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Optimal Fertility along the Lifecycle

  • Pierre Pestieau

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CREPP - Center of Research in Public Economics and Population Economics - Université de Liège, CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) - Belgique, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR)

  • Grégory Ponthière

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, ENS Paris - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris)

We explore the optimal fertility age-pattern in a four-period OLG economy with physical capital accumulation. For that purpose, we .rstly compare the dynamics of two closed economies, Early and Late Islands, which di¤er 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.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number hal-00612609.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:hal-00612609
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  1. Samuelson, Paul A, 1975. "The Optimum Growth Rate for Population," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(3), pages 531-38, October.
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  12. PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Grégory, 2012. "Optimal lifecycle fertility in a Barro-Becker economy," CORE Discussion Papers 2012010, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  17. Michel, Philippe & Pestieau, P, 1993. "Population Growth and Optimality: When Does Serendipity Hold?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 353-62, November.
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  19. Siv Gustafsson, 2001. "Optimal age at motherhood. Theoretical and empirical considerations on postponement of maternity in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247.
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  21. Heather Joshi, 2002. "Production, Reproduction, and Education: Women, Children, and Work in a British Perspective," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(3), pages 445-474.
  22. Klaus Jaeger & Wolfgang Kuhle, 2009. "The optimum growth rate for population reconsidered," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 23-41, January.
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  24. Cigno, Alessandro & Ermisch, John, 1989. "A microeconomic analysis of the timing of births," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 737-760, April.
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