nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2023‒07‒24
four papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
University of Wisconsin

  1. Universal Investments in Toddler Health. Learning from a Large Government Trial By Baker, Jennifer L.; Bjerregaard, Lise G.; Dahl, Christian M.; Johansen, Torben S. D.; Sørensen, Emil N.; Wüst, Miriam
  2. Baby Bump? Birth Month, Family Income, and Early Childhood Development By Marcotte, Dave E.; Engel, Katherine
  3. China's 40 Years Demographic Dividend and Labor Supply: The Quantity Myth By Meng, Xin
  4. Fatal Errors: The Mortality Value of Accurate Weather Forecasts By Jeffrey G. Shrader; Laura Bakkensen; Derek Lemoine

  1. By: Baker, Jennifer L.; Bjerregaard, Lise G.; Dahl, Christian M. (University of Southern Denmark); Johansen, Torben S. D. (University of Southern Denmark); Sørensen, Emil N. (University of Bristol); Wüst, Miriam (University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: Exploiting a 1960s government trial in Copenhagen, we study the long-run and inter-generational effects of preventive care for toddlers. We combine administrative data with handwritten nurse records to document universal treatment take-up and positive health effects for treated children over the life course. Beneficial health impacts are largest for disadvantaged children and may even extend to their offspring. While initial trial cohorts experienced positive health and socioeconomic impacts, those are absent for the final cohorts. This heterogeneity across individuals' background and cohorts documents that universal toddler care can alleviate inequalities at low costs, and that the counterfactual policy environment matters.
    Keywords: early-life investments, health, public policy, government trial, Denmark, digitization, automated transcription
    JEL: I1 J1
    Date: 2023–06
  2. By: Marcotte, Dave E. (American University); Engel, Katherine (American University)
    Abstract: Federal and state tax policies in the U.S. are save families with babies born just before the end of the year thousands of dollars in tax liability. Because this income windfall is realized during the first few months of a newborn's life, we assess whether babies born in December experience developmental advantages in early childhood compared to those born right after the New Year. Using data from the Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth we implement a regression discontinuity design that exploits variation in birth timing. We show that while children born in December have a weight disadvantage of 0.17 pounds at birth compared to those born in January, they have an average weight-gain advantage of between 0.6 to 1.2 pounds (0.07 to 0.14 standard deviations) during subsequent follow-up interviews. We also find that end-of-year babies reach early developmental milestones faster, but exhibit no advantage in memory, word recognition or applied problem solving. Finally, we illustrate the tax savings received by families with end of year babies are substantial and are consistent with the end-of-year birth developmental advantage.
    Keywords: child development, income, EITC
    JEL: J13 D1
    Date: 2023–06
  3. By: Meng, Xin (Australian National University)
    Abstract: In the past forty years the Chinese economy achieved miracle growth and many attributed a significant part of this to China's favourable labour supply flowing from the "demographic dividend": a larger share of working age population (WAPS). Currently, this dividend is slipping away and many in China are very concerned. Against this background I set out to examine the contributions of various dimensions of China's changing WAPS and its impact on economic growth. I show that between 1982-2015 the increase in the WAPS was offset by a decline in the labour force participation rate, resulting in a very limited increase in the quantity of labour supply. I then estimate the association between regional variations in economic growth and changes in factors such as population size, WAPS, migration, education. The results lend little support to the view that increasing WAPS played a major role in China's economic growth over this period.
    Keywords: labor supply, demographic dividends, China
    JEL: J10 J11 J21
    Date: 2023–06
  4. By: Jeffrey G. Shrader; Laura Bakkensen; Derek Lemoine
    Abstract: We provide the first revealed preference estimates of the benefits of routine weather forecasts. The benefits come from how people use advance information to reduce mortality from heat and cold. Theoretically, more accurate forecasts reduce mortality if and only if mortality risk is convex in forecast errors. We test for such convexity using data on the universe of mortality events and weather forecasts for a twelve-year period in the U.S. Results show that erroneously mild forecasts increase mortality whereas erroneously extreme forecasts do not reduce mortality. Making forecasts 50% more accurate would save 2, 200 lives per year. The public would be willing to pay $112 billion to make forecasts 50% more accurate over the remainder of the century, of which $22 billion reflects how forecasts facilitate adaptation to climate change.
    JEL: D83 I12 Q51
    Date: 2023–06

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