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Be fruitful or multiply: On the interplay between fertility and economic development

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  • Avner Ahituv

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 91905 Jerusalem, Israel.)

Abstract

This paper develops and estimates an empirical model of the interplay between fertility and economic development. Using panel data, this study finds that a one-percent decrease in population growth increases GDP per capita growth by more than three percent. In addition, because families with low levels of human capital choose to have more children, income per capita grows faster in developed countries than in developing countries. Finally, this study shows that the estimates of the interplay between fertility and output obtained from single cross-country regressions are biased downward because that method of estimation is unable to control for unobservable country effects and measurement errors. The neoclassical approach fails to account for these effects. The present study contributes to the now-standard growth model, and provides a better description of international differences in standards of living.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 51-71

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:14:y:2001:i:1:p:51-71

Note: Received: 25 March 1998/Accepted: 11 June 1999
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Related research

Keywords: Economic growth · fertility · Panel data;

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References

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  1. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Barro, R.J. & Becker, G.S., 1988. "Fertility Choice In A Model Of Economic Growth," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 88-8, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  4. Gary S. Becker, . "Fertility and the Economy," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 92-3, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  5. Oded Galor & David N. Weil, 1993. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1994. "Sources of economic growth," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-46, June.
  8. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
  9. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  10. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "Losers and Winners in Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  12. Schultz, T Paul, 1994. "Human Capital, Family Planning, and Their Effects on Population Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 255-60, May.
  13. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis, 1997. "The problem of population and growth: A review of the literature from Malthus to contemporary models of endogenous population and endogenous growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 205-242, January.
  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. Olsen, Randall J, 1994. "Fertility and the Size of the U.S. Labor Force," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(1), pages 60-100, March.
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