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Internalizing fertility and education externalities on capital returns

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  • Julio Dávila

    (Université catholique de Louvain)

Abstract

This paper explains, first, that, since households disregard the impact in the aggregate of their fertility and education choices on the return to their own savings, the market does not implement the mix of population and skills that a planner internalizing all externalities from fertility and education would choose. It then shows that for an economy without capital over-accumulation—the empirically relevant case, cf. Abel et al. (Rev Econ Stud 56(1):1–19, 1989)—a market supplying efficiency units of labor beyond the planner’s level does so by leading households to go for quality over quantity in their reproductive choices—over-investing in education and depressing fertility with respect to the planner’s levels—a feature reminiscent of reproductive patterns in developed economies. It is finally shown that a pension scheme contingent to the household’s fertility and education investment decentralizes the planner’s allocation as an equilibrium outcome. Such pension scheme is financed through a tax on the increase in labor income that results from households education investment. Interestingly enough, the usual tax-financed compulsory education does not decentralize the planner’s allocation, even when the mandatory level of education is the planner’s, since it does not address the misalignment of incentives at the heart of the problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Julio Dávila, 2018. "Internalizing fertility and education externalities on capital returns," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 66(2), pages 343-373, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:66:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s00199-017-1062-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s00199-017-1062-z
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    Cited by:

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    2. Cipriani, Giam Pietro & Fioroni, Tamara, 2023. "Human Capital and Pensions with Endogenous Fertility and Retirement," IZA Discussion Papers 16029, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Masao Nakagawa & Asuka Oura & Yoshiaki Sugimoto, 2022. "Under- and over-investment in education: the role of locked-in fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 35(2), pages 755-784, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Endogenous fertility; Human capital; Externalities; Savings; Overlapping generations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities

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