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Luigi Pistaferri, Consumption Inequality and Family Labor Supply

The Coevolution of Intergenerational Transfers and Longevity: An Optimal Life History Approach

Publication Abstract

Chu, C. Y. Cyrus, and Ronald D. Lee. 2006. "The Coevolution of Intergenerational Transfers and Longevity: An Optimal Life History Approach." Theoretical Population Biology, 69(2): 193-201.

How would resources be allocated among fertility, survival, and growth in an optimal life history? The budget constraint assumed by past treatments limits the energy used by each individual at each instant to what it produces at that instant. We consider under what conditions energy transfers from adults, which relax the rigid constraint by permitting energetic dependency and faster growth for the offspring, would be advantageous. In a sense, such transfers permit borrowing and lending across the life history. Higher survival and greater efficiency in energy production at older ages than younger both favor the evolution of transfers. We show that if such transfers are advantageous, then increased survival up to the age of making the transfers must co-evolve with the transfers themselves.

DOI:10.1016/j.tpb.2005.11.004 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC1513193. (Pub Med Central)

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