nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2021‒07‒26
eight papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. The Dynastic Benefits of Early Childhood Education By García, Jorge Luis; Bennhoff, Frederik H.; Leaf, Duncan Ermini; Heckman, James J.
  2. Too Family Friendly? The Consequences of Parent Part-Time Working Rights By Fernández-Kranz, Daniel; Rodríguez-Planas, Núria
  3. Fair Pension Policies with Occupation-Specific Aging By Volker Grossmann; Johannes Schünemann; Holger Strulik
  4. Counting the Missing Poor in Pre-Industrial Societies. By Mathieu Lefebvre; Pierre Pestieau; Gregory Ponthierez
  5. The role of selective mortality in the dynamics of SES-related health inequality across the lifecycle By Paul Allanson; Dennis Petrie
  6. Population Dynamics and Environmental Quality in Africa By Stephen K. Dimnwobi; Chukwunonso Ekesiobi; Chekwube V. Madichie; Simplice A. Asongu
  7. Job Displacement, Unemployment Benefits and Domestic Violence By Bhalotra, Sonia R.; Britto, Diogo; Pinotti, Paolo; Sampaio, Breno
  8. Populism and COVID19: How populist governments (mis)handle the pandemic By Bayerlein, Michael; Boese, Vanessa Alexandra; Gates, Scott; Kamin, Katrin; Murshed, Syed Mansoob

  1. By: García, Jorge Luis (Clemson University); Bennhoff, Frederik H. (University of Chicago); Leaf, Duncan Ermini (University of Southern California); Heckman, James J. (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper monetizes the life-cycle intragenerational and intergenerational benefits of the Perry Preschool Project, a pioneering high-quality early childhood education program implemented before Head Start that targeted disadvantaged African-Americans and was evaluated by a randomized trial. It has the longest follow-up of any experimentally evaluated early childhood education program. We follow participants into late midlife as well as their children into adulthood. Impacts on the original participants and their children generate substantial benefits. Access to life-cycle data enables us to evaluate the accuracy of widely used schemes to forecast life-cycle benefits from early-life test scores, which we find wanting.
    Keywords: cost-benefit analysis, dynastic benefits, early childhood education, intergenerational program evaluation, life-cycle benefits
    JEL: J13 I28 C93 H43
    Date: 2021–06
  2. By: Fernández-Kranz, Daniel (IE Business School, Madrid); Rodríguez-Planas, Núria (Queens College, CUNY)
    Abstract: We use a difference-in-differences model with individual fixed effects to evaluate a 1999 Spanish law granting employment protection to workers with children younger than 6 who had asked for a shorter workweek due to family responsibilities. Our analysis shows that well- intended policies can potentially backfire and aggravate labor market inequalities between men and women, since there is a very gendered take-up, with only women typically requesting part-time work. After the law was enacted, employers were 49% less likely to hire women of childbearing age, 40% more likely to separate from them, and 37% less likely to promote them to permanent contracts, increasing female non-employment by 4% to 8% relative to men of similar age. The results are similar using older women unaffected by the law as a comparison group. Moreover, the law penalized all women of childbearing age, even those who did not have children. These effects were largest in low-skill jobs, at firms with less than 10 employees, and in industries with few part-time workers. These findings are robust to several sensitivity analyses and placebo tests.
    Keywords: female employment transitions and wages, compositional bias, fixed-term and permanent contract employment
    JEL: C23 J16 J18 J62
    Date: 2021–07
  3. By: Volker Grossmann; Johannes Schünemann; Holger Strulik
    Abstract: We discuss public pension systems in a multi-period overlapping generations model with gerontologically founded human aging and a special focus on occupation-specific morbidity and mortality. We examine how distinct replacement rates for white-collar and blue-collar workers and early retirement policies could be designed to provide a fair and aggregate welfare-enhancing public pension system. Calibrating the model to Germany, we find that a pension system that equalizes relative pension contributions and the relative present-discounted value of expected benefits across occupational groups calls for a significant increase in replacement rates of blue-collar workers. If the statutory retirement age is sufficiently high or the life expectancy gap across occupations is sufficiently large, fair pensions raise aggregate welfare and should feature early retirement incentives.
    Keywords: fair pensions, early retirement, occupation, health gradient, life expectancy, replacement rate
    JEL: H55 I14 I24
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Mathieu Lefebvre; Pierre Pestieau; Gregory Ponthierez
    Abstract: Under income-differentiated mortality, poverty measures suffer from a selection bias: they do not count the missing poor (i.e. persons who would have been counted as poor provided they did not die prematurely). The Pre-Industrial period being characterized by an evolutionary advantage (i.e. a higher number of surviving children per household) of the non-poor over the poor, one may expect that the missing poor bias is substantial during that period. This paper aims at estimating the missing poor bias in Pre-Industrial societies, by computing the hypothetical headcount poverty rates that would have prevailed provided the non-poor did not benefit from an evolutionary advantage over the poor. Using data on Pre-Industrial England, we show that the sign and size of the missing poor bias is sensitive to the degree of downward mobility for the non-poor.
