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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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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rio:texdis:537
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  25. Rosen, Sherwin, 1988. " The Value of Changes in Life Expectancy," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 285-304, September.
  26. 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.
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