nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2022‒11‒14
eight papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
University of Wisconsin

  1. Maternity Leave By Regmi, Krishna; Wang, Le
  2. Is Longer Maternal Care Always Beneficial? The Impact of a Four-Year Paid Parental Leave By Bicakova, Alena; Kaliskova, Klara
  3. The Effect of a Universal Preschool Programme on Long-Term Health Outcomes: Evidence from Spain By Laia Bosque-Mercader
  4. On the Doorstep of Adulthood: Empowering Economic and Fertility Choices of Young Women By Berge, Lars Ivar Oppedal; Bjorvatn, Kjetil; Makene, Fortunata; Sekei, Linda Helgesson; Somville, Vincent; Tungodden, Bertil
  5. Are Environmental Concerns Deterring People from Having Children? By Lockwood, Ben; Powdthavee, Nattavudh; Oswald, Andrew J.
  6. Mortality Effects of Healthcare Supply Shocks: Evidence Using Linked Deaths and Electronic Health Records By Engy Ziedan; Kosali I. Simon; Coady Wing
  7. Why Aging Induces Deflation and Secular Stagnation By R. Anton Braun; Daisuke Ikeda
  8. Are Long-Lived Persons Utility Monsters? By Ponthiere, Gregory

  1. By: Regmi, Krishna; Wang, Le
    Abstract: Supporting working mothers to balance their work and childcare responsibilities is a central objective of maternal and parental leave policies. Nearly all countries offer some forms of maternity and family leave programs for childbearing on a national basis. This chapter reviews various types of leave policies available for working mothers (or parents) across countries and whether and how the policies affect women's labor market outcomes, their own and children's health, and child development. The leave policies can also influence women's fertility choices, as well as household specialization and husbands' labor supply. Recent studies also note the potential impacts on employers and coworkers of mothers who are on leave. One message that this chapter draws from the vast literature - with diverse and, in some instances, contradictory findings - is that policy debates should not center around whether or not governments should offer paid leave; rather they should focus on how to design more efficient or optimal leave programs. This chapter discusses some preliminary lessons for designing a leave program.
    Keywords: maternity leave,parental leave,gender role,birth outcomes,breastfeeding,infant health,children's outcomes,mothers' health,labor supply,fertility,divorce
    JEL: H31 I12 I18 J21 J22 J16 J71 J78 J22 J12 J13 J38 J83 J88 K36
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Bicakova, Alena (CERGE-EI); Kaliskova, Klara (CERGE-EI)
    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 low-educated 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: 2022–10
  3. By: Laia Bosque-Mercader
    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.
    Date: 2022–10
  4. By: Berge, Lars Ivar Oppedal (Department of Business and Management); Bjorvatn, Kjetil (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Makene, Fortunata (Economic and Social Research Foundation); Sekei, Linda Helgesson (NIRAS); Somville, Vincent (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Tungodden, Bertil (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: We report from a large-scale randomized controlled trial of women empowerment in Tanzania investigating how two different empowerment strategies, economic empowerment and reproductive health empowerment, shape the economic and fertility choices of young women when they transition into adulthood. The analysis builds on a rich data set (survey, experimental, and medical data) collected over more than five years. The economic empowerment reduces poverty, while teenage pregnancy increases with both economic and reproductive health empowerment. The increase in fertility comes from a positive income effect and by women entering earlier into a relationship. We also provide evidence of the importance of social norms and labor market flexibility in explaining the income and relationship effects on fertility. The findings provide new insights on the economics of fertility, and show the importance of a comprehensive approach to women empowerment.
    Keywords: Women empowerment; Economic empowerment; Fertility; Poverty
    JEL: J13 J16
    Date: 2022–10–27
