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Timing of childbirth, capital accumulation, and economic welfare


  • Akira Momota
  • Ryo Horii


This paper examines the effect of the timing of childbirth on capital accumulation and welfare in a simple overlapping generations model, where each agent lives for four periods and works for two periods. We show that delayed childbearing not only reduces population, but also generates fluctuations in the age composition of workers in the labour force. This causes the aggregate saving rate to fluctuate, which leads to cycles in the capital--labour ratio. When all agents delay childbearing, we analytically show that both the capital--labour ratio and the welfare of all agents can fall in the long run, despite the population decline. When a fraction of agents delay childbearing, it has differential welfare effects on agents depending on their positions in the demographic cycles. The effects of lower lifetime fertility and technological progress are also examined. Copyright 2013 Oxford University Press 2012 All rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

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  • Akira Momota & Ryo Horii, 2013. "Timing of childbirth, capital accumulation, and economic welfare," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 494-522, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:65:y:2013:i:2:p:494-522

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kasey Buckles, 2008. "Understanding the Returns to Delayed Childbearing for Working Women," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 403-407, May.
    2. Tullio Jappelli & Franco Modigliani, 2006. "The Age–Saving Profile and the Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Chapters,in: Long-run Growth and Short-run Stabilization, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    7. Zhang, Jie & Zhang, Junsen, 2007. "Optimal social security in a dynastic model with investment externalities and endogenous fertility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 3545-3567, November.
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    9. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
    10. Hippolyte d'Albis & Emmanuelle Augeraud-Véron & Katheline Schubert, 2010. "Demo-economic equilibria when childbearing age is endogenous," LERNA Working Papers 10.04.310, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    11. Charles H. Mullin & Ping Wang, 2002. "The Timing of Childbearing among Heterogeneous Women in Dynamic General Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 9231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    16. Mark Berger, 1989. "Demographic Cycles, Cohort Size, and Earnings," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 26(2), pages 311-321, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Momota, Akira, 2016. "Intensive and extensive margins of fertility, capital accumulation, and economic welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 90-110.
    2. Hippolyte D'Albis & Angela Greulich & Grégory Ponthière, 2017. "Development, fertility and childbearing age: A unified growth theory," PSE Working Papers halshs-01452846, HAL.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models


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