nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2020‒01‒20
nine papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. The Missing Men: World War I and Female Labor Force Participation By Boehnke, Jörn; Gay, Victor
  2. Childlessness, childfreeness and compensation By LEROUX Marie-Louise,; PESTIEAU Pierre,; PONTHIERE Gregory,
  3. Why Firms Offer Paid Parental Leave: An Exploratory Study By Claudia Goldin; Sari Pekkala Kerr; Claudia Olivetti
  4. Population Aging, Credit Market Frictions, and Chinese Economic Growth By Michael Dotsey; Wenli Li; Fang Yang
  5. The limits to fertility recuperation By Daniel Ciganda; Nicolas Todd
  6. Comparability of Mortality Estimates from Social Surveys and Vital Statistics Data in the United States By Brown, Dustin C; Lariscy, Joseph T.; Kalousova, Lucie
  7. Fundamental Utilitarianism and Intergenerational Equity with Extinction Discounting By Chichilnisky, Graciela; Hammond, Peter J.; Stern, Nicholas
  8. The Intergenerational Dimension of Fiscal Sustainability By Pedro Arévalo; Katia Berti; Alessandra Caretta; Per Eckefeldt
  9. Randomization and Social Policy Evaluation Revisited By James J. Heckman

  1. By: Boehnke, Jörn; Gay, Victor
    Abstract: Using spatial variation in World War I military fatalities in France, we show that the scarcity of men due to the war generated an upward shift in female labor force participation that persisted throughout the interwar period. Available data suggest that increased female labor supply accounts for this result. In particular, deteriorated marriage market conditions for single women and negative income shocks to war widows induced many of these women to enter the labor force after the war. In contrast, demand factors such as substitution toward female labor to compensate for the scarcity of male labor were of second-order importance.
    Keywords: Female labor, World War I, Sex ratio, Marriage market, Labor supply
    JEL: J12 J16 J22 N34
    Date: 2020–01
  2. By: LEROUX Marie-Louise, (Université du Québec à Montréal and CORE); PESTIEAU Pierre, (Université de Liège, CORE and PSE); PONTHIERE Gregory, (Université Paris Est, PSE and IUF)
    Abstract: We study the design of a fair family policy in an economy where parent-hood is regarded either as desirable or as undesirable, and where there is imperfect fertility control, leading to involuntary childlessness/parenthood. Using an equivalent consumption approach in the consumption-fertility space, we rst show that the identi cation of the worst-o¤ individuals is not robust to how the social evaluator xes the reference fertility level. Adopting the ex post egalitarian social criterion, which gives priority to the worst o¤ in realized terms, we then examine the compensation for involuntary childlessness/parenthood. Unlike real-world family policies, a fair family policy does not always involve positive family allowances to (voluntary) parents, and may also, under some reference fertility lev-els, involve positive childlessness allowances. Our results are robust to assuming asymmetric information and to introducing Assisted Reproductive Technologies.
    Keywords: fertility, childlessness, family policy, compensation, fairness.
    JEL: J13 I38
    Date: 2019–12–17
  3. By: Claudia Goldin; Sari Pekkala Kerr; Claudia Olivetti
    Abstract: Why do competitive firms in the US provide paid parental leave (PPL)? Which firms do and to what extent? We use several firm- and individual-level data sets to answer these questions. These include the BLS-Employee Benefit Survey (EBS) for 2010 to 2018 and an extensive firm-level data collection that we compiled. Our work is undergirded by a two-period model with competitive firms whose workers vary by their optimal firm-specific training and the probability that each will remain on the job after PPL is taken. We find that firm-provided PPL has greatly increased in the last two decades and generally covers new fathers. The levels of provision differ greatly by the industry, firm size, and the degree of firm-specific training. But even the top-of-the-line firm in the US provides fewer fully paid parental weeks than does the median OECD nation.
    JEL: J13 J2 J32
    Date: 2020–01
  4. By: Michael Dotsey; Wenli Li; Fang Yang
    Abstract: We build a unified framework to quantitatively examine population aging and credit market frictions in contributing to Chinese economic growth between 1977 and 2014. We find that demographic changes together with endogenous human capital accumulation account for a large part of the rise in per capita output growth, especially after 2007, as well as some of the rise in savings. Credit pol-icy changes initially alleviate the capital misallocation between private and public firms and lead to significant increases in both savings and output growth. Later, they distort capital allocation. While contributing to further increase in savings, the distortion slows down economic growth. Among factors that we consider, increased life expectancy and financial development in the form of reduced inter-mediation cost are the most important in driving the dynamics of savings and growth.
