nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2019‒05‒13
six papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Rank-discounting as a resolution to a dilemma in population ethics By Geir Asheim; Stéphane Zuber
  2. Population-adjusted egalitarianism By Stéphane Zuber
  3. Social Security Replacement Rates and Other Benefit Measures: An In-Depth Analysis By Congressional Budget Office
  4. Twin instrument, fertility and women’s labor force participation: evidence from Colombian low-income families By Erika Raquel Badillo; Lina Cardona-Sosa; Carlos Medina; Leonardo Fabio Morales; Christian Posso
  5. Discrimination in hiring based on potential and realized fertility: evidence from a large-scale field experiment By Sascha Becker; Ana Fernandes; Doris Weichselbaumer
  6. The Effect of College Education on Health and Mortality: Evidence from Canada By Guy Lacroix; François Laliberté-Auger; Pierre-Carl Michaud; Daniel Parent

  1. By: Geir Asheim (Department of Economics, University of Oslo - UiO - University of Oslo); Stéphane Zuber (CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: When evaluating well-being distributions in an anonymous (and replication invariant) manner, one faces a dilemma between (i) assigning dictarorship to a single worst-off person, thus succumbing to a tyranny of non-aggregation and (ii) assigning dictatorship to (unboundedly) many better-off persons, thus succumbing to a tyranny of aggregation. We show how this corresponds to a population-ethical dilemma in the variable population setting between, on the one hand, a reversed repugnant conclusion (preferring a very small population with high well-being) and, on the other hand, a repugnant conclusion (preferring a sufficiently large population with lives barely worth living to a population with good lives) or very sadistic conclusion (not preferring a large population with lives worth living to a population with terrible lives). The dilemma can be resolved by relaxing replication invariance and thus allowing that evaluation in the fixed population setting might change with population size even though the relative distributions of well-being remain unchanged. Rank-dependent criteria are evaluation criteria that resolve this dilemma but fails replication invariance. We provide conditions under which rank-dependent criteria are the only way out of the dilemma. Furthermore, we discuss the following perspective of the relaxation of replication invariance: It becomes essential to take into account the existence and utility of non-affected people when evaluating population policies with limited scope.
    Keywords: Social evaluation,population ethics,rank-dependent welfare
    Date: 2018–11
  2. By: Stéphane Zuber (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Egalitarianism focuses on the well-being of the worst-off person. It has attracted a lot of attention in economic theory, for instance when dealing with the sustainable intertemporal allocation of resources. Economic theory has formalized egalitarianism through the Maximin and Leximin criteria, but it is not clear how they should be applied when population size may vary. In this paper, I present possible justifications of egalitarian-ism when considering populations with variable sizes. I then propose new versions of egalitarianism that encompass many views on how to trade-off population size and well-being. I discuss some implications of egalitarianism for optimal population size. I first describe how population ethical views affects population growth. In a model with natural resources, I then show that utilitarianism always recommend a larger population for low levels of resources, but that this conclusion may not hold true for larger levels.
    Keywords: Egalitarianism,Optimal population,Population ethics,Sustainable development,Renewable resources
    Date: 2018–11
  3. By: Congressional Budget Office
    Abstract: In this report, CBO examines whether Social Security benefits enable retired workers to meet their basic needs and the extent to which benefits replace preretirement earnings. Focusing on workers with long careers, CBO finds that those benefits enable most of those workers to cover their essential living expenses as measured by the official federal poverty threshold. However, the extent to which benefits replace preretirement earnings varies substantially, depending on the way benefits and earnings are measured.
