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Optimal fertility along the lifecycle

Author

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  • PESTIEAU, Pierre

    () (Université de Liège, Belgium; Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • PONTHIERE, Grégory

    () (Ecole Normale Supérieure and Paris School of Economics, F-75014 Paris, France)

Abstract

We explore the optimal fertility age-pattern in a four-period OLG economy with physical capital accumulation. For that purpose, we firstly compare the dynamics of two closed economies, Early and Late Islands, which differ only in the timing of births. On Early Island, children are born from parents in young adulthood, whereas, on Late Island, children are born from parents in older adulthood. We show that, unlike on Early Island, there exists no stable stationary equilibrium on Late Island, which exhibits cyclical dynamics. We also characterize the social optimum in each economy, and show that Samuelson's Serendipity Theorem still holds. Finally, we study the dynamics and social optimum of an economy with interior fertility rates during the reproduction period. It is shown that various fertility age-patterns are compatible with the social optimum, as long as these yield the optimal cohort growth rate. The Serendipity Theorem remains valid in that broader demographic environment.

Suggested Citation

  • PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Grégory, 2011. "Optimal fertility along the lifecycle," CORE Discussion Papers 2011033, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2011033
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gregory Ponthiere, 2016. "The contribution of improved joint survival conditions to living standards: an equivalent consumption approach," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 46(2), pages 407-449, February.
    2. Hippolyte D'Albis & Angela Greulich & Grégory Ponthière, 2017. "Development, fertility and childbearing age: A unified growth theory," PSE Working Papers halshs-01452846, HAL.
    3. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2013. "Childbearing Age, Family Allowances, and Social Security," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 385-413, October.
    4. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2017. "Optimal fertility under age-dependent labour productivity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(2), pages 621-646, April.
    5. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-01207185 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2015. "Optimal life-cycle fertility in a Barro-Becker economy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 45-87.
    7. Gregory Ponthiere, 2016. "Utilitarian population ethics and births timing," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 189-238, April.
    8. Thomas I. Renström & Luca Spataro, 2015. "Population Growth and Human Capital: A Welfarist Approach," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 83, pages 110-141, December.
    9. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-01131236 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Pestieau, Pierre & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2016. "Long-term care and births timing," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, pages 340-357.
    11. Klaus Prettner & David Canning, 2014. "Increasing life expectancy and optimal retirement in general equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 56(1), pages 191-217, May.
    12. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-01194427 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    childbearing ages; early and late motherhoods; fertility; overlapping generations; social optimum;

    JEL classification:

    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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