nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2021‒02‒15
five papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. A natural experiment on job insecurity and fertility in France By Clark, Andrew E.; Lepinteur, Anthony
  2. The welfare implications of climate change-related mortality: Inequality and population ethics By Marc Fleurbaey; Antonin Pottier; Stéphane Zuber
  3. COVID-19 and Global Income Inequality By Angus Deaton
  4. Public Economics and Inequality: Uncovering Our Social Nature By Emmanuel Saez
  5. Pandemic Economics and the Transformation of Health Policy By Chen, Xi; Fan, Annie

  1. By: Clark, Andrew E.; Lepinteur, Anthony
    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-difference; fertility
    JEL: I38 J13 J18
    Date: 2020–04
  2. By: Marc Fleurbaey (Paris School of Economics; Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CIRED); Antonin Pottier (Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CIRED, EHESS); Stéphane Zuber (Paris School of Economics, Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: Climate change-related mortality may strongly affect human well-being. By reducing life expectancy, it reduces the well-being of some infividuals. This may exacerbate existing inequalities: ex-ante inequality among people in different groups or regions of the world; ex-post inequality in experienced well-being by people in the same generation. But mortality may also reduce total population size by preventing some individuals from having children. This raises the population-ethical problem of how total population size should be valued. This paper proposes a methodology to measure te welfare effects of climate change through population and inequality change. We illustrate the methodology using a climate-economy integrated assessment model involving endogenous population change due to climate change-related mortality
    Keywords: Climate change-related mortality; fairness; inequality; population ethics
    JEL: D63 D81
    Date: 2020–07
  3. By: Angus Deaton
    Abstract: There is a widespread belief that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased global income inequality, reducing per capita incomes by more in poor countries than in rich. This supposition is reasonable but false. Rich countries have experienced more deaths per head than have poor countries; their better health systems, higher incomes, more capable governments and better preparedness notwithstanding. The US did worse than some rich countries, but better than several others. Countries with more deaths saw larger declines in income. There was thus not only no trade-off between lives and income; fewer deaths meant more income. As a result, per capita incomes fell by more in higher-income countries. Country by country, international income inequality decreased. When countries are weighted by population, international income inequality increased, not because the poorest countries diverged from the richest countries, but because China—no longer a poor country—had few deaths and positive economic growth, pulling it away from poor countries. That these findings are a result of the pandemic is supported by comparing global inequality using IMF forecasts in October 2019 and October 2020.
    JEL: F01 I14 O11
    Date: 2021–01
  4. By: Emmanuel Saez
    Abstract: This paper argues that the social nature of humans, absent from the standard economic model, is crucial to understand our large modern social states and why concerns about inequality are so pervasive. A social solution arises when a situation is resolved at the group level (rather than the individual level) through cooperation and fair distribution of the resulting surplus. In human societies, childcare and education for the young, retirement benefits for the old, health care for the sick, and income support for those in need, is resolved at the social level, and through the social state in advanced economies. Social situations are pervasive even outside government and play a significant role in the distribution of pre-tax market incomes.
    JEL: H0
    Date: 2021–01
  5. By: Chen, Xi (Yale University); Fan, Annie (China Health Policy and Management Society)
    Abstract: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is bringing about once-in-a-century changes to human society. This article summarizes key characteristics of the COVID-19 pandemic that should be incorporated in economics and health policy analyses. We then review the literature on the importance of public health measures, including taking early, targeted, and coordinated actions, enhancing social safety nets for vulnerable populations, and strengthening public communications. In the long term, addressing misallocation of health resources and improving health governance are critical. Drawing on evidence from past and present epidemics as well as comparing cross-country variations in their responses to the current public health emergency, we navigate long-awaited health reforms in areas that help optimize epidemics response and realign incentives of the major players in the health sector in preparation for the next pandemic.
    Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, healthcare reform, health governance, global health policy
    JEL: I18 J24 H12 P41 H51
    Date: 2021–01

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