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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. Kuhn, Michael & Wrzaczek, Stefan & Prskawetz, Alexia & Feichtinger, Gustav, 2012. "Optimal choice of health and retirement in a life-cycle model," ECON WPS - Vienna University of Technology Working Papers in Economic Theory and Policy 01/2012, Vienna University of Technology, Institute for Mathematical Methods in Economics, Research Group Economics (ECON).
  2. Juan Carlos Cordoba & Marla Ripoll, 2011. "What Explains Schooling Differences Across Countries?," Working Papers 2011-028, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  3. Juan Cordoba, 2012. "Children and the Wealth of Nations," 2012 Meeting Papers 1052, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. 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.
  5. Kuhn, Michael & Wrzaczek, Stefan & Prskawetz, Alexia & Feichtinger, Gustav, 2011. "Externalities in a life cycle model with endogenous survival," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 627-641.
  6. 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 600, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).

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