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On the Importance of Fertility Behavior in School Finance Policy Design

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  • Kuzey Yilmaz

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    (Department of Economics, University of Rochester)

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    Abstract

    To design an optimal education policy, it is essential to account for the fertility differential between the poor and the rich because it affects the human capital investment through the child quantity-quality tradeoff of children. We develop a dynamic general equilibrium in which parents choose the quantity of children, transfer a preschool ability to their children, determine the quality of children by choosing private expenditures on basic education in addition to public expenditures on basic education, leave a bequest that could be used to finance college education. Moreover, there is an uncertainty in college completion depending on ability and endogenous wage determination based on the amount of schooling in the economy. It is very important to consider general equilibrium effects because the change in either fertility behavior or college outcomes as a result of policy changes leads to a large change in aggregate skill distribution. We find that ignoring fertility behavior, especially differential fertility substantially underestimates the role of credit constraints in the economy. We also analyze the impact of basic education subsidies and college subsidies on welfare, inequality, and intergenerational mobility. Strikingly, the choice between these two policies is found to be dependent on the magnitude of differential fertility rate.

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    File URL: http://eaf.ku.edu.tr/sites/eaf.ku.edu.tr/files/erf_wp_1403.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum in its series Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers with number 1403.

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    Length: 24 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2014
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:koc:wpaper:1403

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    Keywords: differential fertility; human capital investment; education subsidies; general equilibrium; inequality; intergenerational mobility.;

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    7. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
    8. DE LA CROIX, David & DOEPKE, Matthias, 2001. "Inequality and Growth : Why Differential Fertility Matters," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2001008, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    9. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, . "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 85-11, Chicago - Population Research Center.
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    16. Galor, Oded & Zang, Hyoungsoo, 1997. "Fertility, income distribution, and economic growth: Theory and cross-country evidence," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 197-229, May.
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    19. Caucutt, Elizabeth M. & Kumar, Krishna B., 2003. "Higher education subsidies and heterogeneity: a dynamic analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1459-1502, June.
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    21. Hanushek, Eric & Yilmaz, Kuzey, 2007. "The complementarity of Tiebout and Alonso," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 243-261, June.
    22. Casey B. Mulligan, 1999. "Galton versus the Human Capital Approach to Inheritance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S184-S224, December.
    23. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
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