nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2019‒09‒23
eight papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Family structure and child cognitive outcomes: Evidence from Canadian longitudinal data By Ferrer, Ana M.; Pan, Yazhuo
  2. Timing of the Birth: the Role of Productivity Loss and Income Security By Helu Jiang; Hsien-Ming Lien; Yin-Chi Wang; ping wang
  3. A House Without a Ring: The Role of Changing Marital Transitions for Housing Decisions By Minsu Chang
  4. Sorting on the Marriage and the Labor Market By Paula Calvo; Ilse Lindenlaub
  5. Labour market reform in Japan to cope with a shrinking and ageing population By Randall S. Jones; Haruki Seitani
  6. Spread-ing uncertainty, shrinking birth rates By Chiara L. Comolli; Daniele Vignoli
  7. The gendered impacts of delayed parenthood on educational and labor market outcomes: a dynamic analysis of population-level effects over young adulthood By Jessica Nisén; Maarten J. Bijlsma; Pekka Martikainen; Ben Wilson; Mikko Myrskylä
  8. Educational differences in cohort fertility across sub-national regions in Europe By Jessica Nisén; Sebastian Klüsener; Johan Dahlberg; Lars Dommermuth; Aiva Jasilioniene; Michaela Kreyenfeld; Trude Lappegård; Peng Li; Pekka Martikainen; Karel Neels; Bernhard Riederer; Saskia te Riele; Laura Szabó; Alessandra Trimarchi; Francicso Viciana; Ben Wilson; Mikko Myrskylä

  1. By: Ferrer, Ana M.; Pan, Yazhuo
    Abstract: This study investigates the role of family structure on cognitive outcomes of children. Using the rich panel data information from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY), collected on children and their families biennially since 1994, we investigate the association between a child's math & reading performance and family structure and changes in family structure. We find that children who stay-in or move-to non-intact families have lower reading scores than those who stay in intact families. Although initial findings indicate that family structure appears to have overall little effect on children's math performance, analysis by gender reveals that girls' performance appears to be more affected than boys' by their parents' divorce/remarriage or the presence of step-family members. Moreover, analysis by heritage reveals that family structure affects the math performance of children of French heritage differently from those of other Canadian heritage, while the impact on reading scores is similar between these two groups. A similar result follows our analysis of religious groups. The impact of family structure differs between children in Catholic families and those in Non-Catholic families for math performance, but is similar for reading performance.
    Keywords: Family structure,transition in family structure,family instability,academic performance of children
    JEL: J12 J13 J16 I20 Z12
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Helu Jiang (Washington University in St. Louis); Hsien-Ming Lien (National Cheng-Chi University); Yin-Chi Wang (National Taipei University); ping wang (Washington University in St.Louis)
    Abstract: As significant as the shift from quantity to quality in fertility decisions, a rise in the age at first birth has been commonly observed in the more developed world. This paper attempts to understand such demographic trend both theoretically and empirically. We develop a continuous-time lifecycle model, in which a married woman decides when to have her first child and how she allocates her time to human capital accumulation and market activity. We then calibrate the benchmark model using data from CPS and generalize the model to allow for heterogeneous skill levels. We find that the duration of fertility-related productivity loss and income security play a more important role than the conventional human capital channel in explaining the childbearing timing differentials between skill groups, and women are more sensitive to changes in fertility preference as opposed to leisure loss. Decomposition exercise shows that the two novel channels can explain 71.3% of the difference between skill groups. Compared with high-skilled women, low-skilled women are more vulnerable to changes in labor productivity, human capital, husband’s income, fertility preference for children and leisure loss in raising children. As a result, low-skilled women push up or defer their timing of childbirth more relative to high-skilled women.
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Minsu Chang (University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: This paper shows that the evolving likelihood of marriage and divorce is an essential factor in accounting for the changes in housing decisions over time in the United States. To quantify the importance of this channel, I build a life-cycle model of single and married households who face exogenous age-dependent marital transition shocks. I then estimate the parameters of the model by a limited information Bayesian method to match the moments from 1995's cross-section data. I conduct a decomposition analysis between 1970 and 1995, two years with similar real house prices but substantially different probabilities of marital transitions. I find that the change in the likelihood of marital transitions accounts for 29% of the observed increase in the homeownership rate of singles. This portion is substantial given that the changes in downpayment requirements, earnings risk, and spousal labor productivity jointly replicate 45% of the change. When the change in marital transitions is shut down, the marrieds' housing asset share increases, which is opposite to the data's pattern. Then I extend my analysis to study whether the ongoing change in marital transitions still plays a role in explaining housing decisions in recent years, which have seen dramatically changing house prices. In addition to other factors such as credit constraints, wages, and beliefs on price appreciation that are often suggested as drivers for homeownership increase during the housing boom in the mid-2000s, I show that the continuing decrease in marriage contributes to an approximately 7% increase in the homeownership rate for young singles.
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Paula Calvo (Yale University); Ilse Lindenlaub (Yale University)
    Abstract: We analyze the interplay between individuals' family choices and marriage sorting on the one hand, and work choices and \textit{labor market sorting} on the other: Our main objective is to understand how labor market choices (in particular, the sorting of individuals into particular jobs/occupations and the number of hours worked) affect family and marriage decisions, including risk-sharing within the household as well as the division of family responsibilities. Similarly, we analyze how marriage sorting (that is, who marries whom) and family decisions affect the career prospects, hours worked in the labor market as well as occupational sorting of both partners. Ultimately, we would like to understand whether the interaction between marriage and labor market choices can shed light on several well-documented gender gaps in earnings, hours, labor force participation and occupational choices. The project has three components. First, we document facts relating to the marriage and the labor market, and the link between the two. In a second part, we rationalize the empirical facts with an equilibrium model that features both endogenous marriage partner and endogenous job choices, i.e. sorting in both markets. This model clarifies the mechanisms linking the marriage and the labor market choices of men and women. And in a third component, it we will use the model to quantify how much of the gender disparities in labor market outcomes are linked to marriage partner choices and the implied division of household responsibilities.
