nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2019‒06‒24
nine papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Redistributive Effects of Different Pension Systems When Longevity Varies by Socioeconomic Status By Miguel Sánchez-Romero; Ronald D. Lee; Alexia Prskawetz
  2. Does Consumption Decrease After Retirement, and for Whom? By Kimhi, Ayal; Sender, Maya
  3. When Dad Can Stay Home: Fathers' Workplace Flexibility and Maternal Health By Persson, Petra; Rossin-Slater, Maya
  4. Intertemporal Labor Supply and Intra-Household Commitment By Chiappori, Pierre-André; Molina, José Alberto; Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio; Velilla, Jorge
  5. Political economy of redistribution between traditional and modern families By Matthew D. Rablen; Volker Meier
  6. Intergenerational and Intragenerational Externalities of the Perry Preschool Project By James J. Heckman; Ganesh Karapakula
  7. Family standards of living over the long run, England 1280-1850 By Horrell, Sara; Humphries, Jane; Weisdorf, Jacob
  8. Mining Family History Society Burials By Gill Newton
  9. The Perry Preschoolers at Late Midlife: A Study in Design-Specific Inference By Heckman, James J.; Karapakula, Ganesh

  1. By: Miguel Sánchez-Romero; Ronald D. Lee; Alexia Prskawetz
    Abstract: We propose a general analytical framework to model the redistributive features of alternative pension systems when individuals face ex ante differences in mortality. Differences in life expectancy between high and low socioeconomic groups are often large and have widened recently in many countries. Such longevity gaps affect the actuarial fairness and progressivity of public pension systems. However, behavioral responses to longevity and policy complicate analysis of possible reforms. Here we consider how various pension systems would perform in a general equilibrium OLG setting with heterogeneous longevity and ability. We evaluate redistributive effects of three Notional Defined Contribution plans and three Defined Benefit plans, calibrated on the US case. Compared to a benchmark non-redistributive plan that accounts for differences in mortality, US Social Security reduces regressivity from longevity differences, but would require group-specific life tables to achieve progressivity. Moreover, without separate life tables, despite apparent accounting gains, lower income groups would suffer welfare losses and higher income groups would enjoy welfare gains through indirect effects of pension systems on labor supply.
    JEL: H55 J1 J11 J14 J18 J26
    Date: 2019–06
  2. By: Kimhi, Ayal; Sender, Maya
    Abstract: This paper examines the decline in consumption after retirement by quantiles of the consumption distribution, by gender, by pre‐retirement employment status and by age. The retirement‐induced decline in consumption is larger among those who were employees than among those who were self‐employed, but only for males. In contrast, those who did not work do not experience a decline in consumption when they cross the official retirement age, and in some cases their consumption actually increases. Without allowing for age‐specific effects, it was found that the decline in consumption is largest in the middle of the consumption distribution, while after allowing the decline in consumption to depend on age, it was found that the decline is largest at lower levels of consumption and becomes more moderate as the person climbs along the consumption distribution. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that inadequate savings are a major reason for the decline in consumption after retirement.
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Labor and Human Capital
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Persson, Petra (Stanford University); Rossin-Slater, Maya (Stanford University)
    Abstract: While workplace flexibility is perceived to be a key determinant of maternal labor supply, less is known about fathers' demand for flexibility or about intra-household spillover effects of flexibility initiatives. This paper examines these issues in the context of a critical period in family life — the months immediately following childbirth — and identifies the impacts of paternal access to workplace flexibility on maternal postpartum health. We model household demand for paternal presence at home as a function of domestic stochastic shocks, and use variation from a Swedish reform that granted new fathers more flexibility to take intermittent parental leave during the postpartum period in a regression discontinuity difference-in-differences (RD-DD) design. We find that increasing the father's temporal flexibility reduces the risk of the mother experiencing physical postpartum health complications and improves her mental health. Our results suggest that mothers bear the burden from a lack of workplace flexibility — not only directly through greater career costs of family formation, as previously documented — but also indirectly, as fathers' inability to respond to domestic shocks exacerbates the maternal health costs of childbearing.
    Keywords: workplace flexibility, intra-household spillovers, maternal postpartum health, paternity leave
    JEL: I12 I18 I31 J12 J13 J38
    Date: 2019–05
  4. By: Chiappori, Pierre-André (Columbia University); Molina, José Alberto (University of Zaragoza); Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio (University of Zaragoza); Velilla, Jorge (University of Zaragoza)
    Abstract: This paper adopts an intertemporal labor supply perspective to propose a test that allows us to distinguish between intra-household non-commitment, limited commitment, and full commitment. It investigates whether, after controling for current and future (expected) wages, past wage shocks have a lasting and significant impact on present labor supply and public consumption. Using a semi-log parametrization of labor supply and data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for the US, the paper shows positive evidence in favor of the limited commitment model. Specifically, unexpected past wage shocks affect labor supply in exactly the way predicted by theory, as spouses' past wage deviations have a negative impact on their labor supply and a positive impact on their spouses'. In addition, wives' past wage shocks also impact negatively household public expenditure on housing.
