nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2019‒03‒25
seven papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Structural Change and the Fertility Transition By Ager, Philipp; Herz, Benedikt
  2. Paternity Leave and Family Outcomes By Abrahamsen, Signe A.
  3. Aggregate Labor Force Participation and Unemployment and Demographic Trends By Hornstein, Andreas; Kudlyak, Marianna
  4. Changing Business Cycles: The Role of Women's Employment By Stefania Albanesi
  5. Socialized Healthcare and Women's Fertility Decisions By Cesur, Resul; Gunes, Pinar Mine; Tekin, Erdal; Ulker, Aydogan
  6. Formal Care of the Elderly and Health Outcomes Among Adult Daughters By Abrahamsen, Signe A.; Grøtting, Maja Weemes
  7. Effects of extended paternity leave on union stability and fertility By Rannveig K. Hart; Synøve N. Andersen; Nina Drange

  1. By: Ager, Philipp; Herz, Benedikt
    Abstract: This paper provides new insights on the relationship between structural change and the fertility transition. We exploit the spread of an agricultural pest in the American South in the 1890s as plausibly exogenous variation in agricultural production to establish a causal link between earnings opportunities in agriculture and fertility. Households staying in agriculture reduced fertility because children are a normal good, while households switching to manufacturing reduced fertility because of the higher opportunity costs of raising children. The lower earnings opportunities in agriculture also decreased the value of child labor which increased schooling, consistent with a quantity-quality model of fertility.
    Keywords: Fertility Transition, Structural Change, Industrialization, Agricultural Income
    JEL: J13 N31 O14
    Date: 2019–03
  2. By: Abrahamsen, Signe A. (University of Bergen, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: The received literature documents that reserving parental leave time for fathers has been effective in increasing fathers’ use of parental leave. However, whether paternity leave affects the families’ decisions in any other way is still not clear. This paper exploits reforms extending the Norwegian father quota as natural experiments, and estimates causal effects of a more substantial length of paternity leave than previously studied. We find that fathers extend their leave use as more leave days are reserved for them. Yet, there is no evidence that extended parental leave use by fathers alters the traditional gender norms at home. Specifically, we find no effects on parents’ earnings or working hours, which suggests no shift from market work to home production by fathers, nor a shift in the other direction by mothers. To measure parents’ involvement at home, we look at absence from work due to own illness, as well as a child’s illness. These measures are both unaffected by extended leave use by fathers. Moreover, there is no evidence that extended parental leave use by fathers contributes to narrowing the gender gap in income. However, extending the father-exclusive leave period comes at a non-negligible cost to the society. Taken together, this points to the conclusion that continuing expansions of the father quota needs to be justified by arguments other than the commonly used claim, that the father quota works as a policy instrument for gender equality.
    Keywords: Paternity leave; father quotas; gender equality; policy evaluation
    JEL: D13 H31 J13 J16 J18 J22
    Date: 2018–08–21
  3. By: Hornstein, Andreas (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond); Kudlyak, Marianna (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)
    Abstract: We estimate trends in the labor force participation (LFP) and unemployment rates for demographic groups differentiated by age, gender, and education, using a parsimonious statistical model of age, cohort and cycle effects. Based on the group trends, we construct trends for the aggregate LFP and unemployment rate. Important drivers of the aggregate LFP rate trend are demographic factors, with increasing educational attainment being important throughout the sample and ageing of the population becoming more important since 2000, and changes of groups' trend LFP rates, e.g. for women prior to 2000. The aggregate unemployment rate trend on the other hand is almost exclusively driven by demographic factors, with about equal contributions from an older and more educated population. Extrapolating the estimated trends using Census Bureau population forecasts and our own forecasts for educational shares, we project that over the next 10 years the trend LFP rate will decline to 61.1% from its 2018 value of 62.7%, and the trend unemployment rate will decline to 4.3% from its 2018 value of 4.7%.
