nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2024‒01‒29
seven papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas, University of Wisconsin

  1. Motherhood and the Cost of Job Search By Philippe, Arnaud; Skandalis, Daphné
  2. Till mess do us part: Married women's market hours, home production, and divorce By García-Morán, Eva; Kuehn, Zoe
  3. Gender Gaps From Labor Market Shocks By Ria Ivandic; Anne Sophie Lassen
  4. Nothing Really Matters: Evaluating Demand-Side Moderators of Age Discrimination in Hiring By Dalle, Axana; Lippens, Louis; Baert, Stijn
  5. Health in early adulthood and fertility: a study based on the 1958 British cohort By Eleonora Trappolini; Giammarco Alderotti; Alyce Raybould
  6. Childhood Shocks and Fertility: Evidence from Parental Job Loss By Riukula, Krista
  7. What can we learn from historical pandemics? A systematic review of the literature By Doran, Áine; Colvin, Christopher L.; McLaughlin, Eoin

  1. By: Philippe, Arnaud (University of Bristol); Skandalis, Daphné (University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: Why do women experience a persistent drop in labor earnings upon becoming mothers, i.e. a "child penalty"? We study a new mechanism: search frictions. We analyze data on job applications sent on a popular online platform linked with administrative data for 350, 000 involuntarily unemployed workers in France. First, we highlight differences in job search behavior between mothers and similar women with no children. Mothers send 12.2% fewer job applications and are more selective regarding wage and non-wage amenities. Consistently, they have a lower job finding rate. Second, we analyze the exact time when applications are sent and highlight differences in the timing of job search. We find that mothers' rate of applications decreases by 20.3% in the hours and days when there is no school. We also show that mothers responded to a reform that introduced school on Wednesday by smoothing their search across weekdays and narrowing their search timing gap with other women. In a simple search model, we show that our results imply that mothers both face lower incentives and higher costs to search. We conclude that search frictions disproportionately prevent mothers from improving their labor market situation and contribute to the child penalty.
    Keywords: job search, gender inequality, time allocation, child penalty
    JEL: J16 J22 J64
    Date: 2023–12
  2. By: García-Morán, Eva; Kuehn, Zoe
    Abstract: Part time jobs facilitate the conciliation of work and family life. But they entail reduced returns to experience and translate into lower own income in case of divorce. Given non-trivial divorce risks, why do married women work so little? Using micro data for Germany, we show married mothers' market hours (hours dedicated to housework) to be positively (negatively) related to separations. We then propose a dynamic life-cycle model of mothers' labor force participation, home production, and endogenous divorce which we calibrate to German data. Making divorce exogenous or ruling out divorce leads to an overestimation of the share of married mothers working full time and an underestimation of their housework and child care time, particularly among medium and highly educated women. Carrying out three policy experiments (increasing alimony, eliminating joint taxation, subsidizing child care) we highlight how couples' considerations of divorce risks condition the effects of such policies on married mothers' market hours.
    Keywords: female labor force participation, home production, divorce
    JEL: H42 J12 J13 J22
    Date: 2023–12–01
  3. By: Ria Ivandic (University of Oxford and London School of Economics); Anne Sophie Lassen (Copenhagen Business School)
    Abstract: Job loss leads to persistent adverse labor market outcomes, but assessments of gender differences in labor market recovery are lacking. We utilize plant closures in Denmark to estimate gender gaps in labor market outcomes and document that women face an increased risk of unemployment and lose a larger share of their earnings in the two years following job displacement. When accounting for observable differences in human Capital across men and women, half of the gender gap in unemployment remains. In a standard decomposition framework, we document that child care imposes an important barrier to women’s labor market recovery regardless of individual characteristics.
    Keywords: gender gaps, child care, job loss
    JEL: J16 J24 J65
    Date: 2023–08
  4. By: Dalle, Axana (Ghent University); Lippens, Louis (Ghent University); Baert, Stijn (Ghent University)
