nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2017‒07‒02
five papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Having It All? Employment, Earnings and Children By Laun, Tobias; Wallenius, Johanna
  2. One Size Fits All? Gender Differences in the Effect of Subjective Feedback By Agnes Szabo-Morvai; Anna Lovasz; Ewa Cukrowska-Torzewska; Mariann Rigo; Andrea Kiss
  3. Insight into the Female Longevity Puzzle: Using Register Data to Analyse Mortality and Cause of Death Behaviour Across Socio-economic Groups By Malene Kallestrup-Lamb; Carsten P.T. Rosenskjold
  4. The effect of Affirmative Action on the reduction of employment discrimination, 1997-2015 By Fadwah Fredericks; Derek Yu
  5. Childcare and Maternal Labor Supply – a Cross-Country Analysis of Quasi-Experimental Estimates from 7 Countries By Agnes Szabo-Morvai; Anna Lovasz

  1. By: Laun, Tobias (Department of Economics); Wallenius, Johanna (Department of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: Sweden boasts high fertility and high female employment. However, part-time employment is very prevalent. There is a notable gender gap in both wages and earnings, which widens substantially after women have children. In this paper we study the effect of family policies on female employment, fertility and the gender wage gap. To this end, we develop a structural, life cycle model of heterogeneous households which features endogenous labor supply, human capital accumulation, fertility and home production. We find that family policies, such as subsidized daycare and part-time work options, promote maternal employment and fertility. Part-time work contributes greatly to the widening of the gender wage gap following the arrival of children. However, restricting part-time work options would lower maternal employment, and thereby also widen the gender wage gap.
    Keywords: Life cycle; Labor supply; Human capital; Fertility; Home production
    JEL: E24 J22 J24
    Date: 2017–04–23
  2. By: Agnes Szabo-Morvai (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and HETFA Institute); Anna Lovasz (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and ELTE University); Ewa Cukrowska-Torzewska (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences); Mariann Rigo (Institute of Gerontology at TU Dortmund University); Andrea Kiss (Duke University, North Carolina)
    Abstract: The effect of objective feedback on performance is often studied, while subjective feedback is largely neglected in the economics literature. We estimate the impact of positive subjective feedback - encouragement and praise - on effort and performance, and compare the effect by gender. We use a computer game, during which players are randomly chosen to be given either no feedback (control) or positive subjective feedback (treatment), and analyze the treatment effect on effort (clicks) and performance (score). Based on previous economic and psychology theories, we test the pathways through which subjective feedback can have an impact: on (1) effort, due to the updating of expected performance or direct (dis)utility from the feedback, or (2) marginal productivity. The results point to significant differences in the mean effects of subjective feedback by gender. For women, encouragement has a significant positive effect while praise has a significant negative effect on performance, while men are less responsive to subjective feedback in general. Gender differences are mostly explained by different confidence distributions, while there are no gender differences in treatment effects if confidence level is held fixed. The effects are mostly realized through changes in effort. These results suggest that better targeted supervisory communication in schools or workplaces can improve the performance of lower-confidence individuals and thereby decrease the gender gap in performance.
    Keywords: gender differences, supervisory feedback, experimental economics
    JEL: C90 D03 J16 M54
    Date: 2017–06
  3. By: Malene Kallestrup-Lamb (Aarhus University and CREATES); Carsten P.T. Rosenskjold (Aarhus University and CREATES)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the complexity of female longevity improvements. As socio-economic status influence health and mortality, we partition all individuals, at each age and year, into ten socio-economic groups based on an affluence measure. We identify the particular socio-economic groups that have been driving the standstill for Danish women and within each socio-economic group we further analyse the cause of death pattern. Further, we compare the forecast performance of the Lee-Carter model with the multi-population Li and Lee model. The decline in life expectancy for Danish women is present for all subgroups, however with particular large decreases for the low-middle and middle affluence groups. We find that causes of deaths related to smoking partly contribute to the slowdown in female longevity. However the lack of improvements in deaths relating to ischemic heart diseases is dominant in explaining the slowdown and the following catch up effect in life expectancies.
    Keywords: Mortality, Affluence Groups, Social Inequality, Cause of Death, Health, Multi-population Modelling
    JEL: J11 C53 G22
    Date: 2017–02–09
  4. By: Fadwah Fredericks; Derek Yu
    Abstract: This study examines the effect of Affirmative Action on the reduction of employment discrimination by race and gender, more than 20 years since the economic transition. The empirical part of the paper employs a sample that represents the labour force (excluding informal sector workers, agricultural workers, domestic workers, self-employed and employers) aged between 15 and 65 years. The study estimates probit models to examine labour force participation, employment and occupational attainment likelihoods, followed by the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition, using labour survey data in 1997-2015. The decomposition results show that the unexplained component of the White-African employment probability gap reveals a slight downward trend in absolute terms in 2002-2011 but in relative terms it still accounts for more than 50% of the gap. On the other hand, the unexplained component is most dominant in the male-female employment gap decomposition. These results suggest that employment discrimination against Africans and females remains serious.
    Keywords: Affirmative Action, labour market discrimination, employment discrimination, Oaxaca-Blinder Decomposition, South African banking
    JEL: J00
    Date: 2017–05
  5. By: Agnes Szabo-Morvai (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and HETFA Institute); Anna Lovasz (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and ELTE University)
    Abstract: Evidence from single country studies suggests that the effect of subsidized childcare availability on maternal labor supply varies greatly by institutional context. We provide estimates of the childcare effect around age 3 of children for 7 EU countries, based on harmonized data and the same quasi-experimental methodology, and evaluate their cross-country variation in light of key institutional factors (leave policies, labor market characteristics, cultural norms). The identification of the childcare effect utilizes birthdate-based kindergarten eligibility cutoffs specific to each country in an instrumental variables approach. We combine data on mothers from the EU-LFS, eligibility cutoffs gathered from country experts and verified using further datasets, and country-level institutional characteristics from various sources. We discuss the role of the context, timing, and the point of estimation. The results suggest that the childcare effect is the highest in CEE countries, where at this child age, maternal participation is still relatively low compared to that of mothers with older children, and leaves with job protection are just ending. We find less evidence of an impact in Southern EU countries, where leaves end at a much earlier age, and maternal participation at older child ages is low. Western EU countries also show some impact, despite the already high maternal participation rates prior to this age. Specific policy implications are derived from the results in light of the EU Barcelona targets for childcare expansion under age 3.
    Keywords: subsidized childcare, maternal labor supply, institutional context
    JEL: H24 J13 J22
    Date: 2017–06

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