IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Who Owns Children and Does it Matter?

  • Michele Tertilt

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Stanford University)

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

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

Paper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 09-003.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:09-003
Contact details of provider: Postal: 366 Galvez Street, Stanford, California 94305-6015
Phone: (650) 725-1874
Fax: (650) 723-8611
Web page: http://siepr.stanford.edu

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. repec:fda:fdaddt:2004-13 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Matthias Doepke, 2004. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 347-383, 09.
  3. Cigno, Alessandro, 1983. "Corrigendum [On Optimal Family Allowances]," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 329, July.
  4. Larry E. Jones & Ali Shourideh & Roozbeh Hosseini, 2010. "Risk Sharing, Inequality, and Fertility," 2010 Meeting Papers 948, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. DE LA CROIX, David & DOEPKE, Matthias, 2001. "Inequality and Growth : Why Differential Fertility Matters," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2001008, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  6. Mikhail Golosov & Larry E. Jones & Michele Tertilt, 2004. "Efficiency with Endogenous Population Growth," NBER Working Papers 10231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. de la CROIX, David & DOEPKE, Matthias, 2002. "Public versus private education when differential fertility matters," CORE Discussion Papers 2002022, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. Robert J. Barro & Gary S. Becker, . "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 88-8, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  9. Cigno, Alessandro, 1983. "On Optimal Family Allowances," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(1), pages 13-22, March.
  10. Michele Boldrin & Ana Montes, 2005. "The Intergenerational State Education and Pensions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 651-664.
  11. David, DE LA CROIX & Matthias, DOEPKE, 2003. "To Segregate or to Integrate : Education Politics and Democracy," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2003021, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  12. Elisha A. Panzer & Assaf Razin, 1977. "Competitive Efficiency in an Overlapping-Generation Model with Endogenous Population," Discussion Papers 283, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  13. Günther Lang, 2005. "Endogenous fertility and modified Pareto-optimality," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 171-191, December.
  14. 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 222-27, March.
  15. 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 Group Munich.
  16. 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 1035-51, December.
  17. Edward P. Lazear, 1976. "Intergenerational Externalities," NBER Working Papers 0145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Michele Boldrin & Mariacristina De Nardi & Larry E. Jones, 2005. "Fertility and Social Security," NBER Working Papers 11146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Razin, Assaf & Ben-Zion, Uri, 1975. "An Intergenerational Model of Population Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 923-33, December.
  20. Andrew B. Abel, . "Operative Gift and Bequest Motives," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 09-87, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  21. Pitchford, J D, 1985. "External Effects of Population Growth," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(2), pages 264-81, June.
  22. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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 762-65, September.
  26. Eckstein, Zvi & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1985. "Endogenous fertility and optimal population size," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 93-106, June.
  27. Philippe Michel & Bertrand Wigniolle, 2007. "On Efficient Child Making," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 307-326, May.
  28. 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.
  29. Aiyagari, S. Rao & Greenwood, Jeremy & Seshadri, Ananth, 2002. "Efficient Investment in Children," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 290-321, February.
  30. Abel, Andrew B, et al, 1989. "Assessing Dynamic Efficiency: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 1-19, January.
  31. Neil Bruce & Michael Waldman, 1986. "The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma," UCLA Economics Working Papers 402, UCLA Department of Economics.
  32. Zeng, J & Jie Zhang, . "Optimal social security in a dynastic model with investment externalities and endogenous fertility," MRG Discussion Paper Series 1006, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  33. 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.
  34. Mikel Perez-Nievas & Eduardo L. Gimenez & J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz, 2007. "Millian efficiency with endogenous fertility," 2007 Meeting Papers 338, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  35. Folbre, Nancy, 1994. "Children as Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 86-90, May.
  36. Larry E. Jones & Alice Schoonbroodt, 2007. "Complements versus Substitutes and Trends in Fertility Choice in Dynastic Models," NBER Working Papers 13680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1985. "Population Size: Individual Choice and Social Optima," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 321-34, May.
  38. 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 601-09, October.
  39. Nishimura, Kazuo & Zhang, Junsen, 1995. "Sustainable Plans of Social Security with Endogenous Fertility," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 182-94, January.
  40. Laitner, John P, 1979. "Bequests, Golden-age Capital Accumulation and Government Debt," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 46(184), pages 403-14, November.
  41. 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.
  42. Alessandro Cigno & Martin Werding, 2007. "Children and Pensions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033690, June.
  43. Kai Zhao, 2009. "Social Security, Differential Fertility, and the Dynamics of the Earnings Distribution," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 20091, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  44. Harford, Jon D, 1998. "The Ultimate Externality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 260-65, March.
  45. 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 505-16, June.
  46. Zhang, Jie, 1995. "Social security and endogenous growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 185-213, October.
  47. Laitner, John, 1988. "Bequests, Gifts, and Social Security," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 275-99, April.
  48. 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(01), pages 54-91, March.
  49. 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 766-67, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Economic Logic blog

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)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.