nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2021‒05‒17
eight papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Maternal Mortality and Women’s Political Power By Sonia Bhalotra; Damian Clarke; Joseph F. Gomes; Atheendar Venkataramani
  2. Who Married, (to) Whom, and Where? Trends in Marriage in the United States, 1850-1940 By Olivetti, Claudia; Paserman, M. Daniele; Salisbury, Laura; Weber, E. Anna
  3. Less partnering, less children, or both? Analysis of the drivers of first-birth decline in Finland since 2010? By Julia Hellstrand; Jessica Nisén; Mikko Myrskylä
  4. Maternal Labor Supply: Perceived Returns, Constraints, and Social Norms By Boneva, T.; Kaufmann, K.; Rauh, C.
  5. Urban Mortality and the Repeal of Federal Prohibition By Jacks, David S.; Pendakur, Krishna; Shigeoka, Hitoshi
  6. Redistributive effects of pension reforms: Who are the winners and losers? By Sanchez-Romero, Miguel; Schuster, Philip; Prskawetz, Alexia
  7. Understanding Debt in the Older Population By Lusardi, Annamaria; Mitchell, Olivia S; Oggero, Noemi
  8. Health of Elderly Parents, Their Children’s Labor Supply, and the Role of Migrant Care Workers By Wolfgang Frimmel; Martin Halla; Jörg Paetzold; Julia Schmieder

  1. By: Sonia Bhalotra (University of Warwick); Damian Clarke (Universidade de Chile); Joseph F. Gomes (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); Atheendar Venkataramani (University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: Millions of women continue to die during and soon after childbirth, even where the knowledge and resources to avoid this are available. We posit that raising the share of women in parliament can trigger action. Leveraging the timing of gender quota legislation across developing countries, we identify sharp sustained reductions of 8–10 percent in maternal mortality. Investigating mechanisms, we find that gender quotas lead to increases in percentage points of 5–8 in skilled birth attendance and 4–8 in prenatal care utilization, alongside a decline in fertility of 6–7 percent and an increase in the schooling of young women of about 0.5 years. The results are robust to numerous robustness checks. They suggest a new policy tool for tackling maternal mortality
    Keywords: Maternal mortality, Women’s Political representation, Gender, Quotas, Reproductive health services, Fertility, Schooling
    JEL: I14 I15 O15
    Date: 2021–05–03
  2. By: Olivetti, Claudia; Paserman, M. Daniele; Salisbury, Laura; Weber, E. Anna
    Abstract: We present new findings about the relationship between marriage and socioeconomic background in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Imputing socioeconomic status of family of origin from first names, we document a socioeconomic gradient for women in the probability of marriage and the socioeconomic status of husbands. This socioeconomic gradient becomes steeper over time. We investigate the degree to which it can be explained by occupational income divergence across geographic regions. Regional divergence explains about one half of the socioeconomic divergence in the probability of marriage, and almost all of the increase in marital sorting. Differences in urbanization rates and the share of foreign-born across states drive most of these differences, while other factors (the scholarization rate, the sex ratio and the share in manufacturing) play a smaller role.
    Keywords: Assortative mating; Gender; intergenerational mobility; Marriage; regional convergence
    JEL: J12 J62 N31 N32 N91 N92
    Date: 2020–11
  3. By: Julia Hellstrand; Jessica Nisén (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Mikko Myrskylä (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: In the 2010s, fertility has declined in the Nordic countries, most strikingly in Finland, and first births drive the decline. It remains unclear whether this decline results from decreased fertility within unions, changing union dynamics, or both. Thus, we investigated changes in the union–first birth dynamics from 2000 through 2018 in Finland using full-coverage population register data and an incidence-based multistate model. To do so, we calculated the yearly age-specific transition probabilities across states of single, cohabitation, marriage, and first births among 15- to 45-year-old childless men and women. We found lower fertility rates in unions after 2010, increasing dissolution rates amongst cohabiting couples, and long-term declines in the transition to marriage. Counterfactual simulations showed that, for the decline in first births since 2010, fertility within unions matters more (three-quarters) than union dynamics (one-quarter): that is, lower fertility in cohabitating and married individuals explained 42% and 13% of the decline, respectively, and decreasing fertility rates among couples entering cohabitation explained a further 17%. Decreasing marriage (19%) and cohabitation rates (2–4%) as well as higher union dissolution rates (6%) explained a smaller share of the first birth decline. The decline in first births was somewhat sharper among the lower social strata, but across strata the decreasing first birth transitions in unions explained most of the decline. To conclude, while changing union dynamics provide a partial explanation, postponing or foregoing fertility within unions represents the primary reason for the fertility decline. Keywords: first births, union formation, union dissolution, Finland, incidence-based multistate model, counterfactual approach
    Keywords: Finland
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Boneva, T.; Kaufmann, K.; Rauh, C.
