nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2021‒03‒08
seven papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. The birthweight effects of universal child benefits in pregnancy: quasi-experimental evidence from England and Wales By Mary Reader
  2. Missing women in China and India over seven decades:an analysis of birth and mortality data from 1950 to 2020 By Gaurav Datt; Cun Liu; Russell Smyth
  3. Women's Inheritance Rights and Fertility Decisions: Evidence from India By Nayana Bose; Shreyasee Das
  4. Care or self-care? The impact of informal care provision on health behaviour By Peter Eibich
  5. Employment Structures in China from 1990 to 2015: Demographic and Technological Change By Ge, Peng; Sun, Wenkai; Zhao, Zhong
  6. Calculation of week-specific age-standardized death rates from STMF data on mortality by broad age intervals By Ilya Klimkin; Vladimir M. Shkolnikov; Dmitri A. Jdanov
  7. Containment measures, employment and the spread of COVID-19 in Spanish municipalities By Eduardo Gutiérrez; Enrique Moral-Benito

  1. By: Mary Reader
    Abstract: Over a decade ago, in April 2009, the UK Labour government introduced the Health in Pregnancy Grant (HPG), a cash transfer of the equivalent of child benefit over the third trimester (£190) as a lump sum to all pregnant women in the United Kingdom. As a labelled, universal and unconditional cash transfer with near-universal take-up, the HPG remains the only international example of paying the equivalent of child benefit during pregnancy to improve health outcomes at birth. The grant was designed to improve birthweight by helping mothers afford high-quality nutrition and reducing stress in the prenatal phase. In January 2011, the HPG was abolished by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition on grounds, in part, that it was a "gimmick" with little evidence of impact on birthweight. This CASEpaper quantitatively evaluates the impact of the HPG on birthweight in England and Wales. Using administrative birth registrations data, I implement a quasi-experimental regression discontinuity (RD) design based on an arbitrary eligibility rule for the HPG. I find that the HPG was responsible for an increase of 11g in birthweight on average and that effects were concentrated on the smallest babies. Increases in birthweight were largest for younger mothers aged 25 and under (29g average increase) and mothers living in areas with high levels of deprivation (20g average increase). While younger mothers experienced a reduction in the probability of low birthweight by 0.9 percentage points (12 percent in relative terms), low birthweight did not fall for the population as a whole. My findings suggest that paying the equivalent of universal child benefits in pregnancy as a labelled lump sum can disproportionately benefit disadvantaged groups such as younger mothers and lead to effect sizes that are larger than would be expected of more general windfall increases in income.
    Keywords: birthweight
    JEL: I14
    Date: 2021–02
  2. By: Gaurav Datt; Cun Liu; Russell Smyth
    Abstract: This paper constructs long-run estimates of total missing women (including missing girls at birth and excess female deaths) in China and India over seven decades from 1950 to 2020. We find that the number of missing women in India has been higher than in China throughout the seven decades. Over time, missing girls at birth grew faster in China than India, but China has made more rapid progress in reducing excess female deaths. Since the 1980s, there has been a rapid rise in the share of female birth deficits in both countries, while the composition of excess female deaths in both countries has shifted from younger to older age groups. Our estimated trends for missing girls are consistent with the introduction and spread of sex-determination (ultrasound) technology in China and India; the timing and pace of fertility decline associated with demographic transition in both countries; and the introduction, relaxation and discontinuation of the One Child Policy in China. Our estimated time pattern of excess female deaths in China, relative to India, is consistent with high female mortality during the Great Famine of 1958-1961 in China, but later the more universalistic improvement in social indicators in China than in India.
