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User bonneuil
title Beyond optimality: Managing children, assets, and consumption over the life cycle
Authors Noël Bonneuil and Patrick Saint-Pierre
Source Journal of Mathematical Economics 44 (2008) 227–241
Year 2008
Type Journal
Type of publication Other

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Abstract To raise children, to guarantee a certain way of life, and to retire with a certain amount of capital can be accomplished in many
different ways, particularly when couples are faced with the possibility of unemployment or poor returns to savings while trying to
balance current and future consumption both personally and for their children. Not any trajectory is successful, but those which are
successful are myriad. Agents’ heterogeneity is modelled both by the whole state space where each state corresponds to a different
situation, and by the set of attainable states, which reflects uncertainty inherent both in decision-making and in external shocks.
The delineation of all manageable states of consumption, reproduction, and saving identifies the timing of when to have children,
and when and how much to consume and save. Discontinuities of consumption when a child is born are fully taken into account
through continuous-discrete differential inclusions. The theory is illustrated with an empirical example; international comparison
shows that lower fertility is associated with smaller sets of timely decisions.
Created Tuesday 11 December, 2012 11:37:58


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