nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2023‒12‒11
seven papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas, University of Wisconsin

  1. The origins of foreign-born populations in Denmark and Sweden By Kashnitsky, Ilya; Callaway, Julia; Strozza, Cosmo
  2. Mothers at Peace: International Peacebuilding and Post-conflict Fertility By Bove, Vincenzo; Di Salvatore, Jessica; Elia, Leandro; Nistico, Roberto
  3. The Refugee Advantage: English-Language Attainment in the Early Twentieth Century By Ran Abramitzky; Leah Platt Boustan; Peter Catron; Dylan Connor; Rob Voigt
  4. Uncertain Lifetime, Health Investment And Welfare By Pablo Garcia-Sanchez; Olivier Pierrard
  5. Heterogeneous and Racialized Impacts of State Incarceration Policies on Birth Outcomes in the U.S. By Courtney Boen; Elizabeth Bair; Hedwig Lee; Atheendar Venkataramani
  6. Intergenerational Health Mobility in Germany By Graeber, Daniel
  7. The Evolution of the Racial Gap in U.S. Life Expectancy By Siddhartha Sanghi; Amy Smaldone

  1. By: Kashnitsky, Ilya (University of Southern Denmark); Callaway, Julia (University of Southern Denmark); Strozza, Cosmo (University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: This note examines the changes in the foreign-born populations of Denmark and Sweden from 1990 to 2019, using a visual representation of the proportion and composition of immigrants by country of origin. The dataviz clearly demonstrates how the diversity and size of the foreign-born populations have increased over time in both countries, and how some of the changes can be attributed to the major geopolitical and socio-economic events. It also identifies some curious patterns, such as the decline of the Finnish-born population in Sweden. The note provides a useful overview of the migration trends and dynamics in Denmark and Sweden.
    Date: 2023–10–30
  2. By: Bove, Vincenzo (University of Warwick); Di Salvatore, Jessica (University of Warwick); Elia, Leandro (Marche Polytechnic University); Nistico, Roberto (University of Naples Federico II)
    Abstract: A considerable body of empirical evidence indicates that conflict affects reproductive behaviour, often resulting in an increased fertility rate due to higher child mortality and limited access to healthcare services. However, we know much less about the effect of peace in a post-conflict setting. This study explores how the external provision of security affects fertility by focusing on the UN intervention in Liberia. Combining DHS birth history data with information on road distance to UN military compounds, we find that women living in the proximity of peacekeepers have lower fertility rates in the deployment period. This is due to parents prioritizing quality over quantity: peacekeepers improve maternal and child health and encourage family planning by enabling donors and humanitarian actors to deliver infrastructures and services and facilitating citizens' access to such services. We also provide evidence that UN mission revitalizes local economic activities, thus increasing the opportunity cost of childbearing.
    Keywords: conflict, fertility, maternal health, child health, UN operations
    JEL: J16 J24 D74 F50
    Date: 2023–10
  3. By: Ran Abramitzky (Stanford University); Leah Platt Boustan (Princeton University); Peter Catron (University of Washington); Dylan Connor (Arizona State University); Rob Voigt (Northwestern University)
    Abstract: The United States has admitted more than 3 million refugees since 1980 through official refugee resettlement programs. Scholars attribute the success of refugee groups to governmental programs on assimilation and integration. Before 1948, however, refugees arrived without formal selection processes or federal support. We examine the integration of historical refugees using a large archive of recorded oral history interviews to understand linguistic attainment of migrants who arrived in the early twentieth century. Using fine-grained measures of vocabulary, syntax and accented speech, we find that refugee migrants achieved a greater depth of English vocabulary than did economic/family migrants, a finding that holds even when comparing migrants from the same country of origin or religious group. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that refugees had greater exposure to English or more incentive to learn, due to the conditions of their arrival and their inability to immediately return to their origin country.
    Keywords: Refugees, Early 20th Century, Linguistic Attainment
    JEL: J15 N32
    Date: 2023–10
  4. By: Pablo Garcia-Sanchez (Banque centrale du Luxembourg, Departement Economie et Recherche); Olivier Pierrard (Banque centrale du Luxembourg, Departement Economie et Recherche)
    Abstract: We build a life cycle model to study the implications of two types of lifetime uncertainty on investment in health and welfare. We show that when the hazard rate of death depends on age, uncertainty increases health investment. Instead, when hazard rate depends on human frailty, uncertainty decreases health investment. In both cases, uncertainty reduces welfare. The size of the effects depends on an aggregate parameter related to the natural increase in human frailty with age, to the marginal return on health investment and to the rate of time preference. We first derive the main results from a small model which admits an analytical solution, before generalizing them in a larger model using numerical simulations. We conclude that the role of uncertainty depends on how death is modeled; and that if death is linked to frailty, as suggested by empirical evidence, a health policy reducing health uncertainty would stimulate individual investment in health promoting activities and improve welfare.
    Keywords: life cycle, uncertainty, health, welfare
    JEL: C60 D15 D81 I12 I18
    Date: 2023–11–14
  5. By: Courtney Boen; Elizabeth Bair; Hedwig Lee; Atheendar Venkataramani
    Abstract: While state incarceration policies have received much attention in research on the causes of mass incarceration in the U.S., their roles in shaping population health and health disparities remain largely unknown. We examine the impacts of two signature state incarceration policies adopted during the “tough on crime” era of the 1990s—three strikes and truth in sentencing—on Black and White birth outcomes. Using a difference-in-differences event study research design that models the dynamic impacts of these policies over time, we find that these policies had opposing effects on birth outcomes. We find that birth weight outcomes—including mean birth weight and low birth weight—for Black infants worsened markedly in the year three strikes policies were adopted. By contrast, birth outcomes for Black and White infants gradually improved after truth in sentencing policies were adopted. The discordant findings point to distinct, countervailing mechanisms by which sentencing policies can affect population health. We provide suggestive evidence that three strikes policies adversely impacted Black birth outcomes through affective mechanisms, by inducing highly racialized, stigmatizing public discourse around the time of policy adoption, while truth in sentencing likely impacted birth outcomes via material mechanisms, namely gradually reductions in community incarceration and crime rates. Altogether, these findings point to the need to further interrogate state criminal legal system policies for their impacts on population health, considering whether, how, and for whom these policies result in health impacts.
    JEL: I10 I14 I18 K4
    Date: 2023–11
  6. By: Graeber, Daniel (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: We describe the joint permanent health distribution of parents and children in Germany using 25 years of data from the Socio-Economic Panel. We derive three main results: First, a ten percentile increase in parental permanent health is associated with a 2.3 percentile increase in their child's health. Second, employing our anchoring method, we find that a percentile point increase in permanent health ranks is associated with a 0.8% to 1.4% increase in permanent earnings. Additionally, we conclude that health is particularly important for earnings at lower levels of health.We argue that our anchoring method has great potential to enhance the comparability of the literature across data sets and countries. Third, a more favorable socioeconomic status of the parents is predominantly associated with higher upward mobility in health.
    Keywords: intergenerational health mobility, health measurement, inequality
    JEL: I14 I12 J62 J13
    Date: 2023–10
  7. By: Siddhartha Sanghi; Amy Smaldone
    Abstract: White Americans live longer than Black Americans, but the gap has been narrowing. What has been driving that in recent decades?
    Keywords: life expectancy; racial gap
    Date: 2022–01–27

This nep-dem issue is ©2023 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.