Interdisciplinary Centers, Units, and Projects

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 258
  • Publication
    Methods For Analyzing Components Of Change In Size And Structure Of The Labor Force With Application To Puerto Rico, 1950-60
    (1969-09-01) Durand, John D.; Holden, Karen C.
    The increase or decrease of a country's labor force during a given period of time can be factored into the following components: A. Loss by death of labor force members. B. Net gain or loss by immigration and emigration of labor force members. C. Gain by entry into the labor force of individuals from the economically inactive population. D. Loss by retirement from the labor force into economically inactive status (including involuntary withdrawal on account of disability or for other reasons, as well as voluntary retirement). Likewise the change in number of workers attached to a given occupation or industry group of the labor force can be factored into the same four components, plus the fifth component: E. Net gain or loss by occupational or industrial mobility, i. e. transfers of labor force members from one occupation or industry to another. It is useful to subdivide components C and D as follows: C1 and D1. Labor force entries and retirements which would correspond to the maintenance of unchanging age-specific rates of entry and retirement (in the labor force as a whole and in given occupation or industry categories). C2 and D2. Entries and retirements due to changes during the period in the age-specific entry and retirement rates. The sum of components A, C1, and D1 can be considered as a measure of "natural increase" in the labor force as a whole or a given occupation or industry. This is the increase which would result from natural increase of the population and associated changes in its age structure without migration and without occupational or industrial mobility. Components B, C2, D2 and E are media through which the natural increase is modified under the influence of supply and demand factors.
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    Divorce-Law Changes, Household Bargaining, and Married Women's Labor Supply Revisited
    (2007-05-10) Stevenson, Betsey
    Divorce law changes made in the 1970s affected marital formation, dissolution, and bargaining within marriage. By altering the terms of the marital contract these legal changes impacted the incentives for women to enter and remain in the labor force. Whereas earlier work had suggested that the impact of unilateral divorce on female employment depended critically on laws governing property division, I show that these results are not robust to alternative specifications and controls. I find instead that unilateral divorce led to an increase in both married and unmarried female labor force participation, regardless of the underlying property laws.
  • Publication
    Interrelations Between Religiosity, Mental Health, and Children
    (2015-01-01) Cranney, Stephen
    This dissertation consists of three independent but related research articles dealing with religiosity, mental health, and children. The first uses the General Social Survey to perform the first large-N, non-convenience-sample analysis of the relationship between belief in God and sense of purpose. Using logistic regression analysis I find that there is a positive association, expanding our knowledge of the association between religious frameworks on a particular facet of mental health. The second article uses OLS to test the relationship between belief in God and fertility intentions in the Czech Republic and Slovenia using the European Fertility and Family Survey, once again finding positive relationships between belief in God or belief in a higher power and fertility intentions. This finding is theoretically important because the prior literature has tended to invoke directly institutional mechanisms in the fertility/religion relationship without considering the possibility that more individuated forms of religiosity may have independent associations. Finally, the third article uses the General Social Survey (and, once again, OLS) to test the role of religiosity as a moderator in the relationship between number of children and happiness. The literature on children and happiness has progressed beyond simple associations, but the literature incorporating concrete social moderators is still in its infancy, and especially social moderators whose influences are vectored through ideational, and not necessarily material, associations. I make the theoretical argument that, as religiosity in the United States tends to be associated with pronatalist norms and culture, and as happiness is positively associated with fulfilling sociocultural imperatives, then, all things being equal, the more religious will have a higher happiness effect (or lower unhappiness effect) from their children than the less religious. Using General Social Survey data, my empirical analyses empirically confirm this hypothesis, showing a positive and significant interaction term between religion and child number, representing a higher happiness association with child number for the religious. This interaction is partially explained by another interaction term between higher ideal family size (measuring pronatalist tendencies), but this second interaction does not explain all of the religiosity/children interactive effect.
