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J1 - Demographic Economics

Demographic Economics

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Backlash: The Unintended Effects of Language Prohibition in U.S. Schools after World War I

Can forced assimilation policies successfully integrate immigrant groups? This paper examines how a specific assimilation policy – language restrictions in elementary school – affects integration and identification with the host country later in life. After World War I, several U.S. states barred the German language from their schools. I find that affected individuals were less likely to volunteer in WWII and more likely to marry within their ethnic group and to choose decidedly German names for their offspring.

Population Policy: Abortion and Modern Contraception are Substitutes

There is longstanding debate in population policy about the relationship between modern contraception and abortion.  Although theory predicts that they should be substitutes, the existing body of empirical evidence is difficult to interpret.  What is required is a large-scale intervention that alters the supply (or full price) of one or the other – and importantly, does so in isolation (reproductive health programs often bundle primary health care and family planning – and in some instances, abortion services).

The Impact of State Tax Subsidies for Private Long-Term Care Insurance on Coverage and Medicaid Expenditures

In spite of the large expected costs of needing long-term care, only 10-12 percent of the elderly population has private insurance coverage. Medicaid, which provides means-tested public assistance and pays for almost half of long-term care costs, spends more than $100 billion annually on long-term care. In this paper, I exploit variation in the adoption and generosity of state tax subsidies for private long-term care insurance to determine whether tax subsidies increase private coverage and reduce Medicaid's costs for long-term care.

The Impact of Microfinance on Factors Empowering Women: Regional and Delivery Mechanisms in India's SHG Programme

We examine how the impact on women empowerment varies with respect to the location and type of group linkage of the respondent. Using household survey data from five states in India, we correct for selection bias to estimate a structural equation model. Our results reveal that in the southern states of India empowerment of women takes place through economic factors. For the other states, we find a significant correlation between women empowerment and autonomy in women’s decision-making and network, communication and political participation respectively.

Intergenerational Co-residence and Schooling

This paper investigates how parents’ expectations of co-residence with their oldest son affects schooling outcomes. Using an overlapping generations model, the effect is shown to be ambiguous; it depends on how schooling affects life cycle income profiles. The empirical analysis utilizes household data that reports young parents’ expectations regarding residence in old age and also provides measures of schooling achievement for their children.

Gender in Times of Global Governance: Glocalizing International Norms Around Money and Power, Violence and Sex in Peru

Internationally defined gender rights are glocalized in Peru by both state and non-state actors, especially international non-governmental organizations and trade unions. Looking at four different dimensions of gender disparities shows that the more institutionalized a women’s issue is internationally, the more isomorphic it is nationally. The clear codification on the international level leads to the adoption of an identical provision on the national level without the modification of either the text or the spirit of the agreement.

Utilization of Labor in South Asia

The dominant productive resource of an overwhelming majority of households in South Asia, if not the only resource, is their endowment of labor. How this resource is utilized at each point of time and over time depends on the evolution of the framework governing the decisions of employers and households about their production, consumption, labor force participation, employment, schooling and accumulation, as well as public policy interventions intended to influence them.

Determinants of the Patterns Within and Across Countries of South Asia

The problems of agriculture and poverty cannot be addressed without reducing the number of workers and their families dependent on land, thereby raising productivity. There are substantial rural-urban and male-female differences in rates of labor force participation, employment, and unemployment, as well as informality of employment that exist within and across South Asian countries. Also, most of the employed in South Asia work in the informal sector. Regular wage or salaried employment in formal sectors accounted for a small share in total employment.

Village Economies and The Structure of Extended Family Networks

This paper documents how the structure of extended family networks in rural Mexico relates to the poverty and inequality of the village of residence. Using the Hispanic naming convention, we construct within-village extended family networks in 504 poor rural villages. Family networks are larger (both in the number of members and as a share of the village population) and out-migration is lower the poorer and the less unequal the village of residence. Our results are consistent with the extended family being a source of informal insurance to its members.

Macroeconomic Instability, Migration, and the Option Value of Education

We explore the relation between variability in the rate of return to human capital and investment in education in the context of migration. Specifically, we show that if migration is a possibility, such variability in the rate of return to human capital can induce residents of developing countries to make greater investments in education. Moreover, providing that education is relatively costly, variability in the return to human capital may increase the average level of education in a developing economy even after expected migration is netted out.


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