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Habit Formation, Dynastic Altruism, And Population Dynamics

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  • Schäfer, Andreas
  • Valente, Simone

Abstract

We study the general equilibrium properties of two growth models with overlapping generations, habit formation and endogenous fertility. In the neoclassical model, habits modify the economy's growth rate and generate transitional dynamics in fertility; station- ary income per capita is associated with either increasing or decreasing population and output, depending on the strength of habits. In the AK specification, growing population and increasing consumption per capita require that the habit coefficient lie within definite boundaries; outside the critical interval, positive growth is associated with either declining consumption due to overcrowding, or extinction paths with declining population. In both frameworks, habits reduce fertility: the trade-off between second-period consumption and spending for bequests prompts agents to decrease fertility in order to make parental altru- ism less costly. This mechanism suggests that status-dependent preferences may explain part of the decline in fertility rates observed in most developed economies.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Macroeconomic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2011)
Issue (Month): 03 (June)
Pages: 365-397

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Handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:15:y:2011:i:03:p:365-397_00

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Cited by:
  1. Edward J. Balistreri & Russell H. Hillberry & Thomas F. Rutherford, 2008. "Structural Estimation and Solution of International Trade Models with Heterogeneous Firms," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1056, The University of Melbourne.
  2. Edward J. Balistreri & Russell H. Hillberry & Thomas F. Rutherford, 2009. "Trade and Welfare: Does Industrial Organization Matter?," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 09/119, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.

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