nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2015‒02‒16
seven papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. What Do Longitudinal Data on Millions of Hospital Visits Tell Us about the Value of Public Health Insurance as a Safety Net for the Young and Privately Insured? By Amanda E. Kowalski
  2. Physician Longitudinal Relationship between Participation in Physical Activity and Health By Logan McLeod; Jane E. Ruseski
  3. Aging and pension reform: Extending the retirement age and human capital formation By Vogel, Edgar; Ludwig, Alexander; Börsch-Supan, Axel
  4. Social mobility and mortality in southern Sweden (1815–1910) By Paolo Emilio Cardone
  5. “Regional wage gaps, education, and informality in an emerging country. The case of Colombia.” By Paula Herrera-Idárraga; Enrique López-Bazo; Elisabet Motellón
  6. Religions, Fertility and Growth in South-East Asia By David de la Croix; Clara Delavallade
  7. Agricultural Trade Policies and Food Security: Is there a Causal Relationship? By Emiliano Magrini; Pierluigi Montalbano; Silvia Nenci; Luca Salvatici

  1. By: Amanda E. Kowalski (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: Young people with private health insurance sometimes transition to the public health insurance safety net after they get sick, but popular sources of cross-sectional data obscure how frequently these transitions occur. We use longitudinal data on almost all hospital visits in New York from 1995 to 2011. We show that young privately insured individuals with diagnoses that require more hospital visits in subsequent years are more likely to transition to public insurance. If we ignore the longitudinal transitions in our data, we obscure over 80% of the value of public health insurance to the young and privately insured.
    Keywords: Health insurance, Nonelderly, Cohort
    JEL: I13
    Date: 2015–01
  2. By: Logan McLeod; Jane E. Ruseski
    Abstract: Health production models include participation in physical activity as an input. We investigate the longitudinal relationship between participation in physical activity and health outcomes using a random effects probit model and a dynamic unobserved effect probit model. Estimates based on data from 8 cycles of the Canadian National Population Health Survey (NPHS) indicate lagged participation in physical activity has a modest negative effect on the incidence of high blood pressure, ulcers, arthritis, and heart disease. Lagged participation in physical activity has a relatively large negative effect on the probability of being in fair or poor health self-reported health.
    Keywords: health production, physical activity, lifestyle choices, random effects probit, dynamic unobserved effects probit
    JEL: I12 I18
    Date: 2015–01
  3. By: Vogel, Edgar; Ludwig, Alexander; Börsch-Supan, Axel
    Abstract: Projected demographic changes in industrialized and developing countries vary in extent and timing but will reduce the share of the population in working age everywhere. Conventional wisdom suggests that this will increase capital intensity with falling rates of return to capital and increasing wages. This decreases welfare for middle aged asset rich households. This paper takes the perspective of the three demographically oldest European nations - France, Germany and Italy - to address three important adjustment channels to dampen these detrimental effects of aging in these countries: investing abroad, endogenous human capital formation and increasing the retirement age. Our quantitative finding is that endogenous human capital formation in combination with an increase in the retirement age has strong implications for economic aggregates and welfare, in particular in the open economy. These adjustments reduce the maximum welfare losses of demographic change for households alive in 2010 by about 2.2 percentage points in terms of a consumption equivalent variation.
