nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2019‒12‒09
four papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. The Gender Gap in Wages over the Life Course: Evidence from a British Cohort Born in 1958 By Joshi, Heather; Bryson, Alex; Wilkinson, David; Ward, Kelly
  2. The "Red Herring" after 20 Years: Ageing and Health Care Expenditures By Friedrich Breyer; Normann Lorenz
  3. Deaths without denominators: using a matched dataset to study mortality patterns in the United States By Alexander, Monica
  4. Income Mobility, Income Inequality and Mortality in the U.S. By Daza, Sebastian; Palloni, Alberto

  1. By: Joshi, Heather (University College London); Bryson, Alex (University College London); Wilkinson, David (University College London); Ward, Kelly (University College London)
    Abstract: Using data tracking all those born in a single week in Great Britain in 1958 through to their mid-50s we observe an inverse U-shaped gender wage gap (GWG) over their life- course: an initial gap in early adulthood widened substantially during childrearing years, affecting earnings in full-time and part-time jobs. In our descriptive approach, education related differences are minor. Gender differences in work experience are the biggest contributor to that part of the gender wage gap we can explain in our models. Family formation primarily affects the GWG through its impact on work experience. Family composition is similar for male and female workers but attracts opposite wage premia. Not all of the GWG however is linked to family formation. There was a sizeable GWG on labour market entry and there are some otherwise unexplained gaps between the pay of men and women who do not become parents.
    Keywords: family formation, gender wage gap, work experience, life course, NCDS birth cohort
    JEL: J16 J31
    Date: 2019–10
  2. By: Friedrich Breyer; Normann Lorenz
    Abstract: 20 years ago, Zweifel, Felder and Meier (1999) established the by now famous “red-herring” hypothesis, according to which population ageing does not lead to an increase in per capita health care expenditures (HCE) because the observed positive correlation between age and health care expenditures (HCE) in cross-sectional data is exclusively due to the facts that mortality rises with age and a large share of HCE is caused by proximity to death. This hypothesis has spurned a large and still growing literature on the causes and consequences of growing HCE in OECD countries, but the results of empirical studies have been rather mixed. In light of the imminent population ageing in many of these countries it is still being discussed whether unfunded social health insurance systems will be sustainable, in particular as long as they promise to provide universal and unlimited access to medical care including the latest advances. In this paper, we present a critical survey of the empirical literature of the past 20 years on this topic and draw some preliminary conclusions regarding the policy question mentioned above. In doing so we distinguish four different versions of the red herring hypothesis and derive the logical connections between them. This will help to understand what empirical findings are suitable to derive predictions on the future sustainability of HCE.
    Keywords: health care expenditures, ageing, red-herring hypothesis
    JEL: H51 J11 I19
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Alexander, Monica
    Abstract: To understand national trends in mortality over time, it is important to study differences by demographic, socioeconomic and geographic characteristics. One issue with studying mortality inequalities, particularly by socioeconomic status, is that there are few micro-level data sources available that link an individual's SES with their eventual age and date of death. In this paper, a new dataset for studying mortality disparities and changes over time in the United States is presented. The dataset, termed 'CenSoc', uses two large-scale datasets: the full-count 1940 Census to obtain demographic, socioeconomic and geographic information; and that is linked to the Social Security Deaths Masterfile (SSDM) to obtain mortality information. This paper also develops mortality estimation methods to better use the 'deaths without denominators' information contained in CenSoc. Bayesian hierarchical methods are presented to estimate truncated death distributions over age and cohort, allowing for prior information in mortality trends to be incorporated and estimates of life expectancy and associated uncertainty to be produced.
    Date: 2018–07–23
  4. By: Daza, Sebastian; Palloni, Alberto
    Abstract: We assess the magnitude of the association between intergenerational income mobility and US adult mortality by gender, age group, race/ethnicity and the causes of death. We use a data set from The Health Inequality Project and CDC mortality data at the county level. We find that under different model specifications the association between income mobility and adult mortality is strong, properly signed, and consistent with our hypotheses. If the association we find reflects a causal effect it would translate into shifts in life expectancy at age 40 of as much as 2.0-4.8 years among males and 0.1-2.0 among females, equivalent to 5.1-12.5 and 0.2-4.7 percent of the U.S. male and female life expectancy at age 40 respectively. On average, these effects are 1.5 to 2.5 times as large as those of income inequality and represent between 40 (males) and 25 (females) percent of the magnitude of an income shift from the lowest to the highest quartile of the U.S. income distribution.
    Date: 2018–11–12

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