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Income Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility

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  • Kremer, Michael
  • Chen, Daniel L
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    Abstract

    Developing countries with highly unequal income distributions, such as Brazil or South Africa, face an uphill battle in reducing inequality. Educated workers in these countries have a much lower birthrate than uneducated workers. Assuming children of educated workers are more likely to become educated, this fertility differential increases the proportion of unskilled workers, reducing their wages, and thus their opportunity cost of having children, creating a vicious cycle. A model incorporating this effect generates multiple steady-state levels of inequality, suggesting that in some circumstances, temporarily increasing access to educational opportunities could permanently reduce inequality. Empirical evidence suggests that the fertility differential between the educated and uneducated is greater in less equal countries, consistent with the model. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 7 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 227-58

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:7:y:2002:i:3:p:227-58

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    1. Dahan, M & Tsiddon, D, 1996. "Demographic Transition, Income Distribution and Economic Growth," Papers 42-96, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
    2. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1984. "Income distribution policies with endogenous fertility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 221-230, July.
    3. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 1997. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a macroeconomic analysis," Staff Report 239, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    4. Birdsall, Nancy, 1988. "Economic approaches to population growth," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 477-542 Elsevier.
    5. Michael Kremer & Daniel Chen, 2000. "Income-distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility," NBER Working Papers 7530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Deininger, K & Squire, L, 1996. "Measuring Income Inequality : A New Data-Base," Papers 537, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    7. Omer Moav, 2005. "Cheap Children and the Persistence of Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 88-110, 01.
    8. Morand, Olivier F, 1999. " Endogenous Fertility, Income Distribution, and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 331-49, September.
    9. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    10. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 1998. "Does Schooling Cause Growth or the Other Way Around?," NBER Working Papers 6393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Daniel Chen & Michael Kremer, 1999. "Income-Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 155-160, May.
    12. Chu, C Y Cyrus & Koo, Hui-Wen, 1990. "Intergenerational Income-Group Mobility and Differential Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1125-38, December.
    13. Lam, David, 1986. "The Dynamics of Population Growth, Differential Fertility, and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1103-16, December.
    14. Galor, Oded & Zang, Hyoungsoo, 1997. "Fertility, income distribution, and economic growth: Theory and cross-country evidence," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 197-229, May.
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