nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2019‒02‒18
five papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. The Economics of Parenting By Matthias Doepke; Giuseppe Sorrenti; Fabrizio Zilibotti
  2. Child Penalties Across Countries: Evidence and Explanations By Henrik Kleven; Camille Landais; Johanna Posch; Andreas Steinhauer; Josef Zweimüller
  3. How Migration Policies Moderate the Diffusion of Terrorism By Tobias Böhmelt; Tobias Böhmelt; Vincenzo Bove
  4. Population structure and the human development index By Carmen Herrero; Ricardo Martínez; Antonio Villar
  5. On the Political Feasibility of Increasing the Legal Retirement Age By Benjamin Bittschi; Berthold U. Wigger

  1. By: Matthias Doepke; Giuseppe Sorrenti; Fabrizio Zilibotti
    Abstract: Parenting decisions are among the most consequential choices people make throughout their lives. Starting with the work of pioneers such as Gary Becker, economists have used the toolset of their discipline to understand what parents do and how parents' actions affect their children. In recent years, the literature on parenting within economics has increasingly leveraged findings and concepts from related disciplines that also deal with parent-child interactions. For example, economists have developed models to understand the choice between various parenting styles that were first explored in the developmental psychology literature, and have estimated detailed empirical models of children's accumulation of cognitive and noncognitive skills in response to parental and other inputs. In this paper, we survey the economic literature on parenting and point out promising directions for future research.
    JEL: J13 J24 R20
    Date: 2019–02
  2. By: Henrik Kleven; Camille Landais; Johanna Posch; Andreas Steinhauer; Josef Zweimüller
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence on child penalties in female and male earnings in different countries. The estimates are based on event studies around the birth of the first child, using the specification proposed by Kleven et al. (2018). The analysis reveals some striking similarities in the qualitative effects of children across countries, but also sharp differences in the magnitude of the effects. We discuss the potential role of family policies (parental leave and child care provision) and gender norms in explaining the observed differences.
    JEL: H31 J13 J16 J18 J22
    Date: 2019–02
  3. By: Tobias Böhmelt; Tobias Böhmelt (University of Eessex); Vincenzo Bove (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: There is an ongoing debate among practitioners and scholars about the security consequences of transnational migration. Yet, existing work has not yet fully taken into account the policy instruments states have at their disposal to mitigate these, and we lack reliable evidence for the effectiveness of such measures. The following research addresses both shortcomings as we analyze whether and to what extent national migration policies affect the diffusion of terrorism via population movements. Spatial analyses report robust support for a moderating influence of states’ policies: while larger migration populations can be a vehicle for the diffusion of terrorism from one state to another, this only applies to target countries with extremely open controls and lax regulations. This research sheds new light on the security implications of population movements, and it crucially adds to our understanding of governments’ instruments for addressing migration challenges as well as their effectiveness.
    Keywords: Terrorism, Diffusion, Immigration; National Migration Policies
    Date: 2018–02
  4. By: Carmen Herrero (Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico. Universidad de Alicante.); Ricardo Martínez (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.); Antonio Villar (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olvide.)
    Abstract: This paper provides an alternative way of measuring human development that takes explicitly into account the differences in the countries’ population structures. The interest of this proposal stems from two complementary elements. First, that there is an enormous diversity in the population structures of those countries analysed in the Human Development Reports, particularly the shares of old people in the population. Second, that demographic characteristics are relevant in the evaluation of development possibilities. We propose to change the way of measuring health, education and material wellbeing, in order to take into account those differences in the population structures. Regarding the health component, we substitute Life Expectancy at Birth by Life Potential (the average life expectancy of the current population); concerning education, we change the average between Mean Years of Schooling and Expected Years of Schooling by the Education Potential (a variable that mimics life potential in this context). As for the material well-being, we propose using the Gross National Income per adult, instead of per capita, while keeping logs in the evaluation. The resulting indicator, called Demographically Adjusted Human Development Index, is the geometric mean of the three new variables suitably normalised. We analyse empirically the effect induced by these changes in the evaluation of human development by comparing this way of measurement with the conventional Human Development Index (HDI) for 168 countries.
    Keywords: Human development, health, education, income, life potential, education potential.
    JEL: O15 I31
    Date: 2019–02–05
  5. By: Benjamin Bittschi; Berthold U. Wigger
    Abstract: Within a politico-economic model we first establish three hypotheses: (i) Retirees generally prefer a higher retirement age than workers, whereby just retired individuals prefer the highest retirement age, (ii) in equilibrium the level of the legal retirement age is increasing in longevity and (iii) decreasing in the public pension replacement rate. We then test these hypotheses empirically. Employing micro data for Germany we corroborate the first hypothesis with descriptive regressions and a fuzzy regression discontinuity (FRD) design. We show that just retired individuals are indeed most in favor of an increase in the legal retirement age. On the basis of cross country panel IV regressions we provide evidence for the second and third hypothesis. We demonstrate that a one percentage point increase in the share of the elderly increases the legal retirement age by 0.3 to 0.5 years, and that a 10 percentage point increase in the replacement rate reduces the legal retirement age by 0.5 to 3 years. We conclude that if policy contains the generosity of public pensions, increasing the legal retirement age becomes politically more feasible.
    Keywords: retirement age, pension reform, longevity, replacement rate
    JEL: D72 H55 J26
    Date: 2019

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