A Theory of Child Adoption

14 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2012

See all articles by Dirk Bethmann

Dirk Bethmann

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michael Kvasnicka

RWI Essen (Berlin Office)

Date Written: June 1, 2012


Women can bear own children or adopt them. Extending economic theories of fertility, we provide a first theoretical treatment of the demand for adoption. We show that the propensity to adopt a child increases in the degree of own altruism, infertility, relatedness to the child, costs of own child birth, and any adoption-specific monetary return that is received net of the costs of adopting the child. Our model makes several testable predictions which receive empirical support. These include a higher propensity to adopt among infertile adults, relatives, women with high earnings potential, and celebrities.

Keywords: Adoption, demand for adoption, fertility, children, altruism

JEL Classification: J12, J13, D02

Suggested Citation

Bethmann, Dirk and Kvasnicka, Michael, A Theory of Child Adoption (June 1, 2012). Ruhr Economic Paper No. 342, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2084186 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2084186

Dirk Bethmann (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Michael Kvasnicka

RWI Essen (Berlin Office) ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Berlin, 45128

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