nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2021‒08‒23
six papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Partisan Fertility and Presidential Elections By Gordon Dahl; Runjing Lu; William Mullins
  2. At a Crossroads: The impact of abortion access on future economic outcomes By Kelly Jones
  3. Uber and Alcohol-Related Traffic Fatalities By Michael L. Anderson; Lucas W. Davis
  4. We Do Not Know the Population of Every Country in the World for the past Two Thousand Years By Timothy Guinnane
  5. The migrant wealth gap at the household level: Evidence from RIF regressions for Austria By Muckenhuber, Mattias; Rehm, Miriam; Schnetzer, Matthias
  6. Variety, Fertility, and Long-term Economic Growth By Jianchoun Dou

  1. By: Gordon Dahl; Runjing Lu; William Mullins
    Abstract: Changes in political leadership drive large changes in economic optimism. We exploit the surprise 2016 election of Trump to identify the effects of a shift in political power on one of the most consequential household decisions: whether to have a child. Republican-leaning counties experience a sharp and persistent increase in fertility relative to Democratic counties: a 1.1 to 2.6 percentage point difference in annual births, depending on the intensity of partisanship. Hispanics, a group targeted by Trump, see fertility fall relative to non-Hispanics, especially compared to rural or evangelical whites. Further, following Trump pre-election campaign visits, relative Hispanic fertility declines.
    JEL: D72 J13
    Date: 2021–07
  2. By: Kelly Jones
    Abstract: An unintended birth at an early age has the potential to interrupt a woman’s education, with implications for her future career and earnings. This paper investigates the impact of abortion access on women’s economic outcomes later in life. I corroborate earlier findings that abortion access during adolescence and early adulthood reduces early births. I then offer updated evidence that, controlling for contraception access, abortion access increases educa¬tional attainment, career outcomes and earnings of black women and reduces their poverty and reliance on public assistance. Findings suggest that fertility is a significant pathway by which abortion access affects work status and family income, but that other pathways such as expectations and investment in human capital are more relevant for occupational choice and personal earnings.
    Keywords: fertility, family planning, abortion, economics of gender
    JEL: J13 I2 J24 J16 N32
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Michael L. Anderson; Lucas W. Davis
    Abstract: Previous studies of the effect of ridesharing on traffic fatalities have yielded inconsistent, often contradictory conclusions. In this paper we revisit this question using proprietary data from Uber measuring monthly rideshare activity at the Census tract level. Most previous studies are based on publicly-available information about Uber entry dates into US cities, but we show that an indicator variable for whether Uber is available is a poor measure of rideshare activity — for example, it explains less than 3% of the tract-level variation in ridesharing, reflecting the enormous amount of variation both within and across cities. Using entry we find inconsistent and statistically insignificant estimates. However, when we use the more detailed proprietary data, we find a robust negative impact of ridesharing on traffic fatalities. Impacts concentrate during nights and weekends and are robust across a range of alternative specifications. Overall, our results imply that ridesharing has decreased US alcohol-related traffic fatalities by 6.1% and reduced total US traffic fatalities by 4.0%. Based on conventional estimates of the value of statistical life the annual life-saving benefits range from $2.3 to $5.4 billion. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that these benefits may be of similar magnitude to producer surplus captured by Uber shareholders or consumer surplus captured by Uber riders.
    JEL: I12 I18 R41 R49
    Date: 2021–07
  4. By: Timothy Guinnane
    Abstract: Economists have reported econometric results that rely on estimates of the population of every country in the world for the past two thousand or more years. The underlying source is usually McEvedy and Jones’ Atlas of World Population History, published in 1978. The McEvedy and Jones data have important weaknesses. The reported populations for years before 1500 are, for most countries, little more than guesses, as are many estimates for more recent times. Research relying on McEvedy and Jones cannot take advantage of improved estimates reported since 1978. McEvedy and Jones often infer population sizes from their view of a particular economy, making their estimates poor proxies for economic growth. Although some economists treat the African data as pertaining to modern nation-states, in most cases it is not. With a few welcome exceptions, economists using this source do not take the measurement error issues seriously. Results that rest on McEvedy and Jones are unreliable. The willingness to rely on such data discourages effort to provide serious improvements.
    Keywords: long-run growth, historical populations, measurement error, McEvedy and Jones
    JEL: N00 N10 O40 O47 J10 C18
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Muckenhuber, Mattias; Rehm, Miriam; Schnetzer, Matthias
    Abstract: We investigate how previous generations of migrants and their children integrated into Austrian society, as measured by their wealth ownership. Using data from the Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS), we document a positive average migrant wealth gap between migrant and native households. However, the raw gap is almost negligible for second generation migrant households, whereas it rises across the unconditional net wealth distribution for first generation migrant households and peaks at more than e140,000 around the 75th percentile. Decomposing the partial effects of a set of covariates using RIF regressions suggests that the lack of inheritances and the presence of children have the highest explanatory power for the migrant wealth gap of first generation migrant household. For second generation migrant households, inheritances have the highest impact, but they contribute negatively towards the explanation of the migrant wealth gap. In general, the covariates in our analysis can explain only a small part of the migrant wealth gap. Given the similarity of native and second generation migrant households, we cannot reject the hypothesis that migrants in the past integrated into Austrian society by acquiring comparable wealth levels.
    Keywords: Migration,Wealth Distribution,Wealth Gap,Unconditional Quantile Regression
    JEL: C31 D31 F22 G51 J15 J61
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Jianchoun Dou (Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an, China)
    Abstract: This study develops a novel mechanism to explain the long-term economic and demographic evolution from the Malthusian stage to the modern stage. In the model, the progress in human history is characterized by not only technological advances but also the expansion of variety of goods. The technological progress, which enhances productivity, is in favor of population growth. Meanwhile, the growth of variety that expands consumption sets tends to reduce fertility. The change of fertility finally depends on the relative growth rate of these two kinds of innovations. With the help of some hypotheses that correspond to the stylized facts in the history of science and technology, the model predicts an evolutional pattern of technology and fertility that is consistent with unified growth theory.
    Keywords: Variety, Fertility, Economic growth, Innovations
    JEL: J11 J13 N3
    Date: 2021–07–18

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