IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Habit Formation, Dynastic Altruism, and Population Dynamics

We study the general equilibrium properties of two growth models with overlapping generations, habit formation and endogenous fertility. In the neoclassical model, habits modify the economy's growth rate and generate transitional dynamics in fertility; station- ary income per capita is associated with either increasing or decreasing population and output, depending on the strength of habits. In the AK specification, growing population and increasing consumption per capita require that the habit coefficient lie within definite boundaries; outside the critical interval, positive growth is associated with either declining consumption due to overcrowding, or extinction paths with declining population. In both frameworks, habits reduce fertility: the trade-off between second-period consumption and spending for bequests prompts agents to decrease fertility in order to make parental altru- ism less costly. This mechanism suggests that status-dependent preferences may explain part of the decline in fertility rates observed in most developed economies.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich in its series CER-ETH Economics working paper series with number 07/77.

in new window

Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:07-77
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Zürichbergstrasse 18, ZUE, CH-8092 Zürich

Phone: +41 44 632 03 87
Fax: +41 44 632 13 62
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The Macroeconomics of Child Labor Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1492-1524, December.
  2. Barro, R.J. & Becker, G.S., 1988. "Fertility Choice In A Model Of Economic Growth," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 88-8, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  3. K Blackburn & G P Cipriani, 2002. "Intergenerational Transfers and Demographic Transition," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 14, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
  4. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2727, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Galor, Oded, 2005. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293 Elsevier.
  6. De La Croix, D. & Michel, P., 1997. "Optimal Growth when Tastes are Inherited," ASSET - Instituto De Economia Publica 168, ASSET (Association of Southern European Economic Theorists).
  7. Oded Galor & David N. Weil, 1993. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jellal, Mohamed & wolff, François charles, 2002. "Insecure old-age security," MPRA Paper 38644, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco, 2008. "Growth outside the stable path: Lessons from the European reconstruction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 568-588, April.
  10. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, 1994. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 323-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Emmanuel Thibault, 2000. "Existence of equilibrium in an OLG model with production and altruistic preferences," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 15(3), pages 709-715.
  12. Xavier Mateos-Planas, 2002. "The Demographic Transition in Europe: A Neoclassical Dynastic Approach," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(3), pages 646-680, July.
  13. Andrew B. Abel, 2005. "Optimal Taxation when Consumers Have Endogenous Benchmark Levels of Consumption," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 21-42.
  14. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer & Michael W. Klein, 2006. "Risky Habits: on Risk Sharing, Habit Formation, and the Interpretation of International Consumption Correlations," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(4), pages 722-740, 09.
  15. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2004. "Aspirations, Habit Formation, and Bequest Motive," Working Papers 136, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  16. Michele Boldrin & Larry E. Jones, 2002. "Mortality, Fertility, and Saving in a Malthusian Economy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 775-814, October.
  17. Matthias Doepke, 2005. "Child mortality and fertility decline: Does the Barro-Becker model fit the facts?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(2), pages 337-366, 06.
  18. Sah, R.K., 1989. "The Effects Of Mortality Changes On Fertility Choice And Individual Welfare: Some Theoretical Predictions," Papers 599, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  19. Alessandra Guariglia, 2002. "Consumption, habit formation, and precautionary saving: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 1-19, January.
  20. Ben-Porath, Yoram, 1976. "Fertility Response to Child Mortality: Micro Data from Israel," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S163-78, August.
  21. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Goncalo Monteiro & Stephen J. Turnovsky, 2004. "Habit Formation, Catching Up with the Joneses, and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 47-80, 03.
  22. Osborn, Denise R, 1988. "Seasonality and Habit Persistence in a Life Cycle Model of Consumptio n," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 3(4), pages 255-66, October-D.
  23. Christopher D. Carroll & Jody Overland & David N. Weil, 1997. "Comparison Utility in a Growth Model," NBER Working Papers 6138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Harl E. Ryder & Geoffrey M. Heal, 1973. "Optimal Growth with Intertemporally Dependent Preferences," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 1-31.
  25. Brunner, Martin & Strulik, Holger, 2002. "Solution of perfect foresight saddlepoint problems: a simple method and applications," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 737-753, May.
  26. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
  27. repec:esx:essedp:502 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis T, 1991. "Intergenerational Trade, Longevity, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1029-59, October.
  29. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  30. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumption and Its Implications for Monetary-Policy Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 367-390, June.
  31. Nils-Petter Lagerlöf, 2006. "The Galor-Weil Model Revisited: A Quantitative Exercise," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(1), pages 116-142, January.
  32. Eswaran, Mukesh, 1998. "One Explanation for the Demographic Transition in Developing Countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(2), pages 237-65, April.
  33. Nishimura, Kazuo & Zhang, Junsen, 1995. "Sustainable Plans of Social Security with Endogenous Fertility," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 182-94, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:07-77. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.