nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2020‒01‒06
eleven papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Maternal Labor Dynamics: Participation, Earnings, and Employer Changes By Danielle Sandler; Nichole Szembrot
  2. Childcare and Maternal Employment: Evidence from Vietnam By Dang, Hai-Anh; Hiraga, Masako; Nguyen, Cuong Viet
  3. The Gender Gap in Education Investment and the Demographic Transition in Developing Countries: Theory and Evidence By Nguyen Thang DAO; Julio Dávila; Angela Greulich
  5. The Employment Effects of Ethnic Politics By Amodio, Francesco; Chiovelli, Giorgio; Hohmann, Sebastian
  6. Detecting the Effects of Early-Life Exposures: Why Fecundity Matters By Nobles, Jenna; Hamoudi, Amar
  7. Robots, Labor Markets, and Family Behavior By Anelli, Massimo; Giuntella, Osea; Stella, Luca
  8. The Effects of Immigration on the Economy: Lessons from the 1920s Border Closure By Ran Abramitzky; Philipp Ager; Leah Platt Boustan; Elior Cohen; Casper W. Hansen
  9. Does Birthplace Diversity Affect Economic Complexity ? Cross-Country Evidence By Dany Bahar; Hillel Rapoport; Riccardo Turati
  10. Abandoned by Coal, Swallowed by Opioids? By Gilbert E. Metcalf; Qitong Wang
  11. New opportunities for comparative male fertility research: Insights from a new data resource based on high-quality birth registers By Dudel, Christian; Klüsener, Sebastian

  1. By: Danielle Sandler; Nichole Szembrot
    Abstract: This paper describes the labor dynamics of U.S. women after they have had their first and subsequent children. We build on the child penalty literature by showing the heterogeneity of the size and pattern of labor force participation and earnings losses by demographic characteristics of mothers and the characteristics of their employers. The analysis uses longitudinal administrative earnings data from the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics database combined with the Survey of Income and Program Participation survey data to identify women, their fertility timing, and employment. We find that women experience a large and persistent decrease in earnings and labor force participation after having their first child. The penalty grows over time, driven by the birth of subsequent children. Non-white mothers, unmarried mothers, and mothers with more education are more likely to return to work following the birth of their first child. Conditional on returning to the labor force, women who change employers earn more after the birth of their first child than women who return to their pre-birth employers. The probability of returning to the pre-birth employer and industry is heterogeneous over both the demographics of mothers and the characteristics of their employers.
    Date: 2019–12
  2. By: Dang, Hai-Anh (World Bank); Hiraga, Masako (World Bank); Nguyen, Cuong Viet (National Economics University Vietnam)
    Abstract: Little literature currently exists on the effects of childcare use on maternal labor market outcomes in a developing country context, and the few recent studies offer mixed results. We attempt to fill these gaps by analyzing several latest rounds of the Vietnam Household Living Standards Survey spanning the early to mid-2010s. Addressing endogeneity issues with a regression discontinuity estimator based on children's birth months, we find a sizable effect of childcare attendance on women's labor market outcomes, including their total annual wages, household income, and poverty status. The effects of childcare attendance differ by women's characteristics and are particularly strong for younger, more educated women. Furthermore, we also find that childcare has a medium-term effect.
    Keywords: gender equality, child care, maternal employment, women's empowerment, Vietnam
    JEL: J13 J16 J22 H42 O0
    Date: 2019–12
  3. By: Nguyen Thang DAO; Julio Dávila; Angela Greulich
    Abstract: We propose a unified growth model linking technology, education investment across genders, and fertility to explain, for 20th century developing countries: (i) the demographic transition, (ii) the improvement in gender equality in education, and (iii) the transition to sustained growth. The mechanism comprises three components. First, technological progress reduces housework time through the creation and diffusion of labor-saving home appliances freeing women's time for childrearing and labor-force participation. Second, as housework time decreases, households invest relatively more in their daughters' education given its higher return due to the initial imbalance thus improving gender equality in education and increasing the opportunity cost of childrearing. Third, the narrowing of the education gender gap increases average human capital, accelerating technological progress. This reinforcing loop results in the transition to a new fertility regime and accelerated economic growth. We provide the empirical confirmation of the model's predictions using data from developing countries in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
    Date: 2019–12
  4. By: Arnaud Chevalier (Royal Holloway University of London); Olivier Marie (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: We study the link between parental selection and child criminality. Following the collapse of the communist regime in 1989, the number of births halved in East Germany. These cohorts became markedly more likely to be arrested as they grew up in reunified Germany. This is observed for both genders and all offence types. We highlight risk attitude as an important reason why certain women did not alter their fertility decisions during this time of economic uncertainty. We also show that this preference for risk was then strongly transmitted to their children which may in turn explain their high criminal propensity.
