nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2021‒02‒22
six papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Optimal Vaccine Subsidies for Endemic and Epidemic Diseases By Matthew Goodkin-Gold; Michael Kremer; Christopher M. Snyder; Heidi L. Williams
  2. Unequal mortality during the Spanish Flu By Roses, Joan R.; Domenech Feliu, Jordi; Basco Mascaro, Sergi
  3. Mortality change and its impact on child survival By Iván Williams; Diego Alburez-Gutierrez
  4. Linking retirement age to life expectancy does not lessen the demographic implications of unequal lifespans By Jesús-Adrián Álvarez; Malene Kallestrup-Lamb; Søren Kjærgaard
  5. "Mom, Dad: I’m staying”. Initial labor market conditions, housing markets, and welfare By Rodrigo Martínez-Mazza
  6. Impact of primary care coverage on individual health: evidence from biomarkers in Brazil By Fernando Antonio Slaibe Postali; Maria Dolores M Diaz, Adriano Dutra Teixeira, Natalia Nunes Ferreira Batista, Rodrigo Moreno Serra

  1. By: Matthew Goodkin-Gold (Harvard University - Department of Economics); Michael Kremer (University of Chicago - Department of Economics; NBER); Christopher M. Snyder (Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; NBER); Heidi L. Williams (Stanford University - Department of Economics; NBER)
    Abstract: Vaccines exert a positive externality, reducing spread of disease from the consumer to others, providing a rationale for subsidies. We study how optimal subsidies vary with disease characteristics by integrating a standard epidemiological model into a vaccine market with rational economic agents. In the steady-state equilibrium for an endemic disease, across market structures ranging from competition to monopoly, the marginal externality and optimal subsidy are non-monotonic in disease infectiousness, peaking for diseases that spread quickly but not so quickly as to drive all consumers to become vaccinated. Motivated by the Covid-19 pandemic, we adapt the analysis to study a vaccine campaign introduced at a point in time against an emerging epidemic. While the nonmonotonic pattern of the optimal subsidy persists, new findings emerge. Universal vaccination with a perfectly effective vaccine becomes a viable firm strategy: the marginal consumer is still willing to pay since those infected before vaccine rollout remain a source of transmission. We derive a simple condition under which vaccination exhibits increasing social returns, providing an argument for concentrating a capacity-constrained campaign in few regions. We discuss a variety of extensions and calibrations of the results to vaccines and other mitigation measures targeting existing diseases.
    JEL: D4 I18 L11 L65 O31
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Roses, Joan R.; Domenech Feliu, Jordi; Basco Mascaro, Sergi
    Abstract: The outburst of deaths and cases of Covid-19 around the world has renewed the interest to understand the mortality effects of pandemics across regions, occupations, age and gender. The Spanish Flu is the closest pandemic to Covid-19. Mortality rates in Spain were among the largest in today's developed countries. Our research documents a substantial heterogeneity on mortality rates across occupations. The highest mortality was on low-income workers. We also record a rural mortality penalty that reversed the historical urban penalty temporally. The higher capacity of certain social groups to isolate themselves from social contact could explain these mortality differentials. However, adjusting mortality evidence by these two factors, there were still large mortality inter-provincial differences for the same occupation and location, suggesting the existence of a regional component in rates of flu contagion possibly related to climatic differences.
    Keywords: Urban Penalty; Socio-Economic Differences; Health Inequality; Pandemics
    JEL: I14 J1 N34
    Date: 2021–02–09
  3. By: Iván Williams (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Diego Alburez-Gutierrez (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Background The Goodman-Keyfitz-Pullum Kinship Equations estimate offspring survival for women in populations with stable levels of mortality and fertility. A separate body of literature has focused on the effects of mortality change on life expectancy. Combining these two approaches allows us to consider the effects of mortality change on offspring survival. Results The effect of an all-age mortality increase on child survival is indirectly proportional to the mean age of an average woman's surviving children. Equivalently, the effect is indirectly proportional to the mean time that a woman has spent with her surviving offspring. Generalizing for an age-specific mortality change follows life expectancy treatment. Contributions We bring together two separate traditions in mathematical demography to provide an intuitive understanding of the consequences of mortality change for offspring survival and women's lived experience of child loss. This conceptual framework can be used, for example, to study maternal bereavement in the context of a sustained mortality decline or a sudden mortality crisis.
