nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2019‒07‒15
six papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Mothers, Peers and Gender-Role Identity By Olivetti, Claudia; Patacchini, Eleonora; Zenou, Yves
  2. The gender gap in informal child care: theory and some evidence from Italy By Barigozzi, Francesca; Cremer, Helmuth; Monfardini, Chiara
  3. Demographics and Monetary Policy Shocks By Kimberly A. Berg; Chadwick C. Curtis; Steven Lugauer; Nelson C. Mark
  4. Parental Leave, Household Specialization and Children's Well-Being By Canaan, Serena
  5. Education and Gender Differences in Mortality Rates By Cristina Bellés-Obrero; Sergi Jiménez-Martín; Judit Vall Castello
  6. Diversity and Conflict By , Cemal; Ashraf, Quamrul; Galor, Oded; Klemp, Marc

  1. By: Olivetti, Claudia (Boston College and NBER); Patacchini, Eleonora (Cornell University, USA); Zenou, Yves (Monach University)
    Abstract: We study whether a woman's labor supply as a young adult is shaped by the work behavior of her adolescent peers' mothers. Using detailed information on a sample of U.S. teenagers who are followed over time, we find that labor force participation of high school peers' mothers affects adult women's labor force participation, above and beyond the effect of their own mothers. The analysis suggests that women who were exposed to a larger number of working mothers during adolescence are less likely to feel that work interferes with family responsibilities. This perception, in turn, is important for whether they work when they have children.
    Keywords: Role models; Identity; Female labor supply; Peer effects; Workfamily conflict
    JEL: J22 Z13
    Date: 2019–07–04
  2. By: Barigozzi, Francesca; Cremer, Helmuth; Monfardini, Chiara
    Abstract: Our model studies couples' time allocation and career choices, which are affected by a social norm on gender roles in the family. Parents can provide two types of informal child care: basic care (feeding, changing children, baby-sitting) and quality care (activities that stimulate children's social and cognitive skills). We obtain the following main results. Traditional mothers provide some informal basic care, whereas career mothers purchase full time formal basic care in the market. Informal basic care is too large and the group of career mothers is too small because of the social norm. Informal quality care is increasing in the couple's income and is provided in larger amount by mothers. We test the model's predictions for Italy using the most recent ISTAT "Use of Time" survey. In line with the model, mothers devote more time than fathers to both basic and quality informal care; more educated parents devote more time to quality informal care than less educated parents; more educated mothers spend more time in the labor market than less educated mothers.
    Keywords: basic and quality child care; gender gaps; Social norms; women's career choices
    JEL: D13 H23 J16 J22
    Date: 2019–06
  3. By: Kimberly A. Berg; Chadwick C. Curtis; Steven Lugauer; Nelson C. Mark
    Abstract: We decompose the response of aggregate consumption to monetary policy shocks into contributions by households at different stages of the life cycle. This decomposition finds that older households have a higher consumption response than younger households. Amongst older households, the consumption response is also increasing in income. This, along with data on age-related net wealth, presents evidence for a wealth effect playing a role in driving the response patterns. This mechanism is studied further in a partial-equilibrium life-cycle model of consumption, saving, and labor-supply decisions. The model qualitatively explains the empirical patterns. Understanding the heterogeneity in consumption responses across age groups is important for understanding the transmission of monetary policy, especially as the U.S. population grows older.
    JEL: E0 E21 E52 J1 J11
    Date: 2019–06
  4. By: Canaan, Serena (American University of Beirut)
    Abstract: Many countries offer new parents long periods of paid leave. Proponents argue that parental leave programs can reduce gender gaps in the labor market, support marital stability and promote children's well-being. In this paper, I show that lengthy leaves can instead work against several of these intended goals. Using a regression discontinuity design, I find that a 3-year expansion of paid leave in France increases household specialization by inducing mothers to exit the labor force and fathers to raise their work hours. The leave further discourages marriages among cohabiting couples and harms children's verbal development.
    Keywords: parental leave, household specialization, marriage, child development
    JEL: J12 J13 J18 J22
    Date: 2019–06
  5. By: Cristina Bellés-Obrero; Sergi Jiménez-Martín; Judit Vall Castello
    Abstract: We examine the gender asymmetries in mortality generated by a Spanish reform raising the legal working age from 14 to 16 in 1980. While the reform, though its effects on education, decreased mortality at ages 14-29 among men (6.3%) and women (8.9%), it increased mortality for prime-age women (30-45) by 6.3%. This last effect is driven by increases in HIV mortality, as well as by diseases of the nervous and circulatory system. All in all, these patterns help explain the narrowing age gap in life expectancy between women and men in Spain.
    Keywords: minimum working age, education, mortality, gender
    JEL: I12 I20 J10
    Date: 2019–07
  6. By: , Cemal; Ashraf, Quamrul; Galor, Oded; Klemp, Marc
    Abstract: This research advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that interpersonal population diversity has contributed significantly to the emergence, prevalence, recurrence, and severity of intrasocietal conflicts. Exploiting an exogenous source of variations in population diversity across nations and ethnic groups, it demonstrates that population diversity, as determined predominantly during the exodus of humans from Africa tens of thousands of years ago, has contributed significantly to the risk and intensity of historical and contemporary civil conflicts. The findings arguably reflect the adverse effect of population diversity on interpersonal trust, its contribution to divergence in preferences for public goods and redistributive policies, and its impact on the degree of fractionalization and polarization across ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups.
    Keywords: ethnic fractionalization; ethnic polarization; interpersonal trust; Political Preferences; population diversity; Social conflict
    JEL: D74 N30 N40 O11 O43 Z13
    Date: 2019–06

This nep-dem issue is ©2019 by Héctor Pifarré i Arolas. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.