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Childbearing Age, Family Allowances, and Social Security

  • Pierre Pestieau

    ()

    (University of Liège, HEC-ULg, and CORE, Paris School of Economics and CEPR, Boulevard du Rectorat, bâtiment B31, 4000 Liège, Belgium;)

  • Gregory Ponthiere

    ()

    (Paris School of Economics and Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris. 48 boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris, France; corresponding author)

Although the optimal public policy under an endogenous number of children has been widely studied, the optimal public intervention under an endogenous timing of births has remained largely unexplored. This paper examines the optimal family policy when the timing of births is chosen by individuals who differ as to how early fertility weakens future earnings. We analyze the design of a policy of family allowances and of public pensions in such a setting, under distinct informational environments. Endogenous childbearing ages is shown to affect the optimal policy through the redistribution across the earnings dimension and the internalization of fertility externalities. Contrary to common practice, children benefits differentiated according to the age of parents can be part of the optimal family policy. Our results are robust to introducing: (i) children as durable “goods”; (ii) education choices; (iii) varying total fertility.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.4284/0038-4038-2012.061
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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 80 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 385-413

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:80:2:y:2013:p:385-413
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/

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  1. PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Grégory, 2011. "Optimal fertility along the lifecycle," CORE Discussion Papers 2011033, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  3. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz & Pestieau, Pierre, 2004. "Pensions with Heterogenous Individuals and Endogenous Fertility," IDEI Working Papers 313, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
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  9. Yvan St.-Pierre & Philip Merrigan, 1998. "An econometric and neoclassical analysis of the timing and spacing of births in Canada from 1950 to 1990," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(1), pages 29-51.
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  11. d'Albis, Hippolyte & Augeraud-Véron, Emmanuelle & Schubert, Katheline, 2010. "Demographic-economic equilibria when the age at motherhood is endogenous," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 1211-1221, November.
  12. Samuelson, Paul A, 1975. "The Optimum Growth Rate for Population," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(3), pages 531-38, October.
  13. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz & Pestieau, Pierre, 2004. "Pensions with Endogenous and Stochastic Fertility," IDEI Working Papers 305, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  14. Blackorby,Charles & Bossert,Walter & Donaldson,David J., 2005. "Population Issues in Social Choice Theory, Welfare Economics, and Ethics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521825511, November.
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  16. Alessandro Cigno & Annalisa Luporini, 2009. "Optimal family policy in the presence of moral hazard, when the quantity and quality of children are stochastic," CHILD Working Papers wp13_09, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  17. Alessandro Cigno & Annalisa Luporini & Anna Pettini, 2000. "Endogenous Fertility And The Design Of Family Taxation," CHILD Working Papers wp03_00, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  18. Anne Gauthier, 2007. "The impact of family policies on fertility in industrialized countries: a review of the literature," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 323-346, June.
  19. Cigno, Alessandro & Ermisch, John, 1989. "A microeconomic analysis of the timing of births," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 737-760, April.
  20. Heather Joshi, 2002. "Production, Reproduction, and Education: Women, Children, and Work in a British Perspective," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(3), pages 445-474.
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  22. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-41, November.
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