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Endogenous fertility, endogenous lifetime and economic growth: the role of child policies

  • Luciano Fanti

    ()

  • Luca Gori

    ()

We examine the effects of child policies on both transitional dynamics and long-term demo-economic outcomes in an overlapping-generations neoclassical growth model à la Chakraborty (J Econ Theory 116(1):119–137, 2004) extended with endogenous fertility under the assumption of weak altruism towards children. The government invests in public health, and an individual’s survival probability at the end of youth depends on health expenditure. We show that multiple development regimes can exist. However, poverty or prosperity does not necessarily depend on the initial conditions, since they are the result of how a child policy is designed. A child tax, for example, can be used effectively to enable those economies that were entrapped in poverty to prosper. There is also a long-term welfare-maximising level of the child tax. We show that a child tax can be used to increase capital accumulation, escape from poverty and maximise long-term welfare also when (a) a public pay-as-you-go pension system is in place and (b) the government issues an amount of public debt. Interestingly, there also exists a couple child tax–health tax that can be used to find the second-best optimum optimorum. In addition, we show that results are robust to the inclusion of decisions regarding the child quantity–quality trade-off under the assumption of impure altruism. In particular, there exists a threshold value of the child tax below (resp. above) which child quality spending is unaffordable (resp. affordable) and different scenarios are in existence. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2014)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 529-564

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