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Fertility in the absence of self-control

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Abstract

This paper studies the quantity-quality trade-off model of fertility, under the assumption of hyperbolic discounting. It shows that the lack of self-control may play a different role in a developed economy and in a developing one. In the first case characterized by a positive investment in quality, the lack of self control tends to reduce fertility. In the second case, it is possible that the lack of self-control leads both to no investment in quality and to a higher fertility rate. It is also proved that if parents cannot commit on their investment in quality, a small change of parameters may lead to a jump in fertility.

Suggested Citation

  • Bertrand Wigniolle, 2008. "Fertility in the absence of self-control," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne v08068, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:v08068
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    1. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, 1994. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 323-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 143-162, August.
    3. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 279-288, Part II, .
    4. Birdsall, Nancy, 1988. "Economic approaches to population growth," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 477-542 Elsevier.
    5. Harris, Christopher & Laibson, David, 2001. "Dynamic Choices of Hyperbolic Consumers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 935-957, July.
    6. Diamond, Peter & Koszegi, Botond, 2003. "Quasi-hyperbolic discounting and retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1839-1872, September.
    7. Wigniolle, Bertrand, 2012. "Savings behavior with imperfect capital markets: When hyperbolic discounting leads to discontinuous strategies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, pages 186-189.
    8. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-1458, December.
    9. Loewenstein, George & Thaler, Richard H, 1989. "Intertemporal Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 181-193, Fall.
    10. Larry E. Jones & Alice Schoonbroodt, 2010. "Complements Versus Substitutes And Trends In Fertility Choice In Dynastic Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(3), pages 671-699, August.
    11. Salanie, Francois & Treich, Nicolas, 2006. "Over-savings and hyperbolic discounting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1557-1570, August.
    12. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1091-1113, September.
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    14. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
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    16. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1988. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 1-25.
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    18. Matthias Wrede, 2011. "Hyperbolic discounting and fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 1053-1070, July.
    19. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Ramsey Meets Laibson in the Neoclassical Growth Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1125-1152.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wigniolle, Bertrand, 2012. "Savings behavior with imperfect capital markets: When hyperbolic discounting leads to discontinuous strategies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 186-189.
    2. Matthias Wrede, 2011. "Hyperbolic discounting and fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 1053-1070, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Endogenous fertility; quasi-hyperbolic preferences.;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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