nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2022‒06‒13
five papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. The US COVID-19 Baby Bust and Rebound By Melissa Schettini Kearney; Phillip B. Levine
  2. Understanding the positive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s fertility in Norway By Trude Lappegård; Tom Kornstad; Lars Dommermuth; Axel Peter Kristensen
  3. Beyond Barker: Infant Mortality at Birth and Ischaemic Heart Disease in Older Age By Baker, Samuel; Biroli, Pietro; van Kippersluis, Hans; von Hinke Kessler Scholder, Stephanie
  4. Entitlements to continued life and the evaluation of population health By Juan D. Moreno-Ternero; Lars P. Osterdal
  5. Inequality within Generation: Evidence from France By Hippolyte d'Albis; Ikpidi Badji

  1. By: Melissa Schettini Kearney; Phillip B. Levine
    Abstract: This paper documents how the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. affected birth rates. We review the economics of fertility, describing the evidence that would predict a COVID baby bust. We then use Vital Statistics birth data to estimate the size of that bust and its rebound, for the country as a whole and separately for each state, and relate those changes to state-level factors. The onset of the pandemic in the late winter and early spring of 2020 resulted in 62,000 fewer conceptions leading to a live birth. This baby bust was followed by a rebound of 51,000 conceptions later that year, leading to a small net reduction in births conceived in 2020. We also find that a larger increase in the aggregate unemployment rate, a larger reduction in household spending, and higher cumulative COVID caseloads were associated with larger baby busts in the first part of the year. Births rebounded more in states that saw a larger improvement in the labor market and household spending. COVID caseloads played a smaller role. We conclude the paper by observing that these changes pale in comparison to the large decline in US birth rates that has occurred over the past 15 years.
    JEL: J13
    Date: 2022–04
  2. By: Trude Lappegård; Tom Kornstad; Lars Dommermuth (Statistics Norway); Axel Peter Kristensen
    Abstract: This study examines the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on fertility in Norway at the individual level. Studies using data at the macro level have found a positive short-term effect of the pandemic on fertility level in Norway, but women’s fertility response to the pandemic may differ depending on their life situation. We use the first lockdown on March 12, 2020 as a marker of the pandemic and apply a regression discontinuity design to compare births of women that were conceived before the pandemic started with those conceived during the first eight months of the pandemic. The positive effect on women’s fertility in Norway was mainly driven by women in life phases that have generally high fertility rates (women aged 28–35 years and women who already have children). These groups are likely to be in an economic and socially secure and stable situation in which the restrictions due to the pandemic had limited influence. Besides two exceptions, we do not find differences in the effect of the pandemic on childbearing by women’s work situation. This is most likely related to the strong welfare state and the generous additional pandemic-related measures taken by the Norwegian government.
    Keywords: Fertility; Demography; COVID-19; Regression discontinuity design
    JEL: J13 J11 I24
    Date: 2022–05
  3. By: Baker, Samuel (University of Bristol); Biroli, Pietro (University of Bologna); van Kippersluis, Hans (Erasmus University Rotterdam); von Hinke Kessler Scholder, Stephanie (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: Adverse conditions in early life can have consequential impacts on individuals' health in older age. In one of the first papers on this topic, Barker and Osmond (1986) show a strong positive relationship between infant mortality rates in the 1920s and ischaemic heart disease in the 1970s. We go 'beyond Barker', first by showing that this relationship is robust to the inclusion of local geographic area fixed effects, but not family fixed effects. Second, we explore whether the average effects conceal underlying heterogeneity: we examine if the infant mortality effect offsets or reinforces one's genetic predisposition for heart disease. We find considerable heterogeneity that is robust to within-area as well as within-family analyses. Our findings show that the effects of one's early life environments mainly affect individuals with the highest genetic risk for developing heart disease. Put differently, in areas with the lowest infant mortality rates, the effect of one's genetic predisposition effectively vanishes. These findings suggests that advantageous environments can cushion one's genetic risk of developing heart disease.
    Keywords: gene-environment interplay, developmental origins, Barker hypothesis
    JEL: I10 I14 I19
    Date: 2022–05
  4. By: Juan D. Moreno-Ternero (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Lars P. Osterdal (Copenhagen Business School)
    Abstract: We analyze the implications of axioms formalizing entitlements to continued life for the evaluation of population health, when combined with basic structural axioms. A straightforward implication of our analysis is that if the scope of equal entitlements to continued life is not limited, concerns for morbidity (and not just mortality) are dismissed in the evaluation of population health. Nevertheless, with axioms formalizing a more limited scope of equal entitlement to continued life, we provide several characterization results of focal population health evaluation functions, ranging from lifetime utilitarianism to generalized healthy years equivalent utilitarianism.
    Keywords: axioms, population health, equal value of life, morbidity, mortality
    JEL: D63 I10
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Hippolyte d'Albis (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Ikpidi Badji (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Intra-generational inequalities focus on the distributions within age groups. On the basis of French household income surveys carried out from 1996 to 2014, the Gini coefficient and D9/D1 inter-decile ratio were calculated so as to evaluate intra-generational income inequality before and after redistribution by the tax and welfare system. Age-Cohort-Period models were then estimated in order to disentangle age and generation effects. Over a life cycle, intra-generational inequality displays a hump-shaped curve peaking at age 55-59. This inequality is significantly lower among the youngest, whichever inequality indicator is used, and among the oldest, when measured by the inter-decile ratio. Comparison of pre-and postredistribution income reveals that the tax and welfare system particularly reduces inequality among the young. Intra-generational inequality measured by the Gini coefficient increases significantly from one generation to the next. Measured by the inter-decile ratio, the increase is considerable for the gross income of those generations born from the 1970s on. However, the tax and welfare system has compensated for this increase, because analysis of the interdecile ratio applied to disposable income shows no significant difference between generations.
    Keywords: income inequality,age groups,generations,Age-Cohort-Period model
    Date: 2022–03

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