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Rawlsian Optimal Population Size

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  • Spiegel, Yossef

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Spiegel, Yossef, 1993. "Rawlsian Optimal Population Size," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 6(4), pages 363-373, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:6:y:1993:i:4:p:363-73
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Baudin, 2011. "Family Policies: What Does the Standard Endogenous Fertility Model Tell Us?," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 13(4), pages 555-593, August.
    2. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00275751 is not listed on IDEAS

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