nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2024‒04‒22
five papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas, University of Wisconsin

  1. The short- and long-term effects of family-friendly policies on women's employment By Alicia De Quinto; Libertad González Luna
  2. Do Recruiters Penalize Men Who Prefer Low Hours? Evidence from Online Labor Market Data By Kopp, Daniel
  3. Luck of the Draw: The Causal Effect of Physicians on Birth Outcomes By Christian Posso; Jorge Tamayo; Arlen Guarin; Estefania Saravia
  4. The Cultural Origins of the Demographic Transition in France By Guillaume Blanc
  5. Malthus in Germany? Fertility, Mortality, and Status in pre-industrial Germany 1600-1850 By Ohler, Johann

  1. By: Alicia De Quinto; Libertad González Luna
    Abstract: Countries often encourage part-time work among new parents as part of their family policies, aiming to foster mothers'attachment to the labor force. However, this well-intentioned approach may inadvertently impede women's long-term prospects in the labor market. We examine the impact of a 1999 Spanish reform allowing new parents to reduce working hours by up to a half while their youngest child is under age 6, along with job protection measures. Leveraging eligibility rules, we employ a regression kink design, comparing ineligible women to mothers with varying eligibility durations, and track women's subsequent work trajectories. We find that longer eligibility resulted in a modest increase in maternal part-time work during her child's early years. Mothers worked part time, on average, about one additional day for each extra month of eligibility. This rise in part-time work came at the expense of fewer days of unemployment, rather than fewer days of full-time work, and thus correlated with higher earnings. In the long term, we document slightly higher employment and earnings for those with extended eligibility after aging out of the program. The long-term effects remain modest. In conclusion, we find that the policy had minimal impact on the labor supply and earnings of women with children, both in the short and longer term.
    Keywords: worktime reduction, maternity, childcare policies
    JEL: J08 J13 J16 J18
    Date: 2024–03
  2. By: Kopp, Daniel (ETH Zurich)
    Abstract: Part-time work is a popular way to reconcile work and family responsibilities. This study investigates how easy it is for men and women to get part-time jobs. To assess this question, I first analyze the hiring decisions of recruiters who screen jobseekers on an online recruiting platform and estimate contact penalties for men and women seeking part-time jobs. Second, I relate the number of hours advertised in online job postings to firms' confidentially reported gender preferences. I find that recruiters prefer full-time over part-time workers, and that part-time penalties are more pronounced for men than for women. Differences in job or workplace characteristics cannot explain these results. Instead, the preponderance of evidence points to bias due to gender stereotypes.
    Keywords: recruitment, part-time, gender equality, hiring, online labor markets
    JEL: J16 J23 M51
    Date: 2024–03
  3. By: Christian Posso; Jorge Tamayo; Arlen Guarin; Estefania Saravia
    Abstract: Identifying the impact of physicians on health outcomes is a challenging task due to the nonrandom sorting between physicians, hospitals, and patients. We overcome this challenge by exploiting a Colombian government program that randomly assigned 2, 126 physicians to 618 small hospitals. We estimate the impact on the 256, 806 children whose mothers received care in those hospitals during their pregnancy, using administrative data from the program, hospitals’ vital statistics records, and physicians’ records from mandatory health-specific graduation exams. We find that more-skilled physicians improve health at birth outcomes. That is, being assigned a physician with a one standard deviation higher performance in the health graduation exam scores decreases the probability of giving birth to an unhealthy baby by 6.31 percent. We present evidence that an underlying mechanism includes improving the targeting of care toward the more vulnerable mothers. **** La asignación de médicos, hospitales y pacientes no suele ser aleatorio, por lo que identificar la importancia de los médicos en la salud de sus pacientes no resulta trivial. En este documento aprovechamos la asignación aleatoria de 2.126 médicos a 618 hospitales pequeños, que se realizó en Colombia a través del Servicio Social Obligatorio (SSO), para estimar el impacto de las habilidades de los médicos en la salud al nacer de los 256.806 bebés cuyas madres recibieron atención en dichos hospitales durante su embarazo. Para este análisis, utilizamos datos administrativos del programa SSO de los años 2013 y 2014, registros de estadísticas vitales y los puntajes en la prueba de medicina de la prueba estandarizada Saber Pro. El resultado principal muestra que los médicos más hábiles mejoran la salud de los niños al nacer. Específicamente, la asignación de un médico que obtuvo un puntaje en la prueba de medicina (Saber Pro) una desviación estándar superior a la media, disminuye la probabilidad de dar a luz a un bebé no sano en un 6, 31%. Adicionalmente, encontramos que este resultado es explicado por una mejor focalización de los controles prenatales hacía las madres más vulnerables.
    Keywords: physicians’ health skills, health at birth outcomes, experimental evidence, habilidades de los médicos, salud al nacer, evidencia de experimentos aleatorios
    JEL: H51 I14 I15 I18
    Date: 2024–04
  4. By: Guillaume Blanc
    Abstract: This research shows that secularization accounts for the remarkably early fertility decline in France. The demographic transition, a turning point in history and an essential condition for development, began in France more than a century earlier than in any other country. Why it happened so early is one of the ‘big questions of history’ because it challenges traditional explanations and because of data limitations. Using a novel dataset crowdsourced from publicly available genealogies, I comprehensively document the decline in fertility and its timing with a representative sample of the population. Drawing on a wide range of sources and data, I document an important process of secularization in the eighteenth century and find a strong and robust association with the timing of the transition across regions and individuals. Finally, I discuss the persistent impact of the transition on economic growth and explore the drivers of secularization.
    Keywords: fertility, development, secularization
    JEL: N33 O10 Z12
    Date: 2024–02
  5. By: Ohler, Johann
    Abstract: This paper studies the individual-level assumptions of the Malthusian model in pre-industrial Germany. By exploiting demographic records for 150, 000 individuals from the historical county of Wittgenstein, I test for status gradients in child mortality (the Malthusian positive check) and marital fertility (preventive check). While I find no evidence for a status gradient in child mortality, I find strong evidence for a status gradient in fertility. The richest families had, on average, one extra child when compared to their poorer compatriots. Turning to the mechanics of the preventive check, this appears to have been driven mostly by an earlier age of marriage amongst high status families. Disaggregating my dataset into six periods reveals that this fertility differential began to disintegrate around 1800. Ergo, I conclude that prior to 1800, the German population was subject to some Malthusian forces, albeit it was not stuck in a rigid Malthusian equilibrium, as conceptualised by some neo Malthusian scholars.
    Keywords: German Economic History; Malthus; Demographic History; European Marriage Pattern; Unified Growth Theory
    JEL: J12 J13 N33 N93 O40
    Date: 2024–01–17

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