nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2024‒02‒12
four papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas, University of Wisconsin

  1. Early Life Exposure to the Great Chinese Famine (1959-1961) and the Health of Older Adults in China: A Meta-Analysis (2008-2023) By Shen, Chi; Chen, Xi
  2. Can Public Policies Break the Gender Mold? Evidence from Paternity Leave Reforms in Six Countries By Sébastien Fontanay; Libertad González
  3. The Effect of Elder Caregiving on Labor Force Participation By Jessica Forden
  4. Uncertainty and Individual Discretion in Allocating Research Funds By Anna Goldstein; Michael Kearney

  1. By: Shen, Chi; Chen, Xi
    Abstract: There is mounting evidence indicating that the aging process initiates during early life stages, with in utero the individual's environment playing a significant role. Consequently, it is crucial to comprehend the enduring effects of early life circumstances on health in old age. In this study, we conducted a meta-analysis to examine the effects of the Great Chinese Famine (1959-1961) on the health of older adults. We also explored potential mechanisms underlying these effects. The complex interplay between early life circumstances, multiple health-related sectors, and healthy aging necessitates a comprehensive life-course approach and strategic interventions to enhance public health in an aging society.
    Keywords: Meta-Analysis, Aging, Life Course Health, Famine, Early Life Circumstances
    JEL: I14 J14 J13 I18
    Date: 2024
  2. By: Sébastien Fontanay; Libertad González
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of paternity leave policies on gender role attitudes in the next generation. We measure gender-stereotypical attitudes using an Implicit Association Test with 3, 000 online respondents in six countries. Using an RD design, we observe a significant reduction (-0.20 SD) in gender-stereotypical attitudes among men born post-paternity leave implementation. This shift influences career choices, as men whose fathers were affected by the reform are more inclined to pursue counter-stereotypical jobs, particularly in high-skilled occupations like healthcare and education. Our findings highlight how paternity leave fosters egalitarian gender norms and affects the occupational choices of the next generation.
    Keywords: gender norms, paternity leave, female-dominated occupations, regression discontinuity
    JEL: J08 J13 J16 J18
    Date: 2024–01
  3. By: Jessica Forden (Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA))
    Abstract: Unpaid eldercare provided by friends and family comes with costs to caregivers, including the limitations eldercare responsibilities may place on labor force participation and work hours. This study examines the relationship between the intensity of unpaid elder care and work behavior for previously full-time workers using multivariate regression to analyze 2011-2018 American Time Use Survey data. High frequency eldercare provision is associated with a decreased probability of being in the labor force for women (2.7 percentage points) and a decrease in weekly hours worked for both men (3.4 hours) and women (2.3 hours), conditional on working full-time 2-5 months prior.
    Keywords: elder care, long-term care, unpaid care, informal care, labor force participation, hours worked
    JEL: J14 J26 J81
  4. By: Anna Goldstein; Michael Kearney
    Abstract: There is a long-standing tradition in public research funding agencies of distributing funds via peer review, which aggregates evaluations of proposed research ideas from a group of external experts. Despite complaints that this process is biased against novel ideas, there is poor understanding of an alternative system that may overcome this bias: the use of individual discretion. Here, we conduct the first quantitative study of how individual discretion affects a research funding portfolio. Using internal project selection data from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), we describe how a portfolio of projects selected by individual discretion differs from a portfolio of projects selected by traditional peer review. We show that ARPA-E program directors tend to fund proposals with greater disagreement among experts, and they also appear to prefer proposals described in reviewer comments as “creative.” These choices do not result in a significant tradeoff with short-term project performance, and they enable ARPA-E to fund more uncertain and creative research ideas, which supports the agency’s mission of pursuing novel ideas for transformational energy technology.
    JEL: O31 O38
    Date: 2024–01

This nep-dem issue is ©2024 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.
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