nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2023‒07‒31
six papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
University of Wisconsin

  1. The illusion of stable fertility preferences. By Müller, Maximilian W; Hamory, Joan; Johnson-Hanks, Jennifer; Miguel, Edward
  2. Medical innovation, life expectancy, and economic growth By Michael Kuhn; Antonio Minniti; Klaus Prettner; Francesco Venturini
  3. Raising America's future: search for optimal child-related transfers By Oliwia Komada
  4. In utero shocks and health at birth: The distorting effect of fetal losses By Hajdu, Tamás
  5. Childhood Exposure to Violence and Nurturing Relationships: The Long-Run Effects on Black Men By Dionissi Aliprantis; Kristen Tauber
  6. Adverse birth outcomes and parental labor market participation after birth By Voit, Falk A. C.

  1. By: Müller, Maximilian W; Hamory, Joan; Johnson-Hanks, Jennifer; Miguel, Edward
    Abstract: Fertility preferences have long played a key role in models of fertility differentials and change. We examine the stability of preferences over time using rich panel data on Kenyan women's fertility desires, expectations, actual fertility, and recall of desires in three waves over a nine-year period, when respondents were in their 20s. We find that although desired fertility is quite unstable, most women perceive their desires to be stable. Under hypothetical future scenarios, few expect their desired fertility to increase over time but, in fact, such increases in fertility desires are common. Moreover, when asked to recall past desires, most respondents report previously wanting exactly as many children as they desire today. These patterns of bias are consistent with the emerging view that fertility desires are contextual, emotionally laden, and structured by identity.
    Keywords: Humans, Illusions, Fertility, Child, Kenya, Female, fertility preferences, panel data, recall, stability of preferences, Contraception/Reproduction, Demography
    Date: 2022–07–01
  2. By: Michael Kuhn (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)); Antonio Minniti (Department of Economics, University of Bologna); Klaus Prettner (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business); Francesco Venturini (Department of Economics, University of Perugia)
    Abstract: Despite an increasing recognition of the importance of health for economic growth, there is still a lack of understanding of the role of medical innovation in this process. Specifically, what are the causal effects of medical innovation on economic growth and which non-linearities matter in this context? To answer these questions, we propose an R\&D-based economic growth model with overlapping generations in which life expectancy depends on health care utilization per capita and on medical innovation and test the model's implications empirically. We show that a causal pathway from medical innovation to economic growth prevails with life expectancy being an important transmission mechanism. Non-linearities matter in the following way: in early stages of development, medical innovation does not have a positive effect on economic growth, whereas in intermediate stages, a positive and significant effect emerges. In late stages of development, when life expectancy is already very high, the effect becomes weaker and potentially negative because health improvements are increasingly difficult to achieve and become ever more resource intensive.
    Keywords: Medical innovation, industrial innovation, life expectancy, health, economic growth
    JEL: I15 J11 O41 O47
    Date: 2023–07
  3. By: Oliwia Komada (Group for Research in Applied Economics (GRAPE))
    Abstract: The US differs from other OECD countries in terms of family policy size and composition. This study examines the welfare and macroeconomic effects of family policy reforms. I explore three policy instruments: child-related tax credits, child care subsidies, and child allowances. The children are merit good due to PAYG social security structure. I show that expanding family policy, similar to the American Rescue Plan, enhances welfare. I also characterize the optimal family policy for the US. It accounts for about 3\% of GDP, three times larger than the existing policy, and primarily focused on child-care subsidies. The structure of family policy is vital for welfare evaluation, as similar expenditure levels can lead to contrasting welfare outcomes depending on policy composition. This study underscores the importance of carefully designed family policies, highlighting the need for ongoing research and policy innovation to maximize societal benefits and promote equitable economic growth.
    Keywords: family policy, social security system, welfare, income risk
    JEL: D21 E62 H31 H55
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Hajdu, Tamás
    Abstract: Research on the effect of in utero shocks on health at birth may be influenced by in utero selection. This study outlines a conceptual framework and shows that the results of the standard empirical approach are biased if (i) the exposure changes the probability of fetal death and (ii) health differences exist between deceased and surviving fetuses. Furthermore, an empirical example is provided to illustrate, the potential importance of fetal selection. Examining the impact of heat on birth weight, I find that accounting for fetal selection substantially increases the heat effect compared to the standard approach. These results suggest that incorporating the distorting effect of fetal losses into the estimations may be critical in some cases to provide more informed guidance for public policy.
    Keywords: in utero selection, health at birth, birth weight, temperature, climate change
    JEL: I12 J13 Q54
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Dionissi Aliprantis; Kristen Tauber
    Abstract: Black men who witnessed a shooting before turning 12 have household earnings as adults 31 percent lower than those who did not. We present evidence that this gap is causal and is most likely the result of toxic stress; it is not mediated by incarceration and is constant across neighborhood socioeconomic status. Turning to mechanisms related to toxic stress, we study exposure to violence and nurturing relationships during adolescence. Item-anchored indexes synthesize variables on these treatments better than summing positive responses, Item Response Theory, or Principal Components, which all perform similarly. Providing adolescents with nurturing relationships is almost as beneficial as preventing their exposure to violence.
    Keywords: Interpersonal Violence; Code of the Street; Toxic Stress; Nurturing Relationship; Race; Neighborhood Effect
    JEL: H40 I38 J15 J24 R23
    Date: 2023–07–12
  6. By: Voit, Falk A. C.
    Abstract: Numerous articles have looked at the connection between adverse birth outcomes (low birth weight or preterm birth) and an individual's later socioeconomic status. To this day very few studies have been conducted that specifically address how delivery and adverse birth outcomes affect families and the homes where children grow up. In this study, I use data from the German Socioeconomic Panel (SOEP) to research the association between adverse birth outcomes and several parental labor market outcomes following childbirth. The analysis indicates that low birth weight and preterm birth are not associated with most of the considered parental labor market outcomes after birth. Initial disparities prior to childbirth account for a large extent of the negative relationship between adverse birth outcomes and labor market outcomes after birth.
    Keywords: Health and Inequality; Children; Labor market outcomes; SOEP
    JEL: I14 J13 D31
    Date: 2023–07

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