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Education, Life Expectancy and Family Bargaining: The Ben-Porath Effect Revisited

Listed author(s):
  • Laura Leker

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Grégory Ponthière

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

Following Ben-Porath (1967), the influence of life expectancy on education has attracted much attention. Whereas existing growth models rely on an education decision made either by the child or by his parent, we revisit the Ben-Porath effect when the education is the outcome of a bargaining between the parent and the child. We develop a three-period OLG model with human capital accumulation and endogenous life expectancy, and show that, as a result of the unequal life horizons faced by parents and children, the Ben-Porath effect depends on the distribution of bargaining power within the family, which in turn affects the long-run dynamics of the economy. Using data on 17 OECD countries (1940-1980), we show that the introduction of intergenerational bargaining on education helps to rationalize the observed education patterns across countries.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00715104.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00715104
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  1. Matteo Cervellati & Uwe Sunde, 2011. "Life expectancy and economic growth: the role of the demographic transition," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 99-133, June.
  2. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2003. "Early Mortality Declines at the Dawn of Modern Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 401-418, 09.
  3. David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2013. "The Child is Father Of the Man: Implications for the Demographic Transition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(567), pages 236-261, 03.
  4. David de la Croix, 2010. "Adult Longevity and Economic Take-off from Malthus to Ben-Porath," Chapters, in: Institutional and Social Dynamics of Growth and Distribution, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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  6. Gregory Ponthiere, 2011. "Asymptotic Age Structures And Intergenerational Trade," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 175-217, 02.
  7. Matteo Cervellati & Uwe Sunde, 2005. "Human Capital Formation, Life Expectancy, and the Process of Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1653-1672, December.
  8. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "Mortality Reductions, Educational Attainment, and Fertility Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 580-601, June.
  9. Daniel Cohen & Marcelo Soto, 2007. "Growth and human capital: good data, good results," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 51-76, March.
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  11. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis T, 1991. "Intergenerational Trade, Longevity, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1029-1059, October.
  12. Barro, Robert J & Becker, Gary S, 1989. "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 481-501, March.
  13. Chakraborty, Shankha, 2004. "Endogenous lifetime and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 119-137, May.
  14. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
  15. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2002. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends, and Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 340-375, June.
  16. de la Croix, David & Lindh, Thomas & Malmberg, Bo, 2009. "Demographic change and economic growth in Sweden: 1750-2050," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 132-148, March.
  17. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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