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A stochastic model of mortality, fertility, and human capital investment

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  • Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between fertility and human capital investment, and it’s implications for economic growth, focusing on the e ects of declining mortality. Unlike the existing literature, this paper stresses the role of uncertainty about the number of surviving children. If the marginal utility of a surviving child is convex then there will be a precautionary demand for children. As the mortality rate and thus uncertainty falls, this demand decreases. Furthermore, lower mortality encourages educational investment in children. The key result is that this empirically observed quality-quantity trade o is realized only if uncertainty is incorporated into individual’s optimization problem.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 103-118

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:70:y:2003:i:1:p:103-118

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  1. Sah, R.K., 1989. "The Effects Of Mortality Changes On Fertility Choice And Individual Welfare: Some Theoretical Predictions," Papers 599, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  2. Brezis, Elise S., 2001. "Social classes, demographic transition and economic growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 707-717, May.
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  7. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, 1994. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 323-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Becker, Gary S, 1981. "Altruism in the Family and Selfishness in the Market Place," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 48(189), pages 1-15, February.
  10. Charles I. Jones, . "Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable? Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run," Working Papers 99008, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
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  12. Robert Tamura, 2002. "Human capital and economic development," Working Paper 2002-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  13. Robert J. Barro, 1996. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," NBER Working Papers 5698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  15. Blau Francine D & Kahn Lawrence M, 2007. "The Gender Pay Gap," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 4(4), pages 1-6, June.
  16. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
  18. Simon Appleton & Francis Teal, 2002. "Working Paper 39 - Human Capital and Economic Development," Working Paper Series 173, African Development Bank.
  19. O'Hara, Donald J, 1975. "Microeconomic Aspects of the Demographic Transition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1203-16, December.
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