    Keywords: Aging; Credit policy; Household saving; Output growth; China
    JEL: E21 J11 J13 L52
    Date: 2019–12–20
  5. By: Daniel Ciganda (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Nicolas Todd (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Keywords: computational demography, fertility, forecasts
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Brown, Dustin C; Lariscy, Joseph T. (University of Memphis); Kalousova, Lucie
    Abstract: Social surveys prospectively linked with death records provide invaluable opportunities for the study of the relationship between social and economic circumstances and mortality. Although survey-linked mortality files play a prominent role in U.S. health disparities research, it is unclear how well mortality estimates from these datasets align with one another and whether they are comparable with U.S. vital statistics data. We conduct the first study that systematically compares mortality estimates from several widely-used survey-linked mortality files and U.S. vital statistics data. Our results show that mortality rates and life expectancies from the National Health Interview Survey Linked Mortality Files, Health and Retirement Study, Americans’ Changing Lives study, and U.S. vital statistics data are similar. Mortality rates are slightly lower and life expectancies are slightly higher in these linked datasets relative to vital statistics data. Compared with vital statistics and other survey-linked datasets, General Social Survey-National Death Index life expectancy estimates are much lower at younger adult ages and much higher at older adult ages. Cox proportional hazard models regressing all-cause mortality risk on age, gender, race, educational attainment, and marital status conceal the issues with the General Social Survey-National Death Index that are observed in our comparison of absolute measures of mortality risk. We provide recommendations for researchers who use survey-linked mortality files.
    Date: 2019–04–03
  7. By: Chichilnisky, Graciela (Columbia University); Hammond, Peter J. (University of Warwick); Stern, Nicholas (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: Ramsey famously condemned discounting “future enjoyments” as “ethically indefensible”. Suppes enunciated an equity criterion which, when social choice is utilitarian, implies giving equal weight to all individuals’ utilities. By contrast, Arrow (1999a, b) accepted, perhaps reluctantly, what he called Koopmans’ (1960) “strong argument” implying that no equitable preference ordering exists for a sufficiently unrestricted domain of infinite utility streams. Here we derive an equitable utilitarian objective for a finite population based on a version of the Vickrey–Harsanyi original position, where there is an equal probability of becoming each person. For a potentially infinite population facing an exogenous stochastic process of extinction, an equitable extinction biased original position requires equal conditional probabilities, given that the individual’s generation survives the extinction process. Such a position is well-defined if and only if survival probabilities decline fast enough for the expected total number of individuals who can ever live to be finite. Then, provided that each individual’s utility is bounded both above and below, maximizing expected “extinction discounted” total utility — as advocated, inter alia, by the Stern Review on climate change — provides a coherent and dynamically consistent equitable objective, even when the population size of each generation can be chosen.
    Keywords: Discounting, time perspective, fundamental preferences, fundamental utilitarianism, consequentialization, Vickrey–Harsanyi original position, Suppes equity, intergenerational equity, sustainable preferences, extinction discounting JEL Classification: D63, D70, D90, Q54, Q56
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Pedro Arévalo; Katia Berti; Alessandra Caretta; Per Eckefeldt
    Abstract: Most countries, among which EU Member States, use public finances to redistribute resources from the working-age population to the old and the very young so as to smoothen resources over the life cycle of individuals. As the EU is confronted with population ageing, this societal model is facing challenges. This is particularly the case in light of public spending on pension and health care in the EU currently accounting for almost 20% of GDP and expected to remain major public spending items going forward. As such, and against the background of a rising dependency ratio, age-related public spending could lead to increasing tax burdens on future generations. This raises questions of intergenerational equity that cannot be measured by standard budgetary indicators, nor by traditional fiscal sustainability metrics (including the European Commission's fiscal sustainability gap indicators). Generational accounting allows calculating the present value of total net tax payments to the government (taxes paid minus transfers received) over the remaining lifetime of a cohort born in a specific year. Relying on harmonised data and the European Commission projections, including the Ageing Report, this paper estimates the lifetime fiscal burden and its distribution between current and future-born generations for all EU countries, disentangling the underlying determinants. Based on the generational accounts, two indicators measuring intertemporal and intergenerational imbalances are provided, the Intertemporal Budget Gap (IBG) and the AuerbachGokhale-Kotlikoff (AGK) indicators. The paper concludes that public finances in the EU face long-term fiscal sustainability challenges based on current policies and that there are intergenerational issues, entailing a larger adjustment for future generations.
    JEL: E62 H3 H5 H55 H6 I1 I3 J1 J21
    Date: 2019–09
  9. By: James J. Heckman (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper examines the case for randomized controlled trials in economics. I revisit my previous paper--"Randomization and Social Policy Evaluation"--and update its message. I present a brief summary of the history of randomization in economics. I identify two waves of enthusiasm for the method as "Two Awakenings" because of the near-religious zeal associated with each wave. The First Wave substantially contributed to the development of microeconometrics because of the flawed nature of the experimental evidence. The Second Wave has improved experimental designs to avoid some of the technical statistical issues identified by econometricians in the wake of the First Wave. However, the deep conceptual issues about parameters estimated, and the economic interpretation and the policy relevance of the experimental results have not been addressed in the Second Wave.
    Keywords: field experiments, randomized control trials
    JEL: C93
    Date: 2020–01

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