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Gender Power, Fertility, and Family Policy

Author

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  • Alexander Kemnitz
  • Marcel Thum

Abstract

The birth of children often shifts the power balance within a family. If family decisions are made according to the spouses’ welfare function, this shift in power may lead to a time consistency problem. The allocation of resources after the birth of children may differ from the ex-ante optimal choice. In a model of cooperative decision making within a family, we show that this time consistency problem leads to a systematic downward bias in fertility choices. By keeping fertility low, families try to mitigate the ex-ante undesired shift in the power balance. This bias in fertility choices provides scope for welfare enhancing policy intervention. We discuss the extent to which existing measures in family policy are suitable to overcome the fertility bias.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Kemnitz & Marcel Thum, 2012. "Gender Power, Fertility, and Family Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3798, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3798
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Volker Meier & Helmut Rainer, 2017. "Daddy months," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(3), pages 875-892, July.
    2. Fabian Kindermann & Matthias Doepke, 2014. "Bargaining over Babies," 2014 Meeting Papers 670, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11150-015-9317-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:spr:jopoec:v:31:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s00148-017-0675-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Doepke, Matthias & Kindermann, Fabian, 2014. "Intrahousehold Decision Making and Fertility," IZA Discussion Papers 8726, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fertility; family policy; household allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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