    Keywords: Fertility, crime, parental selection, economic uncertainty, risk attitude
    JEL: K42 J13
    Date: 2019–12–24
  5. By: Amodio, Francesco (McGill University); Chiovelli, Giorgio (Universidad de Montevideo); Hohmann, Sebastian (Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper studies the labor market consequences of ethnic politics in African democracies. We combine geo-referenced data from 15 countries, 32 parliamentary elections, 62 political parties, 243 ethnic groups, 2,200 electoral constituencies, and 400,000 individuals. We implement a regression discontinuity design that compares individuals from ethnicities connected to parties at the margin of electing a local representative in the national parliament. We find that having a local ethnic politician in parliament increases the likelihood of being employed by 2-3 percentage points. We hypothesize that this effect originates from strategic interactions between ethnic politicians and traditional leaders, the latter retaining the power to allocate land and agricultural jobs in exchange for votes. The available evidence supports this hypothesis. First, the employment effect is concentrated in the historical homelands of ethnicities with strong pre-colonial institutions. Second, individuals from connected ethnicities are more likely to be employed in agriculture, and in those countries where customary land tenure is officially recognized by national legislation. Third, they are also more likely to identify traditional leaders as partisan, and as being mainly responsible for the allocation of land. Evidence shows that ethnic politics shapes the distribution of productive resources across sectors and ethnic groups.
    Keywords: ethnic politics, employment, democracy, traditional leaders, Africa
    JEL: J15 J70 O10 P26 Q15
    Date: 2019–12
  6. By: Nobles, Jenna; Hamoudi, Amar
    Abstract: Prenatal exposures have meaningful effects on health across the lifecourse. Innovations in causal inference have shed new light on these effects. Here, we motivate the importance of innovation in the characterization of fecundity, and prenatal selection in particular. We argue that such innovation is crucial for expanding knowledge of the fetal origins of later life health. Pregnancy loss is common, responsive to environmental factors, and closely related to maternal and fetal health outcomes. As a result, selection into live birth is driven by many of the same exposures that shape the health trajectories of survivors. Lifecourse effects that are inferred without accounting for these dynamics may be significantly distorted by survival bias. We use a set of Monte Carlo simulations with realistic parameters to examine the implications of prenatal survival bias. We find that even in conservatively specified scenarios, true fetal origin effects can be underestimated by 50% or more. In contrast, effects of exposures that reduce the probability of prenatal survival but improve the health of survivors will be overestimated. The absolute magnitude of survival bias can even exceed small effect sizes, resulting in inferences that beneficial exposures are harmful or vice-versa. We also find reason for concern that moderately sized true effects, underestimated due to failure to account for selective survival, are missing from scientific knowledge because they do not clear statistical significance filters. This bias has potential real-world costs; policy decisions about interventions to improve maternal and infant health will be affected by underestimated program impact.
    Date: 2019–12–05
  7. By: Anelli, Massimo (Bocconi University); Giuntella, Osea (University of Pittsburgh); Stella, Luca (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: Robots have radically changed the demand for skills and the role of workers in production at an unprecedented pace, with little scope for human capital adjustments. This has affected the job stability and the economic perspectives of large parts of the population in all industrialized countries. Recent evidence on the US labor market has shown negative effects of robots on employment and wages. In this study, we examine how exposure to robots and its consequences on job stability and economic uncertainty have affected individual demographic behavior. To establish this relationship, we use data from the American Community Survey and the International Federation of Robotics and we adopt an empirical strategy that relies on regional industry specialization before the advent of robots combined with the growth of robot adoption by industry. We first document the differential effect of robots on the labor market opportunities of men and women. We find that in regions that were more exposed to robots, the gender-income and labor-force-participation gaps declined. We then show that US regions affected by intense robot penetration experienced a decrease in new marriages, and an increase in both divorce and cohabitation. While there was no change in overall fertility rate, marital fertility declined, and there was an increase in out-of-wedlock births. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the changes in labor markets triggered by robot adoption increased uncertainty, reduced the relative marriage-market value of men, and the willingness to commit for the long term.
