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Author:Seshadri, Ananth 

Discussion Paper
Efficient investment in children

Many would say that children are societys most precious resource. So, how should it invest in them? To gain insight into this question, a dynamic general equilibrium model is developed where children differ by ability. Parents invest time and money in their offspring, depending on their altruism. This allows their children to grow up as more productive adults. First, the efficient allocation for the framework is characterized. Next, this is compared with the case of incomplete financial markets. Then, the situation where childcare markets are also lacking is examined. Additionally, the ...
Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics , Paper 132

Working Paper
Lifetime labor supply and human capital investment

We develop a model of retirement and human capital investment to study the effects of tax and retirement policies. Workers choose the supply of raw labor (career length) and also the human capital embodied in their labor. Our model explains a significant fraction of the US-Europe difference in schooling and retirement. The model predicts that reforms of the European retirement policies modeled after the US can deliver 15?35 percent gains in per-worker output in the long run. Increased human capital investment in and out of school accounts for most of the gains, with relatively small changes ...
Working Papers , Paper 2012-004

Working Paper
Frictionless technology diffusion: the case of tractors

Empirical evidence suggests that there is a long lag between the time a new technology is introduced and the time at which it is widely adopted. The conventional wisdom is that this fact is inconsistent with the predictions of the frictionless neoclassical model. In this paper we study the specific case of the diffusion of the tractor in American agriculture between 1910 and 1960. There are three important driving forces: changes in quality, wage rates and prices of substitutes such as horses and mules. We demonstrate that once these exogenous forces are taken into account, the standard ...
Working Papers , Paper 2013-022

Conference Paper
The baby boom and baby bust: some macroeconomics for population economics

What caused the baby boom? And, can it be explained within the context of the secular decline in fertility that has occurred over the last 200 years? The hypothesis is that: (i) The secular decline in fertility is due to the relentless rise in real wages that increased the opportunity cost of having children. (ii) The baby boom is explained by an atypical burst of technological progress in the household sector that occurred in the middle of the last century. This lowered the cost of having children. A model is developed in an attempt to account, quantitatively, for both the baby boom and bust.
Proceedings , Issue Nov

Conference Paper
Frictionless technology diffusion: the case of tractors

Empirical evidence suggests that there is a long lag between the time a new technology is introduced and the time at which it is widely adopted. The conventional wisdom is that these observations are inconsistent with the predictions of the frictionless neoclassical model. In this paper we show this to be incorrect. Once the appropriate driving forces are taken into account, the neoclassical model can account for 'slow' adoption. We illustrate this by developing an industry model to study the equilibrium rate of diffusion of tractors in the U.S. between 1910 and 1960.
Proceedings , Issue Nov

Working Paper
The U.S. demographic transition

Between 1800 and 1940, the United States went through a dramatic demographic transition. In 1800, the average woman had seven children, and 94 percent of the population lived in rural areas. By 1940, the average woman birthed just two kids, and only 43 percent of the populace lived in the country. The question is: What accounted for this shift in the demographic landscape? The answer given here is that technological progress in agriculture and manufacturing explains these facts.
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 0118

Working Paper
Efficient investment in children

If children are society?s most precious resource, as many would argue, how should we invest in them? To gain insight into this question, the authors develop a dynamic, general-equilibrium model in which children differ by ability. Parents invest time and money in their offspring, depending on their altruism, to help them grow into more productive adults. The authors characterize the efficient allocation, then compare it with the outcome that arises when financial markets are incomplete. They also examine the situation where childcare markets are lacking and analyze the consequences of impure ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 0105

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