nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2024‒03‒04
six papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas, University of Wisconsin

  1. Lives vs. Livelihoods: The Impact of the Great Recession on Mortality and Welfare By Amy Finkelstein; Matthew J. Notowidigdo; Frank Schilbach; Jonathan Zhang
  2. The Long-Run Effects of California's Paid Family Leave Act On Women's Careers and Childbearing: New Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design and U.S. Tax Data By Bailey, Martha J.; Byker, Tanya; Patel, Elena; Ramnath, Shanthi
  3. Using Online Genealogical Data for Demographic Research: An Empirical Examination of the FamiLinx Database By Colasurdo, Andrea; Omenti, Riccardo
  4. Intergenerational Persistence of Education, Smoking and Birth Weight: Evidence from Three Generations By Costi, Chiara; Migali, Giuseppe; Zucchelli, Eugenio
  5. Labor Market Effects of Paid Sick Leave: The Case of Seattle By Hilary Wething; Meredith Slopen
  6. The Determinants of Declining Internal Migration By William W. Olney; Owen Thompson

  1. By: Amy Finkelstein; Matthew J. Notowidigdo; Frank Schilbach; Jonathan Zhang
    Abstract: We leverage spatial variation in the severity of the Great Recession across the United States to examine its impact on mortality and to explore implications for the welfare consequences of recessions. We estimate that an increase in the unemployment rate of the magnitude of the Great Recession reduces the average, annual age-adjusted mortality rate by 2.3 percent, with effects persisting for at least 10 years. Mortality reductions appear across causes of death and are concentrated in the half of the population with a high school degree or less. We estimate similar percentage reductions in mortality at all ages, with declines in elderly mortality thus responsible for about three-quarters of the total mortality reduction. Recession-induced mortality declines are driven primarily by external effects of reduced aggregate economic activity on mortality, and recession-induced reductions in air pollution appear to be a quantitatively important mechanism. Incorporating our estimates of pro-cyclical mortality into a standard macroeconomics framework substantially reduces the welfare costs of recessions, particularly for people with less education, and at older ages where they may even be welfare-improving.
    JEL: E3 I1
    Date: 2024–02
  2. By: Bailey, Martha J. (University of California, Los Angeles); Byker, Tanya (Middlebury College); Patel, Elena (University of Utah); Ramnath, Shanthi (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)
    Abstract: We use administrative tax data to analyze the cumulative, long-run effects of California's 2004 Paid Family Leave Act (CPFL) on women's employment, earnings, and childbearing. A regression-discontinuity design exploits the sharp increase in the weeks of paid leave available under the law. We find no evidence that CPFL increased employment, boosted earnings, or encouraged childbearing, suggesting that CPFL had little effect on the gender pay gap or child penalty. For first-time mothers, we find that CPFL reduced employment and earnings roughly a decade after they gave birth.
    Keywords: leave taking, gender, maternity leave, labor market, gender gap, regression discontinuity
    JEL: J08 J16 J71
    Date: 2024–01
  3. By: Colasurdo, Andrea; Omenti, Riccardo
    Abstract: Background: Online genealogies are promising data sources for demographic research, but their limitations are understudied. This paper takes a critical approach to evaluating the potential strengths and weaknesses of using online genealogical data for population studies. Objective: We propose novel measures to assess the completeness and the quality of demographic variables in the FamiLinx data at both the individual and the familial level over the 1600-1900 period. Utilizing Sweden as a test country, we investigate how the age-sex distribution and the mortality levels of the digital population extracted from FamiLinx diverge from the registered population. Method: We employ descriptive statistics, logistic regression modeling, and standard life table techniques for our measures of completeness and quality. Results: When one demographic variable is available, researchers can effectively anticipate the availability of other demographic information. The completeness and the quality of the demographic variables within the kinship networks are markedly higher for individuals with more complete and accurate demographic information. Lower mortality levels are observed in populations drawn from FamiLinx, which may be attributed to selectivity bias in favor of individuals experiencing more favorable demographic conditions. However, the representativeness of genealogical populations improved toward the end of the 19th century, especially when selecting individuals with more accurate birth and death dates. Conclusions: FamiLinx offers new opportunities for demographic research, due to its vast amount of individual information from various historical populations and their recorded kinship ties. Nonetheless, missing values and accuracy in its demographic information are selective. This selectivity needs to be addressed.
