nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2021‒05‒10
seven papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. The Intergenerational Elasticity of Earnings: Exploring the Mechanisms By Bolt, Uta; French, Eric Baird; Maccuish, Jamie; ODea, Cormac
  2. Inferring "missing girls" from child sex ratios in European historical census data: A conservative approach By Beltrán Tapia, Francisco; Gruber, Siegfried; Ogórek, Bartosz; Szoltysek, Mikolaj
  3. Age Discrimination across the Business Cycle By Dahl, Gordon; Knepper, Matthew
  4. Racial Diversity, Electoral Preferences, and the Supply of Policy: The Great Migration and Civil Rights By Calderon, Alvaro; Fouka, Vasiliki; Tabellini, Marco
  5. Women's Education, Fertility and Children's Health during a Gender Equalization Process: Evidence from a Child Labor Reform in Spain By Bellés-Obrero, Cristina; Cabrales, Antonio; Jimenez-Martin, Sergi; Vall-Castello, Judit
  6. From Mancession to Shecession: Women's Employment in Regular and Pandemic Recessions By Alon, Titan; Coskun, Sena; Doepke, Matthias; Koll, David; Tertilt, Michèle
  7. The Impact of the Female Advantage in Education on the Marriage Market By Rodríguez-González, Ana

  1. By: Bolt, Uta; French, Eric Baird; Maccuish, Jamie; ODea, Cormac
    Abstract: Using data covering a single cohort's first 55 years of life, we show that most of the intergenerational elasticity of earnings (IGE) is explained by differences in: years of schooling, cognitive skills, investments of parental time and school quality, and family circumstances during childhood. To decompose the fraction of the IGE explained by each of these channels, we implement a multi-level mediation analysis combined with a latent factor framework that accounts for measurement error. Multilevel mediation analysis allows us to assess not only the direct effect of each channel on the IGE, but also its indirect effects working through the other channels, thus providing an in-depth understanding of the link between parents' and children's earnings. Of these channels, we show that the main driver of the IGE is increased levels of parental investments received by children of high income parents early in their lives, which encourages greater cognitive development and lifetime earnings.
    Keywords: cognitive skills; Intergenerational Elasticity of Earnings; Parental investments
    JEL: C38 I24 J24
    Date: 2021–03
  2. By: Beltrán Tapia, Francisco; Gruber, Siegfried; Ogórek, Bartosz; Szoltysek, Mikolaj
    Abstract: The topic of "missing girls" in historical Europe has not only been mostly neglected, but previous research addressing this issue usually took the available information too lightly, either rejecting or accepting the claims that there was discrimination against female children, without assessing the possibility that the observed child sex ratios could be attributable to chance, mortality differentials, or registration quality. This article contributes to this discussion by (1) using a novel dataset of historical child sex ratios that covers a large part of the European geography between 1700 and 1950; and (2) explicitly considering the effects of random variability, demographic variation, and faulty enumeration in the analysis. Our results provide evidence that some of these European populations had child sex ratios well above the levels usually considered "natural". Although part of this variation is indeed shown to be due to random noise and structural features related to infant mortality differentials and census quality, some of the observed sex ratios are too high to be attributed solely to these proximate factors. Thus, these findings suggest that there are behavioural explanations for some of the unbalanced sex ratios observed in our data.
    Keywords: Gender Discrimination; health; Infant and child mortality; Sex ratios
    JEL: I14 I15 J13 J16 N33
    Date: 2021–02
  3. By: Dahl, Gordon; Knepper, Matthew
    Abstract: We test whether age discrimination rises during recessions using two complementary analyses. EEOC microdata reveal that age-related firing and hiring charges rise by 3.4% and 1.4%, respectively, for each percentage point increase in a state-industry's monthly unemployment. Though the opportunity cost of filing falls, the fraction of meritorious claims increases-a sufficient condition for rising discrimination under mild assumptions. Second, we repurpose data from hiring correspondence studies conducted across different cities and time periods during the recovery from the Great Recession. Each percentage point increase in local unemployment reduces the callback rate for older versus younger women by 15%.
