nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2020‒05‒04
seven papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. The Geographic Spread of COVID-19 Correlates with Structure of Social Networks as Measured by Facebook By Theresa Kuchler; Dominic Russel; Johannes Stroebel
  2. Covid-19 Infection Externalities: Trading Off Lives vs. Livelihoods By Zachary A. Bethune; Anton Korinek
  3. Gender Differences in Professional Career Dynamics: New Evidence from a Global Law Firm By Ina Ganguli; Martina Viarengo; Ricardo Hausmann
  4. Motherhood Employment Penalty and Gender Wage Gap Across Countries: 1990–2010 By Chu, Yu-Wei Luke; Cuffe, Harold E.; Doan, Nguyen
  5. Birth order pairings and romantic success By Seymour Spilerman; Kieron J. Barclay
  6. The unexplored parental age gap in an era of fertility postponement By Christian Dudel; Yen-hsin Alice Cheng; Sebastian Klüsener
  7. Monetary and time investments in children's education: how do they differ in workless households? By Silvan Has; Jake Anders; Nikki Shure

  1. By: Theresa Kuchler; Dominic Russel; Johannes Stroebel
    Abstract: We use anonymized and aggregated data from Facebook to show that areas with stronger social ties to two early COVID-19 "hotspots" (Westchester County, NY, in the U.S. and Lodi province in Italy) generally have more confirmed COVID-19 cases as of March 30, 2020. These relationships hold after controlling for geographic distance to the hotspots as well as for the income and population density of the regions. These results suggest that data from online social networks may prove useful to epidemiologists and others hoping to forecast the spread of communicable diseases such as COVID-19.
    JEL: I0 R0
    Date: 2020–04
  2. By: Zachary A. Bethune; Anton Korinek
    Abstract: We analyze the externalities that arise when social and economic interactions transmit infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Individually rational agents do not internalize that they impose infection externalities upon others when the disease is transmitted. In an SIR model calibrated to capture the main features of COVID-19 in the US economy, we show that private agents perceive the cost an additional infection to be around $80k whereas the social cost including infection externalities is more than three times higher, around $286k. This misvaluation has stark implications for how society ultimately overcomes the disease: for a population of individually rational agents, the precautionary behavior by the susceptible flattens the curve of infections, but the disease is not overcome until herd immunity is acquired. The resulting economic cost is high; an initial sharp decline in aggregate output followed by a slow recovery over several years. By contrast, the socially optimal approach in our model focuses public policy measures on the infected in order to contain the disease and quickly eradicate it, which produces a much milder recession. If targeting the infected is impossible, the optimal policy in our model is still to aggressively contain and eliminate the disease, and the social cost of an extra infection rises to $586k.
    JEL: E1 E65 H12 H23 I18
    Date: 2020–04
  3. By: Ina Ganguli; Martina Viarengo; Ricardo Hausmann (Center for International Development at Harvard University)
    Abstract: We examine gender gaps in career dynamics in the legal sector using rich panel data from one of the largest global law firms in the world. The law firm studied is representative of multinational law firms and operates in 23 countries. The sample includes countries at different stages of development. We document the cross-country variation in gender gaps and how these gaps have changed over time. We show that while there is gender parity at the entry level in most countries by the end of the period examined, there are persistent raw gender gaps at the top of the organization across all countries. We observe significant heterogeneity among countries in terms of gender gaps in promotions and wages, but the gaps that exist appear to be declining over the period studied. We also observe that women are more likely to report exiting the firm for family and work-life balance reasons, while men report leaving for career advancement. Finally, we show that various measures of national institutions and culture appear to play a role in the differential labor-market outcomes of men and women.
    Keywords: gender gaps; human capital; job mobility; promotion; culture; legal sector
    JEL: I26 J16 J62 M51 Z
    Date: 2020–04
  4. By: Chu, Yu-Wei Luke; Cuffe, Harold E.; Doan, Nguyen
    Abstract: In this paper, we use twin birth as an instrument to estimate the effects of fertility on female labor force participation using 70 censuses from 36 countries in 1990–2010. We document a strong relationship between the gender wage gap and the size of the motherhood penalty. The penalty is smallest in countries with small gender wage gaps. Both cross- and within-country relationships between motherhood penalty and gender wage gap remain strong and negative even when we condition on per-capita GDP and educational attainment. Our estimates suggest that a reduction of 1-percentage-point in the gender wage gap is associated with a decrease of 0.45–0.65 percentage-points in the estimated motherhood employment penalty.
    Keywords: Child penalty, female labor supply, family size, gender wage gap, twin birth
    JEL: J13 J16 J18 J22
    Date: 2020–04–24
  5. By: Seymour Spilerman; Kieron J. Barclay (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: The possibility that birth order influences romantic compatibility has long intrigued the lay public. In the absence of empirical research a marital advise literature has emerged, based on the observations of counselors and clinical psychologists, which purports to explain marital success in terms of birth order pairings. The present paper has two parts. In the first, using population register data from Sweden, we investigate the propositions about birth order and romantic relationships that are prevalent in the popular literature and show they have little validity. In the second, we undertake our own analysis which reveals two major birth order impacts: (a) a pronounced only-child effect, in that couples in which either spouse is an only have a divorce rate notably higher than couples in which neither is an only-child; and (b) for males, a protective effect from divorce from marriage with a first-born female, an outcome that does not hold for females in their own pairing choices.
    Keywords: Sweden, birth order, divorce, siblings
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Christian Dudel (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Yen-hsin Alice Cheng (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Sebastian Klüsener (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Silvan Has (Department of Social Science, UCL Institute of Education, University College London); Jake Anders (Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities, UCL Institute of Education, University College London); Nikki Shure (Department of Social Science, UCL Institute of Education, University College London)
    Abstract: Around 9% of children in the European Union live in households in which no parent is working. Children living in these workless households are of increasing interest to researchers, policy makers, and the wider public. Workless households not only have lower income on average but are also widely considered to be at risk of social exclusion. In this paper, we study the relationship between parents' employment status and their time and monetary investments in their child's education using data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). We use matching methods and regression analysis to compare educational investments made in children from a workless background to children with at least one working parent, but otherwise very similar background characteristics. Our analyses indicate that parents' worklessness is associated with lower monetary investments in their children's education. However, we do not find a difference in monetary investments in the form of commercial tutoring. In terms of time investments, we find that workless parents - especially workless single parents - spend more time helping their child doing homework. These findings could help guide future social policy aimed at equalising opportunities for children living in workless households. Conditional on a deeper understanding of the implications of worklessness on country level, measures such as educational vouchers or stipend programmes specifically aimed at socially disadvantaged children could be introduced.
    Keywords: PISA, educational inequality, worklessness, monetary investments, time invesetments
    JEL: I20 I21 I24
    Date: 2020–04

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