nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2020‒08‒10
ten papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. The Missing Men. World War I and Female Labor Force Participation By Jörn Boehnke; Victor Gay
  2. The Effects of Immigration on the Economy: Lessons from the 1920s Border Closure By Abramitzky, Ran; Ager, Philipp; Boustan, Leah; Cohen, Elior David; Hansen, Casper Worm
  3. Labor Market Frictions and Lowest Low Fertility By Guner, Nezih; Kaya, Ezgi; Sánchez-Marcos, Virginia
  4. Are marriage-related taxes and Social Security benefits holding back female labor supply? By Borella, Margherita; De Nardi, Mariacristina; Yang, Fang
  5. Cohabitation vs Marriage: Mating Strategies by Education in the USA By Fabio Blasutto
  6. Risky moms, risky kids? Fertility and crime after the fall of the wall By Chevalier, Arnaud; Marie, Olivier
  7. Nonlinear Occupations and Female Labor Supply Over Time By Youngsoo Jang; Minchul Yum
  8. The Long-Term Effects of California's 2004 Paid Family Leave Act on Women's Careers: Evidence from U.S. Tax Data By Bailey, Martha; Byker, Tanya; Patel, Elena; Ramnath, Shanthi
  9. How Family Transfers Crowd-out Social Assistance in Germany By Edwin Fourrier-Nicolai
  10. Couples’ educational pairings, selection into parenthood, and second birth progressions By Natalie Nitsche; Alessandra Trimarchi; Marika Jalovaara

  1. By: Jörn Boehnke (UC Davis - University of California [Davis] - University of California); Victor Gay (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, IAST - Institute of Advanced Studies in Toulouse)
    Abstract: Using spatial variation in World War I military fatalities in France, we show that the scarcity of men due to the war generated an upward shift in female labor force participation that persisted throughout the interwar period. Available data suggest that increased female labor supply accounts for this result. In particular, deteriorated marriage market conditions for single women and negative income shocks to war widows induced many of these women to enter the labor force after the war. In contrast, demand factors such as substitution toward female labor to compensate for the scarcity of male labor were of second-order importance.
    Keywords: Economic history,World War I,Economics,Female labor force participation,Sex ratio,Marriage market
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Abramitzky, Ran; Ager, Philipp; Boustan, Leah; Cohen, Elior David; Hansen, Casper Worm
    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 decline 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 - move into affected urban areas, completely replacing European immigrants. By contrast, the loss of immigrant workers encouraged farmers to shift toward capital-intensive agriculture and discourage entry from unrestricted workers.
    Keywords: Immigration Restrictions; labor mobility; Local Labor Markets
    JEL: J61 J70 N32
    Date: 2019–12
  3. By: Guner, Nezih; Kaya, Ezgi; Sánchez-Marcos, Virginia
    Abstract: The total fertility rate is well below its replacement level of 2.1 children in high-income countries. Why do women choose such low fertility levels? We study how labor market frictions affect the fertility of college-educated women. We focus on two frictions: uncertainty created by dual labor markets (the coexistence of jobs with temporary and open-ended contracts) and inflexibility of work schedules. Using rich administrative data from the Spanish Social Security records, we show that women are less likely to be promoted to permanent jobs than men. Temporary contracts are also associated with a lower probability of first birth. With Time Use data, we also show that women with children are less likely to work in jobs with split-shift schedules, which come with a fixed time cost. We then build a life-cycle model in which married women decide whether to work or not, how many children to have, and when to have them. In the model, women face a trade-off between having children early and waiting and building their careers. We show that reforms that reduce the labor market duality and eliminate split-shift schedules increase the completed fertility of college-educated from 1.52 to 1.88. These reforms enable women to have more children and have them early in their life-cycle. They also increase the labor force participation of women and eliminate the employment gap between mothers and non-mothers.
    Keywords: Fertility; Labor market frictions; Split-Shift Schedules; Temporary contracts
    JEL: E24 J13 J21 J22
    Date: 2019–11
  4. By: Borella, Margherita; De Nardi, Mariacristina; Yang, Fang
    Abstract: In the United States, both taxes and old age Social Security benefits depend on one's marital status and tend to discourage the labor supply of the secondary earner. To what extent are these provisions holding back female labor supply? We estimate a rich life cycle model of labor supply and savings for couples and singles using the method of simulated moments (MSM) on the 1945 and 1955 birth-year cohorts and use it to evaluate what would happen without these provisions. Our model matches well the life cycle profiles of labor market participation, hours, and savings for married and single people and generates plausible elasticities of labor supply. Eliminating marriage-related provisions drastically increases the participation of married women over their entire life cycle, reduces the participation of married men after age 60, and increases the savings of couples in both cohorts, including the later one, which has similar participation to that of more recent generations. If the resulting government surplus were used to lower income taxation, there would be large welfare gains for the vast majority of the population.
