nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2021‒02‒08
ten papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. The First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Socioeconomic Inequality in Psychological Distress in the UK By Davillas, Apostolos; Jones, Andrew M.
  2. Maternal Mortality Risk and Spousal Differences in the Demand for Children By Nava Ashraf; Erica M. Field; Alessandra Voena; Roberta Ziparo
  3. The European Marriage Pattern and its Positive Consequences Montesquieu-Volvestre, 1660-1789 By Le Bris, David; Tallec, Ronan
  4. School Starting Age, Maternal Age at Birth, and Child Outcomes By Fredriksson, Peter; Huttunen, Kristiina; Öckert, Björn
  5. Selection and Causation in the Parental Education Gradient in Health: Lessons from a Large Sample of Adoptees By Evelina Björkegren; Mikael Lindahl; Mårten Palme; Emilia Simeonova
  6. The Long-Term Effects of Labor Market Entry in a Recession: Evidence from the Asian Financial Crisis By Eleanor Jawon Choi; Jaewoo Choi; Hyelim Son
  7. The More the Poorer? Resource Sharing and Scale Economies in Large Families By Rossella Calvi; Jacob Penglase; Denni Tommasi; Alexander Wolf
  8. A Unified Model of Cohort Mortality for Economic Analysis By Adriana Lleras-Muney; Flavien E. Moreau
  9. Child Care over the Business Cycle By Brown, Jessica H.; Herbst, Chris M.
  10. Away from Home and Back: Coordinating (Remote) Workers in 1800 and 2020 By Réka Juhász; Mara P. Squicciarini; Nico Voigtländer

  1. By: Davillas, Apostolos (University of East Anglia); Jones, Andrew M. (University of York)
    Abstract: We use data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) to compare measures of socioeconomic inequality in psychological distress, measured by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), before (Waves 9 and the Interim 2019 Wave) and during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (April to July 2020). Based on a caseness measure, the prevalence of psychological distress increased from 18.5% to 27.7% between the 2019 Wave and April 2020 with some reversion to earlier levels in subsequent months. Also, there was a systematic increase in total inequality in the Likert GHQ-12 score. However, measures of relative socioeconomic inequality have not increased. A Shapley-Shorrocks decomposition analysis shows that during the peak of the first wave of the pandemic (April 2020) other socioeconomic factors declined in their share of socioeconomic inequality, while age and gender account for a larger share. The most notable increase is evident for younger women. The contribution of working in an industry related to the COVID-19 response played a small role at Wave 9 and the Interim 2019 Wave, but more than tripled its share in April 2020. As the first wave of COVID-19 progressed, the contribution of demographics declined from their peak level in April and chronic health conditions, housing conditions, and neighbourhood characteristics increased their contributions to socioeconomic inequality.
    Keywords: mental health, GHQ, socioeconomic inequality, health equity, COVID-19, psychological distress
    JEL: C1 D63 I12 I14
    Date: 2021–01
  2. By: Nava Ashraf; Erica M. Field; Alessandra Voena; Roberta Ziparo
    Abstract: Fertility decisions are often made by partners who may disagree. We develop a model in which an initial gender gap in ideal fertility prevents effective communication between spouses about the costs of childbearing incurred by women. This mechanism is likely to further widen the spousal disagreement over fertility in environments where maternal health risk is high and imperfectly observed. We design an intervention to experimentally vary exposure to information about maternal health costs to either the husband or the wife on a sample of approximately 500 couples in peri-urban Lusaka, in Zambia. At baseline, husbands display lower knowledge of maternal mortality and morbidity compared to their wives. At followup, about one year after the intervention, women whose husbands are treated experience a 43% reduction in the probability of being pregnant. Consistent with our hypothesis, men who are directly treated report lower desired fertility and have more accurate beliefs about their wife’s desired fertility than the husbands of treated women. Couples in which the husband is treated also increase communication about family planning, and experience greater marital satisfaction.
    JEL: J11 J13
    Date: 2020–12
  3. By: Le Bris, David; Tallec, Ronan
    Abstract: For a French village, we reconstitute most families and build accurate measurements of economic conditions. Combined with marriage contracts (systematic in this written-law area), we are able to control for wealth, Stem households and social status of father and husband for a representative sample. We clarify the operation of the EMP system: bad economic conditions resulted in later female age at marriage, which had positive consequences, such as fewer children, adjusting the population level, and a smaller age difference between spouses, allowing greater agency for women within the couple. A supposed positive effect on human capital is not significant.
