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Agency in Family Policy: A Survey

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  • Alessandro Cigno

Abstract

Given that a child's birth and lifetime earning capacity are the result of actions undertaken by the child's own parents, if the government has an interest in the welfare or tax-paying capacity of its future citizens, it has no option but to condition the decisions of its present citizens. Parents are then, in the ordinary sense of the word, the government's agents. They are agents also in the technical sense of Principal-Agent theory if a parental action or personal characterisic of concern to the government is private information. Modelling family policy as an agency problem gives rise to a wealth of new results, and casts doubt on some established ones. (JEL codes: D13, D82, H24, H31, J13, J24) Copyright The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Munich. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Cigno, 2011. "Agency in Family Policy: A Survey," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 57(2), pages 305-331, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:57:y:2011:i:2:p:305-331
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cesifo/ifr006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
    2. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1993. "Children: A Capital Good or a Base for Income Redistribution Policies," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 48(Supplemen), pages 78-84.
    3. Alessandro Balestrino & Alessandro Cigno & Anna Pettini, 2002. "Endogenous Fertility and the Design of Family Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(2), pages 175-193, March.
    4. Nava, Mario & Schroyen, Fred & Marchand, Maurice, 1996. "Optimal fiscal and public expenditure policy in a two-class economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 119-137, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_609 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Michael Funke & Marc Gronwald, 2009. "A Convex Hull Approach to Counterfactual Analysis of Trade Openness and Growth," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20906, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
    3. Tomer Blumkin & Yoram Margalioth & Efraim Sadka, 2015. "The Re-distributive Role of Child Benefits Revisited," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(3), pages 476-501, June.
    4. Cigno, A., 2016. "Conflict and Cooperation Within the Family, and Between the State and the Family, in the Provision of Old-Age Security," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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