nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2022‒03‒07
eight papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. The Missing Baby Bust: The Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Contraceptive Use, Pregnancy, and Childbirth among Low-Income Women By Martha J. Bailey; Lea J. Bart; Vanessa Wanner Lang
  2. Lethal Unemployment Bonuses? Substitution and Income Effects on Substance Abuse, 2020-21 By Casey B. Mulligan
  3. Maternal employment and childhood malnutrition in Ecuador By José Carlos Andrade; Joan Gil
  4. Do Men Who Work Longer Live Longer? Evidence from the Netherlands By Alice Zulkarnain; Matthew S. Rutledge
  5. Is Marriage for White People? Incarceration, Unemployment, and the Racial Marriage Divide By Caucutt, E. M.; Guner, N.; Rauh, C.
  6. Long-Run Mortality Effects of a Reform That Opened up Access to Secondary Education By van den Berg, Gerard J.; Janys, Lena; Christensen, Kaare
  7. The Environment, Life Expectancy and Growth in Overlapping Generations Models: A Survey By Dugan, Anna; Prskawetz, Alexia; Raffin, Natacha
  8. Inequalities in the Times of a Pandemic By Stefanie Stantcheva

  1. By: Martha J. Bailey; Lea J. Bart; Vanessa Wanner Lang
    Abstract: Multiple episodes in U.S. history demonstrate that birth rates fall in response to recessions. However, the 2020 COVID-19 recession differed from earlier periods in that employment and access to contraception and abortion fell, as reproductive health centers across the country temporarily closed or reduced their capacity. This paper exploits novel survey and administrative data to examine how reductions in access to reproductive health care during 2020 affected contraceptive efficacy among low-income women. Accounting for 2020’s reductions in access to contraception and the economic slowdown, our results predict a modest decline in births of 1.1 percent in 2021 for low-income women. Further accounting for reductions in access to abortion implies that birth rates may even rise for low-income women. These results also suggest that already economically disadvantaged families disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 economy will experience a large increase in unplanned births.
    JEL: J1 J11 J13
    Date: 2022–02
  2. By: Casey B. Mulligan
    Abstract: Marginal prices fell, and disposable incomes increased, for drug and alcohol consumers during the pandemic. Most of the amount, timing, and composition of the 240,000 deaths involving alcohol and drugs since early 2020 can be explained by income effects and category-specific price changes. For alcohol, the pandemic shifted consumption from bars and restaurants to homes, where marginal money prices are lower. For more dangerous illegal drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine, the full price of consumption also significantly fell whenever employment became financially less attractive, as it was while unemployment bonuses were elevated. Both the wage effect and income effects further reduced marginal opioid prices by inducing shifts toward cheap fentanyl. Drug mortality dipped in the months between the $600 and $300 bonuses, especially for age groups participating most in UI. A corollary to this analysis is that national employment rates will be slow to recover due to the increased prevalence of alcohol and, especially, drug addiction.
    JEL: E24 I18 L51
    Date: 2022–02
  3. By: José Carlos Andrade (Universitat de Barcelona and INEC Ecuador); Joan Gil (Universitat de Barcelona and BEAT)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the causal impact of maternal employment on several childhood malnutrition outcomes in Ecuador, to understand the trade-off between the time mothers devote to work and child-caring activities. We use exogenous regional variation in maternal labour market conditions to account for the potential endogeneity of mothers’ employment. Using the Ecuadorian National Health and Nutrition Survey 2018 and the Living Conditions Survey 2014, the instrumental variable estimations indicated that maternal employment increases the probability of having stunted children by between 4.3 and 21 percent, while no significant effect was found on children suffering from wasting, underweight or overweight. We found that children with more educated, richer mothers appeared to be the most negatively affected. The results were robust to several robustness checks.
    Keywords: Maternal employment, malnutrition outcomes, childhood, Ecuador.
