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Bequest division and population growth: A lineal extinction probability approach


  • C. Y. Cyrus Chu

    () (Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan 115, ROC)

  • Huei-Chung Lu

    () (Fu-jen Catholic University, Department of Economics, Taipei, Taiwan 242, ROC)

  • Mingshen Chen

    () (National Taiwan University, Department of Finance, Taipei, Taiwan 106, ROC)


This study uses a lineal-extinction-probability-minimization approach proposed by Chu (1991) to study the relation between bequest division and population growth. Using a Markov branching process and "first-degree stochastic dominance" technique, our model's results imply that any specific bequest division, primogeniture or equal divisions, does not necessarily increase or reduce the population growth by itself. Whether the population does grow, or by how much, will be determined by the concurrent social-economic conditions. We find that if all family heads faced an increasing MRTS technology and/or a relatively unfair market chance, then they would tend to choose an unequal division as their optimal bequest policy, and population growth would increase. However, if an equal division was adopted involuntarily by family heads or was enforced by laws, then the population growth might decline.

Suggested Citation

  • C. Y. Cyrus Chu & Huei-Chung Lu & Mingshen Chen, 2002. "Bequest division and population growth: A lineal extinction probability approach," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(2), pages 243-259.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:15:y:2002:i:2:p:243-259
    Note: Received: 26 November 1999/Accepted: 26 October 2000

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Primogeniture · bequest division · population growth · first-degree stochastic dominance;

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • K39 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Other
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts


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