nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2017‒05‒21
five papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Evaluation of the Reggio Approach to Early Education By Biroli, Pietro; Del Boca, Daniela; Heckman, James J.; Heckman, Lynne Pettler; Koh, Yu Kyung; Kuperman, Sylvi; Moktan, Sidharth; Pronzato, Chiara D.; Ziff, Anna
  2. Within-Family Inequalities in Human Capital Accumulation in India: Birth Order and Gender Effects By Congdon Fors, Heather; Lindskog, Annika
  3. Migration, Forced Displacement and Fertility during Civil War: A Survival Analysis By Philip Verwimp; Davide Osti; Gudrun Ostby
  4. Parental Work Hours and Childhood Obesity: Evidence Using Instrumental Variables Related to Sibling School Eligibility By Charles Courtemanche; Rusty Tchernis; Xilin Zhou
  5. The Role of Works Councils for Severance Payments By Grund, Christian; Martin, Johannes

  1. By: Biroli, Pietro (University of Zurich); Del Boca, Daniela (University of Turin); Heckman, James J. (University of Chicago); Heckman, Lynne Pettler (University of Chicago); Koh, Yu Kyung (University of Chicago); Kuperman, Sylvi (University of Chicago); Moktan, Sidharth (University of Chicago); Pronzato, Chiara D. (University of Turin); Ziff, Anna (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: We evaluate the Reggio Approach using non-experimental data on individuals from the cities of Reggio Emilia, Parma and Padova belonging to one of five age cohorts: ages 50, 40, 30, 18, and 6 as of 2012. The treated were exposed to municipally offered infant-toddler (ages 0–3) and preschool (ages 3–6) programs. The control group either didn't receive formal childcare or were exposed to programs offered by the state or religious systems. We exploit the city-cohort structure of the data to estimate treatment effects using three strategies: difference-in-differences, matching, and matched-difference-in-differences. Most positive and significant effects are generated from comparisons of the treated with individuals who did not receive formal childcare. Relative to not receiving formal care, the Reggio Approach significantly boosts outcomes related to employment, socio-emotional skills, high school graduation, election participation, and obesity. Comparisons with individuals exposed to alternative forms of childcare do not yield strong patterns of positive and significant effects. This suggests that differences between the Reggio Approach and other alternatives are not sufficiently large to result in significant differences in outcomes. This interpretation is supported by our survey, which documents increasing similarities in the administrative and pedagogical practices of childcare systems in the three cities over time.
    Keywords: childcare, early childhood education, Reggio Approach, evaluation, Italian education
    JEL: I21 I26 I28 J13
    Date: 2017–04
  2. By: Congdon Fors, Heather (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Lindskog, Annika (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate birth order and gender effects on the development of children’s human capital in India. We investigate both indicators of the child’s current stock of human capital and of investment into their continued human capital accumulation, distinguishing between time investments and pecuniary investment into school quality. Our results show that in India, birth order effects are mostly negative. More specifically, birth order effects are negative for indicators of children's accumulated human capital stock and for indicators of pecuniary investments into school quality. These results are more in line with previous results from developed countries than from developing countries. However, for time investments, which are influenced by the opportunity cost of child time, birth order effects are positive. Gender aspects are also important. Girls are disadvantaged within families, and oldest son preferences can explain much of the within-household inequalities which we observe.
    Keywords: Birth order; Son preferences; Gender; Human Capital; Education
    JEL: D13 I20 J16 O15
    Date: 2017–05
  3. By: Philip Verwimp; Davide Osti; Gudrun Ostby
    Abstract: The civil war in Burundi (1993-2005) caused a massflow of refugees into neighboring countries as well as a large number of internally displaced persons. In fact, half of the population was displaced at least once during the course of the conflict. The aim of this study is to explore to what extent migration during the conflict impacted fertility outcomes. Using retrospective data on birth and residential histories at the mother-year level from a nationally representative survey conducted in August 2002, we examine the impact of war and migration on the probability of first births and on birth spacing. A parametric survival regression model is adopted to predict the hazard of having an additional child on a sample of about 4,500 Burundian women. Our results suggest that the risk of an additional pregnancy is higher in years of forced displacement of the mother, whereas it is lower in the case of residence in the forced displacement site. We do not find a statistically significant effect different from no migration in the years that the women voluntary migrated. Fertility however sharply increases once the women resided in the migration site.
    Keywords: fertility; forced displacement; migration; civil war; Burundi
    JEL: C25 C41 J13 N37 N47
    Date: 2017–05–09
  4. By: Charles Courtemanche (Georgia State University); Rusty Tchernis (Georgia State University); Xilin Zhou (Georgia State University)
    Abstract: This study exploits plausibly exogenous variation from the youngest sibling’s school eligibility to estimate the effects of parental work on the weight outcomes of older children. Data come from the 1979 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth linked to the Child and Young Adult Supplement. We first show that mothers’ work hours increase gradually as the age of the youngest child rises, whereas mothers’ spouses’ work hours exhibit a discontinuous jump at kindergarten eligibility. Leveraging these insights, we develop an instrumental variables model that shows that parents’ work hours lead to larger increases in children’s BMI z-scores and probabilities of being overweight and obese than those identified in previous studies. We find no evidence that the impacts of maternal and paternal work are different. Subsample analyses find that the effects are concentrated among advantaged households, as measured by an index involving education, race, and mother’s marital status.
    Keywords: childhood obesity, maternal employment, women's labor supply
    JEL: I12 J22
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Grund, Christian (RWTH Aachen University); Martin, Johannes (RWTH Aachen University)
    Abstract: Using representative German employee data, we analyse the role of works councils for the incidence of severance payments subsequent to dismissals. While there is a positive relation with severance payments after those dismissals which stem from plant closings, the incidence of a works council is negatively associated with severance pay subsequent to individual layoffs. In both cases, we find a negative moderating effect of individuals' higher reemployment chances. We also explore gender differences and differences between the types of previously held jobs.
    Keywords: dismissals, layoffs, plant closings, severance pay, works councils
    JEL: J53 J63 J65
    Date: 2017–04

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.