    Keywords: age discrimination; Recessions
    JEL: J23 J64 J71
    Date: 2021–02
  4. By: Calderon, Alvaro (Stanford University); Fouka, Vasiliki (Stanford University); Tabellini, Marco (Harvard Business School)
    Abstract: Between 1940 and 1970 more than 4 million African Americans moved from the South to the North of the United States, during the Second Great Migration. This same period witnessed the struggle and eventual success of the civil rights movement in ending institutionalized racial discrimination. This paper shows that the Great Migration and support for civil rights are causally linked. Predicting Black inflows with a version of the shift-share instrument, we find that the Great Migration increased support for the Democratic Party and encouraged pro-civil rights activism in northern and western counties. These effects were driven by both Black and white voters, and were stronger in counties with a lower history of discrimination and with a larger working class and unionized white population. Mirroring the changes in the electorate, non-southern Congress members became more likely to promote civil rights legislation. Yet, these average effects mask heterogeneity in the behavior of legislators, who grew increasingly polarized along party lines on racial issues. Overall, our findings indicate that the Great Migration promoted Black political empowerment outside the South. They also suggest that, under certain conditions, cross-race coalitions can be major drivers of social and political change.
    Keywords: diversity, civil rights, great migration, race
    JEL: D72 J15 N92
    Date: 2021–04
  5. By: Bellés-Obrero, Cristina; Cabrales, Antonio; Jimenez-Martin, Sergi; Vall-Castello, Judit
    Abstract: We study the effect of women's education on fertility and children's health during a period of gender equalization and women's greater access to economic opportunities. In 1980, Spain raised the minimum working age from 14 to 16, while compulsory education age remained at 14. This reform changed the within-cohort incentives to remain in the educational system. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that the reform delayed fertility but did not impact completed fertility of affected women. We also show that the reform was detrimental for the health of the children's of affected mothers at delivery. We document two channels for this negative effect: the postponement in the entrance of motherhood and the deterioration of women's health habits (such as smoking and drinking). This last channel is a direct effect of the gender equalization process. However, in the medium run, these more educated mothers are able to reverse the negative health shocks at birth through maternal vigilance and investment in their children's health habits.
    Keywords: Education; Fertility; gender equalization; Infant health
    JEL: I12 I25 J13 J81
    Date: 2021–02
  6. By: Alon, Titan; Coskun, Sena; Doepke, Matthias; Koll, David; Tertilt, Michèle
    Abstract: We examine the impact of the global recession triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic on women's versus men's employment. Whereas recent recessions in advanced economies usually had a disproportionate impact on men's employment, giving rise to the moniker "mancessions," we show that the pandemic recession of 2020 was a "shecession" in most countries with larger employment declines among women. We examine the causes behind this pattern using micro data from several national labor force surveys, and show that both the composition of women's employment across industries and occupations as well as increased childcare needs during closures of schools and daycare centers made important contributions. While many countries exhibit similar patterns, we also emphasize how policy choices such as furloughing policies and the extent of school closures shape the pandemic's impact on the labor market. Another notable finding is the central role of telecommuting: gender gaps in the employment impact of the pandemic arise almost entirely among workers who are unable to work from home. Nevertheless, among telecommuters a different kind of gender gap arises: women working from home during the pandemic spent more work time also doing childcare and experienced greater productivity reductions than men. We discuss what our findings imply for gender equality in a post-pandemic labor market that will likely continue to be characterized by pervasive telecommuting.
    Keywords: Business cycle; COVID-19; Gender equality; gender wage gap; Pandemics; Recessions; School Closures
    JEL: D13 E32 J16 J20
    Date: 2021–03
  7. By: Rodríguez-González, Ana (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: In recent years, the traditional gender gap in educational attainment in favor of men has been reversed in many countries. This development may have far-reaching consequences for the family, challenging traditional patterns of union formation and potentially affecting marriage and fertility outcomes. I study the implications of the female advantage in education on family formation through changes in the marriage market. My empirical strategy exploits the gradual implementation of a large school reform in Finland that increased women’s relative level of education. I analyze the reduced-form relationship between marriage market exposure to the reform and marriage and fertility outcomes. The results show that in marriage markets with a larger female advantage in education men had fewer children and were less likely to be in a couple by age 40. I provide suggestive evidence that these results are mostly driven by the mismatch between the distributions of educational attainment of men and women, and that they might have negative consequences for low-educated men's health behaviors and mental health.
    Keywords: Gender gap; Education; Marriage; Fertility; Marriage market; Health
    JEL: I10 J12 J13 J16
    Date: 2021–04–26

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