spending on earlier stages such as kindergarten and primary education. As the share of the elderly in eligible voters is becoming higher with the progress of population aging, their preference on government expenditures is gaining more influence on political decision. These results provide a foundation to discuss the allocation of public expenditure among educational stages under the circumstances of serious budget constraints.
    Keywords: population aging, public expenditure on education, educational stages, dynamic panel
    JEL: H52 H75 I28
    Date: 2016–11
  11. By: Ywen Chen (CREA, Université du Luxembourg); Benteng Zou (CREA, Université du Luxembourg)
    Abstract: Tens of millions of young children were left behind by their migrant parents who left to find a job elsewhere to gain a better income and improve their families’ living standards. Many studies suggest that migrant parents should bring their children rather than leave them behind, especially EU internal migrants. In this short note, we give an economic reasoning for the choice of migrant parents. Our finding shows that emotionally, bringing the children makes both children and parents better off; however, economically, that may not be the case. The ambiguity depends on the forgone opportunity cost, relocation cost of children, children’s motivation, and the quality of the public school at the origin and destination
    Keywords: Migrant children; left-behind children; migration
    JEL: O15 I31 I30
    Date: 2016
  12. By: Juergen Bracht (University of Aberdeen [Aberdeen] - University of Aberdeen); Adam Zylbersztejn (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We study questionnaire responses to moral dilemmas hypothetical situations in which sacrificing one life may save many other lives. We demonstrate gender differences in moral judgments: male participants are more supportive of the sacrifice than female participants. We investigate the importance of the previously studied source of the endorsement of the sacrfice: antisocial attitudes. First, we elicit the individual proneness to spiteful behavior using an incentivized experimental game. We demonstrate that spitefulness can be sizable but it is not associated with gender. Second, we find that gender is associated with moral judgments even when we account for individual differences in antisocial attitudes. Our results suggest that the performance of many institutions (related to the distribution of wealth or punishment, for instance) may be affected by the gender of the decision-makers. Abstract We study questionnaire responses to moral dilemmas hypothetical situations in which sacric-ing one life may save many other lives. We demonstrate gender dierences in moral judgments: male participants are more supportive of the sacrice than female participants. We investigate the importance of the previously studied source of the endorsement of the sacrice: antisocial attitudes. First, we elicit the individual proneness to spiteful behavior using an incentivized experimental game. We demonstrate that spitefulness can be sizable but it is not associated with gender. Second, we nd that gender is associated with moral judgments even when we account for individual dierences in antisocial attitudes. Our results suggest that the performance of many institutions (related to the distribution of wealth or punishment, for instance) may be aected by the gender of the decision-makers.
    Keywords: gender,moral dilemmas,moral judgments,spite,antisocial attitudes,experiment
    Date: 2016

This nep-dem issue is ©2016 by Michele Battisti. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.