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Bequests or Education

Abstract : Whether parents choose to endow their offspring with bequests, or with human capital -the effectiveness with which they do so surely depending on their own human capital- or with both, markets cannot deliver, under laissez-faire, the egalitarian planner's mix of bequests and education that maximises the representative agent's welfare. Specifically, at the steady state and for a close enough to linear human capital production -out of educational investment and parents human capital- the market wage per efficient unit of labor is too high compared to the marginal productivity of labor resulting from the steady state the planner would choose, so that the market human capital is too low. In other words, the market misses the planner's allocation by leading households to transfer to their offspring more in bequests and less in education than would be advisable. This is so even if parents internalise in their utility the value of their bequests and educational investment for their children. The problem is not, therefore, one of an externality not internalised, but rather the impossibility of replicating in a decentralised way, under laissez-faire, the kind of intergenerational coordination that a planner constrained only by the feasibility of the allocation of resources can achieve. The planner's allocation can, nonetheless, be decentralised through the market by means of subsidising labor income at the expense of a lump-sum tax on saving returns.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02899993
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - 5:16:19 PM
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Julio Dávila. Bequests or Education. 2020. ⟨halshs-02899993⟩

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