nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2022‒04‒04
six papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. The Effect of a Universal Preschool Programme on Long-Term Health Outcomes: Evidence from Spain By Bosque-Mercader, L.;
  2. Fertility and Parental Retirement By Julius Ilciukas
  3. The Shadow of the Neolithic Revolution on Life Expectancy: A Double-Edged Sword By Franck, Raphael; Galor, Oded; Moav, Omer; Özak, Ömer
  4. A Peace Baby Boom? Evidence from Colombia’s Peace Agreement By Guerra-Cújar, María Elvira; Prem, Mounu; Rodríguez-Lesmes, Paul; Vargas, Juan F.
  5. Demographic Trends and the Transmission of Monetary Policy By Giacomo Mangiante
  6. Sibling Gender, Inheritance Customs and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Matrilineal and Patrilineal Societies By Collins, Matthew

  1. By: Bosque-Mercader, L.;
    Abstract: Early childhood education programmes are expected to improve child conditions including educational attainment, labour, and health outcomes. This study evaluates the effect of a Spanish universal preschool programme, which implied a large-scale expansion of full-time high-quality public preschool for three-year-olds in 1991, on long-term health. Using a difference-in-differences approach, I exploit the timing of the policy and the differential initial speed of implementation of public preschool expansion across regions. I compare long-term health of cohorts aged three before to those aged three after the start of the policy residing in regions with varying initial implementation intensity of the programme. The results show that the policy does not affect long-term health outcomes and use of healthcare services, except for two outcomes. A greater initial intensity in public preschool expansion by 10 percentage points decreases the likelihood of being diagnosed with asthma by 2.1 percentage points, but hospitalisation rates increase by 2.7%. The findings indicate that the effect on asthma is larger for men, hospitalisation rates are higher for pregnant women, and disadvantaged children benefit the most in terms of a lower probability of taking medicines and being diagnosed with asthma and mental health disorders.
    Keywords: universal preschool programme; long-term effects; health outcomes; difference-in-differences; Spain;
    JEL: I10 I28 J13
    Date: 2022–03
  2. By: Julius Ilciukas (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: I study how retirement delays in one generation affect fertility in the subsequent generation. I use administrative Dutch data and exploit the 2006 Dutch pension reform. The reform induced individuals born from January 1, 1950 onward to de- lay retirement while exempting those born earlier. I find that this reduced fertility among women with reform-affected mothers. The reduction is likely permanent and economically significant. I supplement my analysis with survey evidence and argue that the fertility reduction is driven by reduced grandparental child care supply. My results suggest that delaying retirement may undermine the goal of balancing pension systems through a resulting fertility reduction.
    JEL: J13 H55 J22
    Date: 2022–03–02
  3. By: Franck, Raphael; Galor, Oded; Moav, Omer; Özak, Ömer (Southern Methodist University)
    Abstract: This research explores the persistent effect of the Neolithic Revolution on the evolution of life expectancy in the course of human history. It advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that the onset of the Neolithic Revolution and the associated rise in infectious diseases triggered a process of adaptation reducing mortality from infectious diseases while increasing the propensity for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Exploiting an exogenous source of variation in the timing of the Neolithic Revolution across French regions, the analysis establishes the presence of these conflicting forces - the beneficial effects on life expectancy before the second epidemiological transition and their adverse effects thereafter.
    Date: 2022–03–01
  4. By: Guerra-Cújar, María Elvira; Prem, Mounu; Rodríguez-Lesmes, Paul; Vargas, Juan F.
    Abstract: Violence affects households’ preferences, perceptions and constraints regarding fertility choices. What happens when violence ends? Using administrative data from Colombia, we find that the end of a long internal conflict differentially increased fertility by 2.6 percent in areas exposed to violence. The effect is present across all reproductive ages and larger in municipalities with higher levels of violence exposure at baseline. It is not driven by heath supply indicators, by the mortality of newborns and infants or by differential migration. We interpret this evidence as consistent with an increased optimism to raise children in a better and safer environment.
    Keywords: fertility; pregnancy; mortality; armed conflict; violence
    Date: 2022–03–09
  5. By: Giacomo Mangiante
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of demographic trends on the transmission of monetary policy. In particular, I propose and quantify a novel channel to explain how population aging might affect the effectiveness of monetary policy and the flattening of the Phillips curve: older individuals purchase more from product categories with higher levels of price rigidity - categories which adjust their prices less often - so the aggregate frequency of price adjustment decreases as the population ages. Using micro data on consumer expenditure, I document the negative relationship between age and the frequency of price adjustment and find that it is mainly due to the higher share of services consumed by old households. At the macro level, if prices are more rigid output should respond more to monetary shocks. To test this hypothesis, I exploit the cross-sectional variation in demographic structures across the U.S. and I show that the economic activity in states with a higher old-age dependency ratio reacts more to monetary shocks. Finally, I rationalise these findings using a two-sector OLG New Keynesian model where demographic trends shift aggregate demand towards services, i.e., the stickier expenditure category. Combining the model with population projections for the U.S., I find that the changes in the age distribution between 1980 and 2010 increased the contemporaneous response of output to monetary shocks by 6% and will have increased it by 10% in 2050. Moreover, demographic trends explain around 10% of the decrease in the slope of the Phillips curve.
    Keywords: Monetary policy, age structure, consumption heterogeneity, Phillips curve
    JEL: E52 J11
    Date: 2022–03
  6. By: Collins, Matthew (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: Using data from 27 sub-Saharan African countries, I identify the causal effect of sibling gender on education and how it varies according to inheritance customs. Boys who inherit their father's property experience no effect of sibling gender, while boys who do not inherit experience a significant negative effect of having a brother. Having a brother has a small negative effect on the education of girls, regardless of inheritance customs. The effect of sibling gender converges after the introduction of laws guaranteeing that children inherit from their parents, suggesting that parents substitute between transferring inheritance and investing in their children’s education.
    Keywords: sibling gender; patriliny; matriliny; educational attainment
    JEL: D13 I20 J16
    Date: 2022–03–07

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