nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2019‒12‒16
six papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. The Old-Age Security Motive for Fertility: Evidence from the Extension of Social Pensions in Namibia By Pauline Rossi; Mathilde Godard
  2. Proportional Representation, Political Responsiveness and Child Mortality By Gathmann, Christina
  3. Women's experience of child death over the life course: A global demographic perspective By Alburez-Gutierrez, Diego; Kolk, Martin; Zagheni, Emilio
  4. Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs and Neonatal Outcomes By Gihleb, Rania; Giuntella, Osea; Zhang, Ning
  5. The impact of reducing the pension generosity on inequality and schooling By Sanchez-Romero, Miguel; Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, Alexia
  6. Taxing capital and labor when both factors are imperfectly mobile internationally By Hippolyte d'Albis; Agnès Bénassy-Quéré

  1. By: Pauline Rossi (UvA - University of Amsterdam [Amsterdam], Tinbergen Institute - Tinbergen Institute, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR); Mathilde Godard (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The old-age security motive for fertility postulates that people's needs for old-age support raise the demand for children. We test this widespread idea using the extension of social pensions in Namibia during the nineties. The reform eliminated inequalities in pension coverage and benefit across regions and ethnic groups. Combining differences in pre-reform pensions and differences in exposure across cohorts, we show that pensions substantially reduce fertility, especially in late reproductive life. This article provides the first quasi-experimental quantification of the old-age security motive. The results suggest that improving social protection for the elderly could go a long way in fostering fertility decline in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Keywords: Fertility,Old-age pensions,Social security,Africa,Difference-in-differences
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Gathmann, Christina (Heidelberg University)
    Abstract: There has been a longstanding debate about the link between political representation and health. In this article, I provide novel evidence that electoral reforms that shifted from a majoritarian to a proportional system of voter representation generated substantive health benefits for the general population. Using the exemplary case of Switzerland, I first show that the spread of proportional representation between 1890 and 1950 increased political participation and gave the working class, represented by left-wing parties, greater weight in the political process. Consistent with theories of the electoral system, proportional representation increased public investments, esp. in basic education, with few effects on redistribution or total spending. Based on comprehensive archival mortality statistics since 1890, I then demonstrate that the observed shifts in representation and public finances were associated with substantial declines in child mortality by 15% and in mortality from infectious diseases, the major killer of the time, by 10-15%.
    Keywords: electoral system, proportional representation, mortality, health, Switzerland
    JEL: N33 N34 I14 H51 D72
    Date: 2019–10
  3. By: Alburez-Gutierrez, Diego; Kolk, Martin; Zagheni, Emilio
    Abstract: Recent population change has seen increases in life expectancy, reductions in family size, and postponement of fertility to older ages. We analyze the effect of these dynamics on the experience of child death over the life course for the 1950-1999 annual birth cohorts of women around the world. The paper draws on age-specific fertility and mortality rates from the UN World Population Prospects 2019 (estimates and projections) to assess trends in the frequency and timing of child death using formal demographic methods. We discuss the variation in woman's exposure to offspring mortality according to the demographic regimes prevailing in different world regions. Our analyses predict a global reduction in the overall frequency of child death over a woman's life course. We expect the largest improvements in regions of the Global South where child death is still common for women. In spite of persisting regional inequalities, we show evidence of a global convergence towards a future where the death of a child will become ever more infrequent for women. We anticipate that global population aging will be accompanied by an aging of generational relationships where life events such as the death of a child are experienced at older ages. Given these results, it seems likely that `child death' will increasingly come to mean the death of an adult child for younger generations of women.
    Date: 2019–11–16
  4. By: Gihleb, Rania (University of Pittsburgh); Giuntella, Osea (University of Pittsburgh); Zhang, Ning (University of Pittsburgh)
    Abstract: Over the last two decades, the number of delivering mothers using or dependent on opiates has increased dramatically, giving rise to a five-fold increase in the proportion of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). First, the current study documents NAS trends in the United States and their substantial variation across states. Second, it explores the relationship, if any, between the adoption of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) and reductions in NAS incidence across the United States. We find that the introduction of operational PDMPs reduced NAS incidence in the United States by 10%. We also examined the effects on birth outcomes, infant mortality, and other pregnancy complications and find little evidence of any effect of PDMPs on birth weight, premature births, and infant mortality.
    Keywords: opioid crisis, infant outcomes, health policy, United States
    JEL: I10
    Date: 2019–11
  5. By: Sanchez-Romero, Miguel; Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, Alexia
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the impact of a reduction in the pension replacement rate on the schooling choice and on inequality. We develop an overlapping generations model in which individuals differ by their life expectancy and in the cost of attending schooling. Individuals optimally choose their consumption path and their educational attainment. Within our framework we first show how many progressive pension systems are ex ante regressive due to the difference in life expectancy across skill groups and, second, we derive the level of progressivity that restores an equal treatment of the pension system across skill groups.
    Keywords: Human capital,Longevity,Inequality,Life cycle,Social security,Pension,Progressivity
    JEL: E24 J10 J18 H55
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Hippolyte d'Albis (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); Agnès Bénassy-Quéré (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)
    Abstract: We revisit the standard theoretical model of tax competition to consider imperfect mobility of both capital and labor. We show that the mobility of one factor a_ects the taxation of both factors, and that the race-to-the-bottom narrative (with burden shifting) applies essentially to capital exporting countries. We test our predictions for a panel of 28 OECD countries over 1997-2014. We _nd capital taxation to be less sensitive to capital mobility in net capital importing countries than for net capital exporters. Various robustness checks support this conclusion. Qantitatively, though, rising capital mobility contributes much less than population ageing to the decline of capital tax rates over the period studied.
    Keywords: tax competition,globalization,imperfect factor mobility
    Date: 2019–09

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