nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2022‒07‒11
eight papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. The causal effects of education on age at marriage and marital fertility By Cummins, Neil
  2. Globalization, Fertility and Marital Behavior in a Lowest-Low Fertility Setting By Osea Giuntella; Lorenzo Rotunno; Luca Stella
  3. The “College Gap” in Marriage and Children’s Family Structure By Melissa Schettini Kearney
  4. Motherhood and the Allocation of Talent By Berniell, Inés; Berniell, Lucila; de la Mata, Dolores; Edo, María; Fawaz, Yarine; Machado, Matilde P.
  5. The two-child limit & ‘choices’ over family size: When policy presentation collides with lived experiences By Kate Andersen; Ruth Patrick
  6. Job Location Decisions and the Effect of Children on the Employment Gender Gap By Albanese, Andrea; Nieto, Adrián; Tatsiramos, Konstantinos
  7. Does Schooling Improve Cognitive Abilities at Older Ages? Causal Evidence from Nonparametric Bounds By Amin, Vikesh; Behrman, Jere R.; Fletcher, Jason M.; Flores, Carlos A.; Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso; Kohler, Hans-Peter
  8. When do parents bury a child? Quantifying uncertainty in the parental age at offspring loss By Diego Alburez-Gutierrez; Ugofilippo Basellini; Emilio Zagheni

  1. By: Cummins, Neil
    Abstract: The negative association of education and fertility, over time and between countries, is a central stylized fact of social science. Yet we have scant evidence on whether this is, or is not, causal. Using the universe of vital registration index data from England, 1912 to 2007, I first show that it is possible, using unique names, to construct a demographically and socioeconomically representative sample of 1.5 million women. Historical record linkage of women is typically not attempted but is possible here because of the unique characteristics of English civil registration. I then exploit the natural experiment of sharp discontinuities in who was affected by compulsory schooling law changes in 1947 and in 1972, which exogenously and effectively raised the minimum school leaving age. A Regression Discontinuity design, executed on the individual data, identifies the causal effect of education on age at marriage and fertility. Education may have raised age at marriage in 1972. However one extra year of education at 15 or 16 has a zero causal effect on marital fertility.
    Keywords: fertility; education; causal effects; demography; economic history; labor economics
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2022–06
  2. By: Osea Giuntella; Lorenzo Rotunno; Luca Stella
    Abstract: Using longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we analyze the effects of exposure to globalization on the fertility and marital behavior in Germany, until recently a lowest-low fertility setting. We find that exposure to greater import competition from Eastern Europe led to worse labor market outcomes and lower fertility rates. In contrast, workers in industries that benefited from increased exports had better employment prospects and higher fertility. These effects are driven by low-educated, married men, and full-time workers and reflect changes in the likelihood of having any child (extensive margin). While there is evidence of some fertility postponement, we find significant effects on completed fertility. There is instead little evidence of any significant impact on marital behavior.
    Keywords: globalization, labor market outcomes, fertility, marriage
    JEL: F14 F16 J13
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Melissa Schettini Kearney
    Abstract: The share of children living in a two-parent family has declined sharply in the past 40 years, driven by a decline in marriage among parents without a four-year college degree. This paper presents a number of facts about these trends, drawing on US Census data, the Current Population Survey, the Survey of Income and Program Participation, and US vital statistics birth data. First, there is a large gap in the share of children living with married parents (or two parents) that favors the children of college-educated mothers, both overall and within race and ethnic groups. Second, the decline in the share of children living in married parent families primarily reflects an increase in non-marital childbearing, not a rise in divorce. Third, the widening college gap in children’s family structure corresponds to a widening college gap in marriage rates, both overall and within race and ethnic groups. The paper briefly discusses evidence suggesting a causal link between the eroding economic position of men without a four-year college degree and their declining marriage rates. Fourth, the rise in the share of children living with an unpartnered mother has happened despite a sizable decrease in births to teens, women in their 20s, and women with less than a high school degree. Fifth, the college gap in family structure has contributed to the widening college gap in household income, accentuating widening earnings inequality. These trends have the potential to exacerbate class gaps in children’s outcomes and undermine social mobility.
