nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2017‒02‒05
seven papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Gender Gaps in the Effects of Childhood Family Environment: Do They Persist into Adulthood? By Anne Ardila Brenøe; Shelly Lundberg
  2. Early childcare, child cognitive outcomes and inequalities in the UK By Daniela Del Boca; Daniela Piazzalunga; Chiara Pronzato
  3. Marital Instability in the United States: Trends, Driving Forces, and Implications for Children By Lehrer, Evelyn L.; Son, Yeon Jeong
  4. Fertility and mothers’ labor supply: new evidence using time-to-conception By Claudia Hupkau; Marion Leturcq
  5. Maternity and Family Leave Policy By Rossin-Slater, Maya
  6. Comparing Apples to Oranges: Differences in Women’s and Men’s Incarceration and Sentencing Outcomes By Kristin F. Butcher; Kyung H. Park; Anne Morrison Piehl
  7. Occupational segregation by sexual orientation in the U.S.: Exploring its economic effects on same-sex couples By Coral del Río; Olga Alonso-Villar

  1. By: Anne Ardila Brenøe (University of Copenhagen); Shelly Lundberg (University of California Santa Barbara)
    Abstract: We examine the differential effects of family disadvantage on the education and adult labor market outcomes of men and women using high-quality administrative data on the entire population of Denmark born between 1966 and 1995. We link parental education and family structure during childhood to male-female and brother-sister differences in teenage outcomes, educational attainment, and adult earnings and employment. Our results are consistent with U.S. findings that boys benefit more from an advantageous family environment than do girls in terms of the behavior and grade-school outcomes. Father’s education, which has not been examined in previous studies, is particularly important for sons. However, we find a very different pattern of parental influence on adult outcomes. The gender gaps in educational attainment, employment, and earnings are increasing in maternal education, benefiting daughters. Paternal education decreases the gender gaps in educational attainment (favoring sons) and labor market outcomes (favoring daughters). We conclude that differences in the behavior of school- aged boys and girls are a poor proxy for differences in skills that drive longer-term outcomes.
    Keywords: gender gap, parental education, family structure, education, labor market outcomes
    JEL: I20 J10 J20 J30
    Date: 2017–01
  2. By: Daniela Del Boca (University of Turin and Collegio Carlo Alberto); Daniela Piazzalunga (IRVAPP); Chiara Pronzato (University of Turin, CHILD and Collegio Carlo Alberto)
    Abstract: In this empirical analysis, we estimate the link between formal childcare and child cognitive outcomes, controlling for a large number of variables. We use the Millennium Cohort Survey (MCS) for the United Kingdom, which provides very detailed information about several modalities of childcare as well as several child outcomes. We also simulate how an increase in formal childcare attendance can affect inequalities across children. Our results indicate that childcare attendance has a positive impact on child cognitive outcomes, which are stronger for children from low socioeconomic background.
    Keywords: childcare, child cognitive outcomes, Millennium Cohort Survey, MCS
    JEL: J13 D10 I21
    Date: 2017–01
  3. By: Lehrer, Evelyn L. (University of Illinois at Chicago); Son, Yeon Jeong (University of Illinois at Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper surveys some of the main strands in the recent literature on the economics of divorce, with a focus on U.S. studies. We begin with a discussion of changes over time in the divorce rate and the widening gap in marital instability by socioeconomic status. We review the role of age at entry into first marriage, including recent analyses that find strikingly different relationships by race and ethnicity. Compared to other developed economies, the divorce rate in the U.S. is exceptionally high. We offer possible explanations, including the roles of theologically conservative religions (which promote early entry into motherhood and marriage, and low female education), and the high levels of both income inequality and teen fertility in the U.S. We review the effects of divorce reforms. While such reforms have made it easier for women to leave violent marriages, lack of an ability to be economically self sufficient remains an important barrier for many women trapped in such marriages. In light of this, we discuss the importance of caution in interpreting research findings: a high level of marital stability is not always the best outcome. Finally, we review the literature on the effects of divorce on the well-being of children and the role of child support policies.