    Abstract: We design a new survey to elicit quantifiable, interpersonally comparable beliefs about pecuniary and non-pecuniary benefits and costs to maternal labor supply decisions, to study how beliefs vary across and within different groups in the population and to analyze how those beliefs relate to choices. In terms of pecuniary returns, mothers’ (and fathers’) later-life earnings are perceived to increase the more hours the mother works while her child is young. Similarly, respondents perceive higher non-pecuniary returns to children’s cognitive and non-cognitive skills the more hours a mother works and the more time her child spends in childcare. Family outcomes on the other hand, such as the quality of the mother-child relationship and child satisfaction, are perceived to be the highest when the mother works parttime, which is also the option most respondents believe their friends and family would like them to choose. There is a large heterogeneity in the perceived availability of full-time childcare and relaxing constraints could substantially increase maternal labor supply. Importantly, it is perceptions about the non-pecuniary returns to maternal labor supply as well as beliefs about the opinions of friends and family that are found to be strong predictors of maternal labor supply decisions, while beliefs about labor market returns are not.
    Keywords: Labor supply, childcare, beliefs, child penalties
    JEL: J22 J13 I26
    Date: 2021–04–30
  5. By: Jacks, David S.; Pendakur, Krishna; Shigeoka, Hitoshi
    Abstract: Federal prohibition from 1920 to 1933 was one of the most ambitious policy interventions in US history. However, due to the political concessions necessary to bring about repeal, the removal of restrictions on alcohol after 1933 was not uniform. Using new data on city-level variation in alcohol prohibition from 1933 to 1936, we investigate whether the repeal of federal prohibition affected multiple causes of urban (non-infant) mortality. We find that city-level repeal is associated with a 14.7% decrease in homicide rates and a 10.1% decrease in mortality rates associated with other accidents (including accidental poisonings). Thus, the repeal of federal prohibition could have led to an annual reduction of as many as 3,400 urban deaths. Combined with previous results showing large increases in infant mortality, this suggests that nonetheless repeal most likely had negative effects on all-cause mortality and, thereby, public health in the US.
    Keywords: Federal prohibition; local option; Urban Mortality
    JEL: H73 I18 J1 N3
    Date: 2020–12
  6. By: Sanchez-Romero, Miguel; Schuster, Philip; Prskawetz, Alexia
    Abstract: As the heterogeneity in life expectancy by socioeconomic status increases, pen sion systems become more regressive implying wealth transfers from short to long lived individuals. Various pension reforms aim to reduce these inequali ties that are caused by ex-ante differences in life expectancy. However, these pension reforms may themselves induce redistribution effects since a) life ex pectancy is not perfectly correlated to socioeconomic status and b) pension reforms themselves will have an impact on life cycle decisions (education, con sumption, health, labor supply) and ultimately also on life expectancy and the composition of the population. To account for these feedback effects of pension reforms in heterogenous aging societies we propose an OLG framework that is populated by heterogeneous individuals that initially differ by their learning ability and disutility from the effort of attending schooling. These initial hetero geneities imply differences in ex ante life expectancies. Within this framework we study two pension reforms that aim to account for these differences in ex ante life expectancies. We show that by including the feedback of pension reforms on individual behavior, new redistributions may result.
    Keywords: Overlapping generations,Mortality and fertility differentials,Inequality,Life cycle,Pensions,Progressivity
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Lusardi, Annamaria; Mitchell, Olivia S; Oggero, Noemi
    Abstract: Poor financial capability can erode well-being in later life. To explore debt and debt management among older Americans, age 51-61, we designed and analyzed a new module in the 2018 Health and Retirement Study along with information from the 2018 National Financial Capability Study. Even though this group should be at the peak of their retirement savings, it nevertheless carries debt due to student loans and unpaid medical bills; having children also contributes to carrying debt close to retirement. By contrast, the financially literate have more positive financial perceptions and behaviors. Specifically, being able to answer one additional financial literacy question correctly is associated with a higher probability of reporting an above average credit record and planning for retirement. Higher financial literacy is also linked to being less likely to carry excessive debt, being contacted by debt collectors, and carrying medical debt or student loans, even after accounting for a large range of demographics and other characteristics. Evidently, financial knowledge can help limit debt exposure at older ages.
    Keywords: debt; financial fragility; financial literacy; medical bills; Mortgages; retirement; Student Loans
    JEL: G40 G41 G51 G53 H31
    Date: 2020–12
  8. By: Wolfgang Frimmel; Martin Halla; Jörg Paetzold; Julia Schmieder
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of parental health on adult children's labor market outcomes. We focus on health shocks which increase care dependency abruptly. Our estimation strategy exploits the variation in the timing of shocks across treated families. Empirical results based on Austrian administrative data show a significant negative impact on labor market activities of children. This effect is more pronounced for daughters and for children who live close to their parents. Further analyses suggest informal caregiving as the most likely mechanism. The effect is muted after a liberalization of the formal care market, which sharply increased the supply of foreign care workers.
    Keywords: informal care, formal care, aging, health, labor supply, labor migration
    JEL: J14 J22 I11 I18 R23
    Date: 2020

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