    JEL: J12 J13 J15
    Date: 2022–05
  4. By: Berniell, Inés; Berniell, Lucila; de la Mata, Dolores; Edo, María; Fawaz, Yarine; Machado, Matilde P.
    Abstract: In this paper we show that motherhood triggers changes in the allocation of talent in the labor market beyond the well-known effects on gender gaps in employment and earnings. We use an event study approach with retrospective data for 29 countries drawn from SHARE to assess the labor market responses to motherhood across “talent†groups, i.e. groups with different educational attainment, relative performance in math by the age of 10, and personality traits. We find that while even the most talented women—both in absolute terms and relative to their husbands—leave the labor market or uptake part-time jobs after the birth of the first child, all men, including the least talented, stay employed. We also find that motherhood induces a negative selection of talents into self-employment. Although these results are observed in all 29 countries, there is some heterogeneity in the magnitude of the motherhood effects. We find larger motherhood effects in countries with more conservative social norms and, to a less extent, with weaker policies regarding worklife balance. Overall, our results suggest relevant changes in the allocation of talent caused by gender differences in nonmarket responsibilities that can have sizable impacts on aggregate market productivity.
    Keywords: Economía, Familia, Investigación socioeconómica, Mujer, Niñez,
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Kate Andersen; Ruth Patrick
    Abstract: The two-child limit restricts the child element in Universal Credit and Tax Credits to two children in a household (for children born after April 2017). One objective of the two-child limit is to influence the fertility decisions of parents in (or at risk of) poverty; therefore it is especially important to explore and understand its fertility effects. Previous analysis of administrative birth records suggests that the two-child limit had only a very small impact on the fertility of third and subsequent births in England and Wales. In this paper, we contrast the policy assumptions underpinning the two-child limit with everyday realities of fertility decision making. To do this, we draw on qualitative interviews conducted with those directly affected by the policy. This reveals a series of mismatches between policy presentation and lived realities, which help explain the absence of sizeable fertility effects. This also points to the importance of better and more sustained engagement with qualitative evidence in the design and review of policies. It is especially vital to continue to monitor the impact of the two-child limit, given the extent of the harms it can cause, and its status as an internationally unusual and significant policy.
    Keywords: two-child limit, fertility, policy narratives, everyday realities, welfare reform, poverty
    JEL: I38
    Date: 2022–06
  6. By: Albanese, Andrea; Nieto, Adrián; Tatsiramos, Konstantinos
    Abstract: We study the effect of childbirth on local and non-local employment dynamics for both men and women using Belgian social security and geo-location data. Applying an eventstudy design that accounts for treatment effect heterogeneity, we show that 75 percent of the effect of the birth of a first child on the overall gender gap in employment is accounted for by gender disparities in non-local employment, with mothers being more likely to give up non-local employment compared to fathers. This gender specialisation is mostly driven by opposing job location responses of men and women to individual, household and regional factors. On the one hand, men do not give up non-local employment after childbirth when they are employed in a high-paid job, have a partner who is not participating in the labour market or experience adverse local labour market conditions, suggesting that fathers trade off better employment opportunities with longer commutes. On the other hand, women give up non-local jobs regardless of their earnings level, their partner's labour market status and local economic conditions, which is consistent with mothers specialising in childcare provision compared to fathers.
    Keywords: gender gap,childbirth,job location,cross-border employment,specialisation
    JEL: J13 J16 J61 C21 C23 J22 R23
    Date: 2022
  7. By: Amin, Vikesh; Behrman, Jere R.; Fletcher, Jason M.; Flores, Carlos A.; Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso; Kohler, Hans-Peter
    Abstract: We revisit the much-investigated relationship between schooling and health, focusing on cognitive abilities at older ages using the Harmonized Cognition Assessment Protocol in the Health & Retirement Study. To address endogeneity concerns, we employ a nonparametric partial identification approach that provides bounds on the population average treatment effect using a monotone instrumental variable together with relatively weak monotonicity assumptions on treatment selection and response. The bounds indicate potentially large effects of increasing schooling from primary to secondary but are also consistent with small and null effects. We find evidence for a causal effect of increasing schooling from secondary to tertiary on cognition. We also replicate findings from the Health & Retirement Study using another sample of older adults from the Midlife in United States Development Study Cognition Project.
    Keywords: Schooling,Cognition,Bounds,Aging,Partial Identification
    JEL: I10 I26 J14
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Diego Alburez-Gutierrez (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Ugofilippo Basellini (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Emilio Zagheni (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2022

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