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Declining Fertility and Economic Well-Being: Do Education and Health Ride to the Rescue?

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  • Prettner, Klaus

    ()
    (University of Göttingen)

  • Bloom, David E.

    ()
    (Harvard University)

  • Strulik, Holger

    ()
    (Leibniz University of Hannover)

Abstract

It is widely argued that declining fertility slows the pace of economic growth in industrialized countries through its negative effect on labor supply. There are, however, theoretical arguments suggesting that the effect of falling fertility on effective labor supply can be offset by associated behavioral changes. We formalize these arguments by setting forth a dynamic consumer optimization model that incorporates endogenous fertility as well as endogenous education and health investments. The model shows that a fertility decline induces higher education and health investments that are able to compensate for declining fertility under certain circumstances. We assess the theoretical implications by investigating panel data for 118 countries over the period 1980 to 2005 and show that behavioral changes partly mitigate the negative impact of declining fertility on effective labor supply.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6527.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6527

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Keywords: demographic change; effective labor supply; human capital; population health; economic growth;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Klaus Prettner & Timo Trimborn, 2012. "Demographic Change and R&D-based Economic Growth: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," DEGIT Conference Papers c017_006, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  2. repec:got:cegedp:139 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Prettner, Klaus, 2012. "Public education, technological change and economic prosperity: semi-endogenous growth revisited," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 65414, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  4. Bloom, David E. & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2013. "Ageing and Productivity: Introduction," IZA Discussion Papers 7205, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Attar, M. Aykut, 2013. "Growth and Demography in Turkey: Economic History vs. Pro-Natalist Rhetoric," MPRA Paper 47275, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Alfred Garloff & Rüdiger Wapler, 2013. "Are the Number of Skilled Workers Running Out in Germany? The (Non)-Consequences of Demographic Change," ERSA conference papers ersa13p854, European Regional Science Association.
  7. Bloom, David E. & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2013. "Ageing and productivity," FZID Discussion Papers 63-2012, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).

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