nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2020‒06‒29
five papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Death, sex and fertility: Female infanticide in rural Spain, 1750-1950 By Francisco J. Beltrán Tapia; Francisco J. Marco-Gracia
  2. Working for a Living? Women and Children's Labour Inputs in England, 1260-1850 By Horrell, Sara; Humphries, Jane; Weisdorf, Jacob
  3. Gender gaps and the structure of local labor markets By Petrongolo, Barbara; Ronchi, Maddalena
  4. Do Immigrants Pay a Price When Marrying Natives? Lessons from the US Time Use Survey By Grossbard, Shoshana; Vernon, Victoria
  5. Do Generous Parental Leave Policies Help Top Female Earners? By Corekcioglu, Gozde; Francesconi, Marco; Kunze, Astrid

  1. By: Francisco J. Beltrán Tapia (Norwegian University of Science and Technology); Francisco J. Marco-Gracia (Universidad de Zaragoza)
    Abstract: Relying on longitudinal micro data from a Spanish rural region between 1750 and 1950, this article evidences that families mortally neglected a significant fraction of their female babies. On the one hand, baptism records exhibit exceptionally high sex ratios at birth, especially during the 19th century. On the other hand, our data shows that having no previous male siblings increased both the probability of male baptisms and female mortality during the first day of life. These findings seem to be concentrated at higher parities and among landless and semi-landless families which were subject to harsher economic conditions and therefore more likely to resort to extreme decisions under difficult circumstances. Crucially, the fact that the results are robust to employing data from birth and death registers rules out the possibility that under-registration explains this pattern. Lastly, although these practices were definitely more important during the traditional demographic regime, discriminatory patterns affecting female mortality shortly after birth were still visible during the first decades of the 20th century, thus proving that son preference continued to be a strong cultural norm within these societies.
    Keywords: Sex ratios, Infant mortality, Infanticide, Gender discrimination
    JEL: I14 I15 J13 J16 N33
    Date: 2020–06
  2. By: Horrell, Sara; Humphries, Jane; Weisdorf, Jacob
    Abstract: We consider the living standards, supplies of child-labour, and poor-relief needs among intact and broken working-class families of various sizes in historical England. We estimate family incomes without resort to the usual day wages and ahistorical assumptions about male labour inputs. We also incorporate women and children's wages and labour alongside consumption smoothing using a life-cycle approach. Living standards varied considerably over time and by family structure and dependency ratio. Small and intact families enjoyed high and rising living standards after 1700. Large and broken families depended on child labour and poor relief up until 1830.
    Keywords: Child labour; Consumption Smoothing; Costs-of-Living; Dependency Ratio; Life Cycle; living standards; Poor Relief; prices; wages
    JEL: J22 N13 O10
    Date: 2020–04
  3. By: Petrongolo, Barbara; Ronchi, Maddalena
    Abstract: In this paper we discuss some strands of the recent literature on the evolution of gender gaps and their driving forces. We will revisit key stylized facts about gender gaps in employment and wages in a few high-income countries. We then discuss and build on one gender-neutral force behind the rise in female employment, namely the rise of the service economy, which is also closely related to the polarization of female employment and to the geographic distribution of jobs, which is expected to be especially relevant for female employment prospects. We finally turn to currently debated causes of remaining gender gaps and discuss existing evidence on labor market consequences of women's heavier caring responsibilities in the household. In particular, we highlight how women's stronger distaste for commuting time may feed into gender pay gaps by making women more willing to trade off steeper wage gains for shorter commutes.
    Keywords: gender gaps; Industry Structure; Local Labor Markets
    JEL: J16 J21 J31 J61
    Date: 2020–04
  4. By: Grossbard, Shoshana (San Diego State University); Vernon, Victoria (Empire State College)
    Abstract: Using the American Time Use Survey for the years 2003-18 we compare the allocation of time of native men and women married to immigrants with that of their counterparts in all-native couples. We find that when intermarried to a native some immigrant women pay an assimilation price to the extent that, compared to native women in all-native marriages, they work longer hours at paid work, household chores or both, while their husbands do no extra work. In some cases they work an extra hour per day. Immigrant men don't pay such price. Some work 34 minutes less at household chores than native men in all-native marriages, while the native women who marry immigrant men seem to pay a price relatively to what their situation would be in an all-native marriage. An explanation based on the operation of competitive marriage markets works for immigrant women but not for immigrant men. Traditional gender-based privileges may allow immigrant men to prevent native women from capturing a price for the value that intermarriage generates for their husbands. Such 'male dominance' scenario also helps explain why immigrant men married to native daughters of immigrants from the same region get more benefits from intermarriage than other immigrants.
    Keywords: time use, immigration, household production, intermarriage, marriage market
    JEL: D13 J12 J22
    Date: 2020–06
  5. By: Corekcioglu, Gozde (Kadir Has University); Francesconi, Marco (University of Essex); Kunze, Astrid (Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: Generous government-mandated parental leave is generally viewed as an effective policy to support women's careers around childbirth. But does it help women to reach top positions in the upper pay echelon of their firms? Using longitudinal employer-employee matched data for the entire Norwegian population, we address this question exploiting a series of reforms that expanded paid leave from 30 weeks in 1989 to 52 weeks in 1993. The representation of women in top positions has only moderately increased over time, and career profiles of female top earners within firms are significantly different from those of their male counterparts. The reforms did not affect, and possibly decreased, the probability for women to be at the top over their life cycle. We discuss some implications of this result to put into perspective the design of new family-friendly policy interventions.
    Keywords: top earners, parental leave, women, regression discontinuity
    JEL: J18 J21 J22 J24 M14
    Date: 2020–05

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