nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2017‒07‒30
six papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Age of Marriage, Weather Shocks, and the Direction of Marriage Payments By Lucia Corno; Nicole Hildebrandt; Alessandra Voena
  2. Patrilocal Residence and Female Labour Supply By Landmann, Andreas; Seitz, Helke; Steiner, Susan
  3. Detailed study on family values from different countries and how differential learned behaviour and gender roles impact on children?s psyche and its contribution to abuse. By Yashasvi Mehta
  4. Infant Feeding and Cohort Health: Evidence from the London Foundling Hospital By Arthi, Vellore; Schneider, Eric
  5. The convergence of the gender pay gap: An alternative estimation approach By Castagnetti, Carolina; Rosti, Luisa; Töpfer, Marina
  6. Toxic roads: Unearthing hazardous waste dumping By Caterina Gennaioli; Gaia Narciso

  1. By: Lucia Corno; Nicole Hildebrandt; Alessandra Voena
    Abstract: This paper studies how aggregate economic conditions affect marriage markets in developing countries where marriage is regulated by traditional customary norms. We examine how local economic shocks influence the timing of marriage, and particularly child marriage, in Sub-Saharan Africa and in India, where substantial monetary or in-kind transfers occur with marriage: bride price across Sub-Saharan Africa and dowry in India. In a simple equilibrium model of the marriage market in which parents choose when their children marry, income shocks affect the age of marriage because marriage payments are a source of consumption smoothing, particularly for a woman's family. As predicted by our model, we show that droughts, which reduce annual crop yields by 10 to 15%, have opposite effects on the marriage behavior of a sample of 400,000 women in the two regions: in Sub-Saharan Africa, they increase the annual hazard into child marriage by 3%, while in India droughts reduce such a hazard by 4%. Changes in the age of marriage due to droughts are associated with changes in fertility, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, and with declines in observed marriage payments. Our results indicate that the age of marriage responds to short-term changes in aggregate economic conditions and that traditional norms determine this response. This suggests that, in order to design successful policies to combat child marriage and improve investments in daughters' human capital, it is crucial to understand the economic role of traditional cultural norms.
    JEL: J1 J12 J13 O15
    Date: 2017–07
  2. By: Landmann, Andreas (Paris School of Economics); Seitz, Helke (DIW Berlin); Steiner, Susan (Leibniz University of Hannover)
    Abstract: We examine the role of intergenerational co-residence for female labour supply in a patrilocal society. To account for the endogeneity of women's co-residence with parents or in-laws, we exploit a tradition in Central Asia, namely that the youngest son of a family usually lives with his parents. Using data from Kyrgyzstan, we therefore instrument co-residence with being married to a youngest son. We find the effect of co-residence on female labour supply to be negative and insignificant. This is in contrast to the previous literature, which found substantial positive effects in less patrilocal settings. Women who co-reside in Kyrgyzstan have more children, spend similar time on housekeeping tasks and child care, and invest more time in elder care compared with women who do not co-reside. These mechanisms appear to be inherently different from those in less patrilocal settings where co-residing parents relieve the women from household chores.
    Keywords: family structure, co-residence, labour supply, patrilocality, Kyrgyzstan
    JEL: J12 J21
    Date: 2017–07
  3. By: Yashasvi Mehta (Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University)
    Abstract: Family values, defined as the lessons that are taught to the children regarding what is important in the family especially regarding gender roles. How the society and parents define and expect children of different genders to behave.This paper focuses on the values and the morals that parents inculcate in their children and how do they differ when the region changes. Even among the same country the behaviour and the nurturing pattern of the child and parents changes. The focus is on how parents define and shape the child with reference to the gender, age, hierarchy, and social status. The research also focuses on how gender roles change when the local, or country changes. It studies the change in expectations? of the society regarding how any gender is supposed to behave also what is considered masculine and feminine in different regions and how children are taught to adhere to those expectations.Along with this, the research also focuses on how those expectations? lead to gender discrimination and what types of discrimination are the children subjected to in different regions. E.g. in India boys should be manly and to show that manliness, they are not expected to cry.A small part of the research will also shed light on different kinds of abuse faced by the children for them to adhere to those gender roles while shedding light on the perpetrators of that abuse. And on the other hand how following those gender roles defines by the society makes the children not to speak up about the abuse in the society. How this affects the psychological welfare and the future of the child is studied in the research.
    Keywords: Family Values, Morals, Behaviour, Parenting, Change in Geography, Gender Roles, Gender Discrimination, Child Abuse, Society, Psychology.
    Date: 2017–07
  4. By: Arthi, Vellore; Schneider, Eric
    Abstract: What was the relationship between breastfeeding and cohort health in the past? We examine this question using a rich new source of longitudinal data on nearly 1,000 children from London's Foundling Hospital (1892-1919). Specifically, we test the association between the feeding regime in infancy and subsequent health, as manifested in mortality risk and anthropometric growth at later points in childhood and adolescence. We find that breastfeeding was positively associated with both survival and weight-for-age in infancy, with scarring dominating culling on net. However, infant-weight gradients in catch-up growth ensured that by mid childhood, these initial feeding-related health differentials had disappeared.
    Keywords: Anthropometric growth; Breastfeeding; Early-life health; Mortality
    JEL: I14 I15 J13 N33
    Date: 2017–07
  5. By: Castagnetti, Carolina; Rosti, Luisa; Töpfer, Marina
    Abstract: So far, little work has been done on directly estimating differences of wage gaps. Stud- ies estimating pay differentials, generally compare them across different subsamples. This comparison does not allow to conduct any inference or, in the case of decompositions, to confront the respective decomposition components across subsamples. We propose an exten- sion of an Oaxaca-Blinder type decomposition based on the omitted variable bias formula to directly estimate the change in pay gaps across subsamples. The method proposed can be made robust to the index-number problem of the standard Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition and to the indeterminacy problem of the intercept-shift approach. Using Italian micro data, we estimate the difference in the gender pay gap across time (2005 and 2014). By applying our proposed decomposition, we find that the convergence of the gender pay gap over time is only driven by the catching-up of women in terms of observable characteristics, while the impact of anti-discrimination legislation is found to be negligible.
    Keywords: Pay Gap,Omitted Varibale Bias Formula,Oaxaca-Blinder Decomposition
    JEL: J7 J13 J31
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Caterina Gennaioli (School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London.); Gaia Narciso (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: Illegal disposal of toxic waste has become an issue of concern in both developing and developed countries. Recycling hazardous waste entails very high costs, which might give strong incentives to dispose toxic material in an illegal way. This paper adopts an innovative strategy to identify where toxic waste might have been illicitly dumped. The strategy relies on a crucial premise: road constructions provide an ideal setting in which the burial of hazardous waste may take place. Guided by the medical literature, we investigate the health outcomes of individuals living along recently constructed roads in Ethiopia. We construct a unique dataset, which includes the extensive Demographic and Health Survey, together with georeferenced data on roads, villages and economic development, covering a 10-year period. We find that an additional road within a 5 kilometres radius is associated with an increase in infant mortality by 3 percentage points. Moreover, we provide evidence that young children living near a recently built road show a lower level of haemoglobin and are more likely to suffer from severe anaemia. A series of robustness checks confirms the above findings and excludes other potential confounding factors.
    Keywords: Hazardous Waste, Health, Infant Mortality, Ethiopia
    JEL: I15 Q51 Q53 O10
    Date: 2017–07

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