nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2020‒02‒10
seven papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. The Economic Consequences of Being Denied an Abortion By Sarah Miller; Laura R. Wherry; Diana Greene Foster
  2. Locus of Control and Female Labor Force Participation By Juliane Hennecke
  3. Parental Leave Reform and Long-run Earnings of Mothers By Corinna Frodermann; Katharina Wrohlich; Aline Zucco
  4. Coordinated Work Schedules and the Gender Wage Gap By German Cubas; Chinhui Juhn; Pedro Silos
  5. Informal caregiving and quality of life among older adults: Prospective analyses from the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH) By Sacco, Lawrence B; König, Stefanie; Westerlund, Hugo; Platts, Loretta G.
  6. Social Security Is a Great Equalizer By Wenliang Hou; Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher
  7. Social Security Expansion and Neighborhood Cohesion: Evidence from Community-Living Older Adults in China By Bradley, Elizabeth; Chen, Xi; Tang, Gaojie

  1. By: Sarah Miller; Laura R. Wherry; Diana Greene Foster
    Abstract: Restrictions on abortion are pervasive, yet relatively little is known about the financial and economic impact of being denied an abortion on pregnant women who seek one. This paper evaluates the economic consequences of being denied an abortion on the basis of the gestational age of the pregnancy. Our analysis relies on new linkages to ten years of administrative credit report data for participants in the Turnaway Study, the first study to collect high-quality, longitudinal data on women receiving or being denied a wanted abortion in the United States. Some women had pregnancies close to the facility's gestational age limit, but below it, and received a wanted abortion (Near Limit Group). A second group of women had pregnancies just over the facility's gestational age limit and were turned away without receiving an abortion (Turnaway Group). Using these linked data, we compare differences in credit report outcomes for the two groups of women over time using an event study design. We find evidence of a large and persistent increase in financial distress for the women who were denied an abortion that is sustained for the 6 years following the intended abortion.
    JEL: I1 I18
    Date: 2020–01
  2. By: Juliane Hennecke (NZ Work Research Institute, Auckland University of Technology)
    Abstract: Research on female labor force participation has a long tradition in economic research. While many open questions have been answered on the gender gap in labor participation, the prevalent heterogeneity between women still keeps economists busy. While traditional economic theory attributed unexplained differences in decison-making to idiosyncratic shocks, modern empirical approaches are more and more intersted in investigating this psychological black box behind participation decisions. This paper contributes to the research by discussing the role of the presonality trait locus of control (LOC), a measure of an individual's belief about the causal relationship between behavior and live outcomes, for for differences in participation probabilities between women. In line with the existing literature, an important role of LOC for independence preferences as well as subjective beliefs about returns to investments are proposed. The connection between LOC and participation decisions is tested using German survey data, finding that internal women are on average more likely to be available for market production and this higher availability aso translates into higher employment probabilities. Addisitonal analyses identify a strong heterogeneity of the relationship with respect to underlying monetary constraints and social working norms.
    Keywords: locus of control, labor supply, female labor force participation, social norms, personality, preferences
    JEL: D91 D13 J21 J22 J16
    Date: 2019–12
  3. By: Corinna Frodermann (Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany); Katharina Wrohlich (DIW Berlin); Aline Zucco (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: Paid parental leave schemes have been shown to increase women’s employment rates but decrease their wages in case of extended leave durations. In view of these potential trade-offs, many countries are discussing the optimal design of parental leave policies. We analyze the impact of a major parental leave reform on mothers’ long-term earnings. The 2007 German parental leave reform replaced a means-tested benefit with a more generous earnings-related benefit that is granted for a shorter period of time. Additionally, a “daddy quota” of two months was introduced. To identify the causal effect of this policy on long-run earnings of mothers, we use a difference-in-difference approach that compares labor market outcomes of mothers who gave birth just before and right after the reform and nets out seasonal effects by including the year before. Using administrative social security data, we confirm previous findings and show that the average duration of employment interruptions increased for high-income mothers. Nevertheless, we find a positive long-run effect on earnings for mothers in this group. This effect cannot be explained by changes in working hours, observed characteristics, changes in employer stability or fertility patterns. Descriptive evidence suggests that the stronger involvement of fathers, incentivized by the “daddy months”, could have facilitated mothers’ re-entry into the labor market and thereby increased earnings. For mothers with low prior-to-birth earnings, however, we do not find any beneficial labor market effects of this parental leave reform.