    JEL: I15 J22 C21
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Alice Zulkarnain; Matthew S. Rutledge
    Abstract: Many countries have adopted policies to encourage people to work longer, which is a powerful lever for improving retirement security. In addition to the financial boost, some research suggests that longer working lives may be beneficial to physical, mental, and cognitive health, by keeping workers active in body and mind. Delayed retirement may also preserve social connections. On the other hand, continued work under stressful or physically demanding conditions may reduce health and could shorten an individual's lifespan. Establishing whether delayed retirement has a positive or negative net effect on health and longevity is crucial to forging an effective and humane retirement policy. This brief, based on a recent study, takes advantage of a policy change in the Netherlands – a tax credit aimed at encouraging Dutch workers to keep working into their mid-60s – to examine the effect of delayed retirement on the most important aspect of health: longevity. The discussion proceeds as follows. The first section explains why a causal effect of delayed retirement on mortality is hard to pin down. The second section describes the Dutch tax policy change, the Doorwerkbonus, and how this natural experiment is used to estimate the causal effect for older men. The third section presents the results on how delayed retirement affects mortality. The final section concludes that men who worked longer due to the policy change saw their mortality rate in their 60s fall from about 8 percent to 6 percent. This result implies about a two-month increase in their life expectancy if the improvement is limited to ages 62-65, but if the impact is longer lasting, it could raise life expectancy more substantially.
    Date: 2021–05
  5. By: Caucutt, E. M.; Guner, N.; Rauh, C.
    Abstract: The difference in marriage rates between black and white Americans is striking. Wilson (1987) suggests that a skewed sex ratio and higher rates of incarceration and unemployment are responsible for lower marriage rates among the black population. In this paper, we take a dynamic look at the Wilson Hypothesis. Incarceration rates and labor market prospects of black men make them riskier spouses than white men. We develop an equilibrium search model of marriage, divorce, and labor supply in which transitions between employment, unemployment, and prison differ by race, education, and gender. The model also allows for racial differences in how individuals value marriage and divorce. We estimate the model and investigate how much of the racial divide in marriage is due to the Wilson Hypothesis and how much is due to differences in preferences for marriage. We find that the Wilson Hypothesis accounts for more than three quarters of the model's racial-marriage gap. This suggests policies that improve employment opportunities and/or reduce incarceration for black men could shrink the racial-marriage gap.
    Keywords: Marriage, Race, Incarceration, Inequality, Unemployment
    JEL: J12 J J64
    Date: 2021–09–06
  6. By: van den Berg, Gerard J. (University of Groningen); Janys, Lena (University of Bonn); Christensen, Kaare (University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: We examine the effects of a major national schooling reform in Denmark in 1903, opening up access to secondary and higher education for poorer and for female children, on mortality, using individual-level records of Danish twins. We digitized education out-comes from historical registers and augmented these with data we digitized on parental socioeconomic status. The study design is combined with an exogenous indicator of economic conditions at birth to investigate whether education mitigates mortality effects of adverse conditions at birth. We find that the reform reduces mortality rates among males, notably those with a middle-class family background. Also, secondary education is less beneficial if conditions at birth are adverse. In general, the reform effect does not seem to be driven by improved information on healthy living but rather by a shift in social classes among the inflow into higher education.
    Keywords: health, inequality, schooling, Correlated Frailty Model, twins
    JEL: I1 I14 I20 N33 C41
    Date: 2022–02
  7. By: Dugan, Anna; Prskawetz, Alexia; Raffin, Natacha
    Abstract: It is widely accepted that environmental and demographic changes will significantly influence the future of our society. In recent years, an increasing number of studies has analyzed the interlinkages among economic growth, environmental factors and a specific demographic variable, namely life expectancy, applying an overlapping generations framework. The aim of this survey is threefold. First, we review the role of life expectancy and pollution for sustainable growth. Second, we discuss the role of intervening factors like health investment and technological progress as well as institutional settings including government expenditures, tax structures and inequality. Finally, we summarize policy implications obtained in different models and compare them to each other.
    Keywords: Environmental quality,Pollution,Longevity,Endogenous growth,Government policy
    JEL: O11 O44 Q56 Q58 J10
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Stefanie Stantcheva
    Abstract: This paper summarizes the research on some of the major inequalities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic across OECD countries. It reviews findings related to inequalities across the income distribution, sectors and regions, gender, and inequalities in education inputs for children from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
    JEL: E24 E3 H20 J24 J6 J81
    Date: 2022–01

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