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Access to natural resources and the fertility decision of women: the case of South Africa

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  • Aggarwal, Rimjhim
  • Netanyahu, Sinaia
  • Romano, Claudia
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    Abstract

    Previous studies have examined the impact of an exogenous increase in population on the local resource base. In some recent theoretical work it has been proposed that resource scarcity, in turn, may affect fertility, and hence population growth rates. However, the sign and magnitude of this effect remains an open empirical question. In this paper we examine the impact of fuelwood and water scarcity on fertility rates using household data from rural South Africa. An individual choice model of fertility is estimated in which resource scarcity affects the demand for children through its effect on child mortality and productivity of children as resource collectors. Several alternative measures of resource scarcity are used, such as average distance traveled and time per trip for collecting water and fuelwood. We find wood scarcity to have a positive and significant effect on fertility. The effect of water scarcity is also positive, but not significant in general.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Environment and Development Economics.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 02 (May)
    Pages: 209-236

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    Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:6:y:2001:i:02:p:209-236_00

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    Cited by:
    1. Robert Innes & George Frisvold, 2009. "The Economics of Endangered Species," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 485-512, 09.
    2. Masako Ikefuji & Ryo Horii, 2005. "Wealth Heterogeneity and Escape from the Poverty-Environment Trap," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 05-09, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    3. Partha Dasgupta, 2013. "The Nature of Economic Development and the Economic Development of Nature," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1349, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    4. Dasgupta, Partha, 2010. "The Place of Nature in Economic Development," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    5. Bhattacharya, Haimanti & Innes, Robert, 2005. "Bi-Directional Links Between Population Growth and the Environment: Evidence From India," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19404, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    6. Nankhuni, Flora J. & Findeis, Jill L., 2003. "The Effects Of Environmental Degradation On Women'S And Children'S Time Allocation Decisions In Malawi: Impact On Children'S Welfare," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22117, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    7. Melvyn Weeks & Sriya Iyer, 2004. "Multiple social interactions and reproductive externalities: An investigation of fertility behaviour in Kenya," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 143, Econometric Society.
    8. Iyer, Sriya & Velu, Chander, 2006. "Real options and demographic decisions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 39-58, June.

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