nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2018‒01‒29
six papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

  1. Women’s Empowerment, the Gender Gap in Desired Fertility, and Fertility Outcomes in Developing Countries By Matthias Doepke; Michèle Tertilt
  2. Child care center staff composition and early child development By Nina Drange; Marte Rønning
  3. The Lasting Legacy of Seasonal Influenza: In-Utero Exposure and Labor Market Outcomes By Schwandt, Hannes
  4. One-child policy in China : A unified growth analysis By Xue, Jianpo; Yip, Chong K.
  5. Demographics and the Evolution of Global Imbalances By Sposi, Michael J.
  6. The Age-Distribution of Earnings and the Decline in Labor's Share By Jacob Short; Andrew Glover

  1. By: Matthias Doepke (Northwestern University); Michèle Tertilt (Universität Mannheim)
    Abstract: We document evidence on preferences for childbearing in developing countries. Across countries, men usually desire larger families than women do. Within countries, we find wide dispersion in spouses’ desired fertility: there are many couples whose ideal family size differs by five children or more. This disagreement between spouses suggests that the extent to which women are empowered should matter for fertility choices. We point to evidence at both the macro and micro levels that this is indeed the case. We conclude that taking account of household bargaining and women’s empowerment in analyses of fertility is an important challenge for research.
    Keywords: women's empowerment, desired fertility, marital bargaining
    JEL: J12 J13 J16 O10
    Date: 2018–01
  2. By: Nina Drange; Marte Rønning (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: We estimate effects of child care center staff composition on early child development. During the years our data covers, child care centers in Oslo were oversubscribed, and child care slots were allocated through a lottery. This allow us to explore how staff education, experience and stability, as well as proportion of male and immigrant staff, affect the cognitive development of children whose parents initially applied for the same center(s), but where children got offers from different institutions. We find that children who get their first offer of child care enrollment in a child care center with a higher share of male staff, perform better on tests in language and mathematics in the early years of school.
    Keywords: Child care quality; child development
    JEL: I21 J13
    Date: 2017–12
  3. By: Schwandt, Hannes
    Abstract: Pregnancy conditions have been shown to matter for later economic success, but many threats to fetal development that have been identified are difficult to prevent. In this paper I study seasonal influenza, a common and preventable illness that comes around every year and causes strong inflammatory responses in pregnant women. Using administrative data from Denmark, I identify the effects of maternal influenza on the exposed offspring via sibling comparison, exploiting both society-wide influenza spread and information on individual mothers who suffer strong infections during pregnancy. In the short term, maternal influenza leads to a doubling of prematurity and low birth weight, by triggering premature labor among women infected in the third trimester. Following exposed offspring into young adulthood, I observe a 9% earnings reduction and a 35% increase in welfare dependence. These long-term effects are strongest for influenza infections during the second trimester and they are partly explained by a decline in educational attainment, pointing to cognitive impairment. This effect pattern suggests that maternal influenza damages the fetus through multiple mechanisms, and much of the damage may not be visible at birth. Taken together, these results provide evidence that strong infections during pregnancy are an often overlooked prenatal threat with long-term consequences.
    Keywords: Fetal origins; labor market outcomes; seasonal influenza
    JEL: I10 J13 J24 J3
    Date: 2018–01
  4. By: Xue, Jianpo; Yip, Chong K.
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of China's One Child Policy (OCP) in a stylized unified growth model where demographic change plays a central role. Introducing a population constraint into Galor and Weil (2000) model, our theoretical analysis shows that parents are willing to invest in the education of their children immediately after the OCP intervention. Raising the education level, in turn, boosts rates of technological progress and economic growth over the short run, but the low population mass resulting from the OCP hampers the natural economic evolution. This eventually reduces the education gain and technology growth, retarding economic growth in the steady state. We next calibrate our model to match the key data moments in China. A permanent OCP is found to accelerate economic growth by up to 60% over the short run (40 years, or two generations under our assumed generation length), but depress long-run growth to 6:95% (8:94% under natural evolution). For a temporary OCP lifted after two generations, the economic growth shows an immediate decline of about 27%, followed by a gradual recovery to the steady state under natural evolution. While the OCP reduces welfare, the welfare loss from a temporary OCP is less than that from a permanent OCP. This suggests that the recent decision of the Chinese government to abandon the OCP and move to a two-child policy is likely to improve economic growth and welfare over the long run.
    JEL: J13 O43
    Date: 2017–12–29
  5. By: Sposi, Michael J. (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas)
    Abstract: The working age share of the population has evolved, and will continue to evolve, asymmetrically across countries. I develop a dynamic, multicountry, Ricardian trade model with endogenous labor supply to quantify how these asymmetries systematically affect the pattern of trade imbalances across 28 countries from 1970-2014. Changes in both domestic and foreign working age shares impact a country's net exports directly through the demand for net saving and indirectly through relative labor supply and population growth. Counterfactually removing demographic-induced changes to saving unveils a strong negative contemporaneous relationship between net exports and productivity growth. Demographics, thus, alleviate the allocation puzzle, and do so to a greater degree than investment distortions. Neither labor market distortions nor trade distortions systematically reconcile the puzzle.
    JEL: F11 F21 J11
    Date: 2017–12–01
  6. By: Jacob Short (University of Western Ontario); Andrew Glover (University of Texas Austin)
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of the age-distribution of earnings on factor shares of income. We derive an income accounting formula when wages differ from marginal products by a proportional earnings wedge that varies over age and time. Under this generalized wage-setting, the age-distribution of earnings affects labor's share even if production is Cobb Douglas. We estimate the age-profile of earnings wedges using cross-sectoral data. Our estimates imply a rising wedge over the lifecycle, with sixty-five year olds receiving about one third of their marginal product relative to twenty-five year olds. Our estimates imply that 75% of the post-2000 decline in US labor's share is due to aging and that many countries have likely experience age-related declines in labor's share in recent years.
    Date: 2017

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