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The purpose of this paper is to identify a workhorse mortality model for the adult age range (i.e., excluding the accident hump and younger ages). It applies the “general procedure” (GP) of Hunt & Blake [(2014), North American Actuarial Journal, 18, 116–138] to identify an age-period model that fits the data well before adding in a cohort effect that captures the residual year-of-birth effects arising in the original age-period model. The resulting model is intended to be suitable for a variety of populations, but economises on the number of period effects in comparison with a full implementation of the GP. We estimate the model using two different iterative maximum likelihood (ML) approaches – one Partial ML and the other Full ML – that avoid the need to specify identifiability constraints.
There is considerable uncertainty regarding changes in future mortality rates. This article investigates the impact of such longevity risk on discounted government annuity benefits for retirees. It is critical to forecast more accurate future mortality rates to improve our estimation of an expected annuity payout. Thus, we utilize the Lee–Carter model, which is well-known as a parsimonious dynamic mortality model. We find strong evidence that female retirees are likely to receive more public lifetime annuity than males in the USA, which is associated with systematic mortality rate differences between genders. A cross-country comparison presents that the current public annuity system would not fully cover retiree's longevity risk. Every additional year of life expectancy leaves future retirees exposed to high risk, arising from high volatility of lifetime annuities. Also, because the growth in life expectancy is higher than the growth of expected public pension, there will be a financial risk to retirees.
We construct and parameterize an overlapping generations model for an open economy with individuals who differ in innate ability. Key endogenous variables are hours worked, investment in human and physical capital, and per capita growth. The model replicates important data in Belgium since 1960 remarkably well. Simulating it, we observe that behavioral adjustments by households and firms contribute to reverse the negative arithmetical effect of future demographic change on per capita growth. Individuals work and study more. However, with unchanged policies, there remains a net negative effect on annual per capita growth of almost 0.3%-points on average in the next 25 years. This is mainly due to adverse consequences of reduced fertility and a declining working-age population on (the return to) physical capital investment. Model projections also point to rising income inequality induced by demographic change. Differences in the capacity of individuals to respond to increasing life expectancy by investing in education, and by saving, are key.
According to the conventional theory of the demographic transition, mortality decline has represented the major trigger of fertility decline and sustained economic development. In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the HIV/AIDS epidemic has had a devastating impact on mortality, dramatically reversing the long-term positive trend in life expectancies in high HIV-prevalence countries. Moreover, SSA is experiencing a delayed and slower fertility transition compared to other world regions and there is growing empirical evidence highlighting the potential for a paralysis, or even a reversal, of the fertility transition in countries with severe HIV epidemics. This work builds on a unified growth theory-like general equilibrium model combined with HIV spread, where mortality endogenously feeds back into fertility and education decisions. The model supports the evidence of an HIV-triggered fertility reversal in SSA via the fall in education and human capital investments due to increased adult mortality, which eventually breaks the switch from quantity to quality of children. Fertility reversal is predicted to be more likely to occur in countries experiencing severe HIV epidemics, and its effects may persist even under successful scenarios of HIV control. These results suggest that the alarming possibility of a paralysis in the fertility transition, which so far has aroused little concern among international organizations, e.g., in the last round of UN population projections, should be seriously considered with a view to prioritizing policy interventions.
The paper tests the idea that major demographic shifts can affect housing prices. We first build an overlapping generation model and analytically solve for the equilibrium price of the asset. The model predicts that economies with a higher fraction of old people in the overall population have lower house prices. We empirically test this hypothesis using data on house prices and demographic variables from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). We find that if population growth increases by one percentage point, house price growth increases by 1.4 percentage points.
We introduce a new modelling framework to explain socio-economic differences in mortality in terms of an affluence index that combines information on individual wealth and income. The model is illustrated using data on older Danish males over the period 1985–2012 reported in the Statistics Denmark national register database. The model fits the historical mortality data well, captures their key features, generates smoothed death rates that allow us to work with a larger number of sub-groups than has previously been considered feasible, and has plausible projection properties.
Most hospital payment systems based on diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) provide payments for newly approved technologies. In Germany, they are negotiated between individual hospitals and health insurances. The aim of our study is to assess the functioning of temporary reimbursement mechanisms. We used multilevel logistic regression to examine factors at the hospital and state levels that are associated with agreeing innovation payments. Dependent variable was whether or not a hospital had successfully negotiated innovation payments in 2013 (n = 1532). Using agreement data of the yearly budget negotiations between each German hospital and representatives of the health insurances, the study comprises all German acute hospitals and innovation payments on all diagnoses. In total, 32.9% of the hospitals successfully negotiated innovation payments in 2013. We found that the chance of receiving innovation payments increased if the hospital was located in areas with a high degree of competition and if they were large, had university status and were private for-profit entities. Our study shows an implicit self-controlled selection of hospitals receiving innovation payments. While implicitly encouraging safety of patient care, policy makers should favour a more direct and transparent process of distributing innovation payments in prospective payment systems.
