nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2017‒05‒07
five papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. The Impact of Parental Health on Children's Schooling and Labour Force Participation: Evidence from Vietnam By Mendolia, Silvia; Nguyen, Thi; Yerokhin, Oleg
  2. Learning about the Enforcement of Conditional Welfare Programs: Evidence from Brazil By Brollo, Fernanda; Kaufmann, Katja Maria; La Ferrara, Eliana
  3. Gender Laws, Values, and Outcomes: Evidence from the World Values Survey - Working Paper 452 By Charles Kenny, Dev Patel
  4. The Bilateral Relationship between Depressive Symptoms and Employment Status By Bubonya, Melisa; Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.; Ribar, David C.
  5. The Effect of Stress on Later-Life Health: Evidence from the Vietnam Draft By John Cawley; Damien de Walque; Daniel Grossman

  1. By: Mendolia, Silvia (University of Wollongong); Nguyen, Thi (University of Wollongong); Yerokhin, Oleg (University of Wollongong)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between parental health shocks and children's engagement in education and labour market, using a panel data survey of Vietnamese families, interviewed between 2004 and 2008. While there is substantial evidence showing the intergenerational transmission of health, the literature investigating the impact of parental health on children's educational and labour market outcomes is limited, especially in developing countries. We use child fixed effects and control for a detailed set of household and local area characteristics. Our main findings show that maternal illness substantially decreases chances of being enrolled in school for children between 10 and 23 years old and, at the same time, increases the children's likelihood of entering the labour market and working more hours for children aged 10-15 years old. The effect is particularly pronounced for girls, who seem to experience worst adverse consequences in terms of education and labour market engagement.
    Keywords: children's education, child labour, parental illness
    JEL: I10 I14 I24
    Date: 2017–03
  2. By: Brollo, Fernanda (University of Warwick); Kaufmann, Katja Maria (University of Mannheim); La Ferrara, Eliana (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: We study the implementation of Bolsa Familia, a program that conditions cash transfers to poor families on children's school attendance. Using unique administrative data, we analyze how beneficiaries respond to the enforcement of conditionality. Making use of random variation in the day on which punishments are received, we find that school attendance increases after families are punished for past noncompliance. Families also respond to penalties experienced by peers: a child's attendance increases if her own classmates, but also her siblings' classmates (in other grades or schools), experience enforcement. As the severity of penalties increases with repeated noncompliance, households' response is larger when peers receive a penalty that the family has not (yet) received. We thus find evidence of spillover effects and learning about enforcement.
    Keywords: enforcement, conditional welfare programs, learning, Brazil
    JEL: I25 I38 O15
    Date: 2017–03
  3. By: Charles Kenny, Dev Patel
    Abstract: This paper analyzes six waves of responses from the World Values Survey to understand the determinants of beliefs about women’s roles in society and their relationship with the legal system and outcomes. Using survey data for 300,000 individuals, we find that characteristics of an individual’s home country only explain about a fifth of the variation in values, and a single individual can report strongly different norms about women’s equality across different domains. There is a strong correlation between norms, laws and female labor force participation and between norms and the proportion of legislators who are women—but not between norms and relative female tertiary education. There is some suggestive evidence that laws may be more significant than norms in determining female employment outcomes, but the available evidence does not allow for strong causal statements at the cross-country level.
    Keywords: Values, Economics of Gender, Human Development, Gender Law
    JEL: A13 J16 O15
    Date: 2017–04
  4. By: Bubonya, Melisa (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research); Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. (University of Sydney); Ribar, David C. (University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the bilateral relationship between depressive symptoms and employment status. We find that severe depressive symptoms are partially a consequence of economic inactivity. The incidence of depressive symptoms is higher if individuals have been out of a job for an extended period. Men's mental health falls as they exit the labor force, while women's worsens only after they have been out of the labor force for a period of time. Entering unemployment is also associated with a substantial deterioration in mental health, particularly for men. We also find that severe depressive symptoms, in turn, lead to economic inactivity. Individuals are less likely to be labor force participants or employed if they experience severe depressive symptoms. Men's probability of being unemployed rises dramatically with the onset of depressive symptoms; women's unemployment is increased by protracted depressive symptoms.
    Keywords: mental health, unemployment, labor market status, HILDA survey, depressive symptoms, depression
    JEL: J01 J64 I14
    Date: 2017–03
  5. By: John Cawley; Damien de Walque; Daniel Grossman
    Abstract: A substantial literature has examined the impact of stress during early childhood on later-life health. This paper contributes to that literature by examining the later-life health impact of stress during adolescence and early adulthood, using a novel proxy for stress: risk of military induction during the Vietnam War. We estimate that a 10 percentage point (2 standard deviation) increase in induction risk in young adulthood is associated with a 1.5 percentage point (8%) increase in the probability of being obese and a 1 percentage point (10%) increase in the probability of being in fair or poor health later in life. This does not appear to be due to cohort effects; these associations exist only for men who did not serve in the war, and are not present for women or men who did serve. These findings add to the evidence on the lasting consequences of stress, and also indicate that induction risk during Vietnam may, in certain contexts, be an invalid instrument for education or marriage because it appears to have a direct impact on health.
    JEL: H56 I1 I12 I14 I18 I31 J1 J18 N32
    Date: 2017–04

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