nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2017‒10‒15
nine papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

  1. Effects of Early Childhood Intervention on Fertility and Maternal Employment: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial By Malte Sandner
  2. Male-biased Demand Shocks and Women’s Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Large Oil Field Discoveries By Maurer, Stephan; Potlogea, Andrei
  3. How Much Does Motherhood Cost Women in Social Security Benefits? By Matthew S. Rutledge; Alice Zulkarnain; Sara Ellen King
  4. Is Marriage for White People? Incarceration and the Racial Marriage Divide By Nezih Guner; Christopher Rauh; Elizabeth Caucutt
  5. How Entry into Parenthood Shapes Gender Role Attitudes:​ ​New Evidence from Longitudinal UK Data By Elena Grinza; Francesco Devicienti; Mariacristina Rossi; Davide Vannoni
  6. The increasing longevity gap by lifetime earnings and its distributional implications By Kemptner, Daniel; Haan, Peter; Lüthen, Holger
  7. The healthy immigrant paradox and health convergence By Constant, Amelie
  8. Dismantled once, diverged forever? A quasi-natural experiment of Red Army misdeeds in post-WWII Europe By Christian Ochsner
  9. Age-Profile Estimates of the Relationship Between Economic Growth and Child Health By Joseph Cummins; Anaka Aiyar