    Keywords: European Marriage Pattern, Economic development, Family system, Population, Gender gap, Fertility
    JEL: J12 J13 N3 N33 O12
    Date: 2021–01
  4. By: Fredriksson, Peter (Uppsala University); Huttunen, Kristiina (Aalto University); Öckert, Björn (IFAU)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the effects of maternal school starting age and maternal age-at-birth on children's short and long-term outcomes using Finnish register data. We exploit a school-starting-age rule for identification. Mothers who are born after the school entry cut-off give birth at higher age, but total fertility and earnings are unaffected. Being born after the cut-off reduces gestation and, hence, child birth weight. The effects on birth weight and gestation are rather small, however, suggesting that the long-run impacts are limited. Accordingly, we find no impacts on longer-term child outcomes, such as educational attainment and adolescent crime rates. Overall, we interpret this evidence as saying that there are no favorable effects of maternal age at birth on child outcomes.
    Keywords: school starting age, fertility, maternal age, birth outcomes, education, crime
    JEL: J13 I21
    Date: 2021–01
  5. By: Evelina Björkegren; Mikael Lindahl; Mårten Palme; Emilia Simeonova
    Abstract: We use data from a large sample of adoptees born in Sweden to study to what extent the well-established association between parental educational attainments and adult health of the child generation can be attributed to pre- or post-birth factors, respectively. We find a significant association between the educational attainment of the adopting parents and child health outcomes as adults. These results suggest that growing up in a better-educated household has long-term effects on health outcomes. Our analysis of the mechanisms behind the results suggests that formation of human capital, and in particular cognitive and non-cognitive skills, may be important.
    JEL: I1 I12 I14 I26
    Date: 2020–12
  6. By: Eleanor Jawon Choi (Hanyang University); Jaewoo Choi (Korea Development Institute); Hyelim Son (University of Seoul)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the long-term effects of initial labor market conditions by comparing cohorts who graduated from college before, during, and after the 1997–1998 Asian financial crisis. We measure the overall welfare impact by examining not only labor market activities but also family formation and wealth accumulation. Using data from 20 waves of the Korean Labor and Income Panel Study, we find a substantial and persistent reduction in employment, earnings, marriage, fertility, and financial assets among men who graduated in a bad economy. For women, limited job opportunities at graduation result in an increase in childbearing.
    Keywords: recession, financial crisis, long-term effects, college graduates
    JEL: E32 J13 E21 J21
    Date: 2019–08
  7. By: Rossella Calvi; Jacob Penglase; Denni Tommasi; Alexander Wolf
    Abstract: The structure of a family may have important consequences for the material well-being of its members. For example, in large families, an individual must share resources with many others, but she may benefit from economies of scale in consumption. In this paper, we study individual consumption in different types of households, with a focus on family structures that are common in developing countries. Based on a collective household model, we develop a new methodology to identify the intra-household allocation of resources and the extent of consumption sharing. We apply our methodology using data from Bangladesh and Mexico, and use the model estimates to compute poverty rates for men, women, and children. Contrary to existing poverty calculations that ignore either intra-household inequality or economies of scale in consumption, ours take into account both dimensions.
    Keywords: collective model, household bargaining, resource shares, scale economies, Barten scales, indifference scales, poverty
    JEL: D13 D11 D12 C31 I32
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Adriana Lleras-Muney; Flavien E. Moreau
    Abstract: We propose a dynamic production function of population health and mortality from birth onwards. Our parsimonious model provides an excellent fit for the mortality and survival curves for both primate and human populations since 1816. The model sheds light on the dynamics behind many phenomena documented in the literature, including (i) the existence and evolution of mortality gradients across socio-economic statuses, (ii) non-monotonic dynamic effects of in-utero shocks, (iii) persistent or “scarring” effects of wars and (iv) mortality displacement after large temporary shocks such as extreme weather.
    JEL: I10 J11
    Date: 2020–12
  9. By: Brown, Jessica H. (University of South Carolina); Herbst, Chris M. (Arizona State University)
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of macroeconomic conditions on the child care market. We find that the industry is substantially more exposed to the business cycle than other low-wage industries and responds more strongly to negative shocks than positive ones. Indeed, child care employment requires more time to recover than the rest of the economy. Although the reduction in supply may pose difficulties for parents, we find evidence that center quality is countercyclical. When unemployment rates are higher, child care workers have on average higher levels of education and experience, turnover rates are lower, and consumer reviews on are higher.
    Keywords: child care, early childhood education, business cycles
    JEL: J13 J21 E32 J24
    Date: 2021–01
  10. By: Réka Juhász; Mara P. Squicciarini; Nico Voigtländer
    Abstract: This paper examines the future of remote work by drawing parallels between two contexts: The move from home to factory-based production during the Industrial Revolution and the shift to work from home today. Both are characterized by a similar trade-off: the potential productivity advantage of the new working arrangement made possible by technology (mechanization or ICT), versus organizational barriers such as coordinating workers. Using contemporary data, we show that organizational barriers seem to be present today. Without further technological or organizational innovations, remote work may not be here to stay just yet.
    JEL: F63 O14
    Date: 2020–12

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