nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2010‒09‒18
four papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. India’s Demographic Transition: Boon or Bane? A State-Level Perspective By Utsav, Kumar
  2. The Demography of an Early Mortality Transition: Life Expectancy, Survival and Mortality Rates for Britain's Royals, 1500-1799 By Paul A. David; S. Ryan Johansson; Andrea Pozzi
  3. Height, Health Human Capital and Quality of Life Among Older Chinese By Asadul Islam; Paul Raschky; Russell Smyth
  4. Housing Mobility and Downsizing at Older Ages in Britain and the United States By Banks, James; Blundell, Richard; Oldfield, Zoë; Smith, James P.

  1. By: Utsav, Kumar
    Abstract: Age structure and its dynamics are critical in understanding the impact of population growth on a country’s growth prospects. Using state-level data from India, we show that the pace of demographic transition varies across states, and that these differences are likely to be exacerbated over the period 2011-2026. We show that the so-called BIMARU states (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh) are likely to see a continuing increase in the share of the working-age population in total population. The BIMARU states are expected to contribute 58% of the increase in India’s working-age population. The BIMARU states have traditionally been the slow-growing states and have performed poorly on different accounts of social and physical infrastructure. Whether India can turn demographic dividend into a boon or whether the dividend will become a bane will critically depend on the ability of the BIMARU states to exploit the bulge in the working-age population.
    Keywords: Demographic dividend; economic growth; India; population growth; working-age population
    JEL: R10 O53 J10 J18 R11 J11
    Date: 2010–09–02
  2. By: Paul A. David (Stanford University & All Souls College, Oxford); S. Ryan Johansson (Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Family Social Structure, Cambridge University); Andrea Pozzi (Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (Rome))
    Abstract: This paper details the statistical sources, methods and findings that underpin the demographic evidence offered by Johansson (2010) in support of her thesis regarding “Europe’s first knowledge-driven mortality transition,” namely the pronounced and sustained rise in the expectations of life that took place among the 17th and early 18th century birth cohorts of members of Britain’s royal families. The consequent interest in exposing the existence of systematic demographic effects of changes in the medical treatments and healthcare regimens received by this elite makes it germane to establish the statistical significance of a particular pattern of inter-cohort changes in the royals’ mortality experience – namely, one whose timing and age- and sexspecificity make it plausibly attributable to the historical improvements in the medical knowledge and practice of their doctors, as has been documented by Johansson (1999, 2010). Complete genealogical data for the members of Britain’s royal families born c. 1500 – c.1800, due to Weir (1996), permits construction of cohort life expectancy at birth and at age 25 for royal males, royal females, as well as for the small number of male monarchs, their female consorts and the queens. Inter-cohort comparisons of life table mortality schedules are obtained by using the 5-year average survival rate distributions for the successive birth cohorts to estimate for each cohort the parameters of Anson’s (1991) general model of age-specific mortality hazard rates – the empirical probability of dying within 5 years of age x, conditional on having survived to that age. A variety of tests show the gross changes of interest to be statistically significant. The discussion contrasts the mortality transition among the royal families’ members with the contemporaneous demographic experience of rural and urban segments of the English population at large.
    Date: 2010–08–15
  3. By: Asadul Islam; Paul Raschky; Russell Smyth
    Abstract: We find that taller people enjoy a higher quality of life at older ages in China. Implications are drawn for investment in health human capital in infancy and adolescence.
    Keywords: China, Height, Well-being
    JEL: I1 J14 O1
    Date: 2010–05
  4. By: Banks, James (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London); Blundell, Richard (University College London); Oldfield, Zoë (Institute for Fiscal Studies, London); Smith, James P. (RAND)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of housing price risk on housing choices over the life-cycle. Housing price risk can be substantial but, unlike other risky assets which people can avoid, the fact that most people will eventually own their home creates an insurance demand for housing assets early in life. Our contribution is to focus on the importance of home ownership and housing wealth as a hedge against future house price risk for individuals moving up the ladder – people living in places with higher housing price risk should own their first home at a younger age, should live in larger homes, and should be less likely to refinance. These predictions are tested and shown to hold using panel data from the United States and Great Britain.
    Keywords: downsizing, migration
    JEL: D12 D91
    Date: 2010–09

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