IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/sip/dpaper/09-003.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Who Owns Children and Does it Matter?

Author

Listed:
  • Michele Tertilt

    () (Department of Economics, Stanford University)

Abstract

In this paper we propose and analyze a particular market failure that may lead to inefficiently low equilibrium fertility and therefore to a need for government intervention. The friction we investigate is related to the ownership of children. If parents have no claim on their children’s income, then the private benefit from producing a child maybe smaller than the social benefit. Using the efficiency concepts proposed in Golosov, Jones, and Tertilt (2007), we find that whenever thetransfer floor is binding, fertility choices are inefficient. We show how this inefficiency relates to dynamic inefficiency in standard OLG models with exogenous fertility and Millian efficiency in models with endogenous fertility. In particular, we show that the usual conditions for efficiency are no longer sufficient. Further, we analyze several government policies in this context. We find that, in contrast to settings with exogenous fertility, a PAYG social security system cannot be used to implement the efficient allocation. Rather, government transfers need to be tied to a person’s fertility choice in order to provide incentives for child bearing, thus providing a justification for pronatalist policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Michele Tertilt, 2010. "Who Owns Children and Does it Matter?," Discussion Papers 09-003, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:09-003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-siepr.stanford.edu/repec/sip/09-003.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. Roozbeh Hosseini & Larry E. Jones & Ali Shourideh, 2009. "Risk Sharing, Inequality and Fertility," NBER Working Papers 15111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. David De La Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2009. "To Segregate or to Integrate: Education Politics and Democracy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 597-628.
    4. Pazner, Elisha A. & Razin, Assaf, 1980. "Competitive efficiency in an overlapping-generation model with endogenous population," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 249-258, April.
    5. Michele Boldrin & Ana Montes, 2005. "The Intergenerational State Education and Pensions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 651-664.
    6. Andrew B. Abel & N. Gregory Mankiw & Lawrence H. Summers & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1989. "Assessing Dynamic Efficiency: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(1), pages 1-19.
    7. Cass, David, 1972. "On capital overaccumulation in the aggregative, neoclassical model of economic growth: A complete characterization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 200-223, April.
    8. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    9. Edward Lazear, 1983. "Intergenerational Externalities," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(2), pages 212-228, May.
    10. Matthias Doepke, 2004. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 347-383, September.
    11. Zhang, Jie & Zhang, Junsen, 2007. "Optimal social security in a dynastic model with investment externalities and endogenous fertility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 3545-3567, November.
    12. Burbidge, John B, 1983. "Government Debt in an Overlapping-Generations Model with Bequests and Gifts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 222-227, March.
    13. 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.
    14. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
    15. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2004. "The pay-as-you-go pension system as fertility insurance and an enforcement device," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1335-1357, July.
    16. Michele BOLDRIN & Mariacristina DE NARDI & Larry E. JONES, 2015. "Fertility and Social Security," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(3), pages 261-299, September.
    17. Abel, Andrew B, 1987. "Operative Gift and Bequest Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 1037-1047, December.
    18. Laitner, John P, 1979. "Bequests, Golden-age Capital Accumulation and Government Debt," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 46(184), pages 403-414, November.
    19. Cigno, Alessandro, 1983. "Corrigendum [On Optimal Family Allowances]," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 329-329, July.
    20. de la Croix, David & Doepke, Matthias, 2004. "Public versus private education when differential fertility matters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 607-629, April.
    21. Buiter, Willem H & Carmichael, Jeffrey, 1984. "Government Debt: Comment [Government Debt in an Overlapping-Generations Model with Bequests and Gifts]," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 762-765, September.
    22. Neil Bruce & Michael Waldman, 1990. "The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 155-165.
    23. Barro, Robert J & Becker, Gary S, 1989. "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 481-501, March.
    24. 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.
    25. Burbidge, John B, 1984. "Government Debt: Reply [Government Debt in an Overlapping-Generations Model with Bequests and Gifts]," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 766-767, September.
    26. Balasko, Yves & Shell, Karl, 1980. "The overlapping-generations model, I: The case of pure exchange without money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 281-306, December.
    27. 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.
    28. Drazen, Allan, 1978. "Government Debt, Human Capital, and Bequests in a Life-Cycle Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 505-516, June.
    29. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Eduardo L. Giménez & Mikel Pérez-Nievas, 2010. "Millian Efficiency with Endogenous Fertility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 154-187.
    30. Eckstein, Zvi & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1985. "Endogenous fertility and optimal population size," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 93-106, June.
    31. Razin, Assaf & Ben-Zion, Uri, 1975. "An Intergenerational Model of Population Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 923-933, December.
    32. 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.
    33. Cigno, Alessandro, 1983. "On Optimal Family Allowances," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(1), pages 13-22, March.
    34. Nishimura, Kazuo & Zhang, Junsen, 1995. "Sustainable Plans of Social Security with Endogenous Fertility," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 182-194, January.
    35. John Laitner, 1988. "Bequests, Gifts, and Social Security," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(2), pages 275-299.
    36. Zhang, Jie, 1995. "Social security and endogenous growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 185-213, October.
    37. Aiyagari, S. Rao & Greenwood, Jeremy & Seshadri, Ananth, 2002. "Efficient Investment in Children," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 290-321, February.
    38. Abã O, G. & Mahieu, G. & Patxot, C., 2004. "On the optimality of PAYG pension systems in an endogenous fertility setting," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 35-62, March.
    39. Zhao Kai, 2011. "Social Security, Differential Fertility, and the Dynamics of the Earnings Distribution," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-31, August.
    40. Alessandro Cigno & Martin Werding, 2007. "Children and Pensions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033690, February.
    41. G. Abío & Geraldine Mahieu & Cio Patxot, 2003. "On the Optimality of PAYG Pension Systems in an Endogenous Fertility Setting," CESifo Working Paper Series 1050, CESifo.
    42. Folbre, Nancy, 1994. "Children as Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 86-90, May.
    43. Günther Lang, 2005. "Endogenous fertility and modified Pareto-optimality," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 4(3), pages 171-191, December.
    44. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1986. "Endogenous Population with Public Goods and Malthusian Fixed Resources: Efficiency or Market Failure," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 601-609, October.
    45. Marc Nerlove & Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 1985. "Population Size: Individual Choice and Social Optima," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 321-334.
    46. Pitchford, J D, 1985. "External Effects of Population Growth," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(2), pages 264-281, June.
    47. Landes, William M. & Solmon, Lewis C., 1972. "Compulsory Schooling Legislation: An Economic Analysis of Law and Social Change in the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(1), pages 54-91, March.
    48. Harford, Jon D, 1998. "The Ultimate Externality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 260-265, March.
    49. Cigno, Alessandro, 1986. "Fertility and the Tax-Benefit System: A Reconsideration of the Theory of Family Taxation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1035-1051, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Should we own our children?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-02-16 21:13:00

