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Hidden information problems in the design of family allowances

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  • Alessandro Cigno

    ()

  • Annalisa Luporini

    ()

  • Anna Pettini

    ()

Abstract

We consider the optimal determination of family allowances in a model where some of the parents have higher ability to raise children than others. First-best policy gives both types of parents the same level of utility. If neither parental ability nor parental actions are fully observable, however, the policy maker has to take into account the incentive-compatibility constraint that more able parents should not find it profitable to mis-represent their true ability by investing less in their children, and having a lower number of children. The second-best policy induces more able parents to have the first-best number of children, and to invest in each child at the first-best level. Less able parents are induced to have fewer children than in first best, and will underinvest in each child. Whether the government should subsidize more the more able parents, or the less able ones, depends on the properties of the cost function. In second best, however, less able parents will end up with lower utility than more able parents whatever the cost function. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2004

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 645-655

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:17:y:2004:i:4:p:645-655

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Keywords: D13; D82; H31; J13; J24; Family allowances; parental ability; hidden information; agency problem; optimal taxation;

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References

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  1. Vieira, José A. Cabral & Cardoso, Ana Rute & Portela, Miguel, 2003. "Recruitment and Pay at the Establishment Level: Gender Segregation and the Wage Gap in Portugal," IZA Discussion Papers 789, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Mueser, Peter R. & Troske, Kenneth & Gorislavsky, Alexey, 2003. "Using State Administrative Data to Measure Program Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 786, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance & Todd, Petra E., 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," IZA Discussion Papers 775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Andrea Borgarello & Pietro Garibaldi & Lia Pacelli, 2003. "Employment Protection Legislation and the Size of Firms," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 23, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  5. Büchel, Felix & Frick, Joachim R., 2003. "Immigrants in the UK and in West Germany – Relative Income Position, Income Portfolio, and Redistribution Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 788, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Alessandro Cigno & Annalisa Luporini & Anna Pettini, 2004. "Hidden information problems in the design of family allowances," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 645-655, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Cigno, Alessandro, 2009. "How to Avoid a Pension Crisis: A Question of Intelligent System Design," IZA Policy Papers 4, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Honekamp, Ivonne, 2008. "Declining Fertility in Europe – An Economic Appraisal," MPRA Paper 15848, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2008.
  3. Alessandro Cigno & Annalisa Luporini, 2009. "Optimal family policy in the presence of moral hazard, when the quantity and quality of children are stochastic," CHILD Working Papers wp13_09, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  4. Helmuth Cremer & Firouz Gahvari & Pierre Pestieau, 2008. "Pensions with heterogenous individuals and endogenous fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 961-981, October.
  5. Alessandro Cigno & Annalisa Luporini, 2006. "Optimal Policy Towards Families with Different Amounts of Social Capital, in the Presence of Asymmetric Information and Stochastic Fertility," CESifo Working Paper Series 1664, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Cigno, Alessandro & Luporini, Annalisa & Pettini, Anna, 2003. "Hidden Information Problems in the Design of Family Allowances," IZA Discussion Papers 790, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Luciano Fanti & Luca Gori, 2013. "Fertility-related pensions and cyclical instability," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 1209-1232, July.
  8. Bas van Groezen & Lex Meijdam, 2004. "Growing Old and Staying Young: Population Policy in an Ageing Closed Economy," Working Papers 04-28, Utrecht School of Economics.
  9. Martin Werding, 2014. "Children are costly, but raising them may pay," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(8), pages 253-276, January.

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