    Date: 2024–01–23
  4. By: Costi, Chiara (University of Luxembourg); Migali, Giuseppe (Lancaster University); Zucchelli, Eugenio (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Abstract: The identification of factors affecting birth weight is a key issue in human development due to its established associations with long-term health, educational and labour-market outcomes. This paper exploits intergenerational information on three generations (grandparents-parents-children) to explore the effects of parental education and different parental smoking behaviours on birth weight. We use the intergenerational association between grandparents' education and smoking behaviour and the corresponding parental variables to aid the identification of parents' education and smoking on birth weight. We employ rich intergenerational data drawn from the US National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health and a flexible two-stage residual inclusion approach. We find that there is a strong intergenerational persistence of education levels and smoking behaviours across generations. Higher parental education reduces the likelihood of children's low birth weight, although the effect appears to be mainly driven by fathers. While maternal smoking during pregnancy increases the occurrence of low birth weight, especially among non-white parents, parental regular smoking (of either mothers or fathers) does not seem to greatly affect birth weight. Results are confirmed by robustness checks excluding direct effects of grandparents' smoking while in utero and using an instrumental variable for parental education.
    Keywords: parental education, prenatal smoking, birth weight, intergenerational persistence, Add Health
    JEL: I00 I12 I29
    Date: 2024–01
  5. By: Hilary Wething (Economic Policy Institute); Meredith Slopen (City University of New York)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safety Time (PSST) policy on workers’ quarterly hours worked and separation hazard. Using Unemployment Insurance records from before and after the implementation of PSST, we examine individual-level employment behavior at the extensive and intensive margins and compare Seattle workers to workers in Washington state using a difference-indifferences strategy. Importantly, we consider how impacts vary by employment characteristics, including worker wage rate and tenure, and by firm characteristics, including industry and firm size. We find that PSST increased workers’ quarterly hours by 4.42 hours per quarter, or around 18 hours per year. While there was no overall impact on workers’ separation hazard rates, we observed a 10 percent decrease in separations for workers in firms with more than 50 employees following PSST implementation. Our findings indicate that paid sick leave policies may support workers in increasing their hours and, to a lesser extent, may reduce turnover.
    Keywords: sick pay mandates, hours worked, low-wage employment
    JEL: I18 J08 J63 J68
    Date: 2024–01
  6. By: William W. Olney; Owen Thompson
    Abstract: Internal migration in the United States has declined substantially over the past several decades, which has important implications for individual welfare, macroeconomic adjustments, and other key outcomes. This paper studies the determinants of internal migration and how they have changed over time. We use administrative data from the IRS covering the universe of bilateral moves between every Commuting Zone (CZ) in the country over a 23 year period. This data is linked to information on local wage levels and home prices, and we estimate bilateral migration determinants in rich regression specifications that contain CZ-pair fixed effects. Consistent with theoretical predictions, results show that migration is decreasing with origin wages and destination home prices, and is increasing with destination wages and origin home prices. We then examine the contributions of earnings and home prices to the noted overall decline in internal migration. These analyses show that wages on their own would have led to an increase in migration rates, primarily because migrants are increasingly responsive to high earnings levels in potential destination CZs. However, these wage effects have been more than offset by housing related factors, which have increasingly impeded internal mobility. In particular, migration has become much less responsive to housing prices in the origin CZ, such that many households that would have left in response to high home prices several decades ago now choose to stay.
    JEL: J31 J61 R23 R31
    Date: 2024–02

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