nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2024‒01‒08
six papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas, University of Wisconsin

  1. The Effects of the Dobbs Decision on Fertility By Dench, Daniel; Pineda-Torres, Mayra; Myers, Caitlin Knowles
  2. Child Penalty Estimation and Mothers’ Age at First Birth By Valentina Melentyeva; Lukas Riedel
  3. Building Health across Generations: Unraveling the Impact of Early Childcare on Maternal Health By Mara Barschkett; Laia Bosque-Mercader
  4. Equity and Efficiency of Childcare Subsidies: A Dynamic Structural Approach By David Koll; Dominik Sachs; Fabian Stürmer-Heiber; Hélène Turon
  5. Life and Death under Son Preference: Economic stress, Fertility and Early-life Mortality in Rural Spain, 1800-1910 By Francisco J. Marco-Gracia; Francisco J. Beltrán Tapia; Víctor A. Luque de Haro
  6. The "Demise of the Caregiving Daughter"? Gender Employment Gaps and the Use of Formal and Informal Care in Europe By Bonsang, Eric; Costa-Font, Joan

  1. By: Dench, Daniel (Georgia Institute of Technology); Pineda-Torres, Mayra (Georgia Institute of Technology); Myers, Caitlin Knowles (Middlebury College)
    Abstract: The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization sparked the most profound transformation of the landscape of abortion access in 50 years. We provide the first estimates of the effects of this decision on fertility using a pre-registered synthetic difference-in-differences design applied to newly released provisional natality data for the first half of 2023. The results indicate that states with abortion bans experienced an average increase in births of 2.3 percent relative to states where abortion was not restricted.
    Keywords: abortion, Dobbs, fertility, power analysis
    JEL: I11 I12 I18 J13 K23
    Date: 2023–11
  2. By: Valentina Melentyeva (University of Cologne and ECONtribute); Lukas Riedel (ZEW Mannheim and University of Heidelberg)
    Abstract: Motherhood continues to pose significant challenges to women’s careers, and a correct assessment of its effects is crucial for understanding the persistent gender inequality in the labor market. We show that the prevalent approach to estimate post-birth earnings losses – so called “child penalties” – is prone to yield substantially biased results. We demonstrate that the biases stem from conventional event studies pooling together first-time mothers of all ages, without considering their distinct characteristics and the varying impact of motherhood. To address the biases, we propose a novel approach that accounts for the heterogeneity by building upon recent advancements in the econometric literature on difference-in-differences models. Applying it to administrative data from Germany, we demonstrate that considering heterogeneity by maternal age at birth is crucial for both methodological correctness and a deeper understanding of gender inequality. Our approach yields substantially larger estimates of earnings losses after childbirth (by 20 percent), indicating that the costs of motherhood and related gender gaps in Germany are even larger than previously thought. Moreover, we demonstrate that effects and their interpretation differ significantly depending on maternal age at birth. We show that younger first-time mothers experience larger career costs of motherhood, as they miss out on the phase of the most rapid career progression.
    Keywords: Child penalty, maternal labor supply, heterogeneous treatment effects, event studies
    JEL: J13 J16 J31 C23
    Date: 2023–12
  3. By: Mara Barschkett; Laia Bosque-Mercader
    Abstract: In contemporary households, women often shoulder most organisation and caregiving responsibilities leading them to play a crucial role in family dynamics. While previous research has established that public early childcare affects child outcomes and maternal employment, less attention has been given to its effects on maternal health despite its relevance within the household. This study investigates the impact of public early childcare on maternal short- and long-term health. Based on administrative health records covering 90% of the German population over a decade, we leverage the exogenous variation in childcare coverage rates across counties and time induced by a major German early childcare expansion. Our results reveal an intra-household transmission of communicable diseases: mothers experience 4–8% more infections and 2–4% more respiratory diseases for a 10 percentage point rise in childcare coverage rates when their children are 1–2 years old. In contrast, mothers benefit from reductions in obesity and anaemia, and heterogeneity analyses show a lower prevalence of mood- and stress-related disorders for multiparous and older mothers. The policy implications of our findings extend beyond the health impacts of early childcare on mothers and shed light on the broader dynamics within families.
    Keywords: Childcare, maternal health, administrative health data, intergenerational effects
    JEL: I10 I12 J13 D64
    Date: 2023
  4. By: David Koll; Dominik Sachs; Fabian Stürmer-Heiber; Hélène Turon
    Abstract: We formalize and estimate the dynamic marginal efficiency cost of redistribution (MECR) in the spirit of Okun’s “leaky bucket”. We analyze the MECR of an income-contingent childcare subsidy program and the income tax within the German context, using a dynamic structural heterogeneous-household model of childcare demand and maternal labor supply. This allows us to compare which of these two policies is more efficient in achieving redistributive goals. Our analysis identifies two competing forces. (i) Labor supply responses increase the MECR of the childcare subsidy relative to the income tax. (ii) Child development effects decrease the MECR of the childcare subsidy relative to the income tax. For reasonably large Pareto weights on children, we find that (ii) dominates (i) and therefore the childcare subsidy is the more efficient redistribution tool.
    Keywords: female labor supply, childcare, family policies, fiscal externalities, dynamic discrete choice, redistribution
    JEL: H23 H31 J13 J22 J24
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Francisco J. Marco-Gracia (Universidad de Zaragoza); Francisco J. Beltrán Tapia (Norwegian University of Science and Technology); Víctor A. Luque de Haro (University of Almería)
    Abstract: Relying on longitudinal micro data from 13 Spanish rural villages between 1800 and 1910, this paper assesses whether discriminatory practices affected fertility and sex-specific mor- tality during infancy and childhood during economic crises in an area with a strong preference for sons. Our contribution is twofold. On the one hand, there is a connection between short- term economic stress, fertility, and sex ratios at baptism: high-price years were followed by a decline in the number of registered baptisms and by an increase of the sex ratios at baptism. These results therefore suggest that families mortally neglected a significant fraction of their female babies during economic crises. On the other hand, there is a connection between short- term economic stress, mortality, and sex ratios at death. Using death registers further supports this interpretation, since our evidence shows that the female biological advantage was not visible after an economic shock. In addition, gender discriminatory practices against girls during bad years seem to have compensated the male vulnerability at older ages as well.
    Keywords: Economic crises, sex ratios, gender discrimination, infant and child mortality
    JEL: J11 J13 J16
    Date: 2023–10
  6. By: Bonsang, Eric (Université Paris-Dauphine); Costa-Font, Joan (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: We revisit the universality of the "caregiving daughter effect", which holds that daughters tend to provide more care to their older parents than sons. Based on rich European data, we document evidence of such an effect in countries with large gender disparities in employment rates, where having daughters also depresses the demand for formal care. In contrast, we find evidence consistent with the "demise of the caregiving daughter" when exposed to narrower gender gaps, where there is no more daughters' effect on formal care. These results point to a reconsideration of caregiving system design amidst the rise of female employment.
    Keywords: informal care, formal care, daughters, caregiving daughter effect, gender employment gap, Europe, care substitution, social norms
    JEL: I18 J14 J3
    Date: 2023–11

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