nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2022‒08‒15
seven papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
University of Wisconsin

  1. Effects of Restrictive Abortion Legislation on Cohort Mortality Evidence from 19th Century Law Variation By Joanna N. Lahey; Marianne H. Wanamaker
  2. Demographic Transition, Industrial Policies and Chinese Economic Growth By Michael Dotsey; Wenli Li; Fang Yang
  3. Women's Careers and Family Formation By Bhalotra, Sonia; Clarke, Damian; Walther, Selma
  4. Female Executives and the Motherhood Penalty By Seth Murray; Danielle H. Sandler; Matthew Staiger
  5. Intergenerational Transmission of Health at Birth: Fathers Matter Too! By Osea Giuntella; Giulia La Mattina; Climent Quintana-Domeque
  6. The Shadow of the Neolithic Revolution on Life Expectancy: A Double-Edged Sword By Raphaël Franck; Oded Galor; Omer Moav; Ömer Özak
  7. Refugees, Right-Wing Populism and Propaganda: Evidence from the Italian Dispersal Policy By Francesco Campo; Sara Giunti; Mariapia Mendola

  1. By: Joanna N. Lahey; Marianne H. Wanamaker
    Abstract: Recent studies based on 20th century US data conclude that abortion access raises children’s average socioeconomic outcomes. We generalize a model of fertility, highlighting assumptions under which these abortion predictions can be reversed. Using 19th century abortion restrictions, we empirically demonstrate these points. Despite a more than 5 percent increase in birth rates among abortion-restricted cohorts, we find little evidence of negative selection at birth. Longevity was affected nevertheless; in the first ten years of life, children in these larger cohorts died of infectious disease more frequently. These mortality effects diminish with age, potentially reversing at older ages as a result of disease immunity or other offsetting factors.
    JEL: H75 J1 J13 J16 J18 K14 K15 K38 N3 N31 N4 N41
    Date: 2022–07
  2. By: Michael Dotsey; Wenli Li; Fang Yang
    Abstract: We build a unified framework to quantitatively examine the demographic transition and industrial policies in contributing to China’s economic growth between 1976 and 2015. We find that the demographic transition and industrial policy changes by themselves account for a large fraction of the rise in household and corporate savings relative to total output and the rise in the country’s per capita output growth. Importantly, their interactions also lead to a sizable fraction of the increases in savings since the late 1980s and reduce growth after 2010. A novel and important factor that drives these dynamics is endogenous human capital accumulation, which depresses household savings between 1985 and 2010 but leads to substantial gains in per capita output growth after 2005.
    Keywords: Aging; Credit policy; Household saving; Output growth; China
    JEL: E21 J11 J13 L52
    Date: 2022–07–15
  3. By: Bhalotra, Sonia; Clarke, Damian; Walther, Selma
    Abstract: This paper discusses research on the relationship between fertility and women's labour force participation. It surveys methods used to obtain causal identification, and provides an overview of the evidence of causal effects in both directions. We highlight a few themes that we regard as important in guiding research and in reading the evidence. These include the importance of distinguishing between extensive and intensive margin changes in both variables; consideration not only of women's participation but also of occupational and sectoral choice and of relative earnings; the relevance of studying dynamic effects and of analysing changes across the lifecycle and across successive cohorts; and of recognizing that women's choices over both fertility and labour force participation are subject to multiple constraints. We observe that, while technological innovations in reproductive health technologies have muted the familycareer tradeoff primarily by allowing women to time their fertility, policy has not achieved as much as it might.
    Keywords: fertility,birth spacing,abortion,ART,IVF,contraception,female labour force participation,gender wage gap,job loss,recession
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Seth Murray; Danielle H. Sandler; Matthew Staiger
    Abstract: Childbirth and subsequent breaks from the labor market are a primary reason why the average earnings of women is lower than that of men. This paper uses linked survey and administrative data from the United States to investigate whether the sex composition of executives at the firm, defined as the top earners, affects the earnings and employment outcomes of new mothers. We begin by documenting that (i) the male-female earnings gap is smaller in industries in which a larger share of executives are women, and (ii) the male-female earnings gap has declined more in industries that have experienced larger increases in the share of executives who are female. Despite these cross-sectional and longitudinal correlations, we find no evidence that the sex composition of the executives at the firm has a causal effect on the childbirth and motherhood penalties that impact women's earnings and employment.
    Keywords: motherhood penalty, male-female pay gap
    JEL: J16 M50
    Date: 2021–01
  5. By: Osea Giuntella; Giulia La Mattina; Climent Quintana-Domeque
    Abstract: We use a unique data set of linked birth records from Florida to analyze the intergenerational transmission of health at birth by parental gender. We show that both paternal and maternal birth weights significantly predict the child’s birth weight, even after accounting for all genetic and environmental factors that are common and time-invariant within a family. Our estimates reveal that a one standard deviation increase in mother’s birth weight (535 grams) translates into a 0.13-0.24 standard deviations increase in child’s birth weight (70-128 grams), accounting or not for maternal grandmother fixed effects. On the father’s side, we find that a one standard deviation increase in father’s birth weight (563 grams) translates into a 0.10-0.15 standard deviations increase in child’s birth weight (56-78 grams), accounting or not for paternal grandmother fixed effects. The significant role of both maternal and paternal health at birth in explaining offspring health at birth is confirmed when using alternative metrics: intrauterine growth, being small for gestational age or being too heavy (i.e., macrosomic).
    JEL: I0 J10
    Date: 2022–07
  6. By: Raphaël Franck; Oded Galor; Omer Moav; Ömer Özak
    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.
    JEL: I15 O10
    Date: 2022–07
  7. By: Francesco Campo; Sara Giunti; Mariapia Mendola
    Abstract: This paper examines how the 2014-2017 ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Italy affected voting behavior and the rise of right–wing populism in national Parliamentary elections. We collect novel administrative data across all Italian municipalities and leverage exogenous variation in refugee resettlement induced by the Dispersal Policy. We find a positive and significant effect of the share of asylum seekers on support for radical-right anti-immigration parties. The effect is heterogeneous across municipality characteristics, yet robust to dispersal policy features. We provide causal evidence that the anti–immigration backlash is not rooted in adverse economic effects, while it is triggered by radical–right propaganda.
    Keywords: Immigration, Refugee Crisis, Voting Behavior, Dispersal Policy, Propaganda.
    JEL: D72 F22 O15 P16
    Date: 2022–04

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