Demographic economics

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Demographic economics or population economics is the application of economic analysis to demography, the study of human populations, including size, growth, density, distribution, and vital statistics. [1] [2]

Demography The science that deals with populations and their structures statistically and theoretically

Demography is the statistical study of populations, especially human beings. As a very general science, it can analyze any kind of dynamic living population, i.e., one that changes over time or space. Demography encompasses the study of the size, structure, and distribution of these populations, and spatial or temporal changes in them in response to birth, migration, aging, and death. Based on the demographic research of the earth, earth's population up to the year 2050 and 2100 can be estimated by demographers. Demographics are quantifiable characteristics of a given population.

Population All the organisms of a given species that live in the specified region

In biology, a population is all the organisms of the same group or species, which live in a particular geographical area, and have the capability of interbreeding. The area of a sexual population is the area where inter-breeding is potentially possible between any pair within the area, and where the probability of interbreeding is greater than the probability of cross-breeding with individuals from other areas.

In population genetics and population ecology, population size is the number of individual organisms in a population. Population size is directly associated with amount of genetic drift, and is the underlying cause of effects like population bottlenecks and the founder effect. Genetic drift is the major source of decrease of genetic diversity within populations which drives fixation and can potentially lead to speciation events.



Aspects of the subject include

Total fertility rate average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime

The total fertility rate (TFR), sometimes also called the fertility rate, absolute/potential natality, period total fertility rate (PTFR), or total period fertility rate (TPFR) of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime if:

  1. She was to experience the exact current age-specific fertility rates (ASFRs) through her lifetime, and
  2. She was to survive from birth to the end of her reproductive life.

Family economics applies economic concepts such as production, division of labor, distribution, and decision making to the study of the family. It tries to explain outcomes unique to family—such as marriage, the decision to have children, fertility, polygamy, time devoted to domestic production, and dowry payments using economic analysis.

Life expectancy Statistical measure of how long a person or organism may live, based on factors of their life

Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, its current age and other demographic factors including gender. The most commonly used measure of life expectancy is at birth (LEB), which can be defined in two ways. Cohort LEB is the mean length of life of an actual birth cohort and can be computed only for cohorts born many decades ago, so that all their members have died. Period LEB is the mean length of life of a hypothetical cohort assumed to be exposed, from birth through death, to the mortality rates observed at a given year.

Other subfields include measuring value of life [53] [54] and the economics of the elderly [55] [56] [57] and the handicapped [58] [59] [60] and of gender, [61] [62] [63] race, minorities, and non-labor discrimination. [64] [65] In coverage and subfields, it complements labor economics [66] [67] and implicates a variety of other economics subjects. [68] [69] [70]

The value of life is an economic value used to quantify the benefit of avoiding a fatality. It is also referred to as the cost of life, value of preventing a fatality (VPF) and implied cost of averting a fatality (ICAF). In social and political sciences, it is the marginal cost of death prevention in a certain class of circumstances. In many studies the value also includes the quality of life, the expected life time remaining, as well as the earning potential of a given person especially for an after the fact payment in a wrongful death claim lawsuit.


The Journal of Economic Literature classification codes are a way of categorizing subjects in economics. There, Demographic Economics is paired with Labor Economics as one of 19 primary classifications at JEL: J. [71] It has 8 subareas, which are listed below with JEL-code links to corresponding available article-preview links of The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics (2008) Online:

The Journal of Economic Literature is a peer-reviewed academic journal, published by the American Economic Association, that surveys the academic literature in economics. It was established in 1963 as the Journal of Economic Abstracts, and is currently one of the highest ranked journals in economics. As a review journal, it mainly features essays and reviews of recent economic theories. The editor-in-chief is Steven Durlauf.

Labour economics seeks to understand the functioning and dynamics of the markets for wage labour.

