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Altruism, Fertility, and the Value of Children: Health Policy Evaluation and Intergenerational Welfare

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  • Javier A. Birchenall
  • Rodrigo R. Soares

Abstract

This paper accounts for the value of children and future generations in the evaluation of health policies. This is achieved through the incorporation of altruism and fertility in "value of life" type of framework. We are able to express adults' willingness to pay for changes in child mortality and also to incorporate the welfare of future generations in the evaluation of current policies. Our model clarifies a series of puzzles from the literature on the "value of life" and on intergenerational welfare comparisons. We show that, by incorporating altruism and fertility into the analysis, the estimated welfare gain from recent reductions in mortality in the U.S. easily doubles.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12836.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Publication status: published as Birchenall, Javier A. & Soares, Rodrigo R., 2009. "Altruism, fertility, and the value of children: Health policy evaluation and intergenerational welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 280-295, February.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12836

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Cited by:
  1. Juan Cordoba, 2012. "Children and the Wealth of Nations," 2012 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 1052, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Córdoba, Juan Carlos & Ripoll, Marla, 2013. "What explains schooling differences across countries?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 184-202.
  3. Cordoba, Juan Carlos & Ripoll, Marla, 2011. "A Contribution to the Economic Theory of Fertility," Staff General Research Papers 33899, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Daniel R.C. Cerqueira & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2012. "The Welfare Cost of Homicides in Brazil: Accounting for Heterogeneity in the Willingness to Pay for Mortality Reductions," Textos para discussão, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil) 600, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  5. Kuhn, Michael & Wrzaczek, Stefan & Prskawetz, Alexia & Feichtinger, Gustav, 2011. "Optimal Choice of Health and Retirement in a Life-Cycle Model," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48681, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  6. Michael Kuhn & Stefan Wrzaczek & Alexia Prskawetz & Gustav Feichtinger, 2010. "Externalities in a Life-Cycle Model with Endogenous Survival," Working Papers, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna 1001, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.

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