nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2019‒05‒06
ten papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Wages, Experience and Training of Women By Richard Blundell; Monica Costa Dias; David Goll; Costas Meghir
  2. The Limits (And Human Costs) of Population Policy: Fertility Decline and Sex Selection in China under Mao By Kimberly Singer Babiarz; Paul Ma; Grant Miller; Shige Song
  3. Universal family background effects on education across and within societies By Michael Grätz; Kieron J. Barclay; Øyvind Wiborg; Torkild Lyngstad; Aleksi Karhula; Jani Erola; Patrick Präg; Thomas Laidley; Dalton Conley
  4. Population and the environment: the role of fertility, education and life expectancy By Fabio Mariani; Agustin Perez Barahona; Natacha Raffin
  5. Firm and Worker Dynamics in an Aging Labor Market By Engbom, Niklas
  6. The Long-Term Consequences of the Irish Marriage Bar By Mosca, Irene; Wright, Robert E.
  7. Demographic Aging, Industrial Policy, and Chinese Economic Growth By Michael Dotsey; Wenli Li; Fang Yang
  8. Birth in times of war - An investigation of health, mortality and social class using historical clinical records By Nadine Geiger; Sebastian Wichert
  9. Life Expectancy and Parental Education By Huebener, Mathias
  10. Can Economic Policies Reduce Deaths of Despair? By William H. Dow; Anna Godøy; Christopher A. Lowenstein; Michael Reich

  1. By: Richard Blundell (University College London and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Monica Costa Dias (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Porto); David Goll (University College London and Institute for Fiscal Studies); Costas Meghir (Cowles Foundation, Yale University, NBER, IZA, CEPR, and Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: We investigate the role of training in reducing the gender wage gap using the UK- BHPS which contains detailed records of training. Using policy changes over an 18 year period we identify the impact of training and work experience on wages, earnings and employment. Based on a lifecycle model and using reforms as a source of exogenous variation we evaluate the role of formal training and experience in defining the evolution of wages and employment careers, conditional on education. Training is potentially important in compensating for the effects of children, especially for women who left education after completing high school.
    Keywords: Workplace training, On the job training, Female labor supply, Gender wage differentials, Human capital, Fertility and the gender wage gap, Lifecycle labor supply
    JEL: E24 H24 I28 J16 J22 J24 J31 J71
    Date: 2019–04
  2. By: Kimberly Singer Babiarz (Stanford University); Paul Ma (University of Minnesota); Grant Miller (Stanford University; NBER; Center for Global Development); Shige Song (City University of New York)
    Abstract: Most of China’s fertility decline predates the famous One Child Policy—and instead occurred under its predecessor, the Later, Longer, Fewer (LLF) policy. Studying LLF’s contribution to fertility and sex selection behavior, we find that it i) reduced China’s total fertility rate by 0.9 births per woman (explaining 28% of China’s modern fertility decline), ii) doubled the use of male-biased fertility stopping rules, and iii) promoted postnatal neglect (implying 210,000 previously unrecognized missing girls). Considering Chinese population policy to be extreme in global experience, our paper demonstrates the limits of population policy—and its potential human costs.
    Keywords: fertility, sex selection, family planning
    JEL: J13 J16
    Date: 2019–03–21
  3. By: Michael Grätz; Kieron J. Barclay (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Øyvind Wiborg; Torkild Lyngstad; Aleksi Karhula; Jani Erola; Patrick Präg; Thomas Laidley; Dalton Conley
    Abstract: The extent to which siblings resemble each other measures the total impact of family background in shaping life outcomes. We study sibling similarity in cognitive skills, school grades, and educational attainment in Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We also compare sibling similarity by parental education and occupation within these societies. The comparison of sibling correlations across and within societies allows us to characterize the omnibus impact of family background on education across social landscapes. We find similar levels of sibling similarity across social groups. Across countries, we find only small differences. In addition, rankings of countries in sibling resemblance differ across the three educational outcomes we study. We conclude that sibling similarity is largely similar across advanced, industrialized countries and across social groups within societies contrary to theories that suggest large cross-national differences and variation of educational mobility across social groups within societies.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2019–04
  4. By: Fabio Mariani (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); Agustin Perez Barahona (University of Cergy-Pontoise and Ecole Polytechnique); Natacha Raffin (Normandie Univ, UNIROUEN, CREAM and EconomiX, University Paris Nanterre)
    Abstract: This paper explores the interplay between population and environmental quality. After reviewing the existing literature, we set up a theoretical framework suitable to analyze two major endogenous forces of demographic change - fertility and life expectancy - and their dynamic interaction with human capital and environmental conditions. We thus revisit and encompass in a unified model some key results of the literature, and gain new insight on the consequences of policy intervention on environmental dynamics and economic development. In particular, we highlight (i) the possible perverse effects of pollution control, (ii) a demographic explanation of the environmental Kuznets curve, (iii) the opportunity of relying on educational subsidies to alleviate the pressure on natural resources, and (iv) the existence of poverty traps related to human capital and environmental quality.
    Keywords: Environmental quality; Life expectancy; Education; Fertility
    JEL: J11 O44 Q56
    Date: 2019–04
  5. By: Engbom, Niklas (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)
    Abstract: I develop an idea flows theory of firm and worker dynamics in order to assess the consequences of population aging. Older people are less likely to attempt entrepreneurship and switch employers because they have found better jobs. Consequently, aging reduces entry and worker mobility through a composition effect. In equilibrium, the lower entry rate implies fewer new, better job opportunities for workers, while the better matched labor market dissuades job creation and entry. Aging accounts for a large share of substantial declines in firm and worker dynamics since the 1980s, primarily due to equilibrium forces. Cross-state evidence supports these predictions.
