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Fertility and the Plough

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Author Info

  • Alberto Alesina
  • Paola Giuliano
  • Nathan Nunn

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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16718.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Publication status: published as Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2011. "Fertility and the Plough," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 499-503, May.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16718

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2013. "On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 469-530.
  2. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli, 2005. "Fertility: The Role of Culture and Family Experience," NBER Working Papers 11569, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Raquel Fernandez & Alessandra Fogli, 2005. "Culture: an empirical investigation of beliefs, work, and fertility," Staff Report 361, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. 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.
  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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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. Daron Acemoglu & Ufuk Akcigit & Murat Alp Celik, 2014. "Young, Restless and Creative: Openness to Disruption and Creative Innovations," PIER Working Paper Archive 14-004, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. 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).
  3. Do, Quy-Toan & Levchenko, Andrei A. & Raddatz, Claudio, 2011. "Engendering trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5777, The World Bank.
  4. Julio C�ceres-Delpiano & Eugenio Giolito, 2012. "The Impact of Unilateral Divorce on Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 215 - 248.
  5. Nico Voigtländer & Joachim Voth, 2012. "(Re-) Shaping hatred: Anti-Semitic attitudes in Germany, 1890-2006," Economics Working Papers 1344, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  6. Hansen, Casper Worm, 2013. "Economic growth and individualism: The role of informal institutions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 378-380.
  7. Nico Voigtlaender & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2011. "Persecution Perpetuated: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Violence in Nazi Germany," NBER Working Papers 17113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.

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