nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2019‒12‒02
six papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Labor Market Frictions and Lowest Low Fertility By Guner, Nezih; Kaya, Ezgi; Sánchez Marcos, Virginia
  2. Return, circular, and onward migration decisions in a knowledge society By Constant, Amelie
  3. How have changes in death by cause and age group contributed to the recent stalling of life expectancy gains in Scotland? Comparative decomposition analysis of mortality data, 2000-02 to 2015-17 By Ramsay, Julie; Minton, Jonathan; Fischbacher, Colin; Fenton, Lynda; Kaye-Bardgett, Maria; Wyper, Grant Mark Andrew; Richardson, Elizabeth; McCartney, Gerry
  4. Can Declines in Fertility During Floods Be Explained by Increased Demands on the Farm? By Chen, Joyce; Mueller, Valerie; Thiede, Brian
  5. Equivalent income versus equivalent lifetime: does the metric matter? By Harun Onder; Pierre Pestieau; Grégory Ponthière
  6. Parental Labour Supply Responses to the Abolition of Day Care Fees By Huebener, Mathias; Pape, Astrid; Spiess, C. Katharina

  1. By: Guner, Nezih (CEMFI, Madrid); Kaya, Ezgi (Cardiff University); Sánchez Marcos, Virginia (Universidad de Cantabria)
    Abstract: The total fertility rate is well below its replacement level of 2.1 children in high- income countries. Why do women choose such low fertility levels? We study how labor market frictions affect the fertility of college-educated women. We focus on two frictions: uncertainty created by dual labor markets (the coexistence of jobs with temporary and open-ended contracts) and inflexibility of work schedules. Using rich administrative data from the Spanish Social Security records, we show that women are less likely to be promoted to permanent jobs than men. Temporary contracts are also associated with a lower probability of first birth. With Time Use data, we also show that women with children are less likely to work in jobs with split-shift schedules, which come with a fixed time cost. We then build a life-cycle model in which married women decide whether to work or not, how many children to have, and when to have them. In the model, women face a trade-off between having children early and waiting and building their careers. We show that reforms that reduce the labor market duality and eliminate split-shift schedules increase the completed fertility of college-educated from 1.52 to 1.88. These reforms enable women to have more children and have them early in their life-cycle. They also increase the labor force participation of women and eliminate the employment gap between mothers and non-mothers.
    Keywords: fertility, labor market frictions, temporary contracts, split-shift schedules
    JEL: E24 J13 J21 J22
    Date: 2019–11
  2. By: Constant, Amelie (Princeton University, and UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper provides a state-of-the-art literature review about research that aims to explain the return, repeat, circular and onward migration of the highly-skilled migrants around the world. After it describes the status quo in the knowledge economy and the international race for talent, it presents the relevant theories and concepts of migration in the social sciences and how these theories accommodate the phenomena of return, repeat and onward migration. A special section is devoted to selection. The chapter then summarizes, evaluates, and juxtaposes existing empirical evidence related to theoretical predictions. Observables such as education, income, gender and home country as well as unobservables such as ability, social capital and negotiating skills play a strong role in influencing return, repeat and onward migration decisions. Yet, there is no consensus on the direction of the effect. The chapter discusses shortcomings and limitations along with policy lessons. It concludes by highlighting holes in the literature and the need for better data.
