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Children, Dynastic Altruism and the Wealth of Nations

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  • Juan Carlos Cordoba

    (Iowa State University)

Abstract

The effective life span, or quantity of life, of an altruistic parent extends beyond her own longevity. It is also determined by the number and longevity of her descendants. Using a calibrated version of the Barro-Becker model, I derive and estimate measures of effective quantity of life and of relative well-being for representative individuals of 116 countries between 1970 and 2005. I find that the gains in effective quantity of life arising from longevity improvements were on average more than offset by the losses due to fertility reductions. Effective quantity of life in the world fell by more than 7 percent during the period 1970-2005. Contrary to previous estimates, I find that the effective growth rate of well-being in the world, taking into account quantity and quality of life, was significantly below the growth rate of per-capita consumption. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Carlos Cordoba, 2015. "Children, Dynastic Altruism and the Wealth of Nations," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(4), pages 774-791, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:13-127 DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2015.07.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Doepke, M. & Tertilt, M., 2016. "Families in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; Welfare; Quantity of life; World inequality; Longevity; Income differences;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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