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Fertility and development: the roles of schooling and family production

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  • William Lord
  • Peter Rangazas

Abstract

This paper presents a quantitative theory of development that highlights three mechanisms that relate schooling, fertility, and growth. First, we point out that in the early stages of development, fertility and schooling may rise together as the schooling of younger children increases their relative contribution to family income when they turn working age. Second, the model contains a supply-side theory of schooling that generates a rise in schooling independent of technological change. Third, we introduce a direct negative effect of industrialization on fertility that does not operate through human capital and the quantity-quality tradeoff. An initial quantitative assessment of the theoretical mechanisms is conducted by calibrating and applying the model to United States history from 1800 to 2000. We find that the demise in family production is an important factor reducing fertility in the 19th century and schooling of older children is dominant factor reducing fertility in the 20th century. The same model is applied to England from 1740 to 1940, where we offer two complimentary explanations for the rise in fertility from 1740 to 1820. The first is based on the rapid expansion in the cottage industry and the second on the increased relative productivity of children. We also find that the subsequent fall in fertility from 1820 to 1940 cannot be explained without introducing child labor/compulsory schooling laws. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economic Growth.

Volume (Year): 11 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 229-261

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:11:y:2006:i:3:p:229-261

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102931

Related research

Keywords: Economic development; Fertility; Schooling; Family production;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & Canuto, Otaviano, 2013. "Gender equality and economic growth in Brazil : a long-run analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6348, The World Bank.
  2. Galor, Oded, 2007. "Multiple Growth Regimes – Insights from Unified Growth Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 6427, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Akira Yakita, 2010. "Human capital accumulation, fertility and economic development," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 99(2), pages 97-116, March.
  4. Alex Mourmouras & Peter Rangazas, 2009. "Reconciling Kuznets and Habbakuk in a unified growth theory," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 149-181, June.
  5. Matthias Cinyabuguma & Bill Lord & Christelle Viauroux, 2012. "Revolution in U.S. Fertility, Schooling and Women's Work, 1875-1940: Assessing Proposed Explanations," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 12-04, UMBC Department of Economics, revised 30 Aug 2013.
  6. Alex Mourmouras & Peter Rangazas, 2007. "Wage Gaps and Development," IMF Working Papers 07/105, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Salam Abdus & Peter Rangazas, 2011. "Adult Nutrition and Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(4), pages 636-649, October.
  8. Masako Kimura & Daishin Yasui, 2012. "Public Policy and the Income-Fertility Relationship in Economic Development," KIER Working Papers 834, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  9. Masako Kimura & Daishin Yasui, 2010. "The Galor–Weil gender-gap model revisited: from home to market," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 323-351, December.
  10. Matthias Cinyabuguma & Bill Lord & Christelle Viauroux, 2009. "Health and the Revolution in Household Behavior 1880-1940: Fertility, Education and Married Female Labor Supply (previously entitled: Schooling, Fertility, and Married Female Labor Supply: What Role f," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 09-108, UMBC Department of Economics, revised 15 Apr 2010.
  11. Masako Kimura & Daishin Yasui, 2009. "Production Structure, Household Time Allocation, and Fertility," Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Discussion Paper Series 2009-013, Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Program.
  12. Masako Kimura & Daishin Yasui, 2012. "Public Policy and the Income-Fertility Relationship in Economic Development," Discussion Papers 1224, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.

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