nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2020‒09‒21
ten papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Educational differences in cohort fertility across sub-national regions in Europe By Nisén, Jessica; Klüsener, Sebastian; Dahlberg, Johan; Dommermuth, Lars; Jasilioniene, Aiva; Kreyenfeld, Michaela; Lappegård, Trude; Li, Peng; Martikainen, Pekka; Neels, Karel; Riederer, Bernhard; te Riele, Saskia; Szabó, Laura; Trimarchi, Alessandra; Viciana, Francisco; Wilson, Ben; Myrskylä, Mikko
  2. Stable Income, Stable Family By Isaac Swensen ⓡ; Jason M. Lindo ⓡ; Krishna Regmi
  3. Marriage as Insurance: Job Protection and Job Insecurity in France By Andrew E. Clark; Conchita d'Ambrosio; Anthony Lepinteur
  4. Having it all, for all: child-care subsidies and income distribution reconciled By Francesca Barigozzi; Helmuth Cremer; Kerstin Roeder
  5. Marriage and Divorce: The Role of Labor Market Institutions By Bastian Schulz; Fabian Siuda
  6. Investment for the Demographic Window in Latin America By Rodriguez Maria Jose
  7. Cohort trends in working life expectancies at age 50 in the United States: a register-based study using social security administration data By Dudel, Christian; Myrskylä, Mikko
  8. Bismarck to no Effect: Fertility Decline and the Introduction of Social Insurance in Prussia By Guinnane, Timothy; Streb, Jochen
  9. Working and disability expectancies at older ages: the role of childhood circumstances and education By Lorenti, Angelo; Dudel, Christian; Hale, Jo Mhairi; Myrskylä, Mikko
  10. Use of counterfactual population projections for assessing the demographic determinants of population ageing By Murphy, Michael J.

  1. By: Nisén, Jessica; Klüsener, Sebastian; Dahlberg, Johan; Dommermuth, Lars; Jasilioniene, Aiva; Kreyenfeld, Michaela; Lappegård, Trude; Li, Peng; Martikainen, Pekka; Neels, Karel; Riederer, Bernhard; te Riele, Saskia; Szabó, Laura; Trimarchi, Alessandra; Viciana, Francisco; Wilson, Ben; Myrskylä, Mikko
    Abstract: Educational differences in female cohort fertility vary strongly across high-income countries and over time, but knowledge about how educational fertility differentials play out at the sub-national regional level is limited. Examining these sub-national regional patterns might improve our understanding of national patterns, as regionally varying contextual conditions may affect fertility. This study provides for the first time for a large number of European countries a comprehensive account of educational differences in the cohort fertility rate (CFR) at the sub-national regional level. We harmonise data from population registers, censuses, and large-sample surveys for 15 countries to measure women’s completed fertility by educational level and region of residence at the end of the reproductive lifespan. In order to explore associations between educational differences in CFRs and levels of economic development, we link our data to regional GDP per capita. Empirical Bayesian estimation is used to reduce uncertainty in the regional fertility estimates. We document an overall negative gradient between the CFR and level of education, and notable regional variation in the gradient. The steepness of the gradient is inversely related to the economic development level. It is steepest in the least developed regions and close to zero in the most developed regions. This tendency is observed within countries as well as across all regions of all countries. Our findings underline the variability of educational gradients in women’s fertility, suggest that higher levels of development may be associated with less negative gradients, and call for more in-depth sub-national-level fertility analyses by education.
    Keywords: cohort fertility; education; empirical Bayesian; Europe; fertility rate; sub-national region; 336475 (COSTPOST)
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2020–08–10
  2. By: Isaac Swensen ⓡ; Jason M. Lindo ⓡ; Krishna Regmi
    Abstract: We document the effect of unemployment insurance generosity on divorce and fertility, using an identification strategy that leverages state-level changes in maximum benefits over time and comparisons across workers who have been laid off and those that have not been laid off. The results indicate that higher benefit levels reduce the probability of divorce and increase the probability of having children for laid-off men. In contrast, for laid-off women we find little evidence of effects of unemployment insurance generosity on divorce and we find suggestive evidence that it reduces their fertility.