    Abstract: As age discrimination hampers the OECD's ambition to extend the working population, an efficient anti-discrimination policy targeted at the right employers is critical. Therefore, the context in which age discrimination is most prevalent must be identified. In this study, we thoroughly review the current theoretical arguments and empirical findings regarding moderators of age discrimination in different demand-side domains (i.e. decision-maker, vacancy, occupation, organisation, and sector). Our review demonstrates that the current literature is highly fragmented and often lacks field-experimental evidence, raising concerns about its internal and external validity. To address this gap, we conducted a correspondence experiment and systematically linked the resulting data to external data sources. In so doing, we were able to study the priorly determined demand-side moderators within a single multi-level analysis and simultaneously control multiple correlations between potential moderators and discrimination estimates. Having done so, we found no empirical support for any of these moderators.
    Keywords: ageism, hiring discrimination, heterogeneity, literature review, field experiment, administrative data
    JEL: J71 J23 J14
    Date: 2023–12
  5. By: Eleonora Trappolini (Sapienza University of Rome); Giammarco Alderotti (University of Florence); Alyce Raybould (University College London)
    Abstract: Although the relationship between health and fertility in low-income settings has been well explored by demographers, it is surprisingly lacking from equivalent studies in high-income contexts. In this study, we use data from the 1958 National Child Development Study to understand how self-rated health and BMI reported at age 23 relate to achievement of fertility goals by age 46. We found that worse self-reported health and being outside of the healthy weight BMI category at 23 was strongly associated with having fewer children and underachieving fertility goals set at age 23 by 46. These results remained when controlling for socioeconomic controls like education and union history. Our findings suggest that health in early adulthood is an important determinant, whether direct or indirect, for individuals’ family life course trajectories. This paper strongly endorses the inclusion of health as an explanatory variable for all studies of fertility in high-income contexts.
    Keywords: health; fertility; fertility intentions; BMI; self-rated health; life course; United Kingdom
    JEL: J13
    Date: 2024–01
  6. By: Riukula, Krista
    Abstract: Abstract Do economic shocks experienced in childhood carry on to the fertility outcomes in adulthood and if they do, how? Using plant closures from the years 1991–1993 in Finland, I find that maternal and paternal job loss have asymmetric effects on children’s fertility outcomes. Maternal job loss increases the probability of a son becoming a parent, while paternal job loss decreases it. For paternal job loss, I find negative effects on son’s other outcomes, such as having a spouse, earnings, and employment which might drive the effects on their fertility outcomes. Instead, maternal job loss has no effect on son’s other outcomes. Hence, fertility might be affected through other channels such as changes in parent-child relationship quality. For daughters, I find effects on timing; they have children earlier due to maternal job loss and later due to paternal job loss. There are no effects on daughters’ other outcomes suggesting that the effects on fertility outcomes might work through other channels. The results might be best interpreted in terms of spousal roles; mothers might shift more energy towards their role as a caregiver, while paternal job loss can be more stressful if the father fails to fulfill his role as a breadwinner.
    Keywords: Job loss, Fertility, Childhood shocks
    JEL: J13 J63
    Date: 2024–01–09
  7. By: Doran, Áine; Colvin, Christopher L.; McLaughlin, Eoin
    Abstract: What are the insights from historical pandemics for policymaking today? We carry out a systematic review of the literature on the impact of pandemics that occurred since the Industrial Revolution and prior to Covid-19. Our literature searches were conducted between June 2020 and September 2023, with the final review encompassing 169 research papers selected for their relevance to understanding either the demographic or economic impact of pandemics. We include literature from across disciplines to maximise our knowledge base, finding many relevant articles in journals which would not normally be on the radar of social scientists. Our review identifies two gaps in the literature: (1) the need to study pandemics and their effects more collectively rather than looking at them in isolation; and (2) the need for more study of pandemics besides 1918 Spanish Influenza, especially milder pandemic episodes. These gaps are a consequence of academics working in silos, failing to draw on the skills and knowledge offered by other disciplines. Synthesising existing knowledge on pandemics in one place provides a basis upon which to identify the lessons in preparing for future catastrophic disease events.
    Keywords: systematic review, historical pandemics, mortality, interdisciplinary research
    JEL: I15 I18 J11 N30
    Date: 2023

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