    Keywords: automation, marriage market, divorce, cohabitation, fertility, gender
    JEL: J12 J13 J21 J23 J24
    Date: 2019–12
  8. By: Ran Abramitzky; Philipp Ager; Leah Platt Boustan; Elior Cohen; Casper W. Hansen
    Abstract: In the 1920s, the United States substantially reduced immigrant entry by imposing country-specific quotas. We compare local labor markets with more or less exposure to the national quotas due to differences in initial immigrant settlement. A puzzle emerges: the earnings of existing US-born workers declined after the border closure, despite the loss of immigrant labor supply. We find that more skilled US-born workers – along with unrestricted immigrants from Mexico and Canada – moved into affected urban areas, completely replacing European immigrants. By contrast, the loss of immigrant workers encouraged farmers to shift toward capital-intensive agriculture and discouraged entry from unrestricted workers.
    JEL: J6 J61 N21
    Date: 2019–12
  9. By: Dany Bahar (The Brookings Institution, Harvard CID, CESifo and IZA); Hillel Rapoport (Paris School of Economics, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and CEPII); Riccardo Turati (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: We empirically investigate the relationship between a country's economic complexity and the diversity in the birthplaces of its immigrants. Our cross-country analysis suggests that birthplace diversity is strongly and positively associated with economic complexity. This holds particularly for diversity among highly educated migrants and for countries at intermediate levels of economic complexity. The results are robust to accounting for previous trends in birthplace diversity as well as to using alternatives diversity measures. We address endogeneity concerns by instrumenting diversity through predicted stocks from a pseudo-gravity model as well as from a standard shift-share approach. Finally, we provide evidence suggesting that birthplace diversity boosts economic complexity by increasing the diversification of the host country's export basket.
    Keywords: economic complexity, birthplace diversity, immigration, growth
    JEL: F22 O31 O33
    Date: 2019–11–30
  10. By: Gilbert E. Metcalf; Qitong Wang
    Abstract: Opioid addition and mortality skyrocketed over the past decade. A casual look at the geographic incidence of opioid mortality shows sharply higher mortality rates in the Appalachian region, especially in coal-mining areas. This has led observers to make a link that was characterized by one newspaper as “abandoned by coal, swallowed by opioids.” We test that theory using restricted death data and mine level coal production data. Specifically, we examine whether higher reliance on coal mining in a county’s economy leads to higher or lower opioid mortality. We find a positive relationship between the share of coal miners among total local labor force and county-level opioid mortality rates. This contradicts the “abandoned by coal, swallowed by opioids” story. Rather our results suggest that the higher rates of injury in underground coal mining (in particular) lead to greater amounts of opioid consumption and mortality. An implication is that the decline in coal mining in the United States may have a positive spillover in the form of reduced mortality from opioid use.
    JEL: I1 Q32 Q35
    Date: 2019–12
  11. By: Dudel, Christian (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research); Klüsener, Sebastian
    Abstract: Obtaining cross-country comparative perspectives on male fertility has long been difficult, as male fertility is usually less well registered than female fertility. This paper presents analyses based on a new male fertility database providing data on more than 330 million live births. This new resource, made available in the Human Fertility Collection, allows for the first time a comparative perspective on male fertility in high-income countries using high-quality birth register data. Contrasting male and female fertility trends across 17 countries, we show that trends in disparities between male and female period fertility rates are driven to a large degree by the interplay of parental age and cohort size differences. For parental age differences at childbirth, we observe a tendency toward smaller disparities, except in Eastern Europe. This observation fits with expectations based on gender theories. However, variation across countries also seems to be driven by factors other than gender equality.
    Date: 2019–11–30

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