    Keywords: family structure, marital instability, marital dissolution, divorce
    JEL: J12
    Date: 2017–01
  4. By: Claudia Hupkau; Marion Leturcq
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of children on their mothers' labor market outcomes in the UK. We use timeto-conception of the first child as an exogenous variation in the probability of having more children. We find that having more children decreases the propensity to work in long part-time jobs but does not reduce participation for high- and intermediate-skilled mothers. For low skilled women, the impact on participation is large and negative. We show that the selection into having a second child is positive for for low-skilled mothers and negative for high-skilled and intermediate-skilled mothers. Women most attached to the labor market are also those that tend to have only one child among highand intermediate-skilled women. The reverse is true for low-skilled women: those least attached to the labor market are also less likely to have a second child. This appears to be driven by unobserved attributes that negatively affect both labor market outcomes and the likelihood to remain in a relationship with the father of the first child, which in turn negatively affects the probability to have a second child
    Keywords: labor force supply of women; infertility shocks; time0ti-conception; causal impact
    JEL: J13 J21 J22
    Date: 2017–01
  5. By: Rossin-Slater, Maya (University of California, Santa Barbara)
    Abstract: Maternity and family leave policies enable mothers to take time off work to prepare for and recover from childbirth and to care for their new children. While there is substantial variation in the details of these policies around the world, the existing research yields the following general conclusions. First, despite important barriers to the take-up of leave, both the implementation of new programs and extensions of existing ones increase leavetaking rates among new parents. Second, leave entitlements less than one year in length can improve job continuity for women and increase their employment rates several years after childbirth; longer leaves can negatively influence women's earnings, employment, and career advancement. Third, extensions in existing paid leave policies have no impact on measures of child well-being, but the introduction of short paid and unpaid leave programs can improve children's short- and long-term outcomes. Fourth, while more research is needed, the current evidence shows minimal impacts of existing U.S. state-level programs on employer-level outcomes such as employee productivity, morale, profitability, turnoverrates, or the total wage bill.
    Keywords: female labor supply, working mothers, family leave, maternity leave, motherhood wage penalty
    JEL: H4 J13 J18 J38
    Date: 2017–01
  6. By: Kristin F. Butcher; Kyung H. Park; Anne Morrison Piehl
    Abstract: Using detailed administrative records, we find that, on average, women receive lighter sentences in comparison with men along both extensive and intensive margins. Using parametric and semi-parametric decomposition methods, roughly 30% of the gender differences in incarceration cannot be explained by the observed criminal characteristics of offense and offender. We also find evidence of considerable heterogeneity across judges in their treatment of female and male offenders. There is little evidence, however, that tastes for gender discrimination are driving the mean gender disparity or the variance in treatment between judges.
    JEL: J16 K14 K42
    Date: 2017–01
  7. By: Coral del Río (Universidade de Vigo); Olga Alonso-Villar (Universidade de Vigo)
    Abstract: This paper examines how important the occupational sorting of individuals in same-sex couples is in explaining the economic position of lesbians and gays beyond controlling for occupation in the estimation of their respective wage gaps. The analysis reveals that the distribution of partnered gay men across occupations brings them a remarkable positive earning gap (11\% of the average wage of partnered workers), whereas the occupational sorting of partnered lesbian women only allows them to depart from the large losses that straight partnered women have since their earning gap, although positive, is close to zero. The results show that if gay men had the same educational achievements, immigration profile, racial composition, and age structure as straight partnered men have, the advantages of this group associated with their occupational sorting would disappear completely. Likewise, if lesbian women had the same characteristics, other than sex and gender orientation, as straight partnered men have, the small advantage that these women derive from their occupational sorting would not only vanish but would turn into disadvantages, leaving them with a loss with respect to the average wage of coupled workers similar to the one straight partnered women have after their corresponding homogenization. It is their higher educational attainments and, to a lower extent, their lower immigration profile, that prevents workers living in same-sex couples from having a disadvantaged occupational sorting, since neither do gay men seem to enjoy the privilege of being partnered men nor do lesbian women appear to be free from the mark of gender.
    Keywords: Sexual orientation, gender, occupational segregation, wages, well-being.
    JEL: D63 I31 J15 J16
    Date: 2016–12

This nep-dem issue is ©2017 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.