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The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth

  • Galor, Oded
  • Weil, David N

This paper examines a novel mechanism linking fertility and growth. There are three components to the model: first, increases in capital per worker raise women's relative wages, since capital is more complementary to women's labor input than to men's. Second, increasing women's relative wages reduces fertility by raising the cost of children more than household income. And third, lower fertility raises the level of capital per worker. This positive feedback loop generates a demographic transition: a rapid decline in fertility accompanied by accelerated output growth. Copyright 1996 by American Economic Association.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 86 (1996)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 374-87

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:86:y:1996:i:3:p:374-87
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  1. Galor, Oded & Ryder, Harl E., 1989. "Existence, uniqueness, and stability of equilibrium in an overlapping-generations model with productive capital," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 360-375, December.
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-41, November.
  4. 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.
  5. Jacob Mincer, 1991. "Human Capital, Technology, and the Wage Structure: What Do Time Series Show?," NBER Working Papers 3581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M & Tamura, Robert, 1990. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S12-37, October.
  7. repec:oup:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:2:p:407-43 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. repec:oup:qjecon:v:107:y:1992:i:2:p:407-37 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  10. repec:oup:qjecon:v:103:y:1988:i:1:p:1-25 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. 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.
  12. Zvi Griliches, 1970. "Notes on the Role of Education in Production Functions and Growth Accounting," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Income, and Human Capital, pages 71-127 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence Kahn, 1995. "The Gender Earnings Gap: Some International Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 105-144 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Becker, Gary S, 1985. "Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S33-58, January.
  15. 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.
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