    JEL: H53 I38 J12 J13 J16 J65
    Date: 2020–08
  3. By: Andrew E. Clark (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Conchita d'Ambrosio (University of Luxembourg [Luxembourg]); Anthony Lepinteur (University of Luxembourg [Luxembourg])
    Abstract: Job insecurity is one type of risk that workers face on the labour market. As with any risk, individuals can choose to insure against it. We consider marriage as potential insurance against labour-market risk. The 1999 rise in the French Delalande layoff tax for older workers produced an exogenous rise in job insecurity for younger workers. A difference-in-differences estimation in panel data reveals that this greater job insecurity for the under-50s led to a significant rise in their probability of marriage, and especially with partners who had greater job security, consistent with marriage providing insurance on the labour market.
    Keywords: Marriage,Insurance,Employment Protection,Perceived Job Security,Difference-in-Differences
    Date: 2020–09
  4. By: Francesca Barigozzi (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, Université de Bologne); Helmuth Cremer (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Kerstin Roeder (University of Augsburg [Augsburg])
    Abstract: This paper studies the design of child-care policies when redistribution matters. Traditional mothers provide some informal child care, whereas career mothers purchase full time formal care in the market. The sorting of women across career paths is endogenous and shaped by a social norm about gender roles in the family. Via this social norm traditional mothersinformal child care imposes an externality on career mothers, so that the market outcome is inefficient. Informal care is too large and the group of career mothers is too small so that inefficiency and gender inequality go hand in hand. In a first-best, full information word redistribution across couples and efficiency are separable. Redistribution is performed via lump-sum transfers and taxes which are designed to equalize utilities across all couples. The efficient allocation of child care is obtained by subsidizing formal care at a Pigouvian rate. However, in a second-best settings, we show that a trade-off between the reduction of gender inequality and redistributive considerations emerge. The optimal uniform subsidy is lower than the Pigouvianlevel. Under a nonlinear policy the first-best Pigouvianrule for the (marginal) subsidy on informal care is reestablished. While the share of high career mothers continues to be distorted downward for incentive reasons, this policy is effective in reconciling the objectives of reducing the child care related gender inequalities and achieving a more equal income distribution across couples.
    Date: 2020–05
  5. By: Bastian Schulz; Fabian Siuda
    Abstract: Marriage and divorce decisions are influenced by the institutional environment they are made in. One example is the social insurance system, which acts as a substitute for within-household insurance against economic shocks. In this paper, we quantify the importance of household-level insurance for marriage and divorce by exploiting an exogenous increase in the need for risk sharing: in January 2003, a German labor market reform sharply reduced means-testing exemptions in the unemployment insurance system and thereby increased the extent to which spouses have to insure each other against unemployment. Using social security register data, we show that the extent to which (potential) spouses were affected by this reform varies with nationality. We them follow a differences-in-differences identification strategy and use data on all marriages and divorces in Germany between 1997 and 2013 to show that increased means testing made the formation of interethnic marriages significantly less attractive. At the same time, the reform increased the stability of newly-formed interethnic marriages.
    Keywords: marriage, divorce, interethnic marriage, risk sharing, unemployment insurance, labor market reforms, EU expansion
    JEL: J10 J12 J15 J64 J65
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Rodriguez Maria Jose
    Abstract: This paper studies the behavior of investment during demographic transitions. In particular, I focus on the period where the working age to population ratio reaches its maximum, namely the demographic window. I document that in Europe, Asia, and Oceania investment rates are higher 15 years before and during the window than in other periods, whereas in Latin America they are lower. To understand the relation between investment and a demographic window, I build an overlapping generations model with demographic change and variable degree of financial openness. Within this framework, I conduct several exercises and counterfactuals involving potential drivers of the investment behavior. I find that the demographic behavior in conjunction with the region-specific financial openness can explain the main pattern of investment for the demographic window in Latin America vis-a-vis Europe and Asia.
