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Fertility in the absence of self-control

  • Bertrand Wigniolle


    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics)

This paper studies the quantity-quality trade-off model of fertility, under the assumption of hyperbolic discounting. It shows that the lack of self-control may play a different role in a developed economy and in a developing one. In the first case characterized by a positive investment in quality, the lack of self control tends to reduce fertility. In the second case, it is possible that the lack of self-control leads both to no investment in quality and to a higher fertility rate. It is also proved that if parents cannot commit on their investment in quality, a small change of parameters may lead to a jump in fertility.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00344463.

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Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 2008.68 - ISSN : 1955-611X. 2008
Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00344463
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  1. Zhiqi Chen & Frances Woolley, 1999. "A Cournot-Nash Model of Family Decision Making," Carleton Economic Papers 99-13, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2001.
  2. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  3. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1988. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25.
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  7. Wigniolle, Bertrand, 2012. "Savings behavior with imperfect capital markets: When hyperbolic discounting leads to discontinuous strategies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 186-189.
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  13. Salanie, Francois & Treich, Nicolas, 2006. "Over-savings and hyperbolic discounting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1557-1570, August.
  14. 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.
  15. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
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  17. DE LA CROIX, David & DOEPKE, Matthias, 2001. "Inequality and Growth : Why Differential Fertility Matters," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2001008, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
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  19. 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.
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  21. Diamond, Peter & Koszegi, Botond, 2003. "Quasi-hyperbolic discounting and retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1839-1872, September.
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  24. Birdsall, Nancy, 1988. "Economic approaches to population growth," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 477-542 Elsevier.
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