nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2023‒02‒06
two papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
University of Wisconsin

  1. Families, labor markets and policy By Stefania Albanesi; Claudia Olivetti; Barbara Petrongolo
  2. Understanding Sibling Correlations in Education: Molecular Genetics and Family Background By Fletcher, Jason M.; Lu, Qiongshi; Mazumder, Bhashkar; Song, Jie

  1. By: Stefania Albanesi; Claudia Olivetti; Barbara Petrongolo
    Abstract: Using comparable data for 24 countries since the 1970s, we document gender convergence in schooling, employment and earnings, marriage delay and the accompanying decline in fertility, and the large remaining gaps in labor market outcomes, especially among parents. A model of time allocation illustrates how the specialization of spouses in home or market production responds to preferences, comparative advantages and public policies. We draw lessons from existing evidence on the impacts of family policies on women’s careers and children’s wellbeing. There is to date little or no evidence of beneficial effects of longer parental leave (or fathers’ quotas) on maternal participation and earnings. In most cases longer leave de lays mothers’ return to work, without long-lasting consequences on their careers. More generous childcare funding instead encourages female participation whenever subsidized childcare replaces maternal childcare. Impacts on child development de pend on counterfactual childcare arrangements and tend to be more beneficial for disadvantaged households. In-work benefits targeted to low-earners have clear positive impacts on lone mothers’ employment and negligible impacts on other groups. While most of this literature takes policy as exogenous, political economy aspects of policy adoption help understand the interplay between societal changes, family policies and gender equality.
    Date: 2022–11–30
  2. By: Fletcher, Jason M. (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Lu, Qiongshi (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Mazumder, Bhashkar (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago); Song, Jie (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
    Abstract: Sibling correlations in socioeconomic status are one of the key measures of equality of opportunity and social mobility, providing an omnibus examination of the importance of family background. Typically, these correlations are interpreted as the combined effects of shared sibling background and experiences, including genetics and family environments. The UK Biobank allows us to specifically control for sibling and parental genetics (polygenic scores, PGS) in order to gauge their relative importance compared with broader family background effects. We use >17, 000 sibling pairs from the UK Biobank in order to further decompose standard sibling correlations of educational attainment found in the literature. In general, we find modest (up to 20%) contributions of molecular genetics to the similarity of sibling outcomes, suggesting a large amount of the observed similarity in sibling educational outcomes are due to parents and environments of children.
    Keywords: sibling correlations, educational mobility, genetics
    JEL: J62 J12 J24
    Date: 2023–01

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