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American Economic Journal: Microeconomics: Vol. 4 No. 4 (November 2012)

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A Theory of Occupational Choice with Endogenous Fertility

Article Citation

Mookherjee, Dilip, Silvia Prina, and Debraj Ray. 2012. "A Theory of Occupational Choice with Endogenous Fertility." American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 4(4): 1-34.

DOI: 10.1257/mic.4.4.1

Abstract

Theories based on partial equilibrium reasoning alone cannot explain the widespread negative cross-sectional correlation between parental wages and fertility, without restrictive assumptions on preferences and childcare costs. We argue that incorporating a dynamic general equilibrium analysis of returns to human capital can help explain observed empirical patterns. Other by-products of this theory include explanations for intergenerational mobility without stochastic shocks, connections between mobility and fertility patterns, and locally determinate steady states. Comparative statics exercises on steady states shed light on the effects of education, childcare subsidies, child labor regulations, and income redistribution policy on long run living standards. (JEL H23, I31, J13, J24, J62, J82)

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Authors

Mookherjee, Dilip (Boston U)
Prina, Silvia (Case Western Reserve U)
Ray, Debraj (NYU)

JEL Classifications

H23: Taxation and Subsidies: Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
I31: General Welfare
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
J62: Job, Occupational, and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
J82: Labor Standards: Labor Force Composition

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