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  • Publication
    What Determines Adult Cognitive Skills? Impacts of Pre-Schooling, Schooling and Post-Schooling Experiences in Guatemala
    (2006-04-01) Behrman, Jere R; Hoddinott, John; Maluccio, John A; Soler-Hampejsek, Erica; Behrman, Emily L; Martorell, Reynaldo; Ramirez-Zea, Manuel; Stein, Aryeh D
    Most investigations of the importance of and the determinants of adult cognitive skills assume that (a) they are produced primarily by schooling and (b) schooling is statistically predetermined. But these assumptions may lead to misleading inferences about impacts of schooling and of pre-schooling and post-schooling experiences on adult cognitive skills. This study uses an unusually rich longitudinal data set collected over 35 years in Guatemala to investigate production functions for adult (i) reading-comprehension and (ii) non-verbal cognitive skills as dependent on behaviorally-determined pre-schooling, schooling and post-schooling experiences. Major results are: (1) Schooling has significant and substantial impact on adult reading comprehension (but not on adult non-verbal cognitive skills) —but estimates of this impact are biased upwards substantially if there is not control for behavioral determinants of schooling in the presence of persistent unobserved factors such as genetic endowments and/or if family background factors that appear to be correlated with genetic endowments are included among the first-stage instruments. (2) Both pre-schooling and post-schooling experiences have substantial significant impacts on one or both of the adult cognitive skill measures that tend to be underestimated if these pre- and post-schooling experiences are treated as statistically predetermined—in contrast to the upward bias for schooling, which suggests that the underlying physical and job-related components of genetic endowments are negatively correlated with those for cognitive skills. (3) The failure in most studies to incorporate pre- and post-schooling experiences in the analysis of adult cognitive skills or outcomes affected by adult skills is likely to lead to misleading over-emphasis on schooling relative to these pre-and post-schooling experiences. (4) Gender differences in the coefficients of the adult cognitive skills production functions are not significant, suggesting that most of the fairly substantial differences in adult cognitive skills favoring males on average originate from gender differences in completed grades of schooling and in experience in skilled jobs favoring males. These four sets of findings are of substantial interest in themselves. But they also have important implications for broader literatures, pointing to limitations in the cross-country growth literature of using schooling of adults to represent human capital, supporting hypotheses about the importance of childhood nutrition and work complexity in explaining the “Flynn effect” of substantial increases in measured cognitive skills over time, and questioning the interpretation of studies that report productivity impacts of cognitive skills without controlling for the endogeneity of such skills.
  • Publication
    Three Essays On Early Childhood Development In Chile
    (2017-01-01) Abufhele Milad, Alejandra
    Early childhood development literature has emphasized the role that parental investment and early life conditions play on human capital formation. Still, there is little evidence on the mechanisms driving such dependence. This dissertation examines potential mechanisms explaining the relationship between parental investments, early life conditions and children’s outcomes. The first chapter exploits a plausibly exogenous variation on the timing at which a maternity leave extension reform was implemented to estimate the causal effect of additional weeks of maternity leave on breastfeeding duration in Chile. By using data from the Chilean Longitudinal Survey of Early Childhood (ELPI), I find that additional weeks of maternity leave increases significantly breastfeeding duration; however, the effects show substantial heterogeneity by socioeconomic status in favor of low-educated mothers, suggesting that the reform has equalizing effects. The second chapter examines how parental investments respond to differences in the initial endowment between siblings within families, and how parental preference tradeoffs vary between families with different maternal education. Using ELPI twins data, I find that preferences are not at the extreme of pure compensatory investments to offset endowment inequalities among siblings nor at the extreme of pure reinforcement favoring the better-endowed child with no concern about inequality, but that parental investment preferences are neutral, so that they do not change the inequality on endowment differentials, a result that is consistent across families with low- and high-educated mothers. The third chapter provides empirical evidence on the effects of birth weight on cognitive and non-cognitive development. Results from singletons births show a positive association. The first-difference models for identical twins, show that birth weight does not have a significant effect on the developmental test scores. However, twins estimates stratified by age of the children show that birth weight effects are positive and significant but only for children between 3 and 7 years old. Overall, I conclude that endowments at birth, parental investments and policy interventions are all key determinants to unravel children’s outcomes, and exploring the role that age and socioeconomic heterogeneity play in the production of these outcomes seems to be key for a thorough understanding of early childhood inequalities.
  • Publication
    Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households
    (2008-05-23) Greenwood, Jeremy; Guner, Nezih
    Since World War II there has been: (i) a rise in the fraction of time that married households allocate to market work, (ii) an increase in the rate of divorce, and (iii) a decline in the rate of marriage. It is argued here that labor-saving technological progress in the household sector can explain these facts. This makes it more feasible for singles to maintain their own home, and for married women to work. To address this question, a search model of marriage and divorce, which incorporates household production, is developed. An extension looks back at the prewar era.