    Keywords: population aging,human capital,welfare,pension reform,retirement age,open economy
    JEL: C68 E17 E25 J11 J24
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Paolo Emilio Cardone (Sapienza University of Rome)
    Abstract: The aim of this research project is to see how intra-social group mobility affected mortality patterns in Sweden; the project covers the transition from a preindustrial to an industrial society. According to previous studies (see Bengtsson 2010; Bengtsson and Van Poppel 2011; Bengtsson and Dribe 2011; Dribe, Helgertz, and Van de Putte 2013), social economical status (SES) did not substantially positively affect life expectancy in the Swedish population; rather, other variables, such as public health measures or education, were key factors. However, a new question has emerged for us: Is it possible that other socio-economic factors, such as intergenerational mobility, affected life expectancy? To answer this, we use a dataset between 1815 and 1910 from the Scanian Economic-Demographic Database (SEDD). The database is based on local population registers for five rural Scanian coast parishes (Hög, Kävlinge, Halmstad, Sireköpinge, and KÃ¥geröd). Analysis is based on three periods according to historical criterion (the preindustrial period: 1815–1869; the early industrial period: 1870–1894; and the first part of the breakthrough of industrialization: 1895–1910). In our study, we define intra-social mobility as the chances of an individual between ages 30 and 49 to experience a change of his SES according to SOCPO codification. SOCPO is composed of a five-category classification scheme. Our main reason for using it is that while it focuses on social power, it is also highly correlated with education and income. In addition, this classification can be used for both rural and industrial societies. Therefore, a Cox proportional hazard model will be applied to estimate the influence of social mobility, controlling for age and other possible determinant variables. We are going to estimate a model for each SOCPO category. This model includes social mobility status (a categorical variable in which 1 is when the individual experiences upward mobility and 0 otherwise), age, sex, year of birth, parish of residence, and position in the household. Thus, after these analyses, we expect to find a significant and positive relationship between social economic mobility and mortality.
    Date: 2014–11–13
  5. By: Paula Herrera-Idárraga (Department of Econometrics. University of Barcelona); Enrique López-Bazo (Department of Econometrics. University of Barcelona); Elisabet Motellón (Department of Econometrics. University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper uses Colombian micro-data to analyze the role of education and informality on regional wage differentials. Our hypothesis is that apart from differences in the endowment of human capital across regions, regional heterogeneity in the incidence of informality is another important source of regional wage inequality in developing and emerging countries. This is confirmed by the evidence from Colombia, which in addition reveals remarkable heterogeneity across territories in the wage return to individuals’ characteristics. Regional heterogeneity in returns to education is especially intense in the upper part of the wage distribution. In turn, heterogeneity in the informal pay penalty is more relevant in the lower part.
    Keywords: Regions, Wage differentials, Quantile-based decompositions, Formal/Informal Jobs, Economic Development JEL classification: C21, J31, J38
    Date: 2015–01
  6. By: David de la Croix (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)); Clara Delavallade (International Policy Research Institute (IFPRI))
    Abstract: Through indirect inference, we investigate the extent to which religions’supposed pronatalism is detrimental to growth via the fertility/education channel. Using censuses from South-East Asia, we first estimate an empirical model of fertility and show that having a religious affiliation significantly raises fertility. This effect is stronger for couples with intermediate to high education levels. We next use these estimates to identify the parameters of a structural model of fertility choice. On average, Catholicism is the most pro-child religion (increasing spending on children), followed by Buddhism, while Islam has a strong pro-birth component (redirecting spending from quality to quantity). We show that pro-child religions depress growth in the early stages by lowering saving, physical capital, and labor supply. These effects account for 10% to 50% of the actual growth gaps between countries over 1950-1980. At later stages of growth, pro-birth religions lower human capital accumulation, explaining between 10% and 20% of the gap between Muslim and Buddhist countries over 1980-2010.
    Keywords: Quality-quantity tradeoff, Catholicism, Buddhism, Islam, Education, Saving
    JEL: J13 Z13 O11
  7. By: Emiliano Magrini; Pierluigi Montalbano; Silvia Nenci; Luca Salvatici
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to assess the causal impact of trade policy distortions on food security.The added value of this work is twofold:i)its use of an on-parametric matching technique with continuous treatment,namely the Generalised Propensity Score(GPS)to address the self selection bias;ii)its analys is of heterogeneity in treatment(by commodities)as well as inoutcome(i.e.different dimensions of food security).The results of our estimates clearly show that trade policy distortions are,overall,significantly correlated with the various dimensions of food security analysed. Both discrimination against agriculture and 'excessive' support lead to poor performances in all dimensions of foodsecurity (availability,access,utilisation and stability).
    JEL: C21 F14 Q17

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