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Mortality, Fertility, and Saving in a Malthusian Economy

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  • Michele Boldrin

    (University of Minnesota)

  • Larry E. Jones

    (University of Minnesota)

Abstract

We develop a model of fertility choice by utility maximizing households, based on an explicit notion of intergenerational external effects. In contrast to previous economic literature, we assume that the external effects run from children to parents. This gives rise to a fundamentally different reason for bearing of children, as parents expect to be cared for, at least partially, by their children in their old age. We take the behavior of infant mortality since 1541 as the key exogenous variable and endogeneize the size of the transfer from children to parents by linking it to the endogenous savings and fertility choice of the parents. This generates a dynamic model of a Malthusian society that performs substantially better, qualitatively and quantitatively, than previous economic models of endogenous fertility. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:5:y:2002:i:4:p:775-814
    DOI: 10.1006/redy.2002.0186
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    References listed on IDEAS

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