    Keywords: poverty, measurement, selection e¤ects, missing poor.
    JEL: I32
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Paul Allanson; Dennis Petrie
    Abstract: The life course literature on the social gradient in health has been dominated by the cumulative advantage and age-as-leveller hypotheses, with selective mortality also recognised as a potentially important confounder in older cohorts. The main contribution of this paper is to establish a unified framework to fully account for the changing social gradient in terms of a sufficient set of mobility indices characterising the co-evolution of the joint distribution of socioeconomic status and health within any particular cohort. The main innovation is to identify selective mortality effects using a counterfactual health distribution for the start of the study period in the absence of those who are known to die before the end, rather than for the end of the period if there had been no deaths since the start which requires the imputation of the ‘would be’ health of non-survivors. Using longitudinal data for Great Britain, selective mortality is found to be an important driver of social gradient changes within older cohorts, contrary to the findings of a number of previous studies. We explain this contrast by demonstrating how estimates of selective mortality effects are affected by the choice of counterfactual health distribution and socioeconomic status measure.
    Keywords: life course, social gradient, mobility analysis, selective mortality, longitudinal data
    JEL: D39 D63 I18
    Date: 2020–08
  6. By: Stephen K. Dimnwobi (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Anambra State, Nigeria); Chukwunonso Ekesiobi (Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Nigeria); Chekwube V. Madichie (Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, Nigeria); Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé, Cameroon)
    Abstract: The nexus of population dynamics and environmental degradation has been discussed widely in the extant literature. Most related studies have utilized carbon emission as a proxy of environmental quality. However, carbon emission does not capture the multidimensional nature of environmental degradation. To fill this gap, this study utilized the ecological footprint to capture environmental degradation because it is a more dynamic environmental quality measure. The paper examines the population-environmental degradation hypothesis for five populous African countries (DR Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania) using panel information from 1990-2019. The Cross-sectionally Augmented autoregressive distributed lag (CS-ARDL) was employed to assess the relationship among the data – ecological footprint per capita (ECFP), population growth rate (POPG), population density (POPD), urban population growth rate (URBN), age structure of the population (AGES), per capita GDP growth rate (PGDP), energy consumption (ENEC), and trade openness (TRAD). The findings of the study revealed that POPG, POPD, AGES, PGDP, ENEC and TRAD increase environmental degradation. Urbanization (URBN) has no significant influence on environmental degradation in the selected African countries. The study concludes with policy prescriptions geared towards addressing population expansion and improving environmental quality.
    Keywords: Population dynamics, Environmental degradation, Africa
    JEL: C40 J11 O10 Q50
    Date: 2021–01
  7. By: Bhalotra, Sonia R. (University of Warwick); Britto, Diogo (Bocconi University); Pinotti, Paolo (Bocconi University); Sampaio, Breno (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco)
    Abstract: We estimate impacts of male job loss, female job loss, and male unemployment benefits on domestic violence in Brazil. We merge employer-employee and social welfare registers with administrative data on domestic violence cases brought to criminal courts, use of public shelters by victims and mandatory notifications of domestic violence by health providers. Leveraging mass layoffs for identification, we find that both male and female job loss, independently, lead to large and pervasive increases in domestic violence. Exploiting a discontinuity in unemployment insurance eligibility, we find that eligible men are not less likely to commit domestic violence while benefits are being paid, and more likely to commit it once benefits expire. Our findings are consistent with job loss increasing domestic violence on account of a negative income shock and an increase in exposure of victims to perpetrators, with unemployment benefits partially offsetting the income shock while reinforcing the exposure shock.
    Keywords: domestic violence, unemployment, mass layoffs, unemployment insurance, income shock, exposure, Brazil
    JEL: J16 J08
    Date: 2021–07
  8. By: Bayerlein, Michael; Boese, Vanessa Alexandra; Gates, Scott; Kamin, Katrin; Murshed, Syed Mansoob
    Abstract: Populist parties and actors now govern various countries around the world. Often elected by the public in times of crises and over the perceived failure of 'the elites', the question stands as to how populist governments actually perform once elected, especially in times of crisis. Using the pandemic shock in the form of the COVID-19 crises, our paper answers the question of how populist governments handle the pandemic. We answer this question by introducing a theoretical framework according to which populist governments (1) enact less far-reaching policy measures to counter the pandemic and (2) lower the effort of citizens to counter the pandemic, so that populist governed countries are (3) hit worse by the pandemic. We test these propositions in a sample of 42 countries with weekly data from 2020. Employing econometric models, we find empirical support for our propositions and ultimately conclude that excess mortality in populist governed countries exceeds the excess mortality of conventional countries by 10 percentage points (i.e., 100%). Our findings have important implications for the assessment of populist government performance in general, as well as counter-pandemic measures in particular, by providing evidence that opportunistic and inadequate policy responses, spreading misinformation and downplaying the pandemic are strongly related to increases in COVID-19 mortality.
    Keywords: Populism,COVID-19,Pandemic,Government Policy,Public Health
    JEL: I18 C72 H11 H12
    Date: 2021

This nep-dem issue is ©2021 by Héctor Pifarré i Arolas. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.