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Social Security, Saving and Fertility

Author

Listed:
  • Mikko Puhakka

    () (Department of Economics, University of Oulu)

  • Matti Viren

    () (Department of Economics and the Public Choice Research Centre, University of Turku and Bank of Finland)

Abstract

We investigate the effect of government policies on fertility in a model where children are mainly seen as investment goods. To illustrate this effect we construct a simple overlapping generations economy in which households (parents) can invest both in children and financial assets. An introduction of the public social security system lowers the incentive to have children, i.e. fertility will be lower. This is an important negative externality. We test some of the model’s basic implications using unique long historical panel data from 11 countries for the period 1750–2000. In addition, we use two additional, more recent, data sets to reinforce the empirical results obtained with historical data. These analyses show that there is a positive relationship between ageing and fertility if we control for the key determinants of fertility. By contrast, there is a strong negative relationship between (various indicators of) social security and fertility. Empirical evidence is found for the notion that child support increases fertility.

Suggested Citation

  • Mikko Puhakka & Matti Viren, 2012. "Social Security, Saving and Fertility," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 28-42, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:fep:journl:v:25:y:2012:i:1:p:28-42
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    File URL: http://taloustieteellinenyhdistys.fi/images/stories/fep/fep12012/fep12012_puhakka_and_viren.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. M.L. Leroux & P. Pestieau, 2014. "Social Security and Family Support," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(1), pages 115-143, February.
    2. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2004. "The pay-as-you-go pension system as fertility insurance and an enforcement device," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1335-1357, July.
    3. Michele BOLDRIN & Mariacristina DE NARDI & Larry E. JONES, 2015. "Fertility and Social Security," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(3), pages 261-299, September.
    4. Francesco C. Billari & Vincenzo Galasso, 2008. "What Explains Fertility? Evidence from Italian Pension Reforms," CSEF Working Papers 209, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    5. Alessandro Cigno, 2006. "A constitutional theory of the family," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 259-283, June.
    6. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis T, 1991. "Intergenerational Trade, Longevity, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1029-1059, October.
    7. Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
    8. Vincenzo Galasso & Roberta Gatti & Paola Profeta, 2009. "Investing for the old age: pensions, children and savings," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(4), pages 538-559, August.
    9. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-926, Sept./Oct.
    10. Rosati, Furio Camillo, 1996. "Social security in a non-altruistic model with uncertainty and endogenous fertility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 283-294, May.
    11. Michele Boldrin & Larry E. Jones, 2002. "Mortality, Fertility, and Saving in a Malthusian Economy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 775-814, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Fenge & Beatrice Scheubel, 2017. "Pensions and fertility: back to the roots," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 93-139, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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