nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2018‒04‒09
eight papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

  1. Does Marital Status Affect How Firms Interpret Job Applicants' Un/Employment Histories? By Maurer-Fazio, Margaret; Wang, Sili
  2. Gender Norms and the Motherhood Penalty: Experimental Evidence from India By Bedi, Arjun S.; Majilla, Tanmoy; Rieger, Matthias
  3. Drivers of Participation Elasticities across Europe: Gender or Earner Role within the Household? By Bartels, Charlotte; Shupe, Cortnie
  4. The Impact of Paid Maternity Leave on Maternal Health. By Bütikofer, Aline; Riise, Julie; Skira, Meghan
  5. Uncertain Length of Life, Retirement Age, and Optimal Pension Design By Thomas Aronsson; Sören Blomquist
  6. Demographic Uncertainty and Generational Consumption Risk with Endogenous Human Capital By Emerson, Patrick M.; Knabb, Shawn D.
  7. Inequality among European Working Households, 1890-1960 By Gazeley, Ian; Holmes, Rose; Newell, Andrew T.; Reynolds, Kevin; Gutierrez Rufrancos, Hector
  8. "Decessit sine prole" - childlessness, celibacy, and survival of the richest in pre-industrial England By de la Croix, David; Schneider, Eric B.; Weisdorf, Jacob

