Optimal lifecycle fertility in a Barro-Becker economy
Parenthood postponement is a key demographic trend of the last three decades. In order to rationalize that stylized fact, we extend the canonical model by Barro and Becker (1989) to include two - instead of one - reproduction periods. We examine how the cost structure of early and late children in terms of time and goods affects the optimal fertility timing. Then, focusing a stationary equilibrium with stationary population, we provide two alternative explanations for the observed postponement of births: (1) a fall of the direct cost of late children (thanks to medical advances); (2) a rise in hourly productivity, which increases the (relative) opportunity costs of early children in comparison to late children.
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Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers)
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04-07, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
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- Matthias Doepke, 2002.
"Child Mortality and Fertility Decline: Does the Barro-Becker Model Fit the Facts?,"
UCLA Economics Working Papers
824, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Matthias Doepke, 2005. "Child mortality and fertility decline: Does the Barro-Becker model fit the facts?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 337-366, 06.
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