    Keywords: World, kinship, maternal and child health, mathematical demography, mortality
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Jesús-Adrián Álvarez (University of Southern Denmark); Malene Kallestrup-Lamb (Aarhus University and CREATES); Søren Kjærgaard (IST, EBB, Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Biodemography,)
    Abstract: The fact that individuals are living longer and thus spending more time in retirement challenges the sustainability of pension systems. This has forced policy makers to rethink the design of pension plans to mitigate the burden of increased longevity. Countries such as the Netherlands, Estonia, Denmark and Finland have implemented reforms that link retirement age to changes in life expectancy. However, the demographic and financial implications of such linkages are not well understood. This study analyses the Danish case, using high-quality data from population registers during the period 1985-2016. We identify trends in demographic and actuarial measures after retirement by sex and socio-economic group. We also introduce a new decomposition method to disentangle the demographic sources of socio-economic disparities in pension costs per year of expected benefits. We reach two main results. First, linking retirement age to life expectancy increases uncertainty about length of life after retirement, with the financial cost becoming more sensitive to changes in mortality. Second, socio-economic disparities in lifespans persist regardless of the age at which individuals retire. Males from lower socio-economic groups are at a greater disadvantage, because they spend fewer years in retirement, pay higher pension costs per year of expected benefits and are exposed to higher longevity risk than the rest of the population. This disadvantageous setting is magnified when retirement age is linked to life expectancy.
    Keywords: Danish pension system, longevity, socio-economic disparities, lifespan inequality, pensions, mortality heterogeneity
    JEL: J26 J11 H55
    Date: 2020–12–16
  5. By: Rodrigo Martínez-Mazza (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)
    Abstract: Young individuals are currently living with their parents more than at any other point in time, while also spending more on housing. In this paper, I first show how labor market entry conditions affect housing tenure and affordability in the long term, by using the unemployment rate at the time of graduation as an exogenous shock to income. I perform this analysis across Europe for the last 25 years. Results indicate that a 1 pp increase in the unemployment rate at the time of graduation leads, one year after, to (1) a 1.50 pp increase in the probability of living with parents, (2) a 1.02 pp decrease in the probability of home-ownership and 0.45 pp decrease in renting, and (3) worse affordability. Second, I develop an OLG model to link income shocks for young agents with changes in housing tenure at the aggregate level. I allow for an outside option for landlords which can introduce rigidity into the rental market. Results show that if rental markets are rigid, an income shock to young agents will translate into a larger share of them living with their parents, worse affordability, and larger welfare losses. Finally, I perform a policy exercise based on the French housing aid system. I show that housing aid policies can help to recover welfare losses for young agents, by enabling them to afford to rent. Recognizing the right scenario for the implementation of these policies is key to ensure welfare gains concentrate on the targeted population.
    Keywords: Housing, labor markets, long-term effects
    JEL: R20 R21 J24
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Fernando Antonio Slaibe Postali; Maria Dolores M Diaz, Adriano Dutra Teixeira, Natalia Nunes Ferreira Batista, Rodrigo Moreno Serra
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between primary care coverage and individual health in Brazil, using a dataset of blood and nurse-based biomarkers collected during a national health survey carried out in 2013. Both survey data and laboratory results were crossed with coverage data from the Family Health Strategy (ESF), the largest and most important primary care program in Brazil. The coverage measures aim to capture both direct (household) and indirect (spillover) effects. The empirical strategy uses a probit model to estimate the relationship between ESF coverage and the likelihood of abnormal biomarker levels, controlling for the local availability of health facilities and a rich set of individual and household characteristics coming from the national survey. The results suggest that broader ESF household coverage is linked to a decrease in the likelihood of abnormal results for biomarkers related to anemia, kidney failure and arterial hypertension, as well as for white blood cells and thrombocytes. Intensity of coverage matters for dengue, once its antibodies are negatively correlated with the number of ESF visits received by the household. The spillover effect proved to be relevant for kidney failure, diabetes mellitus and arterial hypertension. Cholesterol did not present any relationship with ESF.
    Keywords: Primary care; Biomarkers; Probit; Impact evaluation
    JEL: I18 C13 C31
    Date: 2021–02–05

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