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Fertility and the Plough

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Author Info

  • Alesina, Alberto

    ()
    (Harvard University)

  • Giuliano, Paola

    ()
    (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Nunn, Nathan

    ()
    (Harvard University)

Abstract

The current study finds that societies which historically engaged in plough agriculture today have lower fertility. We argue, and provide ethnographic evidence, that the finding is explained by the fact that with plough agriculture, children, like women, are relatively less useful in the field. The plough requires strength and eliminates the need for weeding, a task particularly suitable for women and children. This in turn generates a preference for fewer children, lowering fertility.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5502.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: American Economic Review, 2011, 101 (3), 499-503
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5502

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Related research

Keywords: fertility; cultural norms; plough;

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References

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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Giuliano, Paola & Nunn, Nathan, 2011. "On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough," IZA Discussion Papers 5735, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Fernández, Raquel & Fogli, Alessandra, 2005. "Fertility: The Role of Culture and Family Experience," CEPR Discussion Papers 5221, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Nicole M Fortin, 2005. "Gender Role Attitudes and the Labour-market Outcomes of Women across OECD Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 416-438, Autumn.
  4. Fernández, Raquel & Fogli, Alessandra, 2005. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work and Fertility," CEPR Discussion Papers 5089, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Raquel Fernández, 2007. "Alfred Marshall Lecture Women, Work, and Culture," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 305-332, 04-05.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Fertility differences and agricultural techniques
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-03-28 14:38:00
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Cited by:
  1. Doepke, Matthias & Tertilt, Michèle & Voena, Alessandra, 2011. "The Economics and Politics of Women's Rights," IZA Discussion Papers 6215, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Ufuk Akcigit & Murat Alp Celik, 2014. "Young, Restless and Creative: Openness to Disruption and Creative Innovations," NBER Working Papers 19894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Nico Voigtländer & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2012. "Persecution Perpetuated: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Violence in Nazi Germany," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1339-1392.
  4. Cáceres-Delpiano, Julio & Giolito, Eugenio P., 2008. "The Impact of Unilateral Divorce on Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 3380, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Hansen, Casper Worm, 2013. "Economic growth and individualism: The role of informal institutions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 378-380.
  6. Quy-Toan Do & Andrei A. Levchenko & Claudio Raddatz, . "Comparative Advantage, International Trade, and Fertility," Working Papers 624, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  7. Voigtländer, Nico & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2012. "(Re-) Shaping Hatred: Anti-Semitic Attitudes in Germany, 1890-2006," CEPR Discussion Papers 8935, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Do, Quy-Toan & Levchenko, Andrei A. & Raddatz, Claudio, 2011. "Engendering trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5777, The World Bank.

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  1. Economic Logic blog

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