nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2023‒08‒14
seven papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
University of Wisconsin

  1. Multistate analysis and decomposition of disability-free life expectancy trends in Italy 2004-2019 By Margherita Moretti; Timothy Riffe; Angelo Lorenti
  2. Later-Life Mortality and the Repeal of Federal Prohibition By Jacks, David S.; Pendakur, Krishna; Shigeoka, Hitoshi; Wray, Anthony
  3. The Labor Market Effects of Disability Benefit Loss By Anikó Bíró; Cecília Hornok; Judit Krekó; Dániel Prinz; Ágota Scharle
  4. The Political Effects of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Weimar Germany By Stefan Bauernschuster; Matthias Blum; Erik Hornung; Christoph Koenig
  5. (Breaking) Intergenerational Transmission of Mental Health By Aline Bütikofer; Rita Ginja; Krzysztof Karbownik; Fanny Landaud
  6. Comrades in the family? Soviet communism and demand for family insurance By Costa-Font, Joan; Nicińska, Anna
  7. Fatherless: The Long-Term Effects of Losing a Father in the U.S. Civil War By Yannick Dupraz; Andreas Ferrara

  1. By: Margherita Moretti (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Timothy Riffe (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Angelo Lorenti (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: Italy has witnessed increases in life expectancy and severe population ageing, raising concerns about their impact on population health. Disability status greatly affects the participation of older adults in various aspects of life. This study examines the long-term trend of disability-free life expectancy (DFLE) in Italy and explores the drivers in terms of disability onset and recovery dynamics, as well as changes in disability-specific mortality. By using IT-SILC longitudinal data (2004-2019), transition probabilities and DFLE between ages 50 and 79 are calculated, and the drivers of DFLE evolution are analysed through decomposition. DFLE among mid-to-older Italians has progressed overall over the last decades, albeit not as favourably as life expectancy. The trends indicate compression of disability in recent years. Changes in disability transitions have the greatest influence on DFLE patterns, while less the changes in disability-specific mortality. The greatest contributions come from increases in the probability of recovery from disability.
    Keywords: Italy, ageing, demographic models, disability
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Jacks, David S. (National University of Singapore); Pendakur, Krishna (Simon Fraser University); Shigeoka, Hitoshi (Simon Fraser University); Wray, Anthony (University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: Despite a recent and dramatic re-evaluation of the health consequences of alcohol consumption, very little is known about the effects of in utero exposure to alcohol on long-run outcomes such as later-life mortality. Here, we investigate how state by year variation in alcohol control arising from the repeal of federal prohibition affects mortality for cohorts born in the 1930s. We find that individuals born in wet states experienced higher later-life mortality than individuals born in dry states, translating into a 3.3% increase in mortality rates between 1990 and 2004 for affected cohorts.
    Keywords: alcohol, federal prohibition, in utero exposure, later-life mortality
    JEL: H73 I18 J18 N32
    Date: 2023–07
  3. By: Anikó Bíró (Centre for Economic and Regional Studies); Cecília Hornok (KIEL Institute for the World Economy); Judit Krekó (Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Budapest Institute for Policy Analysis); Dániel Prinz (World Bank); Ágota Scharle (Budapest Institute for Policy Analysis)
    Abstract: Disability benefits are costly and tend to reduce labor supply. While costs can be reduced by careful targeting, correcting past eligibility rules or assessment procedures may entail welfare costs. We study a major reform in Hungary that reassessed the health and working capacity of a large share of beneficiaries. Leveraging age and health cutoffs in the reassessment, we estimate employment responses to loss or reduction of benefits. We find that among those who left disability insurance due to the reform, 57% were employed in the primary labor market and 38% had neither employment nor benefit income. The consequences of leaving disability insurance sharply differed by pre-reform employment status. 62% of those without pre-reform employment did not work after exiting disability insurance, whereas this ratio was only 14% for those who had some employment in the pre-reform year. The gains of the reform in activating beneficiaries were small and strongly driven by pre-reform employment status. This points to the importance of combining financial incentives with broader labor market programs that increase employability.
    Keywords: Keywords: disability benefit, reactivation, employment policy
    JEL: H53 H55 J08 J14
    Date: 2023–06
  4. By: Stefan Bauernschuster; Matthias Blum; Erik Hornung; Christoph Koenig
    Abstract: How do health crises affect election results? We combine a panel of election results from 1893–1933 with spatial heterogeneity in excess mortality due to the 1918 Influenza to assess the pandemic’s effect on voting behavior across German constituencies. Applying a dynamic differences-in-differences approach, we find that areas with higher influenza mortality saw a lasting shift towards left-wing parties. We argue that pandemic intensity increased the salience of public health policy, prompting voters to reward parties signaling competence in health issues. Alternative explanations such as pandemic-induced economic hardship, punishment of incumbents for inadequate policy responses, or polarization of the electorate towards more extremist parties are not supported by our findings.
    Keywords: pandemics, elections, health, voting behavior, issue salience, issue ownership, Weimar Republic
    JEL: D72 I18 N34 H51
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Aline Bütikofer; Rita Ginja; Krzysztof Karbownik; Fanny Landaud
    Abstract: We estimate health associations across generations and dynasties using information on healthcare visits from administrative data for the entire Norwegian population. A parental mental health diagnosis is associated with a 9.3 percentage point (40%) higher probability of a mental health diagnosis of their adolescent child. Intensive margin physical and mental health associations are similar, and dynastic estimates account for about 40% of the intergenerational persistence. We also show that a policy targeting additional health resources for the young children of adults diagnosed with mental health conditions reduced the parent-child mental health association by about 40%.
    JEL: I14 I18 J12 J62
    Date: 2023–07
  6. By: Costa-Font, Joan; Nicińska, Anna
    Abstract: We study how exposure to (Soviet) communism (EC), a political-economic regime based on collectivist state planning, affected the preferences for family support, which we refer to as informal family insurance. Against the backdrop that ‘communism gave rise to the abolition of the family’, we document that it actually strengthened the preference (the demand) for informal family insurance without depressing individuals' preferences for social insurance. We exploit cross-country and cohort variation in EC on more than 314, 000 individuals living in 33 Central and Eastern European countries, among which 14 had been subject to communist regimes. We estimate that EC gave rise to 9.6 percentage point (pp) increase in the preference for family care for older parent and 4.3 pp increase in the support (both financial and nonfinancial) for children. These effects are explained by the strengthening of social and family networks that resulted from the erosion of generalized, interpersonal and institutional trust, rather than by ‘indoctrination effects’ during Soviet communism times.
    Keywords: family insurance; social insurance; interpersonal trust; confidence in institutions; Soviet communism; Eastern Europe
    JEL: B14 B24 P2 P3
    Date: 2023–06–30
  7. By: Yannick Dupraz (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Andreas Ferrara
    Abstract: We estimate the causal effect of losing a father in the U.S. Civil War on children's long-run socioeconomic outcomes. Linking military records from the 2.2 million Union Army soldiers with the 1860 U.S. population census, we track soldiers' sons into the 1880 and 1900 census. Sons of soldiers who died had lower occupational income scores and were less likely to work in a high-or semiskilled job as opposed to being low-skilled or farmers. These effects persisted at least until the 1900 census. Our results are robust to instrumenting paternal death with the mortality rate of the father's regiment, which we argue was driven by military strategy that did not take into account the social origins of soldiers. Prewar family wealth is a strong mitigating factor: there is no effect of losing a father in the top quartile of the wealth distribution.
    Keywords: U.S. civil war, Orphans, Intergenerational Mobility
    Date: 2023–02–07

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