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Timing of childbirth, capital accumulation, and economic welfare

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  • Akira Momota
  • Ryo Horii

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of the timing of childbirth on capital accumulation and welfare in a simple overlapping generations model, where each agent lives for four periods and works for two periods. We show that delayed childbearing not only reduces population, but also generates fluctuations in the age composition of workers in the labour force. This causes the aggregate saving rate to fluctuate, which leads to cycles in the capital--labour ratio. When all agents delay childbearing, we analytically show that both the capital--labour ratio and the welfare of all agents can fall in the long run, despite the population decline. When a fraction of agents delay childbearing, it has differential welfare effects on agents depending on their positions in the demographic cycles. The effects of lower lifetime fertility and technological progress are also examined. Copyright 2013 Oxford University Press 2012 All rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 65 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 494-522

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:65:y:2013:i:2:p:494-522

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  1. Kasey Buckles, 2008. "Understanding the Returns to Delayed Childbearing for Working Women," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 403-07, May.
  2. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2002. "Does the Mortality Decline Promote Economic Growth?," Macroeconomics 0212008, EconWPA.
  3. Cigno, Alessandro & Ermisch, John, 1989. "A microeconomic analysis of the timing of births," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 737-760, April.
  4. Tomás Sobotka, 2004. "Is Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe Explained by the Postponement of Childbearing?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(2), pages 195-220.
  5. Zhang, Jie & Zhang, Junsen, 2007. "Optimal social security in a dynastic model with investment externalities and endogenous fertility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 3545-3567, November.
  6. Yew, Siew Ling & Zhang, Jie, 2009. "Optimal social security in a dynastic model with human capital externalities, fertility and endogenous growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 605-619, April.
  7. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem, 2003. "A stochastic model of mortality, fertility, and human capital investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 103-118, February.
  8. Tamura, Robert, 2006. "Human capital and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 26-72, February.
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  10. Blackburn, Keith & Cipriani, Giam Pietro, 2002. "A model of longevity, fertility and growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 187-204, February.
  11. Charles H. Mullin & Ping Wang, 2002. "The Timing of Childbearing among Heterogeneous Women in Dynamic General Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 9231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Iyigun, Murat F., 2000. "Timing of childbearing and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 255-269, February.
  13. d'Albis, Hippolyte, 2007. "Demographic structure and capital accumulation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 411-434, January.
  14. Tullio Jappelli & Franco Modigliani, 1998. "The Age-Saving Profile and the Life-Cycle Hypothesis," CSEF Working Papers 09, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  15. Mark Berger, 1989. "Demographic Cycles, Cohort Size, and Earnings," Demography, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 311-321, May.
  16. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
  17. Hippolyte d'Albis & Emmanuelle Augeraud-Véron & Katheline Schubert, 2010. "Demo-economic equilibria when childbearing age is endogenous," LERNA Working Papers 10.04.310, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
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