nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2022‒12‒05
eight papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
University of Wisconsin

  1. Marriage Matching over Five Centuries in China By Carol H. Shiue; Wolfgang Keller
  2. The Very Temporary Effect of Covid-19 on English Fertility By Ermisch, John
  3. The Economics of Women's Rights By Michèle Tertilt; Matthias Doepke; Anne Hannusch; Laura Montenbruck
  4. Educational differences in fertility among female same-sex couples By Maria Ponkilainen; Elina Einiö; Marjut Pietiläinen; Mikko Myrskylä
  5. Marriage market equilibrium with matching on latent ability: Identification using a compulsory schooling expansion By Dan Anderberg; Jesper Bagger; V. Bhaskar; Tanya Wilson
  6. Women’s Wages and Empowerment: Pre-industrial Japan, 1600-1890 By Kumon, Yuzuru; Sakai, Kazuho
  7. Couples, careers, and spatial mobility By Nassal, Lea Maria; Paul, Marie
  8. Understanding cognitive impairment in the U.S. through the lenses of intersectionality and (un)conditional cumulative (dis)advantage By Jo M. Hale; Daniel C. Schneider; Neil K. Mehta; Mikko Myrskylä

  1. By: Carol H. Shiue; Wolfgang Keller
    Abstract: In the marriage market, families make investments on behalf of their young so that they are able to form a household with their preferred partner. We analyze marriage markets in a central region of China between about 1300 and 1850 through the lens of a model of marriage matching and intergenerational transmission of inequality. For both female and male children, marriage patterns are far from being random, instead, there is positive assortative matching. This is present for the entire income distribution, though at the highest levels matching on income is thirty times of what it is at low income levels. Over the sample period the degree of matching falls, and more so for young females, although from a lower level than young males. Lower marriage matching in the 18th and 19th centuries is accompanied by lower inequality across households, yielding a positive time series correlation between sorting and inequality. There are also intergenerational matching returns. Children of parents who are strongly matched tend to be able to marry into relatively high-income in-law families, conditional on the incomes in both the father's and the mother's families. Matching in the parent generation pays off more strongly for male than for female children. Second, marriage matching by the parents raises child income. Thus, parental marriage investments affect the income distribution from one generation to the next. Finally, we show that intergenerational matching returns have declined over the sample period, further strengthening evidence that incentives for parental marriage investments in China became weaker over time.
    JEL: J12 J16 N30 N45
    Date: 2022–11
  2. By: Ermisch, John
    Abstract: This note reports estimates of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on English fertility. It uses monthly data on the General Fertility Rate (GFR) over the period 2011-2021 to estimate dynamic models of the GFR, some of which include measures of men’s and women's unemployment rates. The models are used to generate monthly counterfactual fertility during 2020-21 from which the impact of the pandemic is inferred. The Covid pandemic had a very short-term depressing impact on fertility. It reduced conceptions sharply during the first wave of the pandemic (April 2020), affecting fertility in January 2021, but this was fully compensated for by a higher fertility during the last 10 months of 2021. It also appears that changes in unemployment rates played little role in these pandemic-related fertility movements.
    Date: 2022–07–11
  3. By: Michèle Tertilt; Matthias Doepke; Anne Hannusch; Laura Montenbruck
    Abstract: Two centuries ago, in most countries around the world, women were unable to vote, had no say over their own children or property, and could not obtain a divorce. Women have gradually gained rights in many areas of life, and this legal expansion has been closely intertwined with economic development. We aim to understand the drivers behind these reforms. To this end, we distinguish between four types of women’s rights—economic, political, labor, and body—and document their evolution over the past 50 years across countries. We summarize the political-economy mechanisms that link economic development to changes in women's rights and show empirically that these mechanisms account for a large share of the variation in women's rights across countries and over time.
    JEL: D13 D72 J12 J16 N3 N40 O10 P0
    Date: 2022–11
  4. By: Maria Ponkilainen; Elina Einiö (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Marjut Pietiläinen; Mikko Myrskylä (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Same-sex couples increasingly often live in legally recognized unions and have children as a couple. The accessibility of parenthood, however, depends on intersecting contextual and couple-level characteristics. Using Finnish register data on female same-sex couples who registered their partnership in 2006–2015, during which important legal reforms regarding same-sex parenthood took place, we explore how education and the existence of prior children predict childbearing within the same-sex partnership. Female same-sex couples’ likelihood of having a child within five years of registering a partnership increased from 34% to 43% over the observation window. This increase was not universal. For couples educated to tertiary level, the increase was from 39% to 52%. For primary and lower-secondary levels, the likelihood decreased from 26% to 8%. Couples with the highest level of education and no prior children were most likely to have a child, and couples with low education and a prior child born before the partnership were least likely to do so. These results highlight how intersectional factors shape female same-sex couples’ fertility behavior. Intensifying educational differences in couples’ fertility may reflect changes in couple-level characteristics as well as institutional barriers to childbearing that need more attention. Keywords Same-sex couple, Registered partnership, Family formation, Childbearing, Educational level
