nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2018‒02‒05
seven 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 Doepke, Matthias; Tertilt, Michèle
  2. How Bargaining in Marriage Drives Marriage Market Equilibrium By Robert A. Pollak
  3. Childcare and Commitment within Households By Gobbi, Paula
  4. How Far Can Economic Incentives Explain the French Fertility and Education Transition? By de la Croix, David; Perrin, Faustine
  5. The Intergenerational Effects of Parental Incarceration By Will Dobbie; Hans Grönqvist; Susan Niknami; Mårten Palme; Mikael Priks
  6. The influence of parental divorce, parental temporary separation and parental relationship quality on children’s school readiness By Garriga, Anna; Pennoni, Fulvia
  7. The Welfare Effects of Encouraging Rural-Urban Migration By David Lagakos; Mushfiq Mobarak; Michael Waugh

  1. By: Doepke, Matthias (Northwestern University); Tertilt, Michèle (University of 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: Robert A. Pollak (Washington University in St. Louis)
    Abstract: This paper investigates marriage market equilibrium under the assumption that Bargaining In Marriage (BIM) determines allocation within marriage. Prospective spouses, when they meet in the marriage market, are assumed to foresee the outcome of BIM and rank prospective spouses on the basis of the utilities they foresee emerging from BIM. Under these assumptions, the marriage market is the first stage of a multi-stage game -- in the simplest case, a two-stage game -- that must be solved by backwards induction. The marriage market determines both who marries and, among those who marry, who marries whom. Bargaining in the second and any subsequent stages determines allocation within each marriage. When BIM determines allocation within marriage, the appropriate framework for analyzing marriage market equilibrium is the Gale-Shapley matching model. In contrast, the standard model of marriage market equilibrium assumes that prospective spouses make Binding Agreements in the Marriage Market (BAMM) that determine allocation within marriage. If we assume BAMM and transferable utility, then the appropriate framework for analyzing marriage market equilibrium is the Koopmans-Beckmann-Shapley-Shubik assignment model. BIM and BAMM have different implications not only for allocation within marriage but also for who marries, who marries whom, the number of marriages, and the Pareto efficiency of marriage market equilibrium.
    Keywords: Binding Agreements in the Marriage Market, BAMM, bargaining in marriage, marital bargaining, marriage market
    JEL: D10 J12 K36
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Gobbi, Paula
    Abstract: This paper proposes a semi-cooperative marital decision process to explain parental underinvestment in childcare. First, parents collectively choose the amount of labor to supply and, in a second step, they each choose the amount of childcare as the outcome of a Cournot game. Non-cooperative behavior stems from the lack of a credible commitment between spouses regarding the amount of childcare they each supply. The theoretical model is able to reproduce that parental time with children increases both with an individual's education and with that of his/her partner. The limited commitment problem leads to an underinvestment in childcare and, hence, child quality: compared to the efficient provision of childcare, the semi-cooperative framework leads to an amount of child quality that is 45% lower.
    Keywords: time use; childcare; education; Semi-Cooperative Model; structural estimation
    JEL: J11 J13 J16 O11
    Date: 2017–12
  4. By: de la Croix, David; Perrin, Faustine
    Abstract: We analyze how much a core rational-choice model can explain the temporal and spatial variation in fertility and school enrollment in France during the 19th century. The originality of our approach is in our reliance on the structural estimation of a system of first-order conditions to identify the deep parameters. Another new dimension is our use of gendered education data, allowing us to have a richer theory having implications for the gender wage and education gaps. Results indicate that the parsimonious rational-choice model explains 38 percent of the variation of fertility over time and across counties, as well as 71 percent and 83 percent of school enrollment of boys and girls, respectively. The analysis of the residuals (unexplained by the economic model) indicates that additional insights might be gained by interacting incentives with cross-county differences in family structure and cultural barriers.
    Keywords: demographic transition; education; Family macroeconomics; France; Gender Gap; Quality-Quantity Tradeoff
    JEL: J13 N33 O11
    Date: 2017–12
  5. By: Will Dobbie; Hans Grönqvist; Susan Niknami; Mårten Palme; Mikael Priks
    Abstract: We estimate the causal effect of parental incarceration on children’s medium-run outcomes using administrative data from Sweden. Our empirical strategy exploits exogenous variation in parental incarceration from the random assignment of criminal defendants to judges with different incarceration tendencies. We find that the incarceration of a parent in childhood leads to significant increases in teen crime and pregnancy and a significant decrease in early-life employment. The effects are concentrated among children from the most disadvantaged families, where teen crime increases by 18 percentage points, teen pregnancy increases by 8 percentage points, and employment at age 20 decreases by 28 percentage points. In contrast, there are no detectable effects among children from more advantaged families. These results imply that the incarceration of parents with young children may increase the intergenerational persistence of poverty and criminal behavior, even in affluent countries with extensive social safety nets.
    JEL: J13 J24 J62 K14 K42
    Date: 2018–01
  6. By: Garriga, Anna; Pennoni, Fulvia
    Abstract: We use the first three waves of the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), a longitudinal and representative UK survey, to explore the interrelationship between parental divorce, parental temporary separation and parental relationship quality on cognitive abilities and psychological dimensions of the children at age five. By using an appropriate imputation method, we apply the augmented inverse propensity weighted estimator to test the hypothesis that parental divorce may be a positive experience for children with parents in high-distress unions, while the dissolution of low-distress unions may have a negative effect. Overcoming some of the limitations of previous research, we find that that the dissolution of high-quality parental unions has the most harmful effects on children, especially concerning conduct problems. We also find that children who experienced parental temporary separation - which has been absent in most previous research - have more conduct and hyperactivity problems than children from stable or divorced families.
    Keywords: children's school readiness, parental divorce, parental temporary separation, missing values, parental relationship quality, robust estimator.
    JEL: J13
    Date: 2017–09–08
  7. By: David Lagakos (University of California, San Diego); Mushfiq Mobarak (Yale University); Michael Waugh (New York University)
    Abstract: This paper studies the welfare effects of encouraging rural-urban migration in the developing world. To do so, we build a dynamic incomplete-markets model of migration in which heterogeneous agents face seasonal income fluctuations, stochastic income shocks, and disutility of migration that depends on past migration experience. We calibrate the model to replicate a field experiment that subsidized migration in rural Bangladesh, leading to significant increases in both migration rates and consumption for induced migrants. The model’s welfare predictions for migration subsidies are driven by two main features of the model and data: first, induced migrants tend to be negatively selected on income and assets; second, the model’s non-monetary disutility of migration is substantial, which we validate using newly collected survey data from this same experimental sample. The average welfare gains are similar in magnitude to those obtained from an unconditional cash transfer, and greater than from policies that discourage migration, though migration subsidies lead to larger gains for the poorest households, which have the greatest propensity to migrate.
    Keywords: rural-urban migration
    JEL: J61 O11
    Date: 2018–01

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