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    Urbanization and Demographic Change in Sub-Saharan Africa: Three essays on fertility and child mortality differentials in a rapidly urbanizing context
    (2014-01-01) Corker, Jamaica
    Nearly all demographic research on sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) utilizes a strict urban/rural dichotomy, which implicitly assumes homogenous demographic outcomes within these categories. In this dissertation, I use data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) to demonstrate that using an urban continuum reveals substantial differences in the demographic outcomes among SSA's growing urban settlements. In the first chapter, I use event-history analysis to examine whether SSA's long-held urban child survival advantage is diminishing, accounting for differentials in city size and potential bias in survival rates due to migration. I find the overall under-5 survival advantage of urban over rural areas persists but that there is a widening of the advantage in the largest cities over smaller urban areas. In the second chapter, I model annual birth probabilities to examine whether there is a discernible "urban effect" of lower fertility among internal migrants in West Africa. Results suggest an association of urban residence and lower fertility, as women who moved either to or from urban areas have lower annual odds of a birth compared to both rural non-migrants and rural-to-rural migrants. I also find that women who relocate to the largest cities have lower fertility than do women who move to smaller urban areas, suggesting that the influence of urban residence on fertility is strongest where fertility rates are lowest. In the final chapter, I estimate total fertility rates and under-5 mortality probabilities for cities of different size in West Africa by linking DHS cluster data to census and geographic information systems (GIS) data for four distinct urban sub-categories. Results show a clear gradient in fertility and child mortality in urban areas according to size, with the largest cities most advantaged; this gradient is as steep between the largest and smallest urban areas as it is between the smallest urban and rural areas. I use the findings from this dissertation to argue for wider use of urban continuums in demographic research on SSA instead of the continued reliance on a strict urban/rural dichotomy that obscures important nuances in the interrelationship of urbanization and demographic change in this rapidly-urbanizing region.
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    Care Labor Demand Shocks and Inequality: How Childcare Costs Exacerbate Inequality among American Families
    (2022-03-15) Gonalons-Pons, Pilar; Marinescu, Ioana
    This article argues that care infrastructures can shape family income inequality and examines access to childcare services in the US as a case study. We propose that market-priced childcare systems generate inequalities in how births impact mothers’ income contributions to families and aggravate family income inequality as a result. Using the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) merged with state-level childcare prices, we estimate individual fixed effects regression models for the consequences of births on family income and on its proximate determinants: mothers’ labor supply and earnings, and partners’ labor supply and earnings. Our models include state and year fixed effects and identify the impact of childcare costs from within-state variation in childcare prices. Our analyses show that births increase family income inequality due to the negative impact of births on mothers’ earnings and that the negative impact of births on mothers’ earnings is not compensated by increases in partners’ earnings or income transfers. We find that higher childcare costs accentuate birth earnings penalties for mothers without college degrees, but not for mothers with college degrees. In all, we show that childcare costs exacerbate family income gaps between women without and with a college degree by 29 percentage points.
  • Publication
    Rural Poverty and Disability in LMICs
    (2020-05-27) Gaiha, Raghav; Mathur, Shantanu; Kulkarni, Vani S.
    Disability is neither a purely medical nor a purely social phenomenon. Rather, it is an outcome of their interplay. The main contributions of our study are two-fold: (i) a synthesis of the extant literature on the links between poverty and disability in LMICs. However, the studies focused on these links in rural areas are sparse. (ii) As rural economies-specifically, agriculture- continue to play an important role in economic growth, it is necessary to deepen our understanding of factors associated with rural disabilities, their association with rural employment and, finally, whether disabilities are associated with rural poverty. We use panel data for India and Ethiopia to illustrate these linkages, using rigorous econometric methodology. In particular, an important contribution is to corroborate the bidirectional association between disability and poverty, noted in many but validated in a few. The CRPD has ensured a concomitant shift in global initiatives, most notably the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which explicitly recognise disability as a major impediment to elimination of poverty and hunger. In the current development discourse, disability has thus acquired high priority. Although there is a plethora of legislation banning discrimination against the disabled in LMICs-including India and Ethiopia and other LMICs-discrimination against disabled women and elderly is rampant. While it is imperative to fix the policy failures, a remedial strategy has to mainstream the disabled in a sustainable rural development framework, with a key role of the community and mass media in dismantling the barriers to the participation of the disabled in the political, economic and social spheres. Although the challenges are formidable, our study offers grounds for optimism.