    Keywords: Investment;Demographic Window;Latin America
    JEL: F21 E22 J10 O54 F41
    Date: 2019–10
  7. By: Dudel, Christian; Myrskylä, Mikko
    Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Little is known about the length of working life, even though it is a key indicator for policy-makers. In this paper, we study how the length of working life at age 50 has developed in the United States from a cohort perspective. METHODS: We use a large longitudinal sample of U.S. Social Security register data that covers close to 1.7 million individuals of the cohorts born from 1920 to 1965. For all of these cohorts, we study the employment trajectories and working life expectancy (WLE) at age 50 by gender and nativity (native-born/foreign-born). For the cohorts with employment trajectories that are only incompletely observed, we borrow information from older cohorts to predict their WLE. RESULTS: The length of working life has been increasing for the native-born males and females, and the younger cohorts worked longer than the older cohorts. However, WLE might soon peak, and then stall. The gap in WLE between the native-born and the foreign-born has increased over time, although latter group might be able to catch up in the coming years. DISCUSSION: Our findings show that studying employment from a cohort perspective reveals crucial information about patterns of working life. The future development of the length of working life should be a major concern for policy-makers.
    Keywords: cohort study; continuous working history sample; foreign-born population; working life expectancy
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2020–09–01
  8. By: Guinnane, Timothy; Streb, Jochen
    Abstract: Economists have long argued that introducing social insurance will reduce fertility. The hypothesis relies on standard models: if children are desirable in part because they provide security in case of disability or old age, then state programs that provide insurance against these events should induce couples to substitute away from children in the allocation of wealth. We test this claim using the introduction of social insurance in Germany in the 1880s and 1890s. Bismarck's social-insurance system provided health insurance, workplace-accident insurance, and old age pensions to a majority of the working population. The German case appeals because the social insurance program started on a large scale and was compulsory for covered classes of workers, and because fertility in Germany in this period was still relatively high. Focusing on the state of Prussia, we estimate differences-in-differences models that ask whether marriage and marital fertility reacted to the introduction or extension of the main social insurance programs. For Prussia as a whole we find little impact.
    Keywords: fertility transition,marriage pattern,old-age pension,health insurance,accident insurance
    JEL: J13 H55 N33
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Lorenti, Angelo; Dudel, Christian; Hale, Jo Mhairi; Myrskylä, Mikko
    Abstract: The ability to work at older ages depends on health and education. Both accumulate starting very early in life. We assess how childhood disadvantages combine with education to affect working and health trajectories. Applying multistate period life tables to data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) for the period 2008–2014, we estimate how the residual life expectancy at age 50 is distributed in number of years of work and disability, by number of childhood disadvantages, gender, and race/ethnicity. Our findings indicate that number of childhood disadvantages is negatively associated with work and positively with disability, irrespective of gender and race/ethnicity. Childhood disadvantages intersect with low education resulting in shorter lives, and redistributing life years from work to disability. Among the highly educated, health and work differences between groups of childhood disadvantage are small. Combining multistate models and inverse probability weighting, we show that the return of high education is greater among the most disadvantaged.
    Keywords: childhood adversities; DLE; inequality; inverse probability weighting; life course; multistate models; social stratification; WLE; Max Planck Society
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2020–07–25
  10. By: Murphy, Michael J.
    Abstract: Counterfactual population projections have been used to estimate the contributions of fertility and mortality to population ageing, a method recently designated as the gold standard for this purpose. We analyse projections with base years between 1850 and 1950 for 11 European countries with long-run demographic data series to estimate the robustness of this approach. We link this approach with stable population theory to derive quantitative indicators of the role of fertility and mortality; consider ways of incorporating net migration; and examine the effect of using alternative indicators of population ageing. A number of substantive and technical weaknesses in the counterfactual projection approach are identified: (1) the conclusions are very sensitive to the choice of base year. Specifically, the level of base year fertility has a major influence on whether fertility or mortality is considered the main driver of population ageing. (2) The method is not transitive: results for two adjacent intervals are unrelated to results for the combined period. Therefore, overall results cannot be usefully allocated between different sub-intervals. (3) Different ageing indices tend to produce similar qualitative conclusions, but quantitative results may differ markedly. (4) Comparisons of alternative models should be with a fixed fertility and mortality projection model rather than with the baseline values as usually done. (5) The standard counterfactual projections approach concatenates the effects of initial age structure and subsequent fertility and mortality rates: methods to separate these components are derived.
    Keywords: demography; population projections; population ageing; long-term trends
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2020–09–09

This nep-dem issue is ©2020 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.