    Keywords: return, circular, onward, migration, international labor migration, knowledge economy, high-skilled, public policy
    JEL: F22 J15 J18 J20 J61 O15
    Date: 2019–10–18
  3. By: Ramsay, Julie; Minton, Jonathan; Fischbacher, Colin; Fenton, Lynda; Kaye-Bardgett, Maria; Wyper, Grant Mark Andrew; Richardson, Elizabeth; McCartney, Gerry
    Abstract: Background Annual gains in life expectancy in Scotland were slower in recent years than in the previous two decades. This analysis investigates how deaths in different age groups and from different causes have contributed to annual average change in life expectancy across two time periods: 2000-02 to 2012-14 and 2012-14 to 2015-17. Methods Life expectancy at birth was calculated from death and population counts, disaggregated by five-year age-group and by underlying cause of death. Arriaga’s method of life expectancy decomposition was applied to produce estimates of the contribution of different age-groups and underlying causes to changes in life expectancy at birth for the two periods. Findings Average annual life expectancy gains between 2012-14 to 2015-17 were markedly smaller than in the earlier period. Almost all age-groups saw worsening mortality trends, which deteriorated for most cause of death groups between 2012-14 and 2015-17. In particular, the previously observed substantial life expectancy gains due to reductions in mortality from circulatory causes, which most benefited those aged 55-84 years, more than halved. Mortality rates for those aged 30-54 years and 90+ years worsened, due in large part to increases in drug-related deaths, and dementia and Alzheimer’s disease respectively. Interpretation Future research should seek to explain the changes in mortality trends for all age-groups and causes. More investigation is required to establish to what extent shortcomings in the social security system and public services may be contributing to the adverse trends and preventing mitigation of the impact of other contributing factors, such as influenza outbreaks.
    Date: 2019–07–14
  4. By: Chen, Joyce; Mueller, Valerie; Thiede, Brian
    Abstract: Projections of sea-level rise and coastal flooding place Bangladesh as one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change by the end of this century. These changes are expected to have widespread consequences, including for population dynamics. We build upon a growing economic demography literature to estimate the effect of flooding on fertility in rural Bangladesh, using satellite-based measures of flooding and vital registration data on the infant population (2003-2011). We additionally perform parallel analyses of the socio-economic effects of flooding to explore whether prevailing labor market opportunities during a flooding episode shape the decision to conceive. We find the odds of having a child under age 1 in a household declines 3 percent when the extent of flooding in a sub-district increases by one standard deviation. There are no differential effects on the sex ratio. Flood-induced declines in fertility coincide with increased labor force participation by men, but maternal health, fetal vulnerability at gestation and/or increased health risks post birth seem to play a larger role. Future research differentiating how climate change affects the opportunity cost of worker’s time versus physiological factors related to human fertility is thus a key component to projecting the future stock of rural workers.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Environmental Economics and Policy
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Harun Onder (The World Bank - The World Bank - The World Bank); Pierre Pestieau (CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain, University of Liege, PSE - Paris School of Economics); Grégory Ponthière (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics, ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12)
    Abstract: We examine the e¤ects of the postulated metric on the measurement of well-being, by comparing, in the (income, lifetime) space, two indexes: the equivalent income index and the equivalent lifetime index. Those in- dexes are shown to satisfy di¤erent properties concerning interpersonal well-being comparisons, which can lead to contradictory rankings. While those incompatibilities arise under distinct indi¤erence maps, we also ex- plore the e¤ects of the metric while relying on a unique indi¤erence map, and show that, even in that case, the postulated metric matters for the measurement of well-being. That point is illustrated by quantifying, by those two indexes, the (average) well-being loss due to the Syrian War. Relying on a particular metric leads, from a quantitative perspective, to di¤erent pictures of the deprivation due to the War.
    Keywords: well-being,measurement,equivalent income,value of life
    Date: 2019–07
  6. By: Huebener, Mathias (DIW Berlin); Pape, Astrid (affiliation not available); Spiess, C. Katharina (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence that low private contributions to highly subsidised day care constrain mothers from working longer hours. We study the effects of a reform that abolished day care fees in Germany on parental labour supply. The reform removed private contributions to highly subsidised day care in the year before children enter primary school. We exploit the staggered reform across states with a difference-in-differences approach and event studies. Although participation in day care is almost universal for preschoolers, we provide evidence that the reform increases the intensity of day care use and the working time of mothers by about 7.1 percent. Single mothers, mothers with no younger children, mothers in denser local labour markets, and highly educated mothers react strongest. We find no evidence for labour supply responses at the extensive margin, and no evidence of responses in paternal labour supply. The effects on maternal labour supply fade-away by the end of primary school as mothers in the control group also gradually increase their labour supply as their children grow older.
    Keywords: labour supply, child care costs, difference-in-differences, event study
    JEL: J13 J22 J38
    Date: 2019–11

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.