US women, on average, had approximately two children in both the 1930s and in the 1970s, yet the fertility distribution in the 1930s was less concentrated. This implies change in reproductive behavior, which cannot be captured by models focusing on average fertility. To explain these changes, I have developed a model that makes a distinction between sons and daughters. In this model, the female labor force participation rate is the probability of each girl becoming an employed woman. This endogenizes the empirically observed difference in the propensity for an all-girl household to have another child compared to an all-boy household, generating large fertility differentials at low participation rates. Higher participation rates raise the expected return from an additional child, as well as the expected return from existing daughters. The first effect tends to increase fertility, while the second effect, for relatively concave utility functions, tends to decrease it, so that the distribution of completed fertilities becomes more concentrated.
Female family headship has strong implications for endemic poverty in the United States. Consequently, it is imperative to explore the chief factors that contribute to this problem. Departing from prior literature that places significant weight on welfare-incentive effects, our study highlights the role of male marriageability in explaining the prevalence of never-married female family headship for blacks and whites. Specifically, we examine racial differences in the effect of male marriageability on never-married female headship from 1980 to 2010. By exploiting data from IPUMS-USA (N = 4,958,722) and exogenous variation from state-level sentencing reforms, the study finds that the decline in the relative supply of marriageable males significantly increases the incidence of never-married female family headship for blacks but not for whites.
Following the EU Gender Directive, that obliges insurance companies to charge the same premium to policyholders of different genders, we address the issue of calculating solvency capital requirements (SCRs) for pure endowments and annuities issued to mixed portfolios. The main theoretical result is that, if the unisex fairness principle is adopted for the unisex premium, the SCR at issuing time of the mixed portfolio calculated with unisex survival probabilities is greater than the sum of the SCRs of the gender-based subportfolios. Numerical results show that for pure endowments the gap between the two is negligible, but for lifetime annuities the gap can be as high as 3–4%. We also analyze some conservative pricing procedures that deviate from the unisex fairness principle, and find that they lead to SCRs that are lower than the sum of the gender-based SCRs because the policyholders are overcharged at issuing time.
The pension system brings challenges in many high-income countries. While the system was set up at the time of economic growth, policymakers are facing both economic slowdown and aging population. Moreover, there is an incentive mis-match between short to medium term popularity and re-election versus taking necessary decisions to affect long-term sustainability of the system. In a small open economy, the situation is further accentuated by high volatility driven by migrations and cross-borders workers. This paper aims to address the policymakers’ challenges and develops an innovative model, whose main contribution is the way it reflects the cross-border workers’ contribution and impact. Therefore, it allows to not only assess the state liabilities, but also the evolution of the age pyramid with a significant portion of new migrants and cross-border workers, considering the high volatility of workers. It also provides an approach to analyze issues at stake and remove decision biases faced by politicians through policy options and their impact under various economic scenarios. With the model in hand, we analyze three different scenarios for the future evolution of Luxembourg's pension system. In all three scenarios, the results reflect a significant imbalance of the pension system over time (to 2060), going from 1.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) surplus in the best scenario to 14.2% of GDP deficit in the worst scenario. The probability of this worst scenario is related with a worsening of the economic situation, with job destruction and a drop in economic growth impacting cross-border commuters and net migrations.
Like in a number of other transition countries, the Croatian pension system comprises a traditional public pay-as-you-go scheme and a mandatory funded scheme (second pillar) that will provide increasing amounts of supplementary pensions to those entering retirement in the future. Due to the continuing economic crisis, the public scheme is currently under enormous financial strain, with a sizeable impact on central government finances. At the same time, the level of benefits deriving from the overall system is likely to become inadequately low in the long run. In this paper, we describe the existing system and project its future development under current rules. We also discuss options for further reforming the system and highlight their potential impact on pension finances, public budgets and retirement incomes, as this may provide lessons, which are of interest elsewhere.
There is an extensive literature discussing how individuals’ marriage behavior changes as a country develops. However, no existing data set allows an explicit investigation of the relationship between marriage and economic development. In this paper, we construct new cross-country panel data on marital statistics for 16 OECD countries from 1900 to 2000, in order to analyze such a relationship. We use this data set, together with cross-country data on real GDP per capita and the value added share of agriculture, manufacturing, and services sectors, to document two novel stylized facts. First, the fraction of a country’s population that is married displays a hump-shaped relationship with the level of real GDP per capita. Second, the fraction of the married correlates positively with the share of manufacturing in GDP. We conclude that the stage of economic development of a country is a key factor that affects individuals’ family formation decisions.