    JEL: H55 J26 I32
    Date: 2019–04–16
  4. By: Erika Raquel Badillo (Universidad Autónoma Latinoamericana); Lina Cardona-Sosa (Banco de la República de Colombia); Carlos Medina (Banco de la República de Colombia); Leonardo Fabio Morales (Banco de la República de Colombia); Christian Posso (Banco de la República de Colombia)
    Abstract: This paper uses the twin births instrument to estimate the causal effect of fertility on labor market outcomes for first-time mothers in Colombia. The nature of the data used allows us to overcome previous concerns regarding the validity of this instrument. We can control for observed pre-pregnancy characteristics, and by including fixed effects, we can control for time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity. Results coming from the traditional instrumental variables approach suggest a reduction in female labor supply close to 5.2 percentage points (18%) due to a marginal increase in fertility. Additionally, after following Farbmacher, Guber and Vikström (2018) to eliminate the bias of twins resulting from mothers’ characteristics and in vitro fertilizations (e.g., a non-exogenous event), the obtained results are of the same magnitude but less significant than those of the traditional instrument. By making additional assumptions on the correlation of the twin instrument and the error of the structural equation following Nevo and Rosen (2012), we find an upper bound estimate for the reduction in female labor supply close to -5 ppt. **** RESUMEN: En este estudio usamos nacimientos múltiples como instrumento para estimar el efecto causal de la fecundidad en diferentes resultados de mercado laboral para madres primerizas en Colombia. La naturaleza de los datos nos permite superar problemas, sobre la validez de este instrumento, que han sido ampliamente documentados en la literatura. Esto principalmente porque podemos controlar por características observadas de la madre antes del parto, más aún, al incluir efectos fijos por madre podemos controlar por cualquier característica no observada que sea invariante en el tiempo. Nuestras estimaciones de regresiones tradicionales tipo variables instrumentales, sugieren una reducción de 5,2 puntos porcentuales (18%) como resultado de un incremento marginal en la fecundidad. Adicionalmente, después de seguir la metodología de Farbmacher, Guber and Vikström (2018) con el fin de eliminar el sesgo que resulta de diferencias inobservadas de las madres antes del parto y de posibles fertilizaciones in-vitro, las cuales no son un fenómeno exógeno, los resultados obtenidos se mantienen en magnitud. Finalmente, asumiendo la dirección de la correlación entre el instrumento y el error de la ecuación estructural, usando una metodología tipo Nevo and Rosen (2012), encontramos una cota superior del efecto de la fecundidad en la participación laboral femenina de -5 puntos porcentuales.
    Keywords: Usando nacimientos múltiples para identificar el efecto de la fecundidad en la oferta laboral de mujeres de bajos ingresos en Colombia, Fecundidad, oferta laboral femenina, nacimientos múltiples, variables instrumentales.
    JEL: J13 J22 C26
    Date: 2019–04
  5. By: Sascha Becker; Ana Fernandes; Doris Weichselbaumer
    Abstract: Due to conventional gender norms, women are more likely to be in charge of childcare than men. From an employer’s perspective, in their fertile age they are also at “risk” of pregnancy. Both factors potentially affect hiring practices of firms. We conduct a largescale correspondence test in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, sending out approx. 9,000 job applications, varying job candidate’s personal characteristics such as marital status and age of children. We find evidence that, for part-time jobs, married women with older kids, who likely finished their childbearing cycle and have more projectable childcare chores than women with very young kids, are at a significant advantage vis-à-vis other groups of women. At the same time, married, but childless applicants, who have a higher likelihood to become pregnant, are at a disadvantage compared to single, but childless applicants to part-time jobs. Such effects are not present for full-time jobs, presumably, because by applying to these in contrast to part-time jobs, women signal that they have arranged for external childcare.
    Keywords: fertility, discrimination experimental economics
    JEL: C93 J16 J71
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Guy Lacroix; François Laliberté-Auger; Pierre-Carl Michaud; Daniel Parent
    Abstract: We investigate the returns to college attendance in Canada in terms of health and mortality reduction. To do so, we first use a dynamic health microsimulation model to document how interventions which incentivize college attendance among high school graduates may impact their health trajectory, health care consumption and life expectancy. We find large returns both in terms of longevity (4.1 years additional years at age 51), reduction in the prevalence of various health conditions (10-15 percentage points reduction in diabetes and 5 percentage points for stroke) and health care consumption (27.3% reduction in lifetime hospital stays, 19.7 for specialists). We find that education impacts mortality mostly by delaying the incidence of health conditions as well as providing a survival advantage conditional on having diseases. Second, we provide quasi-experimental evidence on the impact of college attendance on longterm health outcomes by exploiting the Canadian Veteran’s Rehabilitation Act, a program targeted towards returning WW-II veterans and which incentivized college attendance. The impact on mortality are found to be larger than those estimated from the health microsimulation model (hazard ratio of 0.216 compared to 0.6 in the simulation model) which suggest substantial returns to college education in terms of healthy life extension which we estimate around one million canadian dollars.
    Keywords: mortality, education, microsimulation, quasi-experimental, instrumental variables, veterans.
    JEL: I14
    Date: 2018

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