    Keywords: collective model, intertemporal labor supply, intra-household commitment, PSID
    JEL: J22
    Date: 2019–05
  5. By: Matthew D. Rablen; Volker Meier
    Abstract: We analyse a model in which families may either be “traditional” single-earner with caring for the child at home or “modern” double-earner households using market child care. Family policies may favour either the one or the other group, like market care subsidies vs. cash for care. Policies are determined by probabilistic voting, where allocative and distributional impacts matter, both within and across groups. Due to its impact on intragroup distribution, both types of households are likely to receive subsidies. In early stages of development where most households are traditional, implemented policies favour them, though to a small extent. Net subsidies to traditional households are highest in some intermediate stage, which may explain the implementation of cash for care policies. Such policies will be tightened again in late stages of development, where the vast majority of voters come from modern households. Finally, in an environment in which many traditional households are not entitled to vote (immigrants who have not yet obtained citizenship), redistribution toward them may be abolished and in extreme cases even replaced by net transfers to modern households.
    Keywords: redistribution, child care, subsidies, family policy, labour supply
    JEL: D13 H21 J13 J18 J22
    Date: 2019
  6. By: James J. Heckman; Ganesh Karapakula
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of the iconic Perry Preschool Project on the children and siblings of the original participants. The children of treated participants have fewer school suspensions, higher levels of education and employment, and lower levels of participation in crime, compared with the children of untreated participants. Impacts are especially pronounced for the children of male participants. These treatment effects are associated with improved childhood home environments. The intergenerational effects arise despite the fact that families of treated subjects live in similar or worse neighborhoods than the control families. We also find substantial positive effects of the Perry program on the siblings of participants who did not directly participate in the program, especially for male siblings.
    JEL: C4 I21
    Date: 2019–05
  7. By: Horrell, Sara (University of Cambridge); Humphries, Jane (University of Oxford); Weisdorf, Jacob (University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: We utilise wage series for men, women and children to construct a long-run measure of family welfare in England, 1280-1850. We make adjustment for the participation rates of women and children, the varying number of days supplied to the labour market over time, the changing involvement of married women in paid work, and the evolving occupational structure of the economy. The resultant series is the first to depict the long run material experience of a representative, working family. Our family existed just above bare bones survival prior to the Black Death, but, as attested elsewhere, shortage of labour after the plague brought substantial gains. However, these gains were not unassailable. Restrictions on women’s work and Tudor turmoil pushed the family below the ‘respectable’ level previously achieved. Transformation of the economy from the mid-1600s onwards coincided with improved welfare. While the position of the representative family tracked the trajectory of GDP per capita through the early modern and industrial revolution periods, this was only achieved by shifting contributions from different family members. Our paper provides an account of long run material wellbeing on a more satisfactory basis than historians have achieved hitherto, not focussed on men alone nor on marginalised women and children, but on realistically constructed historical families.
    Keywords: Living standards, Work and wages, Britain, long-run JEL Classification:
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Gill Newton (University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: Part I of this paper describes a new 'Big Data' resource for historical mortality, the Family History Society burials dataset. This comprises 8.9 million individual records harmonised from Family History Society transcriptions of burial records in 4,200 English places with varying coverage dates spanning from about 1500 to 2000, and concentrated in the period 1600 to 1850. Adult and child burials have been separately identified using family relationship information, and post-1812 more precise age information is stated. Part II presents an exploratory analysis of burial seasonality and age at death using the Family History Society burials dataset. The seasonality of birth and baptism, which impacts on infant burial seasonality, is also considered using a subsample of four English counties (Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Nottinghamshire and Lancashire). This research forms part of a Wellcome Trust funded research project led by Richard Smith at CAMPOP entitled ‘Migration, Mortality and Medicalisation: investigating the long-run epidemiological consequences of urbanisation 1600-1945’.
    Keywords: seasonality, mortality, burials, baptisms, big data
    JEL: N33
    Date: 2019–06–07
  9. By: Heckman, James J. (University of Chicago); Karapakula, Ganesh (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper presents the first analysis of the life course outcomes through late midlife (around age 55) for the participants of the iconic Perry Preschool Project, an experimental high-quality preschool program for disadvantaged African-American children in the 1960s. We discuss the design of the experiment, compromises in and adjustments to the randomization protocol, and the extent of knowledge about departures from the initial random assignment. We account for these factors in developing conservative small-sample hypothesis tests that use approximate worst-case (least favorable) randomization null distributions. We examine how our new methods compare with standard inferential methods, which ignore essential features of the experimental setup. Widely used procedures produce misleading inferences about treatment effects. Our design-specific inferential approach can be applied to analyze a variety of compromised social and economic experiments, including those using re-randomization designs. Despite the conservative nature of our statistical tests, we find long-term treatment effects on crime, employment, health, cognitive and non-cognitive skills, and other outcomes of the Perry participants. Treatment effects are especially strong for males. Improvements in childhood home environments and parental attachment appear to be an important source of the long-term benefits of the program.
    Keywords: randomized controlled trial, early childhood interventions, life cycle treatment effects, randomization tests, re-randomization, worst-case inference, least favorable null distributions, partial identification, small-sample hypothesis testing
    JEL: C1 C4 I21
    Date: 2019–05

This nep-dem issue is ©2019 by Héctor Pifarré i Arolas. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.