A Theory of Child Protection against Kidnapping
This paper studies the microeconomics of child vulnerability to kidnapping in an environment where child protection is produced through a private effort, a public investment and a foreign aid. We first show that in absence of public investment and foreign aid, private investment in child protection may exhibit a vicious cycle of rising child's vulnerability, which justify public production of child safety resources on efficiency grounds. However, the introduction of a redistributive taxation to finance public investment may lead to a reduction of the global child protection, and then to an increase of the number of kidnapped children. In addition, richer families prefer private production of child safety resources to public production, while poorer families are in favour of public production. In this context, a foreign help is useful to deal with this disagreement. Nevertheless, foreign aid may raise an aid dependency. We then conclude that State and international organisms have a duty to assist households for building a protective environment. However, State's policy and foreign aid have to be chosen with care in order to avoid crowding out the parents' effort, and create an aid dependency.
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