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Fertility, Human Capital Accumulation, and the Pension System

  • Helmuth Cremer
  • Firouz Gahvari
  • Pierre Pestieau

This paper provides a unified treatment of externalities associated with fertility and human capital accumulation as they relate to pension systems. It considers as overlapping generations model in which every generation consists of high earners and low earners with the proportion of types being determined endogenously. The number of children is deterministically chosen but the children’s future ability is in part stochastic, in part determined by the family background, and in part through education. In addition to the customary externality source associated with a change in average fertility rate, this setup highlights another externality source. This is due to the effect of a parent’s choice of number and educational attainment of his children on the proportion of high-ability individuals in the steady state. Our results include: (i) Investments in education of high- and low-ability parents must be subsidized, (ii) direct child subsidies to one or both parent types can be negative; i.e., they can be taxes, (iii) net subsidies to children (direct child subsidies plus education subsidies) to high-ability parents are always positive, and to low-ability parents can be positive or negative, (iv) either education subsidies or child subsidies, when used alone, can dominate the other instrument, (v) using child subsidy instruments alone entails a higher fertility rate and a lower ratio of high- to low-ability children, as compared to using education subsidies alone.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2736.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2736
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  1. Helmuth Cremer & Firouz Gahvari & Pierre Pestieau, 2008. "Pensions with heterogenous individuals and endogenous fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 961-981, October.
  2. Peters, Wolfgang, 1995. "Public Pensions, Family Allowances and Endogenous Demographic Change," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 161-83, May.
  3. Helmuth Cremer & Firouz Gahvari & Pierre Pestieau, 2009. "Fertility, Human Capital Accumulation, and the Pension System," CESifo Working Paper Series 2736, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Philippe Weil, 2008. "Overlapping Generations: the First Jubilee," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8712, Sciences Po.
  5. Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
  6. Winfried Pohlmeier & Luc Bauwens & David Veredas, 2007. "High frequency financial econometrics. Recent developments," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/136223, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Bental, Benjamin, 1989. "The Old Age Security Hypothesis and Optimal Population Growth," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 285-301.
  8. Cigno, Alessandro & Luporini, Annalisa & Pettini, Anna, 2003. "Transfers to families with children as a principal-agent problem," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1165-1177, May.
  9. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz & Pestieau, Pierre, 2006. "Pensions with endogenous and stochastic fertility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2303-2321, December.
  10. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2004. "The pay-as-you-go pension system as fertility insurance and an enforcement device," Munich Reprints in Economics 938, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Meier, Volker & Wrede, Matthias, 2010. "Pensions, fertility, and education," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(01), pages 75-93, January.
  12. G. ABIO & Géraldine MAHIEU & C. Patxot, 2002. "On the Optimality of PAYG Pension Systems in an Endogenous Fertility Setting," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2002006, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  13. Robert Fenge & Volker Meier, 2003. "Pensions and Fertility Incentives," CESifo Working Paper Series 879, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. van Groezen, Bas & Leers, Theo & Meijdam, Lex, 2003. "Social security and endogenous fertility: pensions and child allowances as siamese twins," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 233-251, February.
  15. van Groezen, B.J.A.M. & Leers, T. & Meijdam, A.C., 2000. "Family Size, Looming Demographic Changes and the Efficiency of Social Security Reform," Discussion Paper 2000-27, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  16. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
  17. Firouz Gahvari, 2009. "Pensions and fertility: in search of a link," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 418-442, August.
  18. Martin Kolmar, 1997. "Intergenerational redistribution in a small open economy with endogenous fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 335-356.
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