    Keywords: Demographics; Employment; Economic growth; Labor turnover; Entrepreneurial choice
    JEL: E24 J11 O40
    Date: 2019–04–10
  6. By: Mosca, Irene; Wright, Robert E. (University of Strathclyde)
    Abstract: A Marriage Bar is the requirement that women in certain jobs must leave that job when they marry. Ireland had a Marriage Bar in place until the 1970s. In 2014/2015, women participating in the The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing were asked - for the first time in a nationally-representative survey - specific questions about their experience of the Marriage Bar. In this paper, we use the information from the TILDA respondents for two purposes. The first is to investigate the extent of the Marriage Bar in Ireland. Our analysis suggests that the Marriage Bar was widespread and not confined to specific sectors or occupations (such as the Civil Service). The second purpose is to investigate the long-term consequences of the Marriage Bar. We do so by comparing the outcomes of women who were affected by the Marriage Bar with the outcomes of women who were not affected by the Marriage Bar. Regression analysis shows that women affected by the Marriage Bar have shorter working lives, lower individual income but higher wealth at present, more children and more educated children. However, there are no statistically significant differences in the current health status of the two groups of women. The differences in long-term outcomes do not appear to be confounded by the endogeneity of marriage, education, employment and occupational choices.
    Keywords: Marriage Bar, Ireland, discrimination
    JEL: J71 J78 J24
    Date: 2019–04
  7. By: Michael Dotsey (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia); Wenli Li (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia); Fang Yang (Louisiana State University)
    Abstract: We examine the role of demographics and changing industrial policies in accounting for the rapid rise in household savings and in per capita output growth in China since the mid-1970s. The demographic changes come from reductions in the fertility rate and increases in life expectancy, while the industrial policies take many forms. These policies cause important structural changes; first benefiting private labor-intensive firms by incentivizing them to increase their share of employment, and later on benefiting capital-intensive firms resulting in an increasing share of capital devoted to heavy industries. We conduct our analysis in a general equilibrium economy that also features endogenous human capital investment. We calibrate the model to match key economic variables of the Chinese economy and show that demographic changes and industrial policies both contributed to increases in savings and output growth but with differing intensities and at different horizons. We further demonstrate the importance of endogenous human capital investment in accounting for the economic growth in China.
    Keywords: aging, credit policy, household saving, output growth, China
    JEL: E21 J11 J13 L52
    Date: 2019–04
  8. By: Nadine Geiger; Sebastian Wichert
    Abstract: While World War II (WWII) is often employed as natural experiment to identify long-term effects of adverse early-life and prenatal conditions, little is known about the short-term effects. We estimate the short-term impact of the onset of WWII on newborn health using a unique data set of historical birth records ranging from December 1937 to September 1941. Furthermore we investigate the heterogeneity of this effect with respect to health at birth and for different social groups. To evaluate potential channels for our results, we explore how birth procedures changed. While we do not find any effects on birth weight and asphyxia, perinatal mortality increases immediately after the onset of WWII. The mortality effect is driven by live births and strongest for very low birth weight infants. A decline in quality of medical care due to the sudden conscription of trained physicians to military service is the most likely mechanism for our findings.
    Keywords: infant mortality, early-life health, health care supply
    JEL: I10 I18 N34 N44
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Huebener, Mathias (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: This study analyses the relationship between life expectancy and parental education. It extends the previous literature that focused mostly on the relationship between individuals' own education and their life expectancy. Based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study and survival analysis models, we show that maternal education is related to children's life expectancy - even after controlling for children's own level of education. This applies equally to women and men as well as to further life expectancies examined at age 35 to age 65. This pattern is more pronounced for younger cohorts. In most cases, the education of the father is not significantly related to children's life expectancy. The vocational training and the occupational position of the parents in childhood, which both correlate with household income, cannot explain the link. Children's health behaviour and the health accumulated over the life course appear as important channels. The findings imply that the link between education and life expectancy is substantially stronger and that returns to education are higher if intergenerational links are considered.
    Keywords: health inequality, returns to education, mortality, parental background, human capital, survival analysis
    JEL: I12 I14
    Date: 2019–04
  10. By: William H. Dow; Anna Godøy; Christopher A. Lowenstein; Michael Reich
    Abstract: Midlife mortality has risen steadily in the U.S. since the 1990s for non-Hispanic whites without a bachelor’s degree, and since 2013 for Hispanics and African-Americans who lack a bachelor’s degree. These increases largely reflect increased mortality from alcohol poisoning, drug overdose and suicide. We investigate whether these “deaths of despair” trends have been mitigated by two key policies aimed at raising incomes for low wage workers: the minimum wage and the earned income tax credit (EITC). To do so, we leverage state variation in policies over time to estimate difference-in-differences models of drug overdose deaths and suicides, using data on cause-specific mortality rates from 1999-2015. Our causal models find no significant effects of the minimum wage and EITC on drug-related mortality. However, higher minimum wages and EITCs significantly reduce non-drug suicides. A 10 percent increase in the minimum wage reduces non-drug suicides among adults with high school or less by 3.6 percent; a 10 percent increase in the EITC reduces suicides among this group by 5.5 percent. Our estimated models do not find significant effects for a college-educated placebo sample. Event-study models confirm parallel pre-trends, further supporting the validity of our causal research design. Our estimates suggest that increasing both the minimum wage and the EITC by 10 percent would likely prevent a combined total of around 1230 suicides each year.
    JEL: I1 I38
    Date: 2019–04

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