nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2018‒11‒26
seven papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Inequality in Life Expectancies across Europe By Bohacek, Radim; Bueren, Jesus; Crespo, Laura; Mira, Pedro Solbes; Pijoan-Mas, Josep
  2. The Twin Instrument: Fertility and Human Capital Investment By Bhalotra, Sonia R.; Clarke, Damian
  3. Labor-saving technological change and decreasing fertility rates: The oil palm boom in Indonesia By Kubitza, C.; Gehrke, E.
  4. Strategic Fertility, Education Choices and Conflicts in Deeply Divided Societies By Emeline Bezin; Bastien Chabé-Ferret; David de la Croix
  5. Long-Term Changes in Married Couples' Labor Supply and Taxes: Evidence from the US and Europe Since the 1980s By Alexander Bick; Bettina Brüggemann; Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln; Hannah Paule-Paludkiewicz
  6. Income taxation of couples, spouses' labor supplies and the gender wage gap By Cremer, Helmuth; Roeder, Kerstin
  7. Single mothers and their children: Evaluating a work-encouraging welfare reform By Loken, Katrine; Lommerud, Kjell Erik; Reiso, Katrine H.

  1. By: Bohacek, Radim; Bueren, Jesus; Crespo, Laura; Mira, Pedro Solbes; Pijoan-Mas, Josep
    Abstract: We use harmonized household panel data from 10 European countries (SHARE) plus US (HRS) and England (ELSA) to provide novel and comparable measurements of education and gender differences in life expectancy and disability-free life expectancy, as well as in the underlying multi-state life tables. Common across countries we find significant interactions between socio-economic status and gender: (a) the education advantage in life expectancy is larger for males, (b) the female advantage in life expectancy is larger among the low educated, (c) education reduces disability years and this added advantage is larger for females, and (d) females suffer more disability years but this disadvantage is hardly present for the high educated. Common across countries we also find that the education advantage in disability years is due to better health transitions by the highly-educated, and that the female disadvantage in disability years is due to better survival in ill-health by females. Looking at the differences across countries, we find that inequalities are largest in Eastern Europe, lowest in Scandinavia, and that the education gradient in life expectancy for males correlates positively with income inequality and negatively with public health spending across countries
    Keywords: education gradient; Gender Gap; healthy life expectancy; Life Expectancy
    JEL: I14 I24 J14 J16
    Date: 2018–09
  2. By: Bhalotra, Sonia R. (University of Essex); Clarke, Damian (Universidad de Santiago de Chile)
    Abstract: Twin births are often used to instrument fertility to address (negative) selection of women into fertility. However recent work shows positive selection of women into twin birth. Thus, while OLS estimates will tend to be downward biased, twin-IV estimates will tend to be upward biased. This is pertinent given the emerging consensus that fertility has limited impacts on women's labour supply, or on investments in children. Using data for developing countries and the United States, we demonstrate the nature and size of the bias in the twin-IV estimator of the quantity-quality trade-off and estimate bounds on the true parameter.
    Keywords: twins, fertility, maternal health, quantity-quality trade-off, parental investment, bounds, IV
    JEL: J12 J13 C13 D13 I12
    Date: 2018–10
  3. By: Kubitza, C.; Gehrke, E.
    Abstract: Although new production technologies are often regarded as one of the key drivers of the reduction in live birth per women, empirical evidence is scarce. This paper addresses this gap, exploring the expansion of oil palm in Indonesia. We argue that this type of technological change is rather unique, as it induces gender-specific labor savings that affect not only large-scale farms but also smallholder farmers. We use Becker s quantity-quality model to identify different causal mechanism through which the expansion of oil palm could affect fertility rates. Our identification strategy relies on an instrumental variables approach with regency-fixed effects, in which the expansion of area under oil palm at regency level is instrumented by regency-level attainable yield of oil palm interacted with the national oil palm expansion. We find consistently negative effects of the oil palm expansion on fertility. The results suggest that the negative effect is mainly explained by increasing female wages and increasing consumption expenditure. This suggests that the fertility reduction was driven by income effects of the oil palm boom at the household level, as well increased female opportunity costs of child rearing. Acknowledgement : This study was financed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) in the framework of the collaborative German - Indonesian research project CRC990. We thank Matin Qaim and Krisztina Kis-Katos for their comments.
