nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2017‒10‒29
six papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

  1. Emigration during the French Revolution: Consequences in the Short and Longue Durée By Raphaël Franck; Stelios Michalopoulos
  2. Can financial incentives reduce the baby gap? Evidence from a reform in maternity leave benefits By Raute, Anna
  3. Household bargaining and spending on children: Experimental evidence from Tanzania By Ringdal, Charlotte; Sjursen, Ingrid Hoem
  4. Gender Differences in the Development of Other-Regarding Preferences By John, Katrin; Thomsen, Stephan L.
  5. The End of Men and Rise of Women in the High-Skilled Labor Market By Nir Jaimovich; Henry Siu; Guido Matias Cortes
  6. Bismarck in the bedroom? Pension reform and fertility: Evidence 1870-2010 By Jäger, Philipp

  1. By: Raphaël Franck; Stelios Michalopoulos
    Abstract: During the French Revolution, more than 100,000 individuals, predominantly supporters of the Old Regime, fled France. As a result, some areas experienced a significant change in the composition of the local elites whereas in others the pre-revolutionary social structure remained virtually intact. In this study, we trace the consequences of the émigrés' flight on economic performance at the local level. We instrument emigration intensity with local temperature shocks during an inflection point of the Revolution, the summer of 1792, marked by the abolition of the constitutional monarchy and bouts of local violence. Our findings suggest that émigrés have a non monotonic effect on comparative development. During the 19th century, there is a significant negative impact on income per capita, which becomes positive from the second half of the 20th century onward. This pattern can be partially attributed to the reduction in the share of the landed elites in high-emigration regions. We show that the resulting fragmentation of agricultural holdings reduced labor productivity, depressing overall income levels in the short run; however, it facilitated the rise in human capital investments, eventually leading to a reversal in the pattern of regional comparative development.
    JEL: N10 O10 O15
    Date: 2017–10
  2. By: Raute, Anna
    Abstract: To assess whether earnings-dependent maternity leave positively impacts fertility and narrows the baby gap between high educated (high earning) and low educated (low earning) women, I exploit a major maternity leave benefit reform in Germany that considerably increases the financial incentives for higher educated and higher earning women to have a child. In particular, I use the large differential changes in maternity leave benefits across education and income groups to estimate the effects on fertility up to 5 years post reform. In addition to demonstrating an up to 22% increase in the fertility of tertiary educated versus low educated women, I find a positive, statistically significant effect of increased benefits on fertility, driven mainly by women at the middle and upper end of the education and income distributions. Overall, the results suggest that earnings-dependent maternity leave benefits, which compensate women commensurate with their opportunity cost of childbearing, could successfully reduce the fertility rate disparity related to mothers' education and earnings.
    Keywords: Fertility; fertility gaps; paid maternity leave
    JEL: J13 J16 J18
    Date: 2017–10
  3. By: Ringdal, Charlotte (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Sjursen, Ingrid Hoem (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: It is frequently assumed that money in the hands of women leads to better out-comes for their children than money in the hands of men. However, empirical and theoretical evidence are mixed. We conduct a novel between-subject lab-in-the-field experiment to study whether increasing the wife's control over resources causes a couple to allocate more to their child. The paper provides two main insights. First, increasing the wife's bargaining power does not increase the share allocated to the child, but leads to more gender-equal allocations to children. Second, time preferences are important in explaining household decision-making; it is better for the child that the most patient spouse has more relative bargaining power. Our results highlight the importance of taking a broader set of preferences into account when studying household decision-making, and suggest that policy aimed to increase spending on children should target the spouse with preferences most aligned with such spending.
    Keywords: Intra-household allocation; female bargaining Power; Tanzania
    JEL: C92 D13 J13
    Date: 2017–10–19
  4. By: John, Katrin (Leibniz University of Hannover); Thomsen, Stephan L. (Leibniz University of Hannover)
    Abstract: We use data from a gender-neutral dictator and public goods game setting to analyze differences in other-regarding preferences between boys and girls aged 10 to 17. The results indicate a higher mean of dictator giving, degree of egalitarian decisions and lower frequency of selfish decisions, free-riding and efficiency concerns for girls. Gender differences are already established at approximately age 10. They cannot be explained by gender-specific increases in other-regarding preferences, differences in dispositions or the impact of personality traits. We conclude that genes and early social learning are the sources of gender differences in other-regarding preferences.
    Keywords: gender, other-regarding preferences, personality traits, dictator game, public goods game
    JEL: C91 D03 J16
    Date: 2017–09
  5. By: Nir Jaimovich (Duke University); Henry Siu (University of British Columbia); Guido Matias Cortes (University of Manchester)
    Abstract: We document a new finding regarding the deterioration of labor market outcomes for men in the US: Since 1980, the probability that a college-educated man was employed in a cognitive/high-wage occupation fell. This contrasts starkly with the experience of college-educated women: their probability of working in these occupations rose, despite a much larger increase in the supply of educated women relative to men during this period. We study a general neoclassical model of the labor market that allows us to shed light on the forces capable of rationalizing these observations. The model indicates that one key channel is a greater increase in the demand for female-oriented skills in cognitive/high-wage occupations relative to other occupations. Using occupational-level data from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, we find evidence that this relative increase in the demand for female skills is due to an increasing importance of social skills within such occupations. We find a strong and robust relationship between the change in the female share of employment and the importance of social skills in an occupation over time.
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Jäger, Philipp
    Abstract: Rising public pension generosity has frequently been cited as one reason for the (persistently) declining fertility rates in many advanced economies. Despite the theoretical appeal, empirical evidence on the pension-fertility nexus is limited. To fill this gap, I study country-level fertility trends before and after 23 pension reforms using a long-run panel dataset starting in 1870. I find no evidence that pension reforms, on average, affect fertility in the way most theoretical models predict.
    JEL: H55 J13
    Date: 2017

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