nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2022‒10‒10
five papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
University of Wisconsin

  1. Fertility, Heterogeneity and the Golden Rule By Ponthiere, Gregory
  2. Is Longer Maternal Care Always Beneficial? The Impact of a Four-year Paid Parental Leave By Alena Bicakova; Klara Kaliskova
  3. To Grandmother’s House We Go: Childcare Time Transfers and Female Labor Mobility By Garrett Anstreicher; Joanna Venator
  4. Place Effects and Geographic Inequality in Health at Birth By Na'ama Shenhav; Eric Chyn
  5. Alcohol and Short-Run Mortality: Evidence from a Modern-Day Prohibition By Barron, Kai; Bradshaw, Debbie; Parry, Charles D. H.; Dorrington, Rob; Groenewald, Pam; Laubscher, Ria; Matzopoulos, Richard

  1. By: Ponthiere, Gregory
    Abstract: Phelps's (1961) Golden Rule states an unambiguous relationship be- tween optimal capital intensity and fertility: a rise in fertility decreases the optimal capital intensity, because a higher fertility increases the in- vestment required to sustain a given capital to labour ratio (i.e., the cap- ital dilution effect). Using a matrix population model embedded in a two-period OLG setting, we examine the robustness of that relationship to the partitioning of the population into 2 subpopulations having dis- tinct fertility behaviors. We derive the optimal accumulation rule in that framework, and we show that, unlike what prevails under a homogeneous population, a rise in fertility does not necessarily reduce the Golden Rule capital intensity, but increases it when the composition effect induced by the fertility change outweighs the standard capital dilution effect pre- vailing under a fixed partition of the population. We also explore the robustness of these results to a finer description of heterogeneity, that is, a partitioning of the population into a larger number of subpopulations.
    Keywords: Golden Rule,capital accumulation,fertility,OLG models,matrix population models,heterogeneity
    JEL: E13 E21 E22 J13
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Alena Bicakova; Klara Kaliskova
    Abstract: We study the impact of an extension of paid family leave from 3 to 4 years on child long-term outcomes. Using a difference-in-differences design and comparing the first-affected with the last-unaffected cohorts of children, we find that an additional year of maternal care at the age of 3, which primarily crowded out enrollment into public kindergartens, had an adverse effect for children of loweducated mothers on human capital investments and labor-market attachment in early adulthood. The affected children were 12 p.p. more likely not to be in education, employment, or training (NEET) at the age of 21-22. The impact on daughters was larger and driven by a lower probability of attending college and higher probability of home production. Sons of low-educated mothers, on the other hand, were less likely to be employed. The results suggest that exposure to formal childcare may be more beneficial than all-day maternal care at the age of 3, especially for children with a lower socio-economic background.
    Keywords: family leave; maternal care; subsidized childcare; child outcomes; human capital; labor-market attachment;
    JEL: J13 J18 J21 J24
    Date: 2022–08
  3. By: Garrett Anstreicher (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Joanna Venator (Boston College)
    Abstract: Women in the United States frequently rely on childcare from extended family but can only do so if they live in the same location as them. This paper studies how child care costs, the location of extended family, and fertility events influence both the labor force attachment and labor mobility of women in the United States. We begin by empirically documenting strong patterns of women returning to their home locations in anticipation of fertility events, indicating that the desire for intergenerational time transfers is an important motivator of home migration. Moreover, women who reside in their parent’s location experience a substantial long-run reduction in their child earnings penalty. Next, we build a dynamic model of labor force participation and migration to assess the incidence of counterfactual scenarios and childcare policies. We find that childcare subsidies increase lifetime earnings and labor mobility for women, with particularly strong effects for women who are ever single mothers and Blacks. Ignoring migration can understate the welfare benefits of these policies by a meaningful extent.
    Keywords: Migration, childcare, female labor supply, human capital
    JEL: J13 J22 J61
    Date: 2022–09–16
  4. By: Na'ama Shenhav; Eric Chyn
    Abstract: This paper uses birth records from California and mothers who move to quantify the absolute and relative importance of birth location in early-life health. Using a model that includes mother and location fixed effects, we find that moving from a below- to an above-median birth weight location leads to a 19-gram increase in average birth weight. These causal place effects explain 16 percent of geographic variation in birth weight, with family-specific factors accounting for the remaining 84 percent. Place effects are more influential for children of non-college-educated mothers, and are most strongly correlated with local levels of pollution. The improvement in birth weight from moving to a higher-quality area compares favorably to policies that target maternal health, and could have a small, lasting effect on long-run outcomes.
    JEL: H51 I1 I15 J13 Q53 R23
    Date: 2022–09
  5. By: Barron, Kai (WZB Berlin); Bradshaw, Debbie (SAMRC and University of Cape Town); Parry, Charles D. H. (SAMRC and Stellenbosch University); Dorrington, Rob (University of Cape Town); Groenewald, Pam (SAMRC); Laubscher, Ria (SAMRC); Matzopoulos, Richard (SAMRC and University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: On July 13, 2020 a complete nation-wide ban was placed on the sale and transport of alcohol in South Africa. This paper evaluates the impact of this sudden and unexpected five-week alcohol prohibition on mortality due to unnatural causes. We find that the policy reduced the number of unnatural deaths by 21 per day, or approximately 740 over the five-week period. This constitutes a 14% decrease in the total number of deaths due to unnatural causes. We argue that this represents a lower bound on the impact of alcohol on short-run mortality, and underscores the severe influence that alcohol has on society—even in the short-run.
    Keywords: alcohol; mortality; economics; health; South Africa; COVID-19; violence;
    JEL: I18 I12 K42
    Date: 2021–01–21

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