  1. By: Malte Sandner (University College London)
    Abstract: This paper presents the results of a randomized study of a home visiting program implemented in Germany for low-income, first-time mothers. A major goal of the program is to improve the participants' economic self-sufficiency and family planning. I use administrative data from the German social security system and detailed telephone surveys to examine the effects of the intervention on maternal employment, welfare benefits, and household composition. The study reveals that the intervention unintentionally decreased maternal employment by 8.7 percentage points and increased subsequent births by 6.6 percentage points, in part through a reduction in abortions.
    Keywords: early childhood intervention, randomized experiment, fertility
    JEL: J13 J12 I21 H52
    Date: 2017–10
  2. By: Maurer, Stephan; Potlogea, Andrei
    Abstract: We study whether male-biased demand shocks affect women's labor force participation (LFP), using major oil field discoveries in the US South between 1900 and 1940. We find that oil wealth has a zero net effect on female LFP due to two opposing channels. Increased male wages lead to a higher marriage rate of young women, which could have depressed female LFP. But at the same time, oil wealth also increases demand for female labor in services, which counterbalances the marriage effect.
    JEL: R11 N50 J12 J16
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Matthew S. Rutledge; Alice Zulkarnain; Sara Ellen King
    Abstract: The increase in female labor force participation coupled with a higher number of women reaching retirement unmarried has increased the share of women claiming Social Security benefits earned through their own job histories. But they still bear the lion’s share of caregiving responsibilities, and the previous literature has provided clear evidence that motherhood reduces earnings during the childbearing and child-rearing years. What remains understudied is the extent to which mothers face lower lifetime earnings and, consequently, lower Social Security income. This paper uses the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) linked to administrative earnings records to answer three questions. First, how much less do mothers earn over their careers compared to childless women, and how much less do they earn for each additional child? Second, how do Social Security benefits differ between mothers and non-mothers? Third, how does each of the existing elements of the Social Security system that indirectly help mothers – namely, spousal benefits and the progressivity of the benefit formula – contribute to reducing the motherhood penalty?
    Date: 2017–10
  4. By: Nezih Guner (CEMFI); Christopher Rauh (University of Montreal); Elizabeth Caucutt (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: The differences between black and white households and family structure have been a concern for policy makers for a long time. The last few decades, however, have witnessed an unprecedented retreat from marriage among black individuals. In 1970, about 89% of black women between ages 25 and 54 were ever married, in contrast to only 51% today. Wilson (1987) suggests that the lack of marriageable black men due to incarceration and unemployment is behind this decline. In this paper, we take a fresh look at the Wilson Hypothesis. We argue that the current incarceration policies and labor market prospects make black men much riskier spouses than white men. They are not only more likely to be, but also to become, unemployed or incarcerated than their white counterparts. We develop an equilibrium search model of marriage, divorce and labor supply that takes into account the transitions between employment, unemployment and prison for individuals by race, education, and gender. We calibrate this model to be consistent with key statistics for the US economy. We then investigate how much of the racial divide in marriage is due to differences in the riskiness of potential spouses, heterogeneity in the education distribution, and heterogeneity in wages. We find that differences in incarceration and employment dynamics between black and white men can account for about 76% of the existing black-white marriage gap in the data. We also study how "The War on Drugs" in the US might have affected the structure of black families, and find that it can account for between 13% to 41% of the racial marriage gap.
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Elena Grinza (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy); Francesco Devicienti (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy); Mariacristina Rossi (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy); Davide Vannoni (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy)
    Abstract: Attitudes of women and men about how paid and unpaid work should be divided in the couple largely determine women's earnings and career prospects. Hence, it is important to understand how people's gender role attitudes are formed and evolve over the lifetime. In this paper, we concentrate on one of the most path-breaking events in life: becoming a parent. Using longitudinal panel data for the UK, we first show that, in general, entry into parenthood significantly shifts women's attitudes toward more conservative views, while leaving men unaffected. We also show that the impact on women emerges only after some time from the childbirth, suggesting that attitudes change relatively slowly over time and do not react immediately after becoming a parent. Finally, we show that the impact gets large and strongly significant for women and men whose prenatal attitudes were progressive. In particular, we find that the change in attitudes for such individuals increases as the postnatal arrangements are more likely to be traditional. Overall, these findings suggest that the change in attitudes is mainly driven by the emergence of a cognitive dissonance. Broad policy implications are drawn.
    Keywords: Gender equality, Gender role attitudes, Entry into parenthood, Cognitive dissonance, Changes in the hormonal production, Understanding Society (US) dataset
    JEL: J16 J13
  6. By: Kemptner, Daniel; Haan, Peter; Lüthen, Holger
    Abstract: We use social security records to document heterogeneity in life expectancy by lifetime earnings and we analyze how this longevity gap has evolved over cohorts. We provide evidence that the earnings-related longevity gap is increasing over cohorts in West Germany. Further, we propose a decomposition to disentangle the role of increasing earnings inequality over cohorts and the effect of changes in the earnings gradient. Finally, we study the distributional implications for the pension system.
    JEL: H55 I14 J11
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Constant, Amelie (Princeton University, GLO, UNU-MERIT, and CESifo)
    Abstract: The health status of people is a precious commodity and central to economic, socio-political, and environmental dimensions of any country. Yet it is often the missing statistic in all general statistics, demographics, and presentations about the portrait of immigrants and natives. In this paper we are concerned with international migration and health outcomes in the host countries. Through a general literature review and examination of specific immigration countries, we provide insights into the Healthy Immigrant Paradox and the health assimilation of immigrants as we also elucidate selection and measurement challenges. While health is part of human capital, health assimilation is the mirror image of earnings assimilation. Namely, immigrants arrive with better health compared to natives and their health deteriorates with longer residence in the host country, converging to the health of natives or becoming even worse. A deeper understanding of immigrant health trajectories, and disparities with natives and other immigrants is of great value to societies and policymakers, who can design appropriate policy frameworks that address public health challenges, and prevent the health deterioration of immigrants.
    Keywords: Health status, Healthy Immigrant Paradox, International migration, Assimilation, Age-Cohort-Period effects, Selection, Aging
    JEL: I10 I12 I14 I18 F22 J11 J14 J15 J24 J61 O15
    Date: 2017–09–26
  8. By: Christian Ochsner
    Abstract: I study the economic consequences of the Red Army’s misdeeds after WWII. I exploit differences in spatial economic activity across the arbitrarily drawn and only for 74 days lasting liberation demarcation line between the Red Army and the Western Allies in South Austria. Dismantling and pillaging, but also (sexual) crimes made regions liberated by the Red Army a less desirable place to live and to start economic activities compared to adjacent regions. Spatial regression discontinuity (RD) estimates show that the liberation causes a relative population decline by around 26 to 31 percent until the present day. Measures of labor productivity also lag behind in Red Army liberated regions. I explain persistence with the selective migration pattern across the demarcation line in the direct aftermath of WWII.
    Keywords: Regional economic activity, population shock, dismantling, Red Army, Austria
    JEL: J11 N14 N94 R12 R23
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Joseph Cummins (Department of Economics, University of California Riverside); Anaka Aiyar (Cornell University)
    Abstract: For the last several years, there has been a debate in the academic literature regarding the association between economic growth and child health in under-developed countries, with many arguing the association is strong and robust and several new papers arguing the association is weak or nonexistent. Focusing on child growth faltering as a process that unfolds over the first several years of life, we provide new evidence tracing out the relationship between macroeconomic trends and the trajectory of child growth through age 5. Using two novel regression models that each harness different kinds of within- and between-country variation, and data on over 600,000 children from 38 countries over more than 20 years, our estimates of the association are relatively small but precise, and are consistent across both estimators. We estimate that a 10% increase in GDP around the time of a child's birth is associated with a decrease in the rate of loss of HAZ of about 0.002 SD per month over the first two years of life, which generates a cumulative effect of around 0.04 SD by age 3 that then persists through age 5. Our estimates are small compared to most previously published statistically significant estimates, more precisely estimated than previous insignificant estimates, and relate to a broader population of children than previous estimates focused on dichotomous outcomes.
    Keywords: anthropometrics; child health; economic growth
    JEL: I15 J13 O15
    Date: 2017–10

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