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Randall S. Jones; Haruki Seitani
    Abstract: Fundamental reform of traditional Japanese labour market practices is essential to cope with rapid population ageing and the era of 100-year lives. A shift to more flexible employment and wage systems based on performance rather than age would enable Japan to better utilise its human capital. Abolishing the right of firms to set mandatory retirement – typically at age 60 – would enable employees to extend their careers and reduce the link between wages and seniority. It would also facilitate a further increase in the pension eligibility age above 65, thereby helping to reduce poverty among the elderly. Life-long learning is another key element to extending careers. It is also crucial to address a range of issues that discourage the employment of women, namely the lack of work-life balance and shortages of high quality and affordable childcare and long-term care for the elderly. Fighting discrimination and gender stereotypes is also important to allow women to assume greater leadership roles. Coping with population decline also requires pursuing recent efforts to increase the role of foreign workers in Japan. Breaking down labour market dualism is crucial to expand employment opportunities for women and older people, while reducing income inequality and relative poverty.This Working Paper relates to the 2019 OECD Economic Survey of Japan( economic-snapshot/)
    Keywords: childcare, dualism, female employment, foreign workers, Japanese economy, labour force participation, labour market, labour shortages, lifelong learning, mandatory retirement, non-regular workers, older workers, pension eligibility age, population ageing, womenomics, work-life balance
    JEL: J2 J3 J7 J8
    Date: 2019–09–18
  6. By: Chiara L. Comolli (Institute of Social Sciences and Life Course and Social Inequality Research Center University of Lausanne); Daniele Vignoli (Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti", Università di Firenze)
    Abstract: Most studies document the pro-cyclicality of fertility to business cycles or labor market indicators. However, part of the recent fertility drop witnessed in Europe after the Great Recession is not explained by traditional measures. The present study advances that birth postponement might have accelerated in response to rising uncertainty, which fuelled negative expectations and declining confidence about the future. To provide empirical support for the causal effect of perceived uncertainty on births rate, we focus on the case of the sovereign debt crisis of 2011-2012 in Italy. Perceived uncertainty is measured using Google trends for the term “spread†– the thermometer of the crisis both in media and everyday conversations – to capture the degree of concern to the general public about the stability of Italian public finances. A regression discontinuity in time identifies the effect of perceived uncertainty on birth rates in Italy as a drop between 2.5% and 5%.
    Keywords: Uncertainty; Fertility; Spread; Europe
    JEL: J13 J10
    Date: 2019–09
  7. By: Jessica Nisén (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Maarten J. Bijlsma (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Pekka Martikainen (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Ben Wilson; Mikko Myrskylä (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Later parenthood is often beneficial for women, but less is known about its impact on men. As first births continue to occur later in life, it is important to understand whether this delay influences the educational and labor market outcomes of women and men differently, and how it changes the socioeconomic characteristics of children’s parents at birth. However, education, employment, and fertility are linked, implying that complex models are required in order to analyze the time-varying impacts of delayed parenthood. We use dynamic longitudinal models and Finnish data to analyze how, and through which socioeconomic mechanisms, a material delay in parenthood is likely to influence educational and labor market outcomes over young adulthood. A three-year delay in young-adult parenthood for all women increases educational enrollment in their early 20s, employment in their late 20s, and partly due to higher education income in their 30s. The impact of the same delay for men is more modest, and almost negligible for their employment, suggesting that later parenthood exacerbates the educational advantage of women and attenuates the income advantage of men. However, it strengthens the socioeconomic standing of both men and women when they become parents, essentially due to the accumulation of effects.
    Keywords: Finland, education, gender, labor market, longitudinal analysis, parenthood
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2019–09
  8. By: Jessica Nisén (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Sebastian Klüsener (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Johan Dahlberg; Lars Dommermuth; Aiva Jasilioniene (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Michaela Kreyenfeld (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Trude Lappegård; Peng Li (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Pekka Martikainen (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Karel Neels; Bernhard Riederer; Saskia te Riele; Laura Szabó; Alessandra Trimarchi (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Francicso Viciana; Ben Wilson; Mikko Myrskylä (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Educational differences in female cohort fertility have been shown to vary across high-income countries and over time, but knowledge about how educational fertility differentials play out at the sub-national regional level is limited. Examining these sub-national regional patterns might improve our understanding of national patterns, as regionally varying contextual conditions may affect fertility. This study provides for the first time for a large number of European countries a comprehensive account of educational differences in the cohort fertility rate (CFR) at the sub-national regional level. We harmonise data from population registers, censuses, and large-sample surveys for 15 countries in order to measure women’s completed fertility by educational level and region of residence at the end of the reproductive lifespan. In order to explore associations between educational differences in CFRs and levels of economic development, we link our data to regional estimates of GDP per capita. Empirical Bayesian estimation is used to reduce uncertainty in the regional fertility estimates. Our results document an overall negative gradient between the CFR and level of education, and notable variation in the gradient across regions. The gradient varies systematically by the level of economic development: moving from less to more developed regions, we observe smallergradients both across countries and within countries. However, the within-country patterns of countries differ. Our findings underline the variability of educational gradients in women’s fertility, suggest that higher levels of development may be associated with less negative gradients, and call for more in-depth fertility analyses by education at the sub-national level.
    Keywords: Europe, cohort fertility, economic development, education, population registers, regions
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2019–09

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.