    Keywords: parental leave, wages, labor supply
    JEL: H31 J13 J22 J24 J31
    Date: 2020–01
  4. By: German Cubas (Department of Economics, University of Houston); Chinhui Juhn (Department of Economics, University of Houston); Pedro Silos (Department of Economics, Temple University)
    Abstract: Using U.S. time diary data we construct occupation-level measures of coordinated work schedules based on the concentration of hours worked during peak hours of the day. A higher degree of coordination is associated with higher wages but also a larger gender wage gap. In the data women with children allocate more time to household care and are penalized by missing work during peak hours. An equilibrium model with these key elements generates a gender wage gap of 6.6 percent or approximately 30 percent of the wage gap observed among married men and women with children. If the need for coordination is equalized across occupations and set to a relatively low value (i.e. Health care support), the gender gap would fall by more than half to 2.7 percent.
    Keywords: Labor Supply, Occupations, Coordination, Work Schedules, Time Use, Gender Wage Gap
    JEL: J2 J3 E2
    Date: 2020–01
  5. By: Sacco, Lawrence B (Stockholm University); König, Stefanie; Westerlund, Hugo; Platts, Loretta G. (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Providing unpaid informal care to someone who is ill or disabled is a common experience in later life. While a supportive and potentially rewarding role, informal care can become a time and emotionally demanding activity, which may hinder older adults’ quality of life. In a context of rising demand for informal carers, we investigated how caregiving states and transitions are linked to overall levels and changes in quality of life, and how the relationship varies according to care intensity and burden. We used fixed effects and change analyses to examine six-wave panel data (2008–2018) from the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH, n=5076; ages 50–74). The CASP-19 scale is used to assess both positive and negative aspects of older adults’ quality of life. Caregiving was related with lower levels of quality of life in a graded manner, with those providing more weekly hours and reporting greater burden experiencing larger declines. Two-year transitions corresponding to starting, ceasing and continuing care provision were associated with lower levels of quality of life, compared to continuously not caregiving. Starting and ceasing caregiving were associated with negative and positive changes in quality of life score, respectively, suggesting that cessation of care leads to improvements despite persistent lower overall levels of quality of life. Measures to reduce care burden or time spent providing informal care are likely to improve the quality of life of older people.
    Date: 2020–02–03
  6. By: Wenliang Hou; Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher
    Abstract: As the U.S. population becomes more diverse, it will be increasingly important for policymakers addressing Social Security’s solvency to understand the extent to which various racial and ethnic groups rely on Social Security versus other sources of retirement wealth. Yet, to date, studies on retirement wealth have tended not to focus on race and ethnicity and have largely ignored the role of Social Security. This brief, based on a recent paper, uses data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to document the retirement resources of white, black, and Hispanic households at various points in the wealth distribution for five cohorts of 51-56 year olds between 1992 and 2016. The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section explains the calculation of retirement wealth. The second section shows how Social Security reduces retirement wealth inequality by race and ethnicity for typical households in each cohort. The third section looks at the impact of Social Security on retirement wealth inequality across wealth quintiles in a single year. The fourth section shifts from wealth to income to examine replacement rates – the ratio of projected retirement income to pre-retirement earnings. The final section concludes that, as policymakers consider changes to bring Social Security into fiscal balance, the distributional impact of any benefit cuts with respect to minority groups may be worth considering.
    Date: 2020–01
  7. By: Bradley, Elizabeth; Chen, Xi; Tang, Gaojie
    Abstract: Grants and services provided by the government may crowd out informal arrangements, thus weakening informal caring relations and networks. In this paper, we examine the impact of social security expansion on neighborhood cohesion of elders using China’s New Rural Pension Scheme (NRPS), one of the largest existing pension program in the world. Since its launch in 2009, more than 400 million Chinese have enrolled in NRPS. We use two waves of China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) to examine the effect of pension receipt on two dimensions of neighborhood cohesion among older adults, i.e. participation in collective recreational activities (e.g., socializing and organizational activities) and altruistic activities (e.g., helping those in need in the community), and the frequencies of these activities. Employing an instrumental variable approach, our empirical strategy addresses the endogeneity of pension receipt via exploiting geographic variation in pension program roll-out. We find evidence that receiving pension only slightly reduces collective recreational activities while significantly crowding out altruistic activities in the communities.
    Keywords: neighborhood cohesion,pension,crowd out,diversity
    JEL: H55 I38 O22
    Date: 2020

This nep-dem issue is ©2020 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.