nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2020‒06‒22
six papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. A Natural Experiment on Job Insecurity and Fertility in France By Andrew E. Clark; Anthony Lepinteur
  2. Intergenerational wealth inequality: the role of demographics By António R. Antunes; Valerio Ercolani
  3. Pensions and Fertility: Micro-Economic Evidence By Alexander M. Danzer; Lennard Zyska
  4. Exploring the puzzle of human reproduction: Register data based evidence from France and Germany By Lipowski, Cäcilia; Wilke, Ralf A.; Koebel, Bertrand M.
  5. Effects of lower ages of majority on oral contraceptive use: Evidence on the validity of The Power of the Pill By Cragun, Randy
  6. Driven by Institutions, Shaped by Culture: Human Capital and the Secularization of Marriage in Italy By de la Croix, David; Mariani, Fabio; Mercier, Marion

  1. By: Andrew E. Clark (Paris School of Economics and CNRS); Anthony Lepinteur (University of Luxembourg)
    Abstract: Job insecurity can have wide-ranging consequences outside of the labour market. We here argue that it reduces fertility amongst the employed. The 1999 rise in the French Delalande tax, paid by large private firms when they laid off workers aged over 50, produced an exogenous rise in job insecurity for younger workers in these firms. A difference-in-differences analysis of French ECHP data reveals that this greater job insecurity for these under-50s significantly reduced their probability of having a new child by 3.9 percentage points. Reduced fertility is only found at the intensive margin: job insecurity reduces family size but not the probability of parenthood itself. Our results also suggest negative selection into parenthood, as this fertility effect does not appear for low-income and less-educated workers.
    Keywords: Employment Protection, Layoff tax, Perceived Job Security, Difference-in-Differences, Fertility.
    JEL: I38 J13 J18
    Date: 2020–06
  2. By: António R. Antunes; Valerio Ercolani
    Abstract: During the last three decades in the US, the older part of the population has become significantly richer, in contrast with the younger part, which has not. We show that demographics account for a significant part of this intergenerational wealth gap rise. In particular, we develop a general equilibrium model with an OLG structure which is able to mimic the wealth distribution of the household sector in the late 1980s, conditional on its age structure. Inputting the observed rise of life expectancy and the fall in population growth rate into the model generates an increase in wealth inequality across age groups which is between one third and one half of that actually observed. Furthermore, the demographic factors help explain the change of the wealth concentration conditional on the age structure; for example, they account for more than one third of the rise of the share of the elderly within the top 5% wealthiest households. Finally, consistent with a stronger life-cycle motive and an increase of the capital-labor ratio, the model produces an interest rate fall of 1 percentage point.
    JEL: E21 J1
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Alexander M. Danzer; Lennard Zyska
    Abstract: This study identi?es the causal e?ect of pension generosity on women’s fertility behavior. It capitalizes on Brazil’s expansion of the pension system to rural workers, whose pension wealth subsequently more than tripled. Event study, di?erence-in-di?erences and instrumental variable methods show that the pension reform reduces the propensity of childbearing of women in fertile age by 10% in the short-run. Completed fertility declines by 1.3 children within 20 years after the reform, reducing the contribution base of the Pay-As-You-Go pension system in the long-run. The fertility response is strongest at higher birth parities, among older women and among mothers with sons.
    Keywords: Pension wealth, Fertility, Old-age security hypothesis, Quasi-experiment, PAYG, Brazil
    JEL: J13 I38 H55
    Date: 2020–03
  4. By: Lipowski, Cäcilia; Wilke, Ralf A.; Koebel, Bertrand M.
    Abstract: Birth rates differ strongly across European states, despite the deep economic harmonisation process related to European integration. This study uses large scale administrative data from France and Germany to analyse and directly compare fertility patterns in two major European economies over a period of 15 years. Strong evidence is found that opportunity costs play a role in fertility decisions, and for a positive income effect for females with high earnings. Females in Germany adapt their fertility behaviour more strongly in response to economic incentives than their counterpartsin France. This is explained by pronounced differences in the national approaches to childcare support.
    Keywords: family policy,fertility behaviour,count data,panel data
    JEL: J13 J11 C23 C25
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Cragun, Randy
    Abstract: With the Australian Family Project and 1970 National Fertility Survey, this paper uses between-states variation in the timing of youth consent laws in Australia and the US in the 1960s and 1970s to show that women in Australia who had never used the pill were 2 percentage points more likely to start at age 19 under an age of majority of 18 instead of 21 (from a base rate around 2%). Women living under liberalized youth consent and legal access to the pill in the US were 10 percentage points more likely to start the pill at age 20.
    Keywords: the pill; contraception; power of the pill; age of majority; early legal access
    JEL: I18 J13 J31
    Date: 2019–10–24
  6. By: de la Croix, David; Mariani, Fabio; Mercier, Marion
    Abstract: We study the mechanisms behind the process of secularization and how they relate to human capital accumulation. We find a robust, positive correlation between human capital and secularization in marriage. Secularization is more responsive to education (i) in the presence of high levels of social capital and/or weak family ties, and (ii) following the legalization of divorce in 1971. To understand the mechanisms behind these results, we develop a theory of religiosity, education, and marriage choices, in which individuals who divorce face a relatively higher return to human capital compared to religious capital. Our theory suggests that a positive association between human capital and secularization can emerge across individuals (and localities) even in the absence of a direct effect of education on religiosity. Consistent with our empirical findings, the legalization of divorce plays a central role in unleashing the forces of secularization in marriage, and different patterns in the education--secularization nexus can be traced to different systems of incentives, as shaped by civic capital and family ties.
    Keywords: Divorce; Human Capital; Marriage; Secularization
    JEL: I25 J12 N34 O4 Z12
    Date: 2020–05

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