This paper investigates the effects of public child care availability in Italy in mothers’ working status and children’s scholastic achievements. We use a newly available dataset containing individual standardized test scores of pupils attending the second grade of primary school in 2009–2010 in conjunction with data on public child care availability. Our estimates indicate a positive and significant effects of child care availability on both mothers’ working status and children’s Language test scores. We find that a percentage change in public child care coverage increases mothers’ probability to work by 1.3 percentage points and children’s Language test scores by 0.85 percent of one standard deviation; we do not find any effect on Math test scores. Moreover, the impact of a percentage change in public child care on mothers’ employment and children’s Language test scores is greater in provinces where child care availability is more limited.
Despite broad progress in closing many dimensions of the gender gap around the globe, recent research has shown that traditional gender roles can still exert a large influence on female labor force participation, even in developed economies. This paper empirically analyzes the role of culture in determining the labor market engagement of women within the context of collective models of household decision making. In particular, we use the epidemiological approach to study the relationship between gender in language and labor market participation among married female immigrants to the U.S. We show that the presence of gender in language can act as a marker for culturally acquired gender roles and that these roles are important determinants of household labor allocations. Female immigrants who speak a language with sex-based grammatical rules exhibit lower labor force participation, hours worked, and weeks worked. Our strategy of isolating one component of culture reveals that roughly two thirds of this relationship can be explained by correlated cultural factors, including the role of bargaining power in the household, and the impact of ethnic enclaves and that at most one third is potentially explained by language having a causal impact.
This paper analyzes the relationship between parents’ time devoted to housework and the time devoted to housework by their children. Using data from the Multinational Time Use Study for the UK, we find positive intergenerational correlations in housework for both parents, indicating that the more time parents devote to housework, the more time their children will devote to housework. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey, we find that a higher father–mother housework ratio is positively related to a higher child–mother housework ratio, even after allowing for individual fixed-effects. In order to address the potential exacerbation of errors-in-variables arising from the fixed-effects specification, we instrument the father–mother ratio of housework using father’s and mother’s lagged weekly working hours. The Instrumental-Variable estimates fully support the fixed-effects estimates, and suggest that the latter should be regarded as a lower bound. We also present evidence of the link between housework during adolescence and during adulthood, which may indicate that housework time during adulthood depends on the housework time during childhood, which may also be affected by parents’ housework time. Our results contribute to the field of the intergenerational mobility of behaviors.
Tax benefits targeted to low-wage workers have become very common transfer programs that seek to meet both efficiency and equity targets. An expanding literature has assessed the effects of these policies on income distribution and labor supply showing important implications for female labor participation. In this paper, we estimate the distributional and behavioral impacts of a simulated new benefit in Spain based on the replacement of the existing working mother tax credit (WMTC) using as a reference the US Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). We simulate the effects of the proposed scheme using EUROMOD and a discrete choice model of labor supply. Our results show that the enhancement of the proposed reform would have significant and positive effects both in terms of female labor participation and inequality and poverty reduction. The introduction of this benefit would generate a substantial increase in labor participation at the extensive margin and a non-negligible reduction at the intensive margin.
This paper investigates the impact of fertility on women's entrepreneurship decision in Nigeria, using the 2008 and 2013 cross-sectional Demographic Health Surveys data. In order to mitigate the potential endogeneity associated with fertility decision, the study explores an exogenous variation in family size using twin births in an instrumental variable (IV) analysis. Both the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Two-Stage Least Squares (2SLS) estimate show that having children is positively associated with women's entrepreneurship decision, and there are heterogeneous effects across the subsamples by women's age. The results of this study are robust to using the number of children younger than age five in the home as an alternative definition of fertility.
This study seeks to examine the consequences of keeping up with the Joneses on household fertility outcomes. Envy is introduced in a simple quality-quantity trade-off type of fertility model, where the trade-off is induced by the fact that being out of the labor market due to child-bearing is more expensive for people with higher human capital levels. The effect of introducing upward-looking envy in the model is that households, notably low-income ones, reduce fertility in an attempt to emulate consumption levels of their high-income neighbors. This effect is stronger the larger the reference consumptionthat is, in areas with higher income inequality, which are characterized by longer right tails of income distributions. It follows that if households indeed tend to keep up with the Joneses, one should expect lower fertility rates in areas with higher income inequality compared to more equal areas. The empirical analysis using the American Community Survey confirms that indeed, households residing in more unequal metropolitan areas tend to have fewer children than households residing in more equal metropolitan areas.
