nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2020‒11‒23
seven papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Quality-adjusted Population Density By J. Vernon Henderson; Adam Storeygard; David N. Weil
  2. Demographics and the Decline in Firm Entry: Lessons from a Life-Cycle Model By Röhe, Oke; Stähler, Nikolai
  3. The Effects of Parental Retirement on Adult Children’s Labor Supply: Evidence From China By Wu, Qi; Gao, Xin
  4. Does the Right to Work Part-Time Affect Mothers' Labor Market Outcomes? By Paule-Paludkiewicz, Hannah
  5. A Strictly Economic Explanation of Gender Roles: The Lasting Legacy of the Plough. By Alessandro Cigno
  6. COVID-19 School Closures and Parental Labor Supply in the United States By Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina; Marcén, Miriam; Morales, Marina; Sevilla, Almudena
  7. Job Loss and Health Spillovers in the Family By Gathmann, Christina; Huttunen, Kristiina; Jenström, Laura; Saaksvuori, Lauri; Stitzing, Robin

  1. By: J. Vernon Henderson; Adam Storeygard; David N. Weil
    Abstract: Quality-adjusted population density (QAPD) is population divided by land area that has been adjusted for geographic characteristics. We derive weights on these geographic characteristics from a global regression of population density at the quarter-degree level with country fixed effects. We show, first, that while income per capita is uncorrelated with conventionally measured population density across countries, there is a strong negative correlation between income per capita and QAPD; second, that the magnitude of this relationship exceeds the plausible structural effect of density on income, suggesting a negative correlation between QAPD and productivity or factor accumulation; and third, that higher QAPD in poor countries is primarily due to population growth since 1820. We argue that these facts are best understood as results of the differential timings of economic takeoff and demographic transition across countries, and particularly the rapid transfer of health technologies from early to late developers.
    JEL: O13 O18 Q56 R12
    Date: 2020–11
  2. By: Röhe, Oke; Stähler, Nikolai
    Abstract: Since the mid-1970s, firm entry rates in the United States have declined significantly. This also holds for other OECD countries over the past years. At the same time, these economies experienced a gradual process of population aging. Applying a tractable life-cycle model with endogenous firm dynamics, we show that falling US firm entry rates can be explained by demographic transition. Specifically, our model simulations suggest that aging can account for up to one third of the observed decrease in US firm entry rates. In addition to the negative effects of a slowdown in working-age population growth on firm entry, our analysis points out that an increase in longevity may also be an important factor contributing to the decline in business dynamism, weighing on both firm entry and exit rates.
    Keywords: Life expectancy,Demographic transition,Endogenous firm dynamics
    JEL: H25 L52 E20 E62 L10 O30
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Wu, Qi; Gao, Xin
    Abstract: Aging and an increasing retired population are a global challenge. Previous studies suggest that retirement affects economic behaviors of the retiree and his or her spouse, including consumption, health outcome, and time use. However, little is known about the intergenerational effects of parental retirement on adult children. This paper studies the effects of parental retirement on adult children's labor supply through intergenerational time and monetary transfer. We exploit the mandatory retirement age in China as the cut-off point and apply a regression discontinuity (RD) approach to four waves of the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) Dataset. Our findings suggest that parental retirement reduces adult children's annual hours of labor supply by 3 to 4 percent. This reduction is especially pronounced for female children. We find that the reduction can be explained by parents' increasing demand for time and care from children due to the significant drop in parents' self-rated health upon retirement. Although both male and female children increased their monetary and time transfers to parents, we find that parents tend to make more transfers to sons compared to daughters. Daughters are also more likely to make transfers to parents after they retire, both in terms of money and in terms of time. We therefore urge policy makers to increase formal eldercare provisions and provide workplace amenities such as flexible working hours, especially for female employees.
    Keywords: Retirement, Labor Supply, Intergenerational Transfer, Gender Role
    JEL: D13 D64 J0 J22 J26
    Date: 2020–10–23
  4. By: Paule-Paludkiewicz, Hannah
    Abstract: This paper studies how the statutory right to work part-time affects mothers' post-birth labor market outcomes and higher-order fertility. I use a differences-in-differences design to investigate the introduction of a German law in 2001 that grants the right to work part-time to employees working in firms with more than 15 employees. I find that the reform does not increase the probability to return to work after childbirth significantly. However, mothers who gain the right to work part-time are more likely to work part-time in the short-run after childbirth, indicating that the law is effective in granting access to part-time employment to those mothers who want it. While the probability to return to work after childbirth is unaffected, the law has a positive effect on maternal employment and labor income in the long-run. The results suggest that the increase in the employment rate is due to a lower probability to drop out of the labor market after the temporary return and a lower probability to give birth to an additional child.
    Keywords: Female Employment,Part-Time Work,Fertility,Family and Work Obligations
    JEL: J13 J18 J22 J83
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Alessandro Cigno
    Abstract: We show that the descendants of ancient farmers may have an interest in marrying among themselves, and thus maintaining the gendered division of labour, originally justified on comparative-advantage grounds by the advent of the plough, even after they emigrate to a modern industrial economy where individual productivity depends on education rather than physical characteristics. The result rests on the argument that, if efficiency requires the more productive spouse to specialize in raising income, and the less productive one in raising children, irrespective of gender, an efficient domestic equilibrium will be implemented by a costlessly enforceable pre-marital contract stipulating that the husband should do the former and the wife the latter. A con-tract may not be needed, however, if time spent with children gives direct utility, because an effi cient equilibrium may then be characterized by little or no division of labour.
    Keywords: plough, comparative advantage, gender, matching, hold-up problem, contract enforcement, migration
    JEL: C78 D02 J16 J61
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina (University of California, Merced); Marcén, Miriam (University of Zaragoza); Morales, Marina (University of Zaragoza); Sevilla, Almudena (University College London)
    Abstract: We examine the role of school closures in contributing to the negative labor market impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We collect detailed daily information on school closures at the school-district level, which we merge to individual level data on various employment and socio- demographic characteristics from the monthly Current Population Survey from January 2019 through May 2020. Using a difference-in-differences estimation approach, we gauge how the intensity of school closures affects the labor supply of mothers and fathers of young school-age children. We find evidence of non-negligible labor supply reductions, particularly among mothers. These impacts prove robust to endogeneity checks and persist after accounting for other social-distancing measures in place.
    Keywords: COVID-19, school closures, parental labor supply, United States
    JEL: D1 J1 J16 J2 J23
    Date: 2020–10
  7. By: Gathmann, Christina; Huttunen, Kristiina; Jenström, Laura; Saaksvuori, Lauri; Stitzing, Robin
    Abstract: A sizable literature documents that displaced workers suffer substantial negative consequences in the labor market and health. These effects may extend to the partner or spouse through household decision-making. Using administrative data of all workers and firms matched to mortality and patient records, we document a stunning asymmetry: when a man loses his job in a plant closure, both the man and the spouse suffer negative health consequences. When a woman loses here job, in contrast, we find no such dire health consequences. We explore three explanations for this phenomenon: the role of spousal labor supply, the size of earnings and income losses, and the importance of family structure and gender roles. Spousal labor supply responses are very small despite limited insurance through public transfers. The size of income losses and gender roles seem to play a role for explaining the observed asymmetry.
    JEL: I12 I14 J65 J12
    Date: 2020

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