  5. By: Lockwood, Ben (University of Warwick); Powdthavee, Nattavudh (University of Warwick); Oswald, Andrew J. (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Are 'green' environmental concerns -- about climate change, biodiversity, pollution -- deterring today's citizens from having children? This paper, which we believe to be the first of its kind, reports preliminary evidence consistent with that increasingly discussed hypothesis. Our study has a simple longitudinal design. It follows through time a random sample of thousands of initially childless men and women in the UK. Those individuals who are committed to a green lifestyle are found to be less likely to go on to have offspring. Later analysis adjusts statistically for a large set of potential confounders, including age, education, marital status, mental health, life satisfaction, optimism, and physical health. Because there might be unobservable reasons why those who are pro-environmental may be less likely to want a child, and to try to ensure that the finding cannot be explained by selection and omitted variables, the paper explores Oster's (2019) bounds test. The paper's final estimated effect-size is substantial: a person entirely unconcerned about environmental behaviour is found to be approximately 60% more likely to go on to have a child when compared to a deeply committed environmentalist.
    Keywords: fertility, child-bearing, climate change, environment, green
    JEL: J1 Q50
    Date: 2022–10
  6. By: Engy Ziedan; Kosali I. Simon; Coady Wing
    Abstract: The contraction in health care consumption at the start of the pandemic provides insight into central economic questions of waste and productivity in the U.S. health care system. Using linked mortality and Electronic Medical Records, we compare people who had outpatient appointments scheduled for dates in 30 day periods immediately before and after the Covid-19 emergency declaration. Appointment cancellation rates were 77% higher for people with appointments in the shutdown period. Intent to treat estimates imply that having a scheduled appointment date right after the emergency declaration increased one-year mortality rates by 4 deaths per 10,000. Instrumental variable estimates suggest that a cancelled appointment increased one-year mortality by 29.7 deaths per 10,000 among compliers, implying that a 10% increase in health care appointments reduces mortality rates by 2.9%. The mortality effects are rooted in two mechanisms: a complier sub-population with high marginal benefits from care, and a cascade of delayed or missed follow-up care that lasted for about 3 months. Healthcare spending accounted for 19.7% of U.S. GDP in 2021, and controlling health spending is a major policy objective. Our results quantify health tradeoffs from cutting every-day non-emergency visits, illustrating the importance of cost-control efforts that differentiate between medical care with the largest and smallest benefits for patient health.
    JEL: I0 I11
    Date: 2022–10
  7. By: R. Anton Braun (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (E-mail:; Daisuke Ikeda (Director, Financial System and Bank Examination Department, Bank of Japan (E-mail:
    Abstract: We provide a quantitative theory of deflation and secular stagnation. In our lifecycle framework an aging population puts persistent downward pressure on the price level, real interest rates, and output. A novel feature of our theory is that it also recognizes the reactions of government policy. The central bank responds to falling prices by reducing its policy nominal interest rate and the fiscal authority responds by allowing the public debt-GDP ratio to rise.
    Keywords: Aging, Deflation, Lifecycle, Monetary policy, Portfolio choice, Secular stagnation, Tobin effect
    JEL: E52 E62 G51 D15
    Date: 2022–10
  8. By: Ponthiere, Gregory
    Abstract: Nozick's "utility monster" - a being who is more efficient than other persons at transforming resources into well-being - is often regarded as deeply impossible, on the ground of the incapacity of a single person to have a life that is better than a large number of other lives. In this article, I defend a purely marginalist view of the "utility monster", that is, that the primary characteristic of a "utility monster" is a higher sensitivity, at the margin, of well-being to resources, rather than a larger total well-being. I propose three purely marginalist accounts of "utility monster" and I introduce the related concept of "collective utility monster", in order to account for the collective predation of (almost) all resources by a group of persons. I argue that, although a long-lived person, if taken separately, could hardly belong to the category of "utility monster", a large group of long-lived persons can, under some conditions, belong to the category of "collective utility monster". In the light of the increasingly large proportion of cohorts reaching very old ages nowadays, Nozick's objection against utilitarianism turns out, after a thorough review, to be most relevant for real-world aging societies.
    Keywords: longevity,mortality,inequalities,utilitarianism,Nozick's utility monster
    JEL: I31 J10 J18
    Date: 2022

This nep-dem issue is ©2022 by Héctor Pifarré i Arolas. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.