This paper explores the welfare and livelihood strategies of women in rural Tanzania after they exit marriage. We draw from a three-wave individual-level longitudinal survey, using a correlated random effects approach within regression analysis to control for time-invariant individual effects. Attention is given to whether women exit marriage through widowhood or divorce, and whether they subsequently become household heads or join another household. Nearly 40% of widowed or divorced women are not the heads of their households, but instead reside with relatives. We find that women, and particularly widows, are more likely to be poor after marriage exit. Upon widowhood or divorce, women also work longer hours in off-farm employment, and those who become household heads are especially likely to experience a reduction in land access and a heightened reliance on non-farm income, including the receipt of transfers. This underscores the importance of both the non-farm economy and family networks for women's livelihoods after marriage. Results illustrate that women's experiences outside of marriage are diverse and cannot be broadly proxied with a household status of being female-headed.
In the past two decades Iranian women have become much better educated and reduced their fertility, by more than two-thirds. However, their participation in market work has not increased appreciably. We turn to time-use data to better understand the relationship between women's education and their time use, specially time allocated to children and market work. We employ new data from a time-use survey of urban households in 2009 and show that education affects the time use of married women in predictable ways, increasing their time in market work and child education and reducing their time in housework. These results indicate that in Iran productivity of women's education is realized in the market as well as at home, in particular in investment in children. The fact that more educated women devote more time to market work and child education, the two activities that contribute to economic growth, challenges the notion prevalent in the conservative policy circles in Iran that public resources allocated to women's education are somehow wasted.
The aim of this paper is to examine the relationship between female participation to the familial rural income improvement program (PARFAR) and domestic violence in the rural northern Cameroon. To achieve this, two hypothesis based respectively on the theory of marital bargaining and the theory of men's backslash are tested applying propensity score matching to survey data from a sample of households in the area, to consider the possibility of sampling bias. A battery of test and estimation methods is used to check the robustness of findings. The results support the backslash theory. PARFAR participation leads to an improvement in the contribution of women in decision-making within the targeted households. This effect is associated with a reduction in violence acceptability but an increase in violence prevalence. This double result which embedded household dynamics in an adversarial logic then raises the question of prior cultural adjustment program for targeted households. Among actions to undertake for such attitudinal change about gender considerations in Cameroon, besides those mobilizing local government, non-governmental organizations and community based organizations, an additional challenge for policymakers could be improving policies facilitating access to legal institutions for victims of domestic violence.
This paper provides evidence that self-employment is a quantitatively important work alternative that American mothers use to gain workplace flexibility. First, I use panel data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to show that self-employment rates are higher when women have young children at home in a pattern that has remained largely unchanged over the previous three decades. I estimate that women whose youngest child is two years old have 14% higher predicted self-employment rates due to the birth of that child. Second, I show that self-employed women appear to have more flexibility in their work location, hours, and schedule than wage and salary employed women using data from the American Time Use Survey. I find that mothers with young children use self-employment to spend an additional two hours per day with their children. My results suggest that mothers use self-employment to gain more control over their work environment allowing them to better manage their household responsibilities while working. These findings contribute to the ongoing discussion on the importance of family friendly work policies and the rise of alternative work arrangements.
Previous studies have shown that childrearing has a different impact on a mother's professional career, depending, among other reasons, on how much time passed from birth to return to work. In this paper, we use a competing risks model to determine which variables may explain time out of work, as well as the transition back to work for young mothers in France. In our study, mothers can decide to go back to the same employer, change a personal but also a professionalemployer and/or change labour supply. Our results show that it is mostly the age of the mothers at birth, their pre-birth wages, tenure, firm size as well as the state of the economy as a whole that play a large role in the way young mothers go back to work, if at all. This research highlights the key factors on which causal research should be based in order to advise firms and also policy-makers on how to influence mothers' labour supply behaviors.
While studies of birth order effects on human capital formation for developed countries abound, less is known about these effects in a developing country context. Harnessing rich childbearing history data on senior parents in China, I provide within-family estimates of the impact of birth order on adult children's completed schooling, emphasizing heterogenous effects across gender. I find evidence that, holding the size of the family fixed, a daughter's schooling decreases with the number of younger siblings, while a son's schooling increases with the number of younger siblings. Birth order differences in age at marriage and provision of intergenerational support to parents are possible explanations for the observed patterns in schooling. My findings suggest that the one-child policy, despite having contributed to worsening the sex-ratio imbalance in China, could have helped reduce the gender gap in educational attainment.
