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Risk sharing, inequality and fertility

Author: Roozbeh Hosseini; Larry E Jones; Ali Shourideh; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2009.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 15111.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
We use an extended Barro-Becker model of endogenous fertility, in which parents are heterogeneous in their labor productivity, to study the efficient degree of consumption inequality in the long run. In our environment a utilitarian planner allows for consumption inequality even when labor productivity is public information. We show that adding private information does not alter this result. We also show that the  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Roozbeh Hosseini; Larry E Jones; Ali Shourideh; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 417851205
Notes: "June 2009."
Description: 1 online resource (73 pages) : illustrations, digital.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 15111.
Responsibility: Roozbeh Hosseini, Larry E. Jones, Ali Shourideh.

Abstract:

We use an extended Barro-Becker model of endogenous fertility, in which parents are heterogeneous in their labor productivity, to study the efficient degree of consumption inequality in the long run. In our environment a utilitarian planner allows for consumption inequality even when labor productivity is public information. We show that adding private information does not alter this result. We also show that the informationally constrained optimal insurance contract has a resetting property - whenever a family line experiences the highest shock, the continuation utility of each child is reset to a (high) level that is independent of history. This implies that there is a non-trivial, stationary distribution over continuation utilities and there is no mass at misery. The novelty of our approach is that the no-immiseration result is achieved without requiring that the objectives of the planner and the private agents disagree. Because there is no discrepancy between planner and private agents' objectives, the policy implications for implementation of the efficient allocation differ from previous results in the literature. Two examples of these are: 1) estate taxes are positive and 2) there are positive taxes on family size.

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