IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/pubeco/v93y2009i1-2p280-295.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Altruism, fertility, and the value of children: Health policy evaluation and intergenerational welfare

Author

Listed:
  • Birchenall, Javier A.
  • Soares, Rodrigo R.

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 a "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 of the recent U.S. experience, the estimated welfare gain of a young adult from reductions in mortality easily doubles.

Suggested Citation

  • 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:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:1-2:p:280-295
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047-2727(08)00115-1
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mikhail Golosov & Larry E. Jones & Michèle Tertilt, 2007. "Efficiency with Endogenous Population Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(4), pages 1039-1071, July.
    2. Gary S. Becker & Julio Jorge Elías, 2007. "Introducing Incentives in the Market for Live and Cadaveric Organ Donations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 3-24, Summer.
    3. Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 277-291, March.
    4. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Valuing Health Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 241-245, May.
    5. Cameron, Trudy Ann & DeShazo, J.R., 2013. "Demand for health risk reductions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 87-109.
    6. Cigno, Alessandro, 2006. "The political economy of intergenerational cooperation," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, in: S. Kolm & Jean Mercier Ythier (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Giving, Altruism and Reciprocity, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 25, pages 1505-1558, Elsevier.
    7. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem, 2002. "Does the Mortality Decline Promote Economic Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 411-439, December.
    8. Dan Usher, 1973. "The Measurement of Economic Growth," Working Paper 145, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    9. Sah, Raaj Kumar, 1991. "The Effects of Child Mortality Changes on Fertility Choice and Parental Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 582-606, June.
    10. Cox, Donald & Rank, Mark R, 1992. "Inter-vivos Transfers and Intergenerational Exchange," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 305-314, May.
    11. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The Macroeconomics of Child Labor Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1492-1524, December.
    12. W. Kip Viscusi & Wesley A. Magat & Joel Huber, 1987. "An Investigation of the Rationality of Consumer Valuations of Multiple Health Risks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(4), pages 465-479, Winter.
    13. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Child Health and Household Resources in South Africa: Evidence from the Old Age Pension Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 393-398, May.
    14. Angus Deaton, 2004. "Health in an Age of Globalization," NBER Working Papers 10669, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Rosen, Sherwin, 1988. "The Value of Changes in Life Expectancy," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 285-304, September.
    16. Jones-Lee, M W, 1992. "Paternalistic Altruism and the Value of Statistical Life," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(410), pages 80-90, January.
    17. Dickie, Mark & Messman, Victoria L., 2004. "Parental altruism and the value of avoiding acute illness: are kids worth more than parents?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 1146-1174, November.
    18. Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
    19. Robin R. Jenkins & Nicole Owens & Lanelle Bembenek Wiggins, 2001. "Valuing Reduced Risks To Children: The Case Of Bicycle Safety Helmets," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(4), pages 397-408, October.
    20. repec:pri:rpdevs:deaton_healthglobalage is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Cropper, Maureen L & Sussman, Frances G, 1988. "Families and the Economics of Risks to Life," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 255-260, March.
    22. Soares, Rodrigo R., 2006. "The welfare cost of violence across countries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 821-846, September.
    23. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "The Family and the State," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-18, April.
    24. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 2006. "Benefit-Cost in a Benevolent Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 339-351, March.
    25. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_healthglobalage is not listed on IDEAS
    26. Mark D. Agee & Thomas D. Crocker, 1996. "Parental Altruism and Child Lead Exposure: Inferences from the Demand for Chelation Therapy," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 677-691.
    27. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_healthglobalage.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    28. Cropper, Maureen L & Aydede, Sema K & Portney, Paul R, 1992. "Rates of Time Preference for Saving Lives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 469-472, May.
    29. Mark Dickie, 2005. "Parental Behavior and the Value of Children's Health: A Health Production Approach," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 855-872, April.
    30. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1997. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1121-1166, December.
    31. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1988. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25.
    32. Cameron, Trudy Ann & DeShazo, J.R. & Johnson, Erica H., 2010. "The effect of children on adult demands for health-risk reductions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 364-376, May.
    33. Jin‐Tan Liu & James K. Hammitt & Jung‐Der Wang & Jin‐Long Liu, 2000. "Mother's willingness to pay for her own and her child's health: a contingent valuation study in Taiwan," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 319-326, June.
    34. Joyce, Theodore J. & Grossman, Michael & Goldman, Fred, 1989. "An assessment of the benefits of air pollution control: The case of infant health," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 32-51, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Córdoba, Juan Carlos & Ripoll, Marla, 2013. "What explains schooling differences across countries?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 184-202.
    2. Juan Carlos Córdoba & Marla Ripoll, 2019. "The Elasticity of Intergenerational Substitution, Parental Altruism, and Fertility Choice," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(5), pages 1935-1972.
    3. Martine AUDIBERT, 2009. "Issues and Challenges of Measurement of Health:Implications for Economic Research," Working Papers 200922, CERDI.
    4. Kuhn, Michael & Wrzaczek, Stefan & Prskawetz, Alexia & Feichtinger, Gustav, 2015. "Optimal choice of health and retirement in a life-cycle model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 158(PA), pages 186-212.
    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 Cerqueira & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2016. "The Welfare Cost of Homicides in Brazil: Accounting for Heterogeneity in the Willingness to Pay for Mortality Reductions," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 259-276, March.
    7. Marla Ripoll & Juan Carlos Cordoba, 2011. "A Contribution to the Economic Theory of Fertility," 2011 Meeting Papers 1207, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Juan Cordoba, 2012. "Children and the Wealth of Nations," 2012 Meeting Papers 1052, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Wilson, Nicholas, 2018. "Altruism in preventive health behavior: At-scale evidence from the HIV/AIDS pandemic," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 119-129.
    10. Atolia, Manoj & Papageorgiou, Chris & Turnovsky, Stephen, 2017. "Private and Public Health Investment Decisions," MPRA Paper 79842, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Value of life Mortality Fertility Altruism Intergenerational welfare Willingness to pay;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:1-2:p:280-295. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.