nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2019‒01‒07
four papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. How Much Income Do Retirees Actually Have? Evaluating the Evidence from Five National Datasets By Anqi Chen; Alicia H. Munnell; Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher
  2. The effect of child allowances on the labor supply: Evidence from the early 2000s By Yuval Mazar
  3. High-Value Work and the Rise of Women: The Cotton Revolution and Gender Equality in China* By Xue, Melanie Meng
  4. Women’s Labor Market Responses to their Partners’ Unemployment and Low-Pay Employment By Carina Keldenich; Andreas Knabe

  1. By: Anqi Chen; Alicia H. Munnell; Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher
    Abstract: Recent research by Bee and Mitchell (2017) has refocused attention on the fact that the Current Population Survey (CPS) underestimates retirement income. In the wake of this study, some observers have questioned whether other surveys more frequently used by retirement researchers also understate retirement income and, if so, whether prior research suggesting that many households are unprepared for retirement is accurate. This paper addresses both questions by examining retirement income data from the CPS and four other surveys: 1) the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF); 2) the Health and Retirement Study (HRS); 3) the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics (PSID); and 4) the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). The paper compares the income measures from each survey to administrative data from tax and Social Security records, both in aggregate and across the income distribution. It then uses a common measure of retirement income adequacy, the replacement rate, to assess overall household preparedness for retirement.
    Date: 2018–11
  2. By: Yuval Mazar (Bank of Israel)
    Abstract: This study estimates the effect of the sharp reduction in child allowances in the early 2000s on the labor supply. The study uses the difference-in-differences method to estimate the changes in the labor supply of men and women with large numbers of children compared with the changes in the labor supply of men and women with small numbers of children—an increase of about 3.6 percentage points in the labor supply of women with many children, and of about 2.3 percentage points in the labor supply of men with many children, relative to women and men with few children.​
    Keywords: Labor Force, Employment, Size, and Structure
    JEL: J21
    Date: 2018–11
  3. By: Xue, Melanie Meng
    Abstract: This paper studies a unique historical experiment: the cotton revolution and its impact on the emergence of gender-equitable beliefs. The cotton revolution led to a prolonged phase (1300-1840 AD) of high productivity for women. I hypothesize that a substantial, long-standing increase in relative female income eroded a highly resilient cultural belief: women are less capable than men. I examine a period when economic gains from the cotton revolution faded. Using variation across 1,489 counties in cotton spinning and weaving, I find that the cotton revolution reduces sex selection. This result is supported by survey evidence on gender equitable beliefs. I instrument cotton weaving with the range of relative humidity within which cotton yarn can be smoothly woven into cloth. I document an initial impact of the cotton revolution on widow suicides. To isolate the cultural channel, I examine the effects of the cotton revolution under post-1949 state socialism, where both genders had similar economic opportunities, political and legal rights, and show that pre-1840 cotton weaving predicts a higher probability for the wife to head the household. I document the distinctive role of high-value work in the perception of women. Low-value work performed by women, such as cotton cultivation, does not correct prenatal sex selection.
    Keywords: Culture, relative female income, gender-equitable beliefs
    JEL: I1 J16 N0 N35 Z1
    Date: 2018–12–19
  4. By: Carina Keldenich; Andreas Knabe
    Abstract: This paper revisits the added worker effect. Using bivariate random-effects probit estimation on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel we show that women respond to their partners’ unemployment with an increase in labor market participation, which also leads to an increase in their employment probability. Our analysis considers within- and between-effects separately, revealing differences in the relationships between women’s labor market statuses and their partners’ unemployment in the previous period (within-effect) and their partners’ overall probability of being unemployed (between-effect). Furthermore, we demonstrate that partners’ employment in low-paid jobs has an effect on women’s labor market choices and outcomes similar to that of his unemployment.
    Keywords: added worker effect, labor supply, family economics, unemployment, low-pay employment
    JEL: D12 D13 J22
    Date: 2018

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