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Old-age Support and Demographic Transition in Developing Countries. A Cultural Transmission Model


  • Javier Olivera

    (UCD Geary Institute, University College Dublin)


We model intergenerational old-age support within the context of a developing country that faces demographic transition: declining fertility and increasing life expectancy. We attempt to answer if agents will be able to support their parents during the next generations and under what conditions. For this purpose we use a three period overlapping generations model and a cultural transmission process, in which agents may be socialized to different cultural family models (old-age supporters and non-supporters). As life expectancy increases, we find conditions under which a reduced fertility rate is compatible with the expectation to be supported during old-age. This offers an additional explanation for the persistency of family old-age support in developing countries facing demographic transsition.

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  • Javier Olivera, 2013. "Old-age Support and Demographic Transition in Developing Countries. A Cultural Transmission Model," Working Papers 201307, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201307

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Baudin, Thomas, 2010. "A Role For Cultural Transmission In Fertility Transitions," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(04), pages 454-481, September.
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    4. Donald Cox & Oded Stark, 2007. "On the Demand for Grandchildren: Tied Transfers and the Demonstration Effect," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Happiness, chapter 18 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    6. Willis, Robert J, 1973. "A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 14-64, Part II, .
    7. Alberto Bisin & Giorgio Topa & Thierry Verdier, 2009. "Cultural transmission, socialization and the population dynamics of multiple-trait distributions," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 5(1), pages 139-154.
    8. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
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    14. Lau, Sau-Him Paul, 2009. "Demographic structure and capital accumulation: A quantitative assessment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 554-567, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ponthiere Gregory, 2013. "Long-Term Care, Altruism and Socialization," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 429-471, October.

    More about this item


    Cultural transmission; intergenerational transfers; fertility;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

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