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Hidden Information Problems in the Design of Family Allowances

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  • Cigno, Alessandro

    ()
    (University of Florence)

  • Luporini, Annalisa

    ()
    (University of Florence)

  • Pettini, Anna

    ()
    (University of Florence)

Abstract

We consider a case 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 parental actions are not 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 misrepresent 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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 790.

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Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2004, 17 (4), 645-655
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp790

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Keywords: optimal taxation; family allowances; parental ability; hidden information; agency problem;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," NBER Working Papers 9732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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).
  5. Peter R. Mueser & Kenneth R. Troske & Alexey Gorislavsky, 2006. "Using State Administrative Data to Measure Program Performance," Working Papers 0702, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  6. Vieira, José António 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).
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Cited by:
  1. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz & Pestieau, Pierre, 2004. "Pensions with Heterogenous Individuals and Endogenous Fertility," IDEI Working Papers 313, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Fanti, Luciano & Gori, Luca, 2010. "Fertility-related pensions and cyclical instability," MPRA Paper 20221, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Bas Groezen & Lex Meijdam, 2008. "Growing old and staying young: population policy in an ageing closed economy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 573-588, July.
  4. 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.
  5. Honekamp, Ivonne, 2008. "Declining Fertility in Europe – An Economic Appraisal," MPRA Paper 15848, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2008.
  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. 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.
  8. Alessandro Cigno, 2009. "How to Avoid a Pension Crisis: A Question of Intelligent System Design," CESifo Working Paper Series 2590, CESifo Group Munich.
  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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