nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2019‒02‒04
four papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Tweet Sixteen and Pregnant: Missing Links in the Causal Chain from Reality TV to Fertility By David A. Jaeger; Theodore J. Joyce; Robert Kaestner
  2. Fathers’ Parental Leave-Taking, Childcare Involvement and Mothers’ Labor Market Participation By Marcus Tamm
  3. Early Labor Market Prospects and Family Formation By Engdahl, Mattias; Godard, Mathilde; Nordström Skans, Oskar
  4. Boom, echo, pulse, flow: 385 years of Swedish births By Timothy Riffe; Kieron J. Barclay; Sebastian Klüsener; Christina Bohk-Ewald

  1. By: David A. Jaeger; Theodore J. Joyce; Robert Kaestner
    Abstract: We examine the relationship between social media activity, such as Google searches and tweets, related to teen pregnancy and the airing of the MTV program 16 and Pregnant. In contrast to Kearney and Levine's (2015) claim of a positive relationship, we find that the association is statistically insignificant or negative, when the analysis includes periods when new episodes of the program were not being broadcast. The results are also sensitive to using the total number of tweets, which were growing exponentially, as weights. Our results cast substantial doubt on social media as a link in the causal chain between reality television and fertility.
    JEL: C81 J13 L82
    Date: 2019–01
  2. By: Marcus Tamm
    Abstract: This study analyzes the effect of fathers’ parental leave-taking on the time fathers spend with their children and on mothers’ and fathers’ labor supply. Fathers’ leave-taking is highly selective and the identification of causal effects relies on within-father differences in leave-taking for first and higher order children that were triggered by a policy reform promoting more gender equality in leave-taking. Results show that even short periods of fathers’ parental leave may have long-lasting effects on fathers’ involvement in childcare and housework. Effects on maternal labor supply are also significantly positive but do not persist over time.
    Keywords: parental leave, childcare, female labor supply, gender differences, policy evaluation
    JEL: H31 J13 J22
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Engdahl, Mattias (IFAU); Godard, Mathilde (GATE, University of Lyon); Nordström Skans, Oskar (Uppsala University)
    Abstract: We use quasi-random variation in graduation years during the onset of a very deep national recession to study the relationship between early labor market conditions and young females' family formation outcomes. A policy-pilot affecting the length of upper-secondary vocational tracks allows us to compare females who graduated into the onset of the Swedish financial crisis of the 1990s to those graduating during the final phase of the preceding economic boom while netting out the main effect of the policy. We find pronounced, but short-lived, negative labor market effects from early exposure to the recession for low-grade students in particular. In contrast, we document very long-lasting effects on family formation outcomes, again concentrated among low-grade students. Young women who graduated into the recession because of the policy-pilot formed their first stable partnerships earlier and had their first children earlier. Their partners had lower grades, which we show to be a strong predictor of divorce, and worse labor market performance. Divorces were more prevalent and the ensuing increase in single motherhood was long-lasting. These negative effects on marital stability generated persistent increases in the use of welfare benefits despite the short-lived impact on labor market outcomes. The results suggest that young women respond to early labor market prospects by changing the quality threshold for entering into family formation, a process which affects the frequency of welfare-dependent single mothers during more than a decade thereafter.
    Keywords: cost of recessions, female labor supply, family formation
    JEL: E32 J12 J13 J22 J31
    Date: 2019–01
  4. By: Timothy Riffe (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Kieron J. Barclay (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Sebastian Klüsener (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Christina Bohk-Ewald (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Human population renewal starts with births. Since births can happen at any time in the year and over a wide range of ages, demographers typically imagine the birth series as a continuous flow. Taking this construct literally, we visualize the Swedish birth series as a flow. A long birth series allows us to juxtapose the children born in a particular year with the children that they in turn had over the course of their lives, yielding a crude notion of cohort replacement. Macro patterns in generational growth define the meandering path of the flow, while temporal booms and busts echo through the flow with the regularity of a pulse.
    Keywords: Sweden, fertility
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2019–01

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