This study analyzes whether parental monetary investments in children stimulate support from sons and daughters. Using data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study, I find that parents invested twice more in sons than in daughters in terms of college education spending and marriage gifts value. Conversely, higher parental monetary investments are associated with higher increases in support from daughters than from sons in terms of best living proximity and most help with activities of daily living. Parental monetary investments in sons' college education are positively associated with sons' income and negatively associated with sons' instrumental support, suggesting that such investments potentially generate higher opportunity costs of time for sons. Meanwhile, parental monetary investments in daughters' marriage are positively associated with daughters' instrumental support, which may occur through an income effect or through reciprocity from daughters. There is no conclusive evidence that parental monetary investments stimulate monetary and in-kind transfers from children, suggesting that material support possibly occurs out of social norm courtesy.
This article examines the exchange motive in intergenerational monetary transfers. The exchange motive is in operation if parents make transfers to their children in exchange for services. The analysis incorporates data on current inter vivos transfers and the self-assessed probability of making future transfers via bequests. The focus is on the correlation between child-provided help and transfers from parents to adult children. Cross-sectionally, small transfers (between EUR 250 and EUR 5,000) and child-provided help are positively related. Endogeneity arising from omitted variables and reverse causality are addressed by using a lagged value of child-provided help. Further, in an analysis of first-differenced data, the association is statistically significant at the 10% level of confidence. The correlation is not significant in the case of large (above EUR 5,000) transfers, or the self-assessed probability of making future transfers via bequests. These findings suggest that small inter vivos transfers may be driven by exchange motives, although the findings are also consistent with altruism.
Taiwan expanded its college access significantly over the past two decades by converting 2-year junior colleges to 4-year colleges and relaxing entrance standards. The share of college graduates in the 22-24 years old population rose from 12 to 71% between 1990 and 2014. This should have suppressed returns to schooling and lowered household income inequality. Instead, Taiwan's Gini coefficient rose. We show that rising use of performance pay and positive assortative mating in the marriage market jointly increase the household income inequality by 46.5% between 1980 and 2014. Our results suggest that uneven quality of the most recent cohorts of college graduates led to two sources of rising household income inequality: the increased use of bonus pay which increases residual inequality among college graduates; and matching on unobserved skills in the marriage market which increases inequality among married couples.
We empirically analyze the relationship between income inequality and individual preferences for public redistribution, focusing on intra-household income inequality between spouses. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we find that both one’s own earned income and earned intra-household income inequality are significantly negatively related to preferences for public redistribution. However, as the earned income inequality between partners increases, the poorer partner’s preference for public redistribution declines while the richer partner’s preference for public redistribution increases. The poorer partners’ preferences may, in fact, indicate preferences for intra-household redistribution from the richer to the poorer partner. The richer partners’ preferences may be explained by the fact that, when married, they can realize tax savings and, therefore, have to pay relatively less for public redistribution. Moreover, our results confirm previous findings regarding a partner’s future social mobility prospects upon cohabitation ending, because they show that having a strong outside option, i.e., a high wage potential, is significantly negatively related to redistributive preferences, especially among those with an above-average future wage potential.
This paper examines the importance of the occupational sorting of individuals in same-sex couples in explaining the economic position of lesbian women and gay men beyond controlling for occupation in the estimation of their respective wage gaps, as usually done in the literature. The analysis reveals that the distribution of partnered gay men across occupations brings them a monetary gain, with respect to the average wage of coupled workers, whereas the occupational sorting of partnered lesbian women only allows them to depart from the large losses that straight partnered women have. The results show that when controlling for educational achievements, immigration profile, racial composition, and age structure, the gain for gay men associated with their occupational sorting shrinks substantially. Moreover, the small gain that lesbian women derive from their distribution across occupations turns into an earning disadvantage when one controls for characteristics. This leaves them with a loss, with respect to the average wage of coupled workers, that is not too different from to the one partnered straight women have. It is their higher educational attainments and, to a lower extent, their lower immigration profile that protects workers in same-sex couples, revealing that gay men do not enjoy the privilege of straight partnered men and that lesbian women are not free from the mark of gender.