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Differential Fertility, Human Capital, and Development

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  • Tom Vogl
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    Abstract

    Using micro-data from 48 developing countries, I document a recent reversal in the income-fertility relationship and its aggregate implications. Before 1960, children from larger families had richer parents and obtained more education. By century’s end, both patterns had reversed. Consequently, income differentials in fertility historically raised average education but now reduce it. While the reversal is unrelated to changes in GDP, women’s work, sectoral composition, or health, half is attributable to rising aggregate education in the parents’ generation. The results support a model in which rising skill returns lowered the minimum income at which parents invest in education.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19128.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19128

    Note: CH DEV ED EFG
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    1. Dahan, M & Tsiddon, D, 1996. "Demographic Transition, Income Distribution and Economic Growth," Papers, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies 42-96, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
    2. Michael Kremer & Daniel Chen, 2000. "Income-distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility," NBER Working Papers 7530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Esther Duflo, 2012. "Women Empowerment and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1051-79, December.
    4. Hadeishi, Hajime, 2003. "Economic Well-Being and Fertility in France: Nuits, 1744 1792," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(02), pages 489-505, June.
    5. 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, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
    6. Cohen, Daniel & Soto, Marcelo, 2001. "Growth and Human Capital: Good Data, Good Results," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3025, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Lam, David, 1986. "The Dynamics of Population Growth, Differential Fertility, and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1103-16, December.
    8. Malthus, Thomas Robert, 1798. "An Essay on the Principle of Population," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number malthus1798.
    9. Vegard Skirbekk, 2008. "Fertility trends by social status," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 18(5), pages 145-180, March.
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