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Risk Sharing, Inequality and Fertility

Listed author(s):
  • Larry Jones

    (Univeristy of Minnesota)

  • Ali Shourideh

    (University of Minnesota)

  • Roozbeh Hosseini

    (Arizona State Univeristy)

We use an extended Barro-Becker model of endogenous fertility, in which parents are heterogeneous in their labor productivity, to study the efficient degree of consumption inequality in the long run. In our environment a utilitarian planner allows for consumption inequality even when labor productivity is public information. We show that adding private information does not alter this result. We also show that the informationally constrained optimal insurance contract has a resetting property -- whenever a family line experiences the highest shock, the continuation utility of each child is reset to a (high) level that is independent of history. This implies that there is a non-trivial, stationary distribution over continuation utilities and there is no mass at misery. The novelty of our approach is that the no-immiseration result is achieved without requiring that the objectives of the planner and the private agents disagree. Because there is no discrepancy between planner and private agents' objectives, the policy implications for implementation of the efficient allocation differ from previous results in the literature. Two examples of these are: 1) estate taxes are positive and 2) there are positive taxes on family size.

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File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2009/paper_153.pdf
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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2009 Meeting Papers with number 153.

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Date of creation: 2009
Handle: RePEc:red:sed009:153
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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  1. Christopher Phelan & Robert M Townsend, 2010. "Computing Multi-Period, Information Constrained Optima," Levine's Working Paper Archive 117, David K. Levine.
  2. Roozbeh Hosseini & Larry E. Jones & Ali Shourideh, 2009. "Risk sharing, inequality, and fertility," Working Papers 674, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2003. "Zero Expected Wealth Taxes: A Mirrlees Approach to Dynamic Optimal Taxation," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000426, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Doepke, Matthias & Townsend, Robert M., 2006. "Dynamic mechanism design with hidden income and hidden actions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 235-285, January.
  6. Larry E. Jones & Alice Schoonbroodt & Michèle Tertilt, 2010. "Fertility Theories: Can They Explain the Negative Fertility-Income Relationship?," NBER Chapters, in: Demography and the Economy, pages 43-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Khan, A. & Ravikumar, B., 1997. "Growth and Risk-Sharing with Private Information," Working Papers 97-13, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  8. Emmanuel Farhi & Iván Werning, 2007. "Inequality and Social Discounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 365-402.
  9. Stefania Albanesi & Christopher Sleet, 2004. "Dynamic optimal taxation with private information," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 140, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Mikhail Golosov & Narayana R. Kocherlakota & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2001. "Optimal indirect and capital taxation," Staff Report 293, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. Christopher Sleet & Sevin Yeltekin, 2006. "Credibility and endogenous societal discounting," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(3), pages 410-437, July.
  12. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2005. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance: A Case for Asset Testing," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000450, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Tsyvinski, A. & Golosov, M., 2004. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Insurance Markets," 2004 Meeting Papers 124, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. 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.
  15. Phelan, Christopher, 1998. "On the Long Run Implications of Repeated Moral Hazard," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 174-191, April.
  16. Fernando Alvarez, 1999. "Social Mobility: The Barro-Becker Children Meet the Laitner-Loury Dynasties," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 65-103, January.
  17. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, "undated". "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 85-11, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  18. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Income fluctuation and asymmetric information: An example of a repeated principal-agent problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 367-390, August.
  19. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
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