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Dan Anderberg; Jesper Bagger; V. Bhaskar; Tanya Wilson
    Abstract: We use the 1972 UK Raising of the School-Leaving Age (RoSLA) to identify and estimate an equilibrium marriage market model with sorting on academic qualifications and latent ability. Our identification hinges on a RoSLA-induced discontinuity in the distribution of qualifications. We disentangle the contributions of qualification and ability to marital surplus; we find that they are complements. Ability increases the probability of ever marrying; a basic qualification does not. The observed marriage gap between basic qualified and unqualified individuals is entirely due to selection on ability. The RoSLA worsened marital prospects of low ability individuals, through general equilibrium effects.
    Keywords: Marriage, Assortative mating, Return to education, Latent ability
    JEL: D10 D13 I26 J12
    Date: 2022–08
  6. By: Kumon, Yuzuru (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Sakai, Kazuho (Tohoku University, Graduate School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: Using new evidence from servant contracts, 1600-1890, we estimate women’s wages in Japan. Women’s wages could only sustain 1.5-2 people up to 1900, the lowest recorded in the pre-industrial world. We then show the gender wage ratio was 0.7, higher than in Western Europe. Despite this, Japan had lower female empowerment for two reasons. First, absolute wages were low, so women were not economically autonomous. Second, landownership incomes were mostly earned by men, raising their bargaining positions. The low female empowerment in Japan could explain the early and universal marriage of its women unlike their empowered Western European counterparts.
    Keywords: Womens Wages; Empowerment
    JEL: N00
    Date: 2022–11–16
  7. By: Nassal, Lea Maria; Paul, Marie
    Abstract: We investigate the effects of long-distance moves of married couples on both spouses' earnings, employment and job characteristics based on a new administrative dataset from Germany. Employing difference-in-difference propensity score matching and accounting for spouses' premove employment biographies, we show that men's earnings increase significantly after the move, whereas women suffer large losses in the first years. Men's earnings increases are mainly driven by increasing wages and switches to slightly larger and better paying firms. Investigating effect heterogeneity with respect to pre-move relative earnings or for whose job opportunity couples move, confirms strong gender asymmetries in gains to moving.
    Keywords: Long-distance moves,labor market careers,gender gap
    JEL: J61 J16 R23
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Jo M. Hale (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Daniel C. Schneider (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Neil K. Mehta; Mikko Myrskylä (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Grounded in theories of intersectionality and cumulative (dis)advantage, we develop complementary formalizations of (dis)advantage to study disparities in cognitive impairment: Conditional Cumulative (Dis)Advantage that reflects inequalities in outcomes and Unconditional Cumulative (Dis)Advantage that additionally accounts for inequalities in opportunities. We study the properties of these formalizations and show that cumulative disadvantage does not imply cumulative advantage. Using these formalizations and incidence-based multistate models, we analyze the Health and Retirement Study to assess how racial/ethnic, nativity, gender, early-life adversity, and educational (dis)advantages accumulate into three important metrics for characterizing later-life cognitive impairment—lifetime risk, mean age at first impairment, and cognitive health expectancies. We find that the benefits and penalties of one (dis)advantage depend on positionality on the other axes of inequality. Black women and Latinas experience Conditional Cumulative Disadvantage in cognitive impairment: they are penalized more from having lower education than Whites. White men experience Conditional Cumulative Advantage: they benefit more from higher education than Blacks or Latinx. However, when accounting for racial/ethnic inequities in educational opportunities, results ubiquitously show Unconditional Cumulative Disadvantage. Our formalization provides a mathematical grounding for cumulative (dis)advantage, and the empirical results comprehensively document the multi-dimensional, intersecting axes of stratification that perpetuate inequities in cognitive impairment.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2022

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