nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2017‒09‒17
seven papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. Grandparental availability for child care and maternal labor force participation: Pension reform evidence from Italy By Massimiliano, Bratti; Tommaso, Frattini; Francesco, Scervini
  2. Gender, Willingness to Compete and Career Choices Along the Whole Ability Distribution By Thomas (T.) Buser; Noemi Peter; Stefan Wolter
  3. The Impacts of Reduced Access to Abortion and Family Planning Services: Evidence from Texas By Stefanie Fischer; Heather Royer; Corey White
  4. Measuring labour differences between natives, non-natives, and natives with an ethnic-minority background By Drydakis, Nick
  5. Economic Inequality and Happiness: A quantitative study among the elderly in Rural Vietnam By Quang Tran, Tuyen; Viet Nguyen, Cuong; Van Vu, Huong
  6. Do Speed Cameras Save Lives? By Cheng Keat Tang
  7. High School Choices and the Gender Gap in STEM By David Card; A. Abigail Payne

  1. By: Massimiliano, Bratti (European Commission – JRC); Tommaso, Frattini (Università degli Studi di Milano); Francesco, Scervini (Università degli Studi di Pavia)
    Abstract: In this paper, we exploit pension reform-induced changes in retirement eligibility requirements to assess the role of grandparental child care availability in the labor force participation of women with children under 15. We focus on Italy for two reasons: first, it has low rates of female employment and little formal child care provision, and second, it has undergone several pension reforms in a relatively short time span. Our analysis shows that, among the women studied, those whose own mothers are retirement eligible have a 11 percent higher probability of being in the labor force than those whose mothers are ineligible. The pension eligibility of maternal grandfathers and paternal grandparents, however, has no significant effect on the women’s labor force participation. We also demonstrate that the eligibility of maternal grandmothers mainly captures the effect of their availability for child care. Hence, pension reforms, by potentially robbing households of an important source of flexible, low-cost child care, could have unintended negative consequences for the employment rates of women with children.
    Keywords: grandparental child care, maternal employment, pension reform, retirement
    JEL: J13 J22
    Date: 2017–04
  2. By: Thomas (T.) Buser (University of Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute, The Netherlands); Noemi Peter (University of Groningen); Stefan Wolter (University of Bern)
    Abstract: Men are generally found to be more willing to compete than women and there is growing evidence that willingness to compete is a predictor of individual and gender differences in career decisions and labor market outcomes. However, most existing evidence comes from the top of the education and talent distribution. In this study, we use incentivized choices from more than 1500 Swiss lower-secondary school students to ask how the gender gap in willingness to compete varies with ability and how willingness to compete predicts career choices along the whole ability distribution. Our main results are: 1. The gender gap in willingness to compete is essentially zero among the lowest-ability students, but increases steadily with ability and reaches 30-40 percentage points for the highest-ability students. 2. Willingness to compete predicts career choices along the whole ability distribution. At the top of the ability distribution, students who compete are more likely to choose a math or science-related academic specialization and girls who compete are more likely to choose academic over vocational education in general. At the middle, competitive boys are more likely to choose a business-oriented apprenticeship, while competitive girls are more likely to choose a math-intensive apprenticeship or an academic education. At the bottom, students who compete are more likely to succeed in securing an apprenticeship position. We also discuss how our findings relate to persistent gender differences in career outcomes.
    Keywords: willingness to compete; gender; career decisions
    JEL: D91 J16 J24
    Date: 2017–09–05
  3. By: Stefanie Fischer (Department of Economics, California Polytechnic State University); Heather Royer (University of California, Santa Barbara, NBER, and IZA); Corey White (Department of Economics, California Polytechnic State University)
    Abstract: Between 2011 and 2014, Texas enacted three pieces of legislation that significantly reduced funding for family planning services and increased restrictions on abortion clinic operations. Together this legislation creates cross-county variation in access to abortion and family planning services, which we leverage to understand the impact of family planning and abortion clinic access on abortions, births, and contraceptive purchases. In-state abortions fell 20% and births rose 3% in counties that no longer had an abortion provider within 50 miles. Births increased 1% and contraceptive purchases rose 8% in counties without a publicly-funded family planning clinic within 25 miles.