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Juan Cordoba & Marla Ripoll & Xiying Liu, 2019. "Accounting for the International Quantity-Quality Trade-off," 2019 Meeting Papers 156, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Juan Carlos Córdoba & Marla Ripoll, 2016. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Fertility–Income Relationship," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(593), pages 949-977, June.
    3. Renaud Bourlès & Bruno Ventelou & Maame Esi Woode, 2018. "Child Income Appropriations as a Disease-Coping Mechanism: Consequences for the Health-Education Relationship," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(1), pages 57-71, January.
    4. Schoonbroodt, Alice & Tertilt, Michèle, 2014. "Property rights and efficiency in OLG models with endogenous fertility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 551-582.
    5. Kevin Luo & Tomoko Kinugasa & Kai Kajitani, 2018. "Dynamic efficiency in world economy," Discussion Papers 1801, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
    6. Pensieroso, Luca & Sommacal, Alessandro, 2014. "Economic development and family structure: From pater familias to the nuclear family," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 80-100.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Schoonbroodt, Alice & Tertilt, Michèle, 2014. "Property rights and efficiency in OLG models with endogenous fertility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 551-582.
    2. Oliwia Komada, 2015. "Children as a public good in PAYG pension system," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 43.
    3. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Eduardo L. Giménez & Mikel Pérez-Nievas, 2010. "Millian Efficiency with Endogenous Fertility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 154-187.
    4. Thomas Baudin, 2011. "Family Policies: What Does the Standard Endogenous Fertility Model Tell Us?," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 13(4), pages 555-593, August.
    5. Yew, Siew Ling & Zhang, Jie, 2013. "Socially optimal social security and education subsidization in a dynastic model with human capital externalities, fertility and endogenous growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 154-175.
    6. Liu, Xiying, 2015. "Optimal population and policy implications," ISU General Staff Papers 201501010800005546, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    7. Mikhail Golosov & Larry E. Jones & Michèle Tertilt, 2007. "Efficiency with Endogenous Population Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(4), pages 1039-1071, July.
    8. Nicholas Lawson & Dean Spears, 2018. "Optimal population and exhaustible resource constraints," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(1), pages 295-335, January.
    9. Doepke, M. & Tertilt, M., 2016. "Families in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1789-1891, Elsevier.
    10. Firouz Gahvari, 2009. "Pensions and fertility: in search of a link," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(4), pages 418-442, August.
    11. Richard C. Barnett & Joydeep Bhattacharya & Mikko Puhakka, 2018. "Private versus public old-age security," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(3), pages 703-746, July.
    12. 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.
    13. Stelter, Robert, 2016. "Over-aging — Are present-day human populations too old?," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 116-143.
    14. Fanti, Luciano & Gori, Luca, 2012. "PAYG pensions, tax-cum-subsidy and A-Pareto efficiency," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 65-71.
    15. Meier, Volker & Wrede, Matthias, 2010. "Pensions, fertility, and education," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 75-93, January.
    16. Stelter, Robert, 2014. "Over-aging: Are present human populations too old?," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 137, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    17. Cigno, A., 2016. "Conflict and Cooperation Within the Family, and Between the State and the Family, in the Provision of Old-Age Security," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 609-660, Elsevier.
    18. Robinson, James A. & Srinivasan, T.N., 1993. "Long-term consequences of population growth: Technological change, natural resources, and the environment," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1175-1298, Elsevier.
    19. Francesco C. Billari & Vincenzo Galasso, 2008. "What Explains Fertility? Evidence from Italian Pension Reforms," CSEF Working Papers 209, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    20. Bas Groezen & Lex Meijdam, 2008. "Growing old and staying young: population policy in an ageing closed economy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(3), pages 573-588, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Overlapping Generations; Fertility; Efficiency;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:09-003. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anne Shor) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Anne Shor to update the entry or send us the correct email address. General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cestaus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.