  1. By: Maurer-Fazio, Margaret (Bates College); Wang, Sili (Columbia University)
    Abstract: This field experiment explores whether single and married female job candidates' un/employment histories differentially affect their chances of obtaining interviews through China's Internet job boards. It also considers whether firms' discrimination against, and/or preference for, candidates who are un/employed vary with the duration of unemployment spells. Resumes of fictitious applicants are carefully crafted in terms of realistic work histories and educational backgrounds. Candidates' experiences of unemployment and declaration of marital status are carefully controlled. Over 7000 applications are submitted to real job postings. Callbacks are tracked and recorded. Linear probability models are employed to assess the effects of particular resume characteristics in terms of obtaining interviews. The marital status of female candidates affects how recruiters screen their applications. While current spells of unemployment, whether short- or long-term, significantly reduce married women's chances of obtaining job interviews in the Chinese context, they strongly increase the likelihood that single women will be invited for interviews. Chinese firms appear to "forgive" long-term gaps in women's employment histories as long as those gaps are followed by subsequent employment. This paper is the first to explore how marital status affects the ways that firms, when hiring, interpret spells of unemployment in candidates' work histories. It is also the first to explore the effects of both marital status and unemployment spells in hiring in the context of China's dynamic Internet job board labor market.
    Keywords: field experiments, unemployment, discrimination in employment, hiring, chinese labor markets, internet job boards, résumé correspondence audit study, marital status
    JEL: C93 J71 J23 O53
    Date: 2018–02
  2. By: Bedi, Arjun S. (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam); Majilla, Tanmoy (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam); Rieger, Matthias (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: This paper uses a field experiment to study the effect of perceived gender norms on the motherhood penalty in the Indian labor market. We randomly reported motherhood on fictitious CVs sent to service sector job openings. We generated exogenous variation in gender norms by prominently signaling patrilineal or matrilineal community origins of applicants. Employers are less likely to callback mothers relative to women or men without children, but only if they are of patrilineal origin. Mothers of matrilineal origin face no such penalty. We discuss the results in relation to the competing influence of ethnicity, the Indian context and theories of discrimination.
    Keywords: gender, culture, motherhood penalty, ethnic discrimination, field experiment, India
    JEL: J16 J71
    Date: 2018–02
  3. By: Bartels, Charlotte (DIW Berlin); Shupe, Cortnie (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: We compute participation tax rates across the EU and find that work disincentives inherent in tax-benefit systems largely depend on household composition and the individual's earner role within the household. We then estimate participation elasticities using an IV Group estimator that enables us to investigate the responsiveness of individuals to work incentives. We contribute to the literature on heterogeneous elasticities by providing estimates for different socioeconomic groups by country, gender and earner role within the household. Our results show an average elasticity of 0.08 for men and of 0.14 for women as well as a high degree of heterogeneity across countries. The commonly cited difference in elasticities between men and women stems predominantly from the earner role of the individual within the household and nearly disappears once we control for this factor.
    Keywords: participation elasticities, labor supply, taxation, cross-country comparisons
    JEL: H24 H31 J22 J65
    Date: 2018–02
  4. By: Bütikofer, Aline (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Riise, Julie (University of Bergen); Skira, Meghan (University of Georgia)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of the introduction of paid maternity leave in Norway in 1977 on maternal health. Before the policy reform, mothers were eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Mothers giving birth after July 1, 1977 were entitled to 4 months of paid leave and 12 months of unpaid leave. We combine Norwegian administrative data with survey data on the health of women around age 40 and estimate the mediumand long-term impacts of the reform using regression discontinuity and difference-inregression discontinuity designs. Our results suggest paid maternity leave benefits are protective of maternal health. The reform improved a range of maternal Health outcomes, including BMI, blood pressure, pain, and mental health, and it increased health-promoting behaviors, such as exercise and not smoking. The effects were larger for first-time and low-resource mothers and women who would have taken little unpaid leave in the absence of the reform. We also study the maternal health effects of subsequent expansions in paid maternity leave and find evidence of diminishing returns to leave length.
    Keywords: Maternity leave; Maternity health;
    JEL: I12 I18 J13 J18
    Date: 2018–03–05
  5. By: Thomas Aronsson; Sören Blomquist
    Abstract: In this paper, we consider how the hours of work and retirement age ought to respond to a change in the uncertainty of the length of life. In a first best framework, where a benevolent government exercises perfect control over the individuals’ labor supply and retirement-decisions, the results show that a decrease in the standard deviation of life-length leads to an increase in the optimal retirement age and a decrease in the hours of work per period spent working. This result is robust, and is also derived in models of decentralized decision-making where individuals decide on their own consumption, labor supply, and retirement age, and where the government attempts to affect their behavior and welfare through redistribution and pension policy.
    Keywords: uncertain lifetime, retirement age, work hours, pension policy
    JEL: D61 D80 H21 H55
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Emerson, Patrick M. (Oregon State University); Knabb, Shawn D. (Western Washington University)
    Abstract: This paper uses a model with overlapping generations to demonstrate that human capital accumulation can potentially attenuate factor price movements in response to birth rate shocks. Specifically, we show that if education spending per child is inversely related to the size of the generation, then there will be less movement in factor prices in response to the relative size of each generation. The degree of this attenuation effect will depend on the effectiveness of education spending in producing human capital. We also demonstrate that this attenuation effect tends to concentrate generational consumption risk around the generation subject to the birth rate shock. In a limiting case, we show that an i.i.d birth rate shock translates into an i.i.d. generational consumption shock. In other words, each generation bears all of the risk associated with their own demographic uncertainty. As a final exercise, we demonstrate that if the tax rate funding education spending varies with the size of the generation rather than education spending per child, then human capital does not influence the dynamic behavior of the economy in response to a birth rate shock.
    Keywords: human capital, consumption risk, factor price movements, fertility shocks
    JEL: J12 E21 I31 J11
    Date: 2018–02
  7. By: Gazeley, Ian (University of Sussex); Holmes, Rose (University of Sussex); Newell, Andrew T. (University of Sussex); Reynolds, Kevin (University of Sussex); Gutierrez Rufrancos, Hector (University of Sussex)
    Abstract: In this article we map, for the first time, the time-path of the size distribution of income among working class households in Western Europe, 1890-1960. To do this we exploit data extracted from a large number of newly digitised household expenditure surveys. Many are not representative of the population, or even of their target-subpopulation, as methods of social investigation were initially primitive, though rapidly evolving over this period. We overcome the consequent problem of comparability by exploiting our knowledge of the methods used by early social investigators to estimate of the scale of known biases. For some we have the original household data, but in most cases we have tables by income group. One by-product of this work is an evaluation of the range of estimation methods for distributional statistics from these historical tables of grouped data. Our central finding is that inequality among working households does not follow the general downward trend in inequality for the early part of the century found in labour share and top income studies. Contrary to Kuznets' prediction, our evidence suggests that on average income inequality among European working households remained stable for three generations from the late nineteenth century onwards.
    Keywords: inequality, working households, Europe, 20th century
    JEL: N33 N34 O15
    Date: 2018–02
  8. By: de la Croix, David; Schneider, Eric B.; Weisdorf, Jacob
    Abstract: In explaining England's early industrial development, previous research has highlighted that wealthy pre-industrial elites had more surviving offspring than their poorer counter- parts. Thus, entrepreneurial traits spread and helped England grow rich. We contest this view, showing that lowerclass reproduction rates were no different from the elites when accounting for singleness and childlessness. Elites married less and were more often childless. Many died without descendants (decessit sine prole). We find that the middle classes had the highest reproduction and argue that this advantage was instrumental to England's economic success because the middle class invested most strongly in human capital.
    Keywords: fertility; marriage; childlessness; European marriage pattern; Industrial Revolution; evolutionary advantage; social class
    JEL: J12 J13 N33
    Date: 2018–02

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