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Rawlsian Optimal Population Size

  • Spiegel, Yossef
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    In this paper, I examine the implications of the Rawlsian maximum criterion for optimal population size and intergenerational allocation of resource when fertility is endogenous. I show that whenever children are better-off than their parents in laissez-faire, then the size of the population and parental bequests are also optimal according to the Rawlsian criterion. Otherwise, laissez-faire leads to overpopulation and suboptimal bequests. I then show that by using proper price-based corrective policies, society can achieve a Rawlsian optimal allocation. These policies involve either a combination of a subsidy to aggregate future consumption and a per-capita tax on children, or a subsidy to average future consumption.

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

    Volume (Year): 6 (1993)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 363-73

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:6:y:1993:i:4:p:363-73
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