nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2020‒07‒13
six papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Males at the Tails: How Socioeconomic Status Shapes the Gender Gap By David Autor; David N. Figlio; Krzysztof Karbownik; Jeffrey Roth; Melanie Wasserman
  2. Italian Families in the 21st Century: Gender Gaps in Time Use and Their Evolution By Barigozzi, Francesca; Di Timoteo, Cesare; Monfardini, Chiara
  3. Cash Transfer Programs and Household Labor Supply By Del Boca, Daniela; Pronzato, Chiara; Sorrenti, Giuseppe
  4. Subjective Expectations and Demand for Contraception By Grant Miller; Áureo de Paula; Christine Valente
  5. Workplace presenteeism, job substitutability and gender inequality By Azmat, Ghazala; Hensvik, Lena; Rosenqvist, Olof
  6. The Macroeconomics of Epidemics By Eichenbaum, Martin; Rebelo, Sérgio; Trabandt, Mathias

  1. By: David Autor; David N. Figlio; Krzysztof Karbownik; Jeffrey Roth; Melanie Wasserman
    Abstract: Analyzing Florida birth certificates matched to school records, we document that the female advantage in childhood behavioral and academic outcomes is driven by gender gaps at the extremes of the outcome distribution. Using unconditional quantile regression, we investigate whether family socioeconomic status (SES) differentially affects the lower tail outcomes of boys. We find that the differential effects of family SES on boys’ outcomes are concentrated in the parts of the distribution where the gender gaps are most pronounced. Accounting for the disproportionate effects of family environment on boys at the tails substantially narrows the gender gap in high school dropout.
    JEL: I24 J12 J13 J16
    Date: 2020–05
  2. By: Barigozzi, Francesca (University of Bologna); Di Timoteo, Cesare (Glovo); Monfardini, Chiara (University of Bologna)
    Abstract: We estimate gender gaps in the allocation of time by Italian adults and their trends over the years 2002-2014. We disentangle time use in weekdays and weekend days and analyse separately full-time working parents with young children, representing the subsample more mindful of gender parity. In the complete sample, the positive gap (females-males) in time devoted to Household work and the negative gap in Market work and Leisure have narrowed, while the positive gap in time devoted to Child care (Basic and Quality time together) remained constant. In 2014, family duties still appear heavily unbalanced. In the subsample, full-time working mothers devote to total work (paid and unpaid) 13 hours per week more and to Leisure 11 hours per week less than their partners. On the positive side, the gender gap in Quality child care exhibits a reversed sign, which is driven by fathers' engagement in weekend days.
    Keywords: child care, gender gaps, time use, household work
    JEL: J13 J22 H31
    Date: 2020–06
  3. By: Del Boca, Daniela; Pronzato, Chiara; Sorrenti, Giuseppe
    Abstract: Employment helps reduce the risk of poverty. Through a randomized controlled trial, we evaluate the impact of a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to low-income families with dependent children on household members' labor supply. Recipients are required to attend labor-market-oriented mentoring courses as a condition of the transfer. One year after admission to the program, fathers assigned to the CCT program are more likely to work (+14 percent) than fathers assigned to an unconditional cash transfer program or to a pure control group. No effect arises for mothers. Results seem to be explained by improved family networks and increased parental investments in activities that enhance labor market opportunities.
    Keywords: conditional cash transfers; Household Labor Supply; mentoring courses; poverty
    JEL: I10 I20 I31 J24
    Date: 2020–03
  4. By: Grant Miller; Áureo de Paula; Christine Valente
    Abstract: Nearly one-quarter of married, fertile-age women in Sub-Saharan Africa say that they want to avoid pregnancy but are not using contraceptives. To the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first to study this puzzle in a developing country using detailed data on women’s subjective probabilistic beliefs about contraception and contraceptive attributes. Policy counterfactuals based on a structural model suggest that costly interventions such as eliminating supply constraints would only have modest effects on contraceptive use. Alternatively, increasing partners’ approval of methods, aligning partners’ fertility preferences with women’s, and correcting women’s expectations about pregnancy risk absent contraception have the potential to increase use considerably. We provide additional empirical support for this last result through a before/after experiment in which we find that simply (and effectively) informing women about underlying pregnancy risk increases stated intentions to use contraception substantially, in line with our initial estimates.
    JEL: D83 J13 J16
    Date: 2020–05
  5. By: Azmat, Ghazala (Sciences Po); Hensvik, Lena (Uppsala University, Department of Economics); Rosenqvist, Olof (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)
    Abstract: Following the arrival of the first child, women’s absence rates soar and become less predictable due to the greater frequency of their own sickness and the need to care for sick children. In this paper, we argue that this fall in presenteeism in the workplace hurts women’s wages, not only indirectly and gradually, through a slower accumulation of human capital, but also immediately, through a direct negative effect on productivity in unique jobs (i.e., jobs with low substitutability). Although both presenteeism and uniqueness are highly rewarded, we document that women’s likelihood of holding jobs with low substitutability decreases substantially relative to men’s after the arrival of the first child. This gap persists over time, with important long-run wage implications. We highlight that the parenthood wage penalty for women could be reduced by organizing work in such a way that more employees have tasks that, at least in the short run, can be performed satisfactorily by other employees in the workplace.
    Keywords: first child; presenteeism; couples; job substitutability; gender wage gap
    JEL: J16 J22
    Date: 2020–06–23
  6. By: Eichenbaum, Martin; Rebelo, Sérgio; Trabandt, Mathias
    Abstract: We extend the canonical epidemiology model to study the interaction between economic decisions and epidemics. Our model implies that people's decision to cut back on consumption and work reduces the severity of the epidemic, as measured by total deaths. These decisions exacerbate the size of the recession caused by the epidemic. The competitive equilibrium is not socially optimal because infected people do not fully internalize the effect of their economic decisions on the spread of the virus. In our benchmark model, the best simple containment policy increases the severity of the recession but saves roughly half a million lives in the U.S.
    Keywords: containment policies; COVID-19; Epidemic; Recessions
    JEL: E1 H0 I1
    Date: 2020–03

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