nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2021‒03‒15
three papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Mortality and life expectancy trends for male pensioners by pension income level By Juan Manuel Pérez-Salamero González; Marta Regúlez Castillo; Carlos Vidal-Meliá
  2. Public Pensions and Private Savings By Esteban García-Miralles; Jonathan M. Leganza
  3. On the Origins of the Demographic Transition Rethinking the European Marriage Pattern. By Faustine Perrin

  1. By: Juan Manuel Pérez-Salamero González (Department of Financial Economics and Actuarial Science, University of Valencia.); Marta Regúlez Castillo (Department of Quantitative Methods. University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).); Carlos Vidal-Meliá (Department of Financial Economics and Actuarial Science, University of Valencia, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico, Complutense (ICAE), University of Madrid, Spain (research affiliate) and Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), UNSW, Sydney, Australia.)
    Abstract: We draw on the Continuous Sample of Working Lives (CSWL) to investigate the differences in socioeconomic mortality among retired men aged 65 and above over the longest possible period covered by this data source: 2005–2018. This paper deals with the case of Spain, since very little evidence concerning retirement pensioners is available for this country. The only indicator of socioeconomic status we use is the amount of the initial pension of the retired population. For 2005-2010 we find a gap in life expectancy of 1.49 years between pensioners in the highest and lowest income groups. This gap widens over time and reaches 2.58 years for the period 2015–2018. The increase in life expectancy inequality cannot be attributed to the pension system reforms carried out over the period 2011-2013, given that the system has become more redistributive and there has been a clear increase in real terms in the amounts of minimum pensions over recent years. The causes might be traced back to the decrease in public spending on health over the period 2009-2018 and the increased spending on private health, which would presumably be of more benefit to those retirees with bigger pensions.
    Keywords: Inequalities; Life Expectancy; Life Tables; Mortality; Socioeconomic Factors.
    JEL: C81 H55 I14 J26
    Date: 2021–02
  2. By: Esteban García-Miralles (University of Copenhagen); Jonathan M. Leganza (University of California, San Diego)
    Abstract: How does the provision of public pension benefits impact private savings? We answer this question in the context of a reform in Denmark that altered old-age benefit payouts through a discontinuous increase in pension eligibility ages contingent on birthdate. Using detailed administrative data and a regression discontinuity design, we identify the causal effects of the policy, leveraging our setting to study essentially the entire financial portfolio. We document responses over two distinct time horizons. First, we show a lack of responses after the reform was announced but before it was implemented, inconsistent with the notion that future differences in pension eligibility impact savings. Second, we show large savings responses after implementation, when delayed benefit eligibility induces individuals to extend employment. Specifically, we find increased contributions to both employer-sponsored and personal retirement accounts, whereas we find no evidence of adjustments to other savings vehicles, such as bank or stock market accounts. Additional analyses point to inertia as a leading explanatory channel. The increased savings in personal retirement plans is entirely driven by those who made consistent contributions in the past. Moreover, the increased savings in employer-sponsored plans is largely explained by continuing to contribute at employer default rates, highlighting a role for firm policies in mediating responses to social security reform.
    Keywords: social security, private savings, pension reform
    JEL: H55 D14 J26
    Date: 2021–03–04
  3. By: Faustine Perrin
    Abstract: Why did France experience the demographic transition first? This question remains one of the greatest puzzles of economics, demography, and economic history. The French pattern is hard to reconcile with elucidations of the process as found in other countries. The present analysis goes back to the roots of the process and offers novel ways of explaining why people started to control their fertility in France and how they did so. In this paper, I track the evolution of marriage patterns to a point before the premises of the demographic transition. I identify two distinct phases. Next, I rely on exploratory methods to classify French counties based on their discriminatory features. Five profiles emerge. I discuss these profiles through the lens of the French Revolution, one of the greatest events that ever occurred in French history, which irretrievably altered its society. In particular, the results show that the fertility transition was not as linear, but more complex than previous research had argued. They show the importance of accounting for cultural factors and for individuals’ predispositions to adapt more or less quickly to societal changes. Yet cultural factors are not all. They can help to explain the timing of the transition and the choice of methods used to control fertility, but modernity and gender equality are also needed to describe the mechanisms in play behind the process.
    Keywords: Demographic Transition, European Marriage Pattern, French Revolution, Gender Equality, Women Empowerment.
    JEL: J12 J13 J16 N33 O15 O18 Z12
    Date: 2021

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