    Keywords: family planning, abortion, birth, contraception, reproductive, health
    JEL: J13 I18 J08 J18 I38
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Drydakis, Nick
    Abstract: Through a field study we measure differences in employment outcomes between natives, non-natives, and natives with an ethnic-minority background. It is suggested that the joint effect of productivity uncertainties and distastes against ethnic-minority groups should be higher for non-natives than for natives with an ethnic-minority background. However, it is revealed that both non-natives and natives with an ethnic-minority background face comparable occupational access constraints and are sorted into similarly lower paid vacancies. An ethnic name regardless of one’s nationality is enough to generate unequal treatments.
    Keywords: Occupational access,Wages,Ethnic Minorities, Discrimination
    JEL: J15 J31 J71
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Quang Tran, Tuyen; Viet Nguyen, Cuong; Van Vu, Huong
    Abstract: By combining data from the 2011 Vietnam National Aging Survey and the 2011 Rural, Agricultural and Fishery Census, we examined whether expenditure inequality has any effect on happiness or life satisfaction among the elderly in rural Vietnam. We find that individuals who live in the communes with high inequality tend to self-report as being less happy, even after controlling for various individual and household attributes. The results are robust to the choice of inequality measures and the specification of econometric models. We also find that older rural people who are farmers or poor are more sensitive to inequality. Given that these people tend to be less happy than others, the result shows the risk that inequality further lowers their subjective well-being. The result supports the view that rural Vietnam is a less mobile society.
    Keywords: Elderly, Expenditure inequality, Social mobility, Subjective well-being, Rural Vietnam
    JEL: I3 I31 I32 I38
    Date: 2015–09–18
  6. By: Cheng Keat Tang
    Abstract: I evaluate whether speed enforcement cameras reduce the number and severity of traffic accidents by penalizing drivers for exceeding speed limits. Relying on micro data on accidents and speed cameras across Great Britain, I find that installing these devices significantly enhance road safety. Putting another 1,000 cameras reduce around 1130 collisions, 330 serious injuries, and save 190 lives annually, generating net benefits of around £21 million. However, these effects are highly localised around the camera and dissipate over distance, and there is suggestive evidence of more collisions away from the camera, illustrating the possible limitations associated with fixed speed cameras.
    Keywords: accidents, injuries, fatalities, speed camera, speeding
    JEL: H23 I18 R41
    Date: 2017–09
  7. By: David Card; A. Abigail Payne
    Abstract: Women who graduate from university are less likely than men to specialize in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). We use detailed administrative data for a recent cohort of high school students in Ontario, Canada, combined with data from the province's university admission system to analyze the dynamic process leading to this gap. We show that entry to STEM programs is mediated through an index of STEM readiness based on end-of-high-school courses in math and science. Most of the gender gap in STEM entry can be traced to differences in the rate of STEM readiness; less than a fifth is due to differences in the choice of major conditional on readiness. We then use high school course data to decompose the gap in STEM readiness among university entrants into two channels: one reflecting the gender gap in the fraction of high school students with the necessary prerequisites to enter STEM, and a second arising from differences in the fractions of females and males who enter university. The gender gap in the fraction of students with STEM prerequisites is small. The main factor is the lower university entry rate by men – a difference that is due to the lower fraction of non-science oriented males who complete enough advanced level courses to qualify for university entry. We conclude that differences in course-taking patterns and preferences for STEM conditional on readiness contribute to male-female differences in the rate of entering STEM, but that the main source of the gap is the lower overall rate of university attendance by men.
    JEL: I20 J16
    Date: 2017–09

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