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Intergenerational transfers and the fertility-income relationship

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  • Cordoba, Juan Carlos
  • Ripoll, Marla

Abstract

Evidence from cross-sectional data reveals a negative relationship between family income and fertility. This article argues that constraints to intergenerational transfers are crucial for understanding this relationship. If parents could legally impose debt obligations on their children to recover the costs incurred in raising them, then fertility would be independent of parental income. A relationship between fertility and income arises when parents are unable to leave debts because of legal, enforcement or moral constraints. This relationship is negative when the intergenerational elasticity of substitution is larger than one, a case in which parental consumption is a good substitute for children’s consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Cordoba, Juan Carlos & Ripoll, Marla, 2014. "Intergenerational transfers and the fertility-income relationship," ISU General Staff Papers 201401010800001023, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genstf:201401010800001023
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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Carlos Córdoba & Marla Ripoll, 2019. "The Elasticity of Intergenerational Substitution, Parental Altruism, and Fertility Choice," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(5), pages 1935-1972.
    2. de la Croix, David & Pommeret, Aude, 2021. "Childbearing postponement, its option value, and the biological clock," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    3. Juan Cordoba & Marla Ripoll & Xiying Liu, 2019. "Accounting for the International Quantity-Quality Trade-off," 2019 Meeting Papers 156, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. David de la Croix & Clara Delavallade, 2018. "Religions, Fertility, And Growth In Southeast Asia," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(2), pages 907-946, May.
    5. Juan Carlos Cordoba, 2015. "Children, Dynastic Altruism and the Wealth of Nations," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(4), pages 774-791, October.
    6. Melindi-Ghidi, Paolo & Seegmuller, Thomas, 2019. "The love for children hypothesis and the multiplicity of fertility rates," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 89-100.
    7. Gori, Luca & Sodini, Mauro, 2021. "A Contribution To The Theory Of Fertility And Economic Development," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(3), pages 753-775, April.
    8. Cordoba, Juan Carlos & Liu, Xiying, 2014. "Altruism, Fertility and Risk," Staff General Research Papers Archive 37481, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    9. Liu, Xiying, 2015. "Optimal population and policy implications," ISU General Staff Papers 201501010800005546, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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