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Long-term care and lazy rotten kids

Author

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  • Cremer, Helmuth
  • Roeder, Kerstin

Abstract

This paper studies the determination of informal long-term care (family aid) to dependent elderly in a worst case scenario concerning the "harmony" of family relations. Children are purely selfish, and neither side can make credible commitments (which rules out efficient bargaining). The model is based on Becker's "rotten kid" specification except that it explicitly accounts for the sequence of decisions. In Becker's world, with a single good, this setting yields efficiency. We show that when family aid (and long-term care services in general) are introduced the outcome is likely to be inefficient. Still, the rotten kid mechanism is at work and ensures that a positive level of aid is provided as long as the bequest motive is operative. We identify the inefficiencies by comparing the laissez-faire (subgame perfect) equilibrium to the first-best allocation. We initially assume that families are identical ex ante. However, the case where dynasties differ in wealth is also considered. We study how the provision of long-term care (LTC) can be improved by public policies under various informational assumptions. Interestingly, crowding out of private aid by public LTC is not a problem in this setting. With an operative bequest motive, public LTC will have no impact on private aid. More amazingly still, when the bequest motive is (initially) not operative, public insurance may even enhance the provision of informal aid.

Suggested Citation

  • Cremer, Helmuth & Roeder, Kerstin, 2013. "Long-term care and lazy rotten kids," IDEI Working Papers 789, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  • Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:27439
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1977. "Shakespeare vs. Becker on Altruism: The Importance of Having the Last Word," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 500-502, June.
    2. Siciliani Luigi, 2013. "The Economics of Long-Term Care," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 343-375, August.
    3. Canta Chiara & Pestieau Pierre, 2013. "Long-Term Care Insurance and Family Norms," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 401-428, April.
    4. Brown, Jeffrey R. & Finkelstein, Amy, 2007. "Why is the market for long-term care insurance so small?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(10), pages 1967-1991, November.
    5. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 1996. "Economics in a Family Way," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1903-1934, December.
    6. Neil Bruce & Michael Waldman, 1990. "The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 155-165.
    7. Wolff, Francois-Charles & Laferrere, Anne, 2006. "Microeconomic models of family transfers," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    8. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
    9. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 1996. "Economics in a Family Way," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1903-1934, December.
    10. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    11. repec:eee:pubeco:v:151:y:2017:i:c:p:12-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-546, June.
    13. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz & Pestieau, Pierre, 2017. "Uncertain altruism and the provision of long term care," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 12-24.
    14. Norton Edward C. & Nicholas Lauren H. & Huang Sean Sheng-Hsiu, 2013. "Informal Care and Inter-vivos Transfers: Results from the National Longitudinal Survey of Mature Women," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 377-400, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cremer, Helmuth & Roeder, Kerstin, 2014. "Transfers within a three generations family: When the rotten kids turn into altruistic parents," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(3), pages 392-395.
    2. De Donder, Philippe & Leroux, Marie-Louise, 2015. "The political choice of social long term care transfers when family gives time and money," TSE Working Papers 15-569, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised 26 May 2015.
    3. Philippe De Donder & Marie-Louise Leroux, 2015. "The Political Economy of (in)formal Long Term Care Transfers," Cahiers de recherche 1508, Chaire de recherche Industrielle Alliance sur les enjeux économiques des changements démographiques.
    4. Helmuth Cremer & Kerstin Roeder, 2017. "Rotten spouses, family transfers, and public goods," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 141-161, January.
    5. Cremer, Helmuth & Lozachmeur, Jean-Marie & Pestieau, Pierre, 2016. "The design of long term care insurance contracts," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 330-339.
    6. repec:spr:sochwe:v:49:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00355-016-0999-3 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rotten kids; long-term care; family aid; optimal taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private

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