    Date: 2019–02–28
  4. By: Stefania Albanesi
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of changing trends in female labor supply on productivity, TFP growth and aggregate business cycles. We find that the growth in women’s labor supply and relative productivity added substantially to TFP growth from the early 1980s, even if it depressed average labor productivity growth, contributing to the 1970s productivity slowdown. We also show that the lower cyclicality of female hours and their growing share can account for a large fraction of the reduced cyclicality of aggregate hours during the great moderation, as well as the decline in the correlation between average labor productivity and hours. Finally, we show that the discontinued growth in female labor supply starting in the 1990s played a substantial role in the jobless recoveries following the 1990-1991, 2001 and 2007-2009 recessions. Moreover, it depressed aggregate hours, output growth and male wages during the late 1990s and mid 2000s expansions. These results suggest that continued growth in female employment since the early 1990s would have significantly improved economic performance in the United States.
    JEL: E17 E27 E32 E37 J21 J3 J82
    Date: 2019–03
  5. By: Cesur, Resul (University of Connecticut); Gunes, Pinar Mine (University of Alberta); Tekin, Erdal (American University); Ulker, Aydogan (Deakin University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of a nationwide healthcare reform implemented in Turkey on women's fertility decisions. The Family Medicine Program (FMP), introduced in 2005, provided a wide-range of primary healthcare services, free of charge, and achieved universal access by matching each citizen to a specific family physician, who operates at neighborhood clinics, called Family Health Centers, on a walk-in basis. Although reducing fertility was not specified among the goals of the reform, reproductive-health and family-planning services have been covered under the FMP. To establish causality, we exploit the staggered rollout of the FMP implementation across Turkish provinces over time using a difference-in-differences estimation strategy. Our estimates indicate that the FMP significantly reduced childbearing among both teenagers and women ages 20-29. These results can be explained by increased access to and reduced cost of reproductive-health and family-planning services. However, the patterns in which the program effect has evolved over time differs between the two groups of women in a way that provides additional insights about the mechanisms. For teenagers, the FMP had a direct effect on childbearing, reflected by an immediate and rapidly-increasing pattern, which is not surprising given the broad agreement about the negative consequences of teenage childbearing among government and public health officials, including those in Turkey. For women ages 20-29, however, the program had a gradual and slowly-increasing effect, which is consistent with an empowerment channel. This should be interpreted as an unintended consequence of the program because, if anything, Turkey is a country where the government's position is to encourage fertility behavior and discourage birth control practices among women at prime childbearing ages.
    Keywords: fertility, childbearing, healthcare, Turkey, health, insurance
    JEL: I13 J13
    Date: 2019–02
  6. By: Abrahamsen, Signe A. (University of Bergen, Department of Economics); Grøtting, Maja Weemes (Norwegian Social Research, Oslo Metropolitan University)
    Abstract: Health-care expenditures and the demand for caregiving are increasing concerns for policy makers. Although informal care to a certain extent may substitute for costly formal care, providing informal care may come at a cost to caregivers in terms of their own health. However, evidence of causal effects of care responsibilities on health is limited, especially for long-term outcomes. In this paper, we estimate long-term effects of a formal care expansion for the elderly on the health of their middle-aged daughters. We exploit a reform in the federal funding of formal care for Norwegian municipalities that caused a greater expansion of home care provision in municipalities that initially had lower coverage rates. We find that expanding formal care reduced sickness absence in the short run, primarily due to reduced absences related to musculoskeletal and psychological disorders. In general, we find no effects on long-term health outcomes.
    Keywords: Formal and informal eldercare; sickness absence; health
    JEL: I10 J14 J22 J38
    Date: 2019–01–25
  7. By: Rannveig K. Hart; Synøve N. Andersen; Nina Drange (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Long paternity leaves have the potential for lasting effects on parental unions, potentially reducing specialization and increasing union stability and fertility. We put these hypotheses to a causal test, using an extension of the Norwegian parental leave father's quota from 6 to 10 weeks as a source of exogenous variation in fathers' leave uptake. We implement a Regression Discontinuity design, using full population data from Norwegian administrative registers of parents of children in a four-month window around the reform (N = 9 757). The reform significantly increased the amount of leave taken by fathers by about three weeks and reduced the amount of leave taken by mothers. Neither union stability, fertility nor his or her subsequent earnings were affected by the reform.
    Keywords: Union dissolution; father involvement; quasi experiment
    JEL: J12 J13 J16 J18
    Date: 2019–03

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