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The Long-Run Impact on Population and Income of Open Access to Land in a Model with Parental Altruism

  • Jon D. Harford

    (Cleveland State University)

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    Steady state levels of population and per capita income are examined using a Becker-Barro (1988) style of model of an economy with identical altruistic parents bearing costly children who receive bequests of capital and land. Inspired by the work of North (1981) and others, the problem of open access land with ancillary negative effects on private (but not public) productivity of capital is examined. It is seen that open access to land can lead to overpopulation in a ceteris paribus sense, and yet yield a steady-state population below that which would exist in a regime of complete private property rights, a situation with higher stead-state utility. A specific example is explored to illustrate the relationships between the steady-state levels of endogenous variables and parameter values.

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    File URL: http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/eej/Archive/Volume26/V26N4P419_429.pdf
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    Article provided by Eastern Economic Association in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 26 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
    Pages: 419-429

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    Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:26:y:2000:i:4:p:419-429
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    1. Edward L. Glaeser & Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1999. "Population and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 145-149, May.
    2. Harford, Jon D., 1997. "Stock Pollution, Child-Bearing Externalities, and the Social Discount Rate," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 94-105, May.
    3. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1985. "Population Size: Individual Choice and Social Optima," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 321-34, May.
    4. Schweizer, Urs, 1996. "Endogenous fertility and the Henry George Theorem," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 209-228, August.
    5. Brander, James A & Taylor, M Scott, 1998. "The Simple Economics of Easter Island: A Ricardo-Malthus Model of Renewable Resource Use," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 119-38, March.
    6. Stokey, Nancy L, 1998. "Are There Limits to Growth?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 1-31, February.
    7. Palivos, Theodore & Yip, Chong K., 1993. "Optimal population size and endogenous growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 107-110.
    8. Fernando Alvarez, 1999. "Social Mobility: The Barro-Becker Children Meet the Laitner-Loury Dynasties," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 65-103, January.
    9. Michel, Philippe & Pestieau, P, 1993. "Population Growth and Optimality: When Does Serendipity Hold?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 353-62, November.
    10. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 150-154, May.
    11. Samuelson, Paul A, 1975. "The Optimum Growth Rate for Population," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(3), pages 531-38, October.
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