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Altruism, Fertility, and the Value of Children: Health Policy Evaluation and Intergenerational Welfare

  • Javier Birchenall

    (University of California at Santa Barbara)

  • Rodrigo Reis Soares

    ()

    (Department of Economics PUC-Rio)

This paper accounts for the value of children and future generations in the evaluation of health policies. This is achieved through the incorporation of altruism and fertility in a “value of life” type of framework. We are able to express adults’ willingness to pay for changes in child mortality and also to incorporate the welfare of future generations in the evaluation of current policies. Our model clarifies a series of puzzles from the literature on the “value of life” and on intergenerational welfare comparisons. We show that, by incorporating altruism and fertility into the analysis, the estimated welfare gain from recent reductions in mortality in the U.S. easily doubles.

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File URL: http://www.econ.puc-rio.br/pdf/td537.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil) in its series Textos para discussão with number 537.

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Length: 32p
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Handle: RePEc:rio:texdis:537
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  1. Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence Kotlikoff, . "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," IPR working papers 95-22, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
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  8. Dickie, Mark & Messman, Victoria L., 2004. "Parental altruism and the value of avoiding acute illness: are kids worth more than parents?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 1146-1174, November.
  9. Mark D. Agee & Thomas D. Crocker, 1996. "Parental Altruism and Child Lead Exposure: Inferences from the Demand for Chelation Therapy," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 677-691.
  10. W. Kip Viscusi & Wesley A. Magat & Joel Huber, 1987. "An Investigation of the Rationality of Consumer Valuations of Multiple Health Risks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(4), pages 465-479, Winter.
  11. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Child Health and Household Resources in South Africa: Evidence from the Old Age Pension Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 393-398, May.
  12. Sah, Raaj Kumar, 1991. "The Effects of Child Mortality Changes on Fertility Choice and Parental Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 582-606, June.
  13. Jin-Tan Liu & James K. Hammitt & Jung-Der Wang & Jin-Long Liu, 2000. "Mother's willingness to pay for her own and her child's health: a contingent valuation study in Taiwan," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 319-326.
  14. Robin R. Jenkins & Nicole Owens & Lanelle Bembenek Wiggins, 2001. "Valuing Reduced Risks To Children: The Case Of Bicycle Safety Helmets," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(4), pages 397-408, October.
  15. Angus Deaton, 2004. "Health in an age of globalization," Working Papers 245, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  16. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2002. "Does the Mortality Decline Promote Economic Growth?," Macroeconomics 0212008, EconWPA.
  17. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1988. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25.
  18. Rosen, Sherwin, 1988. "The Value of Changes in Life Expectancy," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 285-304, September.
  19. Soares, Rodrigo R., 2006. "The welfare cost of violence across countries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 821-846, September.
  20. Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 277-291, March.
  21. Jones-Lee, M W, 1992. "Paternalistic Altruism and the Value of Statistical Life," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(410), pages 80-90, January.
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  23. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Valuing Health Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 241-245, May.
  24. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_healthglobalage.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Cameron, Trudy Ann & DeShazo, J.R. & Johnson, Erica H., 2010. "The effect of children on adult demands for health-risk reductions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 364-376, May.
  26. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "The Family and the State," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-18, April.
  27. repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_healthglobalage is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Cameron, Trudy Ann & DeShazo, J.R., 2013. "Demand for health risk reductions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 87-109.
  29. repec:pri:rpdevs:deaton_healthglobalage is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Mark Dickie, 2005. "Parental Behavior and the Value of Children's Health: A Health Production Approach," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 855-872, April.
  31. Cox, Donald & Rank, Mark R, 1992. "Inter-vivos Transfers and Intergenerational Exchange," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 305-14, May.
  32. Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
  33. Cropper, Maureen L & Sussman, Frances G, 1988. "Families and the Economics of Risks to Life," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 255-260, March.
  34. Cropper, Maureen L & Aydede, Sema K & Portney, Paul R, 1992. "Rates of Time Preference for Saving Lives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 469-472, May.
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