    Keywords: Labor and Human Capital
    Date: 2018–07
  4. By: Emeline Bezin (Paris School of Economics); Bastien Chabé-Ferret (ISER, University of Essex & IZA, Bonn); David de la Croix (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: Fertility becomes a strategic choice when having a larger population helps to gain power. Minority groups might find it optimal to promote high fertility among their members - this is known as the \weapon of the womb" argument. If, in addition, parents have to invest resources to educate their children, a higher fertility for strategic motives might reduce their investment. Indonesian census data dispel this view, as minority religious groups do not invest less in education. If anything, they invest more in education, as well as in their number of children. This finding is consistent with human capital being an input to appropriation. Solving for the Nash equilibrium of a game between two groups with two strategic variables, we derive the condition under which the minority group displays a higher investment in both the quantity and quality of children. The material cost of conflict involved through the weapon of the womb mechanism is mitigated when human capital enters the contest function.
    Keywords: fertility, quality-quantity trade-off, minorities, conflict, population engineering, human capital, Nash equilibrium, Indonesia
    JEL: D74 J13 J15
    Date: 2018–10–19
  5. By: Alexander Bick; Bettina Brüggemann; Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln; Hannah Paule-Paludkiewicz
    Abstract: We document the time-series of employment rates and hours worked per employed by married couples in the US and seven European countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and the UK) from the early 1980s through 2016. Relying on a model of joint household labor supply decisions, we quantitatively analyze the role of non-linear labor income taxes for explaining the evolution of hours worked of married couples over time, using as inputs the full country- and year-specific statutory labor income tax codes. We further evaluate the role of consumption taxes, gender and educational wage premia, and the educational composition. The model is quite successful in replicating the time series behavior of hours worked per employed married woman, with labor income taxes being the key driving force. It does however capture only part of the secular increase in married women’s employment rates in the 1980s and early 1990s, suggesting an important role for factors not considered in this paper. We will make the non-linear tax codes used as an input into the analysis available as a user-friendly and easily integrable set of Matlab codes.
    Keywords: taxation, two-earner households, hours worked
    JEL: E60 H20 H31 J22
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Cremer, Helmuth; Roeder, Kerstin
    Abstract: We study the taxation of couples when female wages do not reflect their true productivity. We show that the expression for the marginal tax rates of the male spouses is the same as in a Mirrleesian world where wages reflect true productivities. Marginal taxes for the female spouses are reduced because of a Pigouvian correction. Consequently, the wage discrimination pleads for a lower marginal tax on the female spouse. Furthermore, the distortion of a couples' tradeoff between male and female labor supply is the same as in a Mirrleesian world without a gender wage gap. It only depends on true productivities and not on wages. In other words, the tax system completely neutralizes the extra distortion introduced by the wedge between the female spouse's wage and her true productivity.
    Keywords: Couples' income taxation; gender wage gap; Household Labor Supply; optimal income taxation
    JEL: D10 H21 H31 J16 J22
    Date: 2018–09
  7. By: Loken, Katrine; Lommerud, Kjell Erik; Reiso, Katrine H.
    Abstract: Using rich administrative data from Norway, we evaluate a 1998 work-encouraging reform targeted at single parents. We especially focus on educational performance for the children of the involved single mothers. For these children, average school grades at age 16 dropped significantly by 0.7% of a standard deviation per additional year that their mothers were exposed to the reform. Furthermore, we find that the reform affected single mothers by increasing their working hours (and thereby reducing their time at home). We find no average effect on disposable income (mothers traded off reductions in benefits with increases in earnings). Thus, reduced parental time at home seems to be the main mechanism for the observed moderate drop in children's grades. In line with this, we find that the reform increased the use of formal after-school care, and we find a larger reform effect for children of mothers with no informal network to help with child care.
    Keywords: child development; single mothers; time investments; welfare refom
    JEL: I24 I38 J13
    Date: 2018–09

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