    Date: 2019–12
  5. By: Fabio Blasutto (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: Cohabiting without being married is a common practice in the United States, especially among noncollege-educated individuals. I provide a theoretical rationale for the different mating behaviors by education, building a life-cycle model of partnership formation in which cohabitation can be both an investment good, useful to learn about the quality of prospective marriage partners, and a consumption good, namely a cheap substitute to marriage. A structural estimation of this model suggests that the composition of labor market earnings accounts for the differential likelihood to cohabit and to marry of people with different education levels, by influencing their demand for commitment.
    Keywords: Marriage, Cohabitation, Divorce, Heterogeneous Agents, Match Quality Models, Education, Structural Estimation
    JEL: D83 J12
    Date: 2020–07–23
  6. By: Chevalier, Arnaud; Marie, Olivier
    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: crime; economic uncertainty; Fertility; parental selection; risk attitude
    JEL: J13 K42
    Date: 2019–12
  7. By: Youngsoo Jang; Minchul Yum
    Abstract: High hours worked and higher returns to longer hours worked are common in many occupations, namely nonlinear occupations (Goldin 2014). Over the last four decades, both the share and relative wage premium of nonlinear occupations have been rising. Females have been facing rising experience premiums especially in nonlinear occupations. To quantitatively explore how these changes affected female labor supply over time, we build a quantitative, dynamic general equilibrium model of occupational choice and labor supply at both extensive and intensive margins. A decomposition analysis finds that the rising returns to experience, especially in nonlinear occupations, and technical change biased towards nonlinear occupations are important to explain the intensive margin of female labor supply that keeps rising even in the recent period during which female employment stagnates. Finally, a counterfactual experiment suggests that if the nonlinearities were to be gradually vanishing, female employment could have been higher at the expense of significantly lower intensive margin labor supply.
    Keywords: Female labor supply, occupational choice, Roy model, experience premium
    JEL: E2 J2 J1
    Date: 2020–07
  8. By: Bailey, Martha; Byker, Tanya; Patel, Elena; Ramnath, Shanthi
    Abstract: This paper uses IRS tax data to evaluate the short- and long-term effects of California's 2004 Paid Family Leave Act (PFLA) on women's careers. Our research design exploits the increased availability of paid leave for women giving birth in the third quarter of 2004 (just after PFLA was implemented). These mothers were 18 percentage points more likely to use paid leave but otherwise identical to multiple comparison groups in pre-birth demographic, marital, and work characteristics. We find little evidence that PFLA increased women's employment, wage earnings, or attachment to employers. For new mothers, taking up PFLA reduced employment by 7 percent and lowered annual wages by 8 percent six to ten years after giving birth. Overall, PFLA tended to reduce the number of children born and, by decreasing mothers' time at work, increase time spent with children.
    JEL: J08 J16 J71
    Date: 2019–12
  9. By: Edwin Fourrier-Nicolai (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, EHESS, Ecole Centrale, AMSE, Marseille, France.)
    Abstract: The non-take-up of social assistance has been receiving increased attention among policy makers in recent years as it would apparently underpin the effectiveness of public intervention in alleviating poverty. We examine whether receipt of private transfers affects the household decision to take-up social assistance in Germany between 2009 and 2011. We exploit the follow-up of households in the SOEP to reconstruct family links and estimate a model of welfare participation with endogenous private transfers and sample selection of the instruments. We find that 20% of the non-take-up rate is due to monetary substitution of private transfers lowering the welfare program costs. However, we find that social assistance is more effective in alleviating poverty and its intensity than private transfers.
    Keywords: welfare participation, private transfers, family networks
    JEL: D31 D64 I38
    Date: 2020–06
  10. By: Natalie Nitsche (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Alessandra Trimarchi (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Marika Jalovaara
    Abstract: Educational pairings, in other words the combination of educational levels of both partners, have been shown to have meaningful implications for couples’ childbearing behavior. Specifically, in a variety of developed countries, second birth transition rates appear to be higher among homogamous highly educated couples than among heterogamous couples consisting of one highly educated partner and one lower educated partner. However, the mechanisms that underlie these findings are not well-understood. We extend this literature by proposing and testing three potential mechanisms. We investigate whether differentials in second birth rates by educational pairing are, first, an artefact created by overly broad education categories, which mask that these differentials are driven by ‘low pooled resources’ or ‘large distance’ couples; or, second, driven by the educational upgrading processes of the partners; or, third, due to unobserved heterogeneity among couples. Using data from Finnish registers, we indeed find that second birth rates are higher as the pooled resources of couples increase. However, we also find that differentials among the higher educated couples hinge upon ‘low pooled resources’ couples; meaning that the partner’s education matters in predicting the risk of a second birth transition mainly if the partner has low tertiary education. Furthermore, we show that adding a common term across birth episodes to address unobserved heterogeneity renders most pairing differentials among the higher educated groups insignificant, while pairing differentials remain large and significant among the lower educated groups.
    Keywords: Finland, fertility
    JEL: J1 Z0
    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.