    Keywords: missing women; sex ratio; gender discrimination; China; India
    JEL: J11 J13 J16 N35
    Date: 2020–12
  3. By: Nayana Bose (Department of Economics, Scripps College); Shreyasee Das (Department of Economics, Temple University)
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of the Hindu Succession Amendment Act (HSAA) that mandated equal inheritance rights for women, on their fertility choices in the context of son-preference in rural India. We use the NFHS-3 data and exploit the variation in timing of the introduction of the HSAA across states to employ a difference-in-difference strategy. While both reform and non-reform women had similar son preference and desire for children, treated women, on average, had 0.8 additional children than their counterparts. We find evidence that the fertility increase was a result of women being able to use the stopping rule more effectively to achieve son-preference. Women impacted by the reform also had a higher proportion of sons for a given family size, indicating stronger son preference among treated women. Finally, we find the amendment lead to a decrease in domestic violence, improvements in maternal health, and women's decision-making power. This greater empowerment could be the potential mechanism that allowed women to increase fertility to realize their son preference.
    Keywords: Inheritance Rights, Bargaining Power, Fertility, Son-Preference, Stopping Rules, Gender, India
    JEL: O12 J16 J13 P48
    Date: 2021–02
  4. By: Peter Eibich (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Ge, Peng (Renmin University of China); Sun, Wenkai (Renmin University of China); Zhao, Zhong (Renmin University of China)
    Abstract: Using national representative samples from population census and mini-census of China, this paper documents important employment dynamics in China from 1990 to 2015. The share of routine manual jobs decreased significant from 57% to 32%; both the share of routine cognitive jobs and the share of not-working increased significantly, from 8% to 19%, and from 16% to 31%, respectively; however, the share of non-routine jobs had no significant change. Our decomposition exercises suggest that the composition effect resulting from change in the composition of population demographics, the propensity effect from change in the probability for people with given demographic characteristics into different employment categories and the interaction effect contribute to 68%, 66% and -34% to the fall in routine manual jobs, respectively. Meanwhile, these effects for the rise in routine cognitive jobs and for the increase in not-working are 16%, 74%, 11%, and 7%, 93%, 0.3%, respectively.
    Keywords: employment dynamics, routine job, non-routine job, China
    JEL: J21
    Date: 2021–02
  6. By: Ilya Klimkin; Vladimir M. Shkolnikov (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Dmitri A. Jdanov (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: The Short-Term Mortality Fluctuations (STMF) data series provides an opportunity for analysis of intra-annual excess mortality, in particular, human losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the STMF has a limitation caused by the nature of the collected original weekly death counts. In many countries, weekly death counts are available only by broad age groups or/and are too small and shaky. Moreover, the original age scales somewhat vary by country. Thus, the STMF data file presents weekly deaths and death rates by broad age intervals. This simplifies the usage of the STMF and helps to conduct analyses but limits the comparability of results across countries and time. The comparisons may be biased due to differences between the population age composition. This study addresses the problem by providing a method for the estimation of week-specific standardized death rates (SDRs) that combines the aggregated weekly mortality data with detailed annual data on mortality and population. This allows deriving annual transition coefficients for the transformation of crude death rates into SDRs. We show that the derived SDRs approximate well exact SDRs across time and countries.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Eduardo Gutiérrez (Banco de España); Enrique Moral-Benito (Banco de España)
    Abstract: In order to curb the advance of COVID-19, Royal Decree-Law 10/2020 of 29 March 2020 stipulated the temporary shutdown of all activities considered non-essential between 30 March and 9 April 2020. This paper uses municipal-level information to quantify the short-term effects of this measure both on employment and on containing the pandemic. Specifically, we analyse the relationship between the share of firms forced to shut down in each municipality and changes in Social Security registrations along with new COVID-19 cases in April. The results suggest that those municipalities most affected by the non-essential activity shutdown endured higher reductions in employment but, at the same time, they also witnessed a lower propagation of the pandemic during April. Finally, other characteristics such as ageing, colder temperatures, higher population density and proximity to the provincial capital are found to be associated with a higher incidence of COVID-19 at the municipality level.
    Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, employment, Spanish municipalities
    JEL: I1 J21 C53
    Date: 2020–08

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