Articles in economics journals are usually classified according to the JEL classification codes, a system originated by the Journal of Economic Literature. The JEL is published quarterly by the American Economic Association (AEA) and contains survey articles and information on recently published books and dissertations. The AEA maintains EconLit, a searchable data base of citations for articles, books, reviews, dissertations, and working papers classified by JEL codes for the years from 1969. A recent addition to EconLit is indexing of economics-journal articles from 1886 to 1968 parallel to the print series Index of Economic Articles.

JEL: J10 (all) – General
JEL: J11 – Demographic Trends and Forecasts
JEL: J12Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
JEL: J13Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
JEL: J14 – Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped
JEL: J15 – Economics of Minorities and Races; Non-labor Discrimination
JEL: J16 – Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
JEL: J17Value of life; Foregone Income
JEL: J18 – Public Policy.

See also

The cost of raising a child varies from country to country.

Generational accounting is a method of measuring the fiscal burdens facing today's and tomorrow's children. Laurence Kotlikoff's individual and co-authored work on the relativity of fiscal language demonstrates that conventional fiscal measures, including the government's deficit, are not well defined from the perspective of economic theory. Instead, their measurement reflects economically arbitrary fiscal labeling conventions. "Economics labeling problem," as Kotlikoff calls it, has led to gross misreadings of the fiscal positions of different countries, starting with the United States, which has a relatively small debt-to-GDP ratio, but is, arguably, in worse fiscal shape than any developed country. Kotlikoff's identification of economics labeling problem, beginning with his 1984 Deficit Delusion article in The Public Interest led him to push for generational accounting, a term he coined and that provides the title for his 1993 book, Generational Accounting.


Income and fertility

Income and fertility is the association between monetary gain on one hand, and the tendency to produce offspring on the other. There is generally an inverse correlation between income and the total fertility rate within and between nations. The higher the degree of education and GDP per capita of a human population, subpopulation or social stratum, the fewer children are born in any industrialized country. In a 1974 UN population conference in Bucharest, Karan Singh, a former minister of population in India, illustrated this trend by stating "Development is the best contraceptive."

Demographic dividend, as defined by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) means, "the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure, mainly when the share of the working-age population is larger than the non-working-age share of the population ". In other words, it is “a boost in economic productivity that occurs when there are growing numbers of people in the workforce relative to the number of dependents.” UNFPA stated that, “A country with both increasing numbers of young people and declining fertility has the potential to reap a demographic dividend.

Demographic transition transition from high birth and death rates to lower birth and death rates as a country or region develops from a pre-industrial to an industrialized economic system

The existence of some kind of demographic transition is widely accepted in the social sciences because of the well-established historical correlation linking dropping fertility to social and economic development. Scholars debate whether industrialization and higher incomes lead to lower population, or whether lower populations lead to industrialization and higher incomes. Scholars also debate to what extent various proposed and sometimes inter-related factors such as higher per capita income, lower mortality, old-age security, and rise of demand for human capital are involved.


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B. Douglas Bernheim is an American professor of Economics, currently the Edward Ames Edmunds Professor of Economics at Stanford University; his previous academic appointments have included an endowed chair in Economics and Business Policy at Princeton University and an endowed chair in Insurance and Risk Management at Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Department of Finance. He has published many articles in academic journals, and has received a number of awards recognizing his contributions to the field of economics. He is a Partner with Bates White, LLC an economic consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C. and San Diego, California.


"Ageing Populations," pp. 1-3, by Robert L. Clark
"Declining Population," pp. 10-15, by Robin Barlow
"Demographic Transition," pp. 16-23, by Ansley J. Coale
"Extended Family," pp. 58-63, by Oliva Harris
"Family," pp. 65-76, by Gary S. Becker
"Fertility," pp.77-89, by Richard A. Easterlin
"Gender," pp. 95-108, by Francine D. Blau
"Race and Economics," pp. 215-218, by H. Stanback
"Value of Life," pp.289-76, by Thomas C. Schelling