Human capital accumulation, fertility and growth: a re-analysis
AbstractThis paper develops an economic growth model with endogenous fertility. In doing so, it provides a new explanation for the relation between fertility, economic development and human capital accumulation. The model emphasizes the role returns on human capital play in economic development through individuals' allocation of time between acquiring human capital and production and rearing of children. In the model, production and rearing children are time intensive and accumulating human capital requires time and has a cost. Individuals' stock of human capital depends positively on the time allocated to education and on their parents' stock of human capital. Moreover, increases in the parents' stock of human capital raises the rate of return on human capital investment. As a result, individuals choose to allocate more time to education and less to producing and rearing children as their parents' stock of human capital increases. The model also demonstrates that individuals' choices on fertility and education may lead to multiple equilibria. Specifically, even if individuals' utility depends relatively more on their own consumption rather than on the number of children that they have, countries that have a low enough initial stock of human capital converge to a development trap with large families, little human capital and low output per capita.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 523.
Date of creation: 1995
Date of revision:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, .
"A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility,"
University of Chicago - Population Research Center
85-11, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Becker, Gary S & Barro, Robert J, 1988. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25, February.
- Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1988. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," NBER Working Papers 1793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996.
"The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-87, June.
- Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1986.
"Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S1-39, July.
- Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, . "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 84-10, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, 1994.
"Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth,"
in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 323-350
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert F. Tamura, 1990. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, . "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 90-5a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992.
"A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
- Sundstrom, William A. & David, Paul A., 1988. "Old-age security motives, labor markets, and farm family fertility in antebellum American," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 164-197, April.
- 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.
- Murat F. Iyigun, 1996. "Timing of childbearing, family size and economic growth," International Finance Discussion Papers 573, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Blackburn, Keith & Cipriani, Giam Pietro, 2002. "A model of longevity, fertility and growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 187-204, February.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kris Vajs) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Kris Vajs to update the entry or send us the correct address.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.