nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2023‒05‒29
six papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
University of Wisconsin

  1. Mortality Differentials, the Racial and Ethnic Retirement Wealth Gap, and the Great Pandemic By Edward N. Wolff
  2. Temperature and fertility: evidence from Spanish register data By Risto Conte Keivabu; Marco Cozzani; Joshua Wilde
  3. Demographic Transition, Industrial Policies, and Chinese Economic Growth By Michael Dotsey; Wenli Li; Fang Yang
  4. Demographic Behaviour and Earnings Inequality across OECD Countries By Leo Azzollini; Richard Breen; Brian Nolan
  5. The Mortality Effects of Winter Heating Prices By Janjala Chirakijja; Seema Jayachandran; Pinchuan Ong
  6. First generation elite: the role of school networks By Sarah Cattan; Kjell G. Salvanes; Emma Tominey

  1. By: Edward N. Wolff
    Abstract: Using the Survey of Consumer Finances, I find that the Black/white gap in standard net worth widened from 1989 to 2019 but narrowed between Hispanics and (non-Hispanic) whites. When the definition of wealth is expanded to incorporate Social Security and defined benefit pension wealth (both the discounted sum of future benefits), the wealth gap is sharply reduced, especially for the ratio of median wealth. The Black/white and Hispanic/white disparity in Social Security wealth lessened considerably over 1989-2019. In contrast, the Black/white ratio of mean augmented wealth showed no change, though the ratio of median augmented wealth progressed. The Hispanic/white ratio of both mean and median augmented wealth advanced as well. The COVID-19 Pandemic struck in 2020 and hit the minority community much harder than whites in terms of mortality rates. Besides claiming over a million lives overall, it lopped off 4.7 percent of Social Security wealth among whites, 11.5 percent among Blacks, and 13.1 percent among Hispanics. As a result, while mean augmented wealth dipped only 1.2 percent among whites, it fell 6.7 percent among Black households and 7.3 percent among Hispanics. The effect was even stronger on median values – declines of a 2.6, 9.3 and 12.1 percent, respectively.
    JEL: D31 J15
    Date: 2023–04
  2. By: Risto Conte Keivabu (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Marco Cozzani; Joshua Wilde (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: In this paper, we combine administrative data for continental Spain from 2010 to 2018 with meteorological data to identify the effect of temperature on fertility. We demonstrate that warm (25-30°C) and hot days (>30°C) decrease total fertility rate (TFR) in Spain, and that the estimated decrease is higher than the effects estimated in previous literature for other countries. Moreover, we show that locations with a colder climate are more vulnerable to the impact of heat. Our results suggest that the global impact of climate change on population dynamics may be understated, especially without adaptation and mitigation measures, and that temperature increases may exacerbate the socio-economic consequences of low fertility such as population ageing.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2023
  3. 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: 2022–06–27
  4. By: Leo Azzollini; Richard Breen; Brian Nolan
    Abstract: Many studies have focused on how demographic dynamics, such as changes in marriage patterns and the increasing share of households headed by a single adult, may contribute to rising earnings inequality. Here we instead ask how demographic differences between countries may underpin differences in household earnings inequality between them, concentrating on economic homogamy and the proportion of households headed by a single woman and by a single man. We use data on 28 OECD countries from the 2016 wave of the Luxembourg Income Study, and develop a new inequality decomposition approach based on half the squared coefficient of variation (HSCV). We find that variation between countries in the specified demographic factors can account for just above 40% of the variation between countries in inequality in household labour earnings, with the proportion of households headed by a single woman playing the largest role. The associations between labour earnings inequality and these demographic components are consistent across countries, with little variation in how each is related to overall inequality. Although by far the largest driver of cross-national inequality relates to the earnings of partnered men, counterfactual analysis suggests that relatively small changes in these demographic variables can indeed affect inequality.
    Date: 2023–03
  5. By: Janjala Chirakijja (Monash University); Seema Jayachandran (Princeton University and NBER); Pinchuan Ong (National University of Singapore Business School)
    Abstract: This paper examines how the price of home heating affects mortality in the US. Exposure to cold is one reason that mortality peaks in winter, and a higher heating price increases exposure to cold by reducing heating use. Our empirical approach combines spatial variation in the energy source used for home heating and temporal variation in the national prices of natural gas and electricity. We find that a lower heating price reduces winter mortality, driven mostly by cardiovascular and respiratory causes. Our estimates imply that the 42% drop in the natural gas price in the late 2000s, mostly driven by the shale gas boom, averted 12, 500 deaths per year in the US. The effect appears to be especially large in high-poverty communities.
    Keywords: Mortality, Home Heating, Heating Prices
    JEL: I30 I31 I39 Q41
    Date: 2023–01
  6. By: Sarah Cattan (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Kjell G. Salvanes (Norwegian School of Economics); Emma Tominey (University of York)
    Abstract: High school students from non-elite backgrounds are less likely to have peers with elite educated parents than their elite counterparts in Norway. We show this difference in social capital is a key driver of the high intergenerational persistence in elite education. We identify a positive elite peer effect on enrolment in elite programmes and disentangle underlying mechanisms. Exploiting a lottery in the assessment system, a causal mediation analysis shows the overall positive peer effect reflects a positive effect on application behaviour (conditional on GPA), which dominates a negative effect on student GPA. We consider implications for income mobility finding that encouraging further mixing between elite and non-elite students in high school could improve mobility across the whole distribution.
    Keywords: Peers, Elite university, Subject choice, Social mobility, Teacher bias
    JEL: I24 J24 J62
    Date: 2023–05

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