The historical evolution of the EU–US unemployment-rate gap is often explained in the literature in terms of asymmetric changes in labor-market institutions. There may well also be asymmetries in population aging, which may generate international capital flows and have substantial impacts on relative unemployment rates. In this paper, we ask whether the combination of institutions, aging, and capital flows explains the rise in the unemployment gap between 1960 and 2010. To this end, we set up a two-region OLG model with search unemployment in which we introduce the historical and projected changes in labor-market institutions and demographics. We show that asymmetric institutional changes alone can reproduce a large part of the historical rise in the unemployment gap. However, this result no longer holds once we add asymmetric aging in closed economies. We find this initial result again, and in an even stronger form, when we allow for international capital mobility.
Numerous primary investigators collected and processed long-termed time series on German educational statistics in the context of their studies. As a result, there are a multitude of quantitative empirical studies. On the one hand, there is the project group on German Educational Statistics.1 Its projects were targeted at describing and analyzing the long-term structural changes of the German educational system on a broad empirical and statistical basis. On the other hand, there are comprehensive data compilations of individual research projects, focusing on a wide variety of special educational research topics. The online database “histat” provides central digital access to these datasets on German educational history. Currently, it offers more than 120,000 long-term time series on the German educational system for a period of 200 years. The striking size of the database shows its key importance for researchers in the field of education. Thus, this paper aims to provide useful insights into the background of the database, the special characteristics of the data compilations and their analytical potential. Additionally, examples are given of how the data have already been used by researchers.
While there may be an important, but transitory, cyclical component in the poor performance of the past decade, we will emphasise the secular forces: the impact of demographic structure and innovation. We draw on the empirical and theoretical work reported in Aksoy, Basso, Smith and Grasl (2015), ABSG, about the impact of changes in demographic structure on macroeconomic outcomes. This suggests that changes in age profile not only have significant implications for savings, investment, real interest rates and growth but also for innovation. The size of the effects seems plausible. For instance, if in 2015 the UK had the 1970 age structure, it would have added 0.68 percentage points to the long-run annual growth rate. The model suggests that the population ageing predicted for the next decades will tend to reduce output growth and real interest rates across OECD countries.
This paper shows that differences in fertility across European countries mainly emerge due to fewer women having two children in low-fertility countries. It further suggests that childcare services are an important determinant for the transition to a second child to occur. The theoretical framework we propose suggests that (i) in countries where childcare coverage is low, there is a U-shaped relationship between a couple’s probability of having a second child and the woman’s potential wage, whereas (ii) in countries with easy access to childcare, this probability is positively related with the woman’s potential wage. Data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) confirm these implications when estimating a woman’s probability of having a second child as a function of education. This implies that middle-income women are the most affected ones by the lack of access to formal and subsidized childcare.
We assess Africa's prospects for enjoying a demographic dividend. While fertility rates and dependency ratios in Africa remain high, they have started to decline. According to UN projections, they will fall further in the coming decades such that by the mid-21st century, the ratio of the working age to dependent population will be greater than in Asia, Europe, and Northern America. This projection suggests Africa has considerable potential to enjoy a demographic dividend. Whether and when it actually materializes, and also its magnitude, hinges on policies and institutions in key realms that include macroeconomic management, human capital, trade, governance, and labor and capital markets. Given strong complementarities among these areas, coordinated policies will likely be most effective in generating the momentum needed to pull Africa's economies out of a development trap.
In this paper, we document the economic implications of changing demographic conditions in Africa. To construct support ratios, we use National Transfer Accounts (NTA) estimates of per capita labor income and consumption by age, as well as population estimates and projections provided by the UN Population Division for 16 African countries. First, we find that, on average, support ratios are rising in Africa. But compared with the support ratios in Asia and Latin America, the magnitude of those in Africa is lower because the percentage of effective workers in the total population is also low. Second, we find that human capital spending is high in countries with low fertility rates, which suggests a quantity–quality trade-off. NTA estimates also show that to capitalize on the demographic dividend, countries have to create economic opportunities for young adults. In addition, investment in human and physical capital is important to generate the second demographic dividend.
The aim of this paper is to study the long-run effects of a longevity increase on individual decisions about education and retirement, taking macroeconomic repercussions through endogenous factor prices and the pension system into account. We build a model of a closed economy inhabited by overlapping generations of finitely-lived individuals whose labour productivity depends on their age through the build-up of labour market experience and the depreciation of human capital. We make two contributions to the literature on the macroeconomics of population ageing. First, we show that it is important to recognize that a longer life need not imply a more productive life and that this matters for the affordability of an unfunded pension system. Second, we find that factor prices could move in a direction opposite to the one accepted as conventional wisdom following an increase in longevity, if this increase is accompanied by a sufficient decline in the rate of human capital depreciation.