nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2016‒04‒16
five papers chosen by
Michele Battisti
ifo Institut

  1. The distributive effects of work-family life policies in European welfare states By Tine Hufkens; Gerlinde Verbist
  2. The legacy of historical conflict: evidence from Africa By Timothy Besley; Marta Reynal-Querol
  3. The Impact of Family Planning Funding Cuts on Preventive Care By David Slusky; Yao Lu
  4. The Role of Culture in Long-term Care By Elena Gentili; Giuliano Masiero; Fabrizio Mazzonna
  5. Inheritance and Wealth Inequality: Evidence from Population Registers By Elinder, Mikael; Erixson, Oxcar; Waldenström, Daniel

  1. By: Tine Hufkens; Gerlinde Verbist
    Abstract: An aspect that has only recently received attention in the study of policy measures aimed at supporting families with young children in their work-family life balance is its distributive impact. Are these measures used by poor and rich families alike, or is there a ‘Matthew effect’ at play, in the sense that poor families are underrepresented in using such measures? In order to perform such an evaluation one needs to have a measure of both cash and in-kind benefits related to policies that help families cope with the care of young children and job expectations. In-kind benefits are offered mainly in the form of subsidized early childhood education and care (ECEC), for which an appropriate cash equivalent has to be derived. As the value of in-kind benefits from publicly provided services is not included in the EU-SILC data, we derive them for this paper in line with earlier studies (e.g. Matsaganis and Verbist, 2009; Vaalavuo, 2011; Förster and Verbist, 2012; Van Lancker, 2014; Van Lancker and Ghysels, 2014). In comparison to these earlier studies, however, our analysis is much more fine-grained as we use the microsimulation model EUROMOD to include more precise estimates of parental fees and related tax-benefit policies; thus, we will have a better estimate of the net in-kind benefit households derive from ECEC services. We focus on policy measures going to children under compulsory schooling age for a selection of seven EU-countries. These improved estimates allow us to analyze the work-family polices from three perspectives: 1) how do the distributive characteristics of cash and in-kind benefits compare to one another in this domain?; 2) how do countries compare to one another in their policy perspective in terms of supporting outsourcing or home-based care for young children?; 3) what is the balance between private and public efforts for outsourced childcare across countries? Our results show that including net fees in the analysis attenuates the Matthew effect, in the sense that net fees are relatively more heavy for richer households than for the poor. There is, however, considerable cross-country variation.
    Keywords: Family policy, child care, in-kind benefits, income distribution, microsimulation
    JEL: H23 I38 J13 C53
  2. By: Timothy Besley; Marta Reynal-Querol
    Abstract: This article exploits variation between and within countries to examine the legacy of recorded conflicts in Africa in the precolonial period between 1400 and 1700. There are three main findings. First, we show that historical conflict is correlated with a greater prevalence of postcolonial conflict. Second, historical conflict is correlated with lower levels of trust, a stronger sense of ethnic identity, and a weaker sense of national identity across countries. Third, historical conflict is negatively correlated with subsequent patterns of development looking at the pattern across grid cells within countries.
    Keywords: conflict; trust; identity
    JEL: N47 O55
    Date: 2014–05–02
  3. By: David Slusky (Princeton University); Yao Lu (University of Chicago Booth School of Business)
    Abstract: Many women rely on family planning and women’s health organizations as their only recent source of care, including preventive care. Recently, several states have cut public funding for women’s health organizations that are associated with abortion services. This paper is the first to quantify the impact of these funding cuts and resulting clinic closures on the incidence of preventive care, focusing on Texas and Wisconsin during the 2007–2012 period. Using quarterly data on health center street addresses from a national network of women’s health centers and confidential respondent ZIP codes from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), we calculate changes in distance to the nearest clinic over time. From a within-ZIP-code analysis, we conclude that an increase of 100 miles to the nearest clinic would result in a decrease in the annual utilization rate of a clinical breast exam by 6 percentage points (pp), a mammogram by 2 pp, and a Pap test by 9 pp. These estimates are generally larger for low-education women: 14 pp, 6 pp, and 8 pp respectively. Future analysis will incorporate 2014 survey data to cover a more recent round of cuts.
    Keywords: Women's health care, preventive health care, clinic closure, access to care, public finance, abortion, cancer screening
    JEL: H75 I18 J13
    Date: 2014–05
  4. By: Elena Gentili (Institute of Economics (IdEP), Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI), Switzerland); Giuliano Masiero (Institute of Economics (IdEP), Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI), Switzerland; Department of Management, Information and Production Engineering (DIGIP), University of Bergamo, Italy); Fabrizio Mazzonna (Institute of Economics (IdEP), Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI), Switzerland)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to assess the role of culture in shaping individual preferences to- wards different long-term care (LTC) arrangements. The analysis uses Swiss data from two administrative databases covering the universe of formal LTC providers between 2007 and 2013. Switzerland is a multi-cultural confederation where state administrative borders do not always coincide with cultural groups. For this reason, we exploit the within-state variation in cultural groups to show evidence about cultural differences in LTC use. In particular, we use spatial regression discontinuity design (RDD) at the language border between French-speaking and German-speaking individuals living in bilingual cantons to provide causal interpretation of the differences in formal LTC use between these two main cultural groups. Our results suggest a strong role of culture in shaping household decisions about formal LTC use. In particular, elderly people residing in regions speaking a Latin language (French, Italian and Romansh) use home-based care services more intensely and enter in nursing homes at older ages and in worse health conditions with respect to elderly people in German regions. This difference across the two cultural groups are driven by different preferences towards LTC arrangements.
    Keywords: Long-term care, Culture, Spatial RDD
    JEL: I11 I18 C26
    Date: 2016–04–04
  5. By: Elinder, Mikael (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Erixson, Oxcar (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Waldenström, Daniel (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: We use new population-wide register data on inheritances and wealth in Sweden to estimate the causal impact of inheritances on wealth inequality. We find that inheritances reduce relative wealth inequality (e.g., the Gini coefficient falls by 5–10 percent) but that absolute dispersion increases. Examining different parts of the wealth distribution, we find that the top decile’s wealth share decreases substantially, whereas the wealth share of the bottom half increases from a negative to a positive share. In essence, wealthier heirs inherit larger amounts, but less wealthy heirs inherit more relative to their pre-inheritance wealth. We also find that post-inheritance behavioral adjustments mitigate the equalizing effect of inheritances because less wealthy heirs consume larger shares of their inheritances. Moreover, we find that the Swedish inheritance tax reduced the equalizing inheritance effect but that the redistribution of tax revenues could reverse this result. Finally, we show that inheritances increase wealth mobility.
    Keywords: Bequests; Estates; Net worth; Inheritance taxation; Wealth distribution
    JEL: D63 E21 H24
    Date: 2016–03–29

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