A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility
Altruistic parents choose fertility and consumption by maximizing a dynastic utility f unction. The maximization implies an arbitrage condition for consumpt ion across generations and equality between the benefit from an extra child and the child-rearing cost. These conditions imply that fertil ity in open economies depends positively on the world's long-term rea l interest rate, the degree of altruism, and the growth of child-surv ival probabilities; and negatively on the rate of technical progress and the growth rate of social security. The growth of per capita cons umption across generations depends on changes in the child-rearing co st, but not on interest rates or time preference. Copyright 1988, the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Volume (Year): 103 (1988)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
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