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Population Policy through Tradable Procreation Rights


  • David de la Croix

    () (economics CORE, Univ. cath. Louvain)

  • Axel Gosseries


Tradable permits are now widely used to control pollution. We investigate the implications of setting up such a system in another field -- population control --, either domestically or at the global level. We first generalize the framework with both tradable procreation allowances and tradable procreation exemptions, in order to tackle both over- and under-population problems. The implications of procreation rights for income inequality and education are contrasted. With procreation exemptions or procreation allowances that would be expensive enough, resources are redistributed from the rich to the poor. In contrast, cheap procreation allowances redistribute resource towards the rich. As far as human capital is concerned, natalist policy would be bad for education, while population control would be good. If procreation rights are granted in proportion to existing fertility levels (grandfathering) instead of being allocated uniformly, population control can be made more redistributive. On the whole, procreation rights offer an interesting alternative to both coercive population control in developing countries and pronatalist policies in the developed world

Suggested Citation

  • David de la Croix & Axel Gosseries, 2006. "Population Policy through Tradable Procreation Rights," 2006 Meeting Papers 420, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:420

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mikhail Golosov & Larry E. Jones & Michèle Tertilt, 2007. "Efficiency with Endogenous Population Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(4), pages 1039-1071, July.
    2. Susan Greenhalgh, 2003. "Science, Modernity, and the Making of China's One-Child Policy," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 29(2), pages 163-196.
    3. Philippe Michel & Bertrand Wigniolle, 2007. "On Efficient Child Making," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(2), pages 307-326, May.
    4. Joskow, Paul L & Schmalensee, Richard & Bailey, Elizabeth M, 1998. "The Market for Sulfur Dioxide Emissions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 669-685, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters,in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Kremer, Michael & Chen, Daniel L, 2002. "Income Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 227-258, September.
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    More about this item


    Tradable permits; Population control; Pronatalist policy; Income inequality; Differential fertility;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General


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