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Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters

  • David de la Croix
  • Matthias Doepke

We develop a new theoretical link between inequality and growth. In our model, fertility and education decisions are interdependent. Poor parents decide to have many children and invest little in education. A mean-preserving spread in the income distribution increases the fertility differential between the rich and the poor, which implies that more weight gets placed on families who provide little education. Consequently, an increase in inequality lowers average education and, therefore, growth. We find that this fertility-differential effect accounts for most of the empirical relationship between inequality and growth. (JEL J13, O40)

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

Volume (Year): 93 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 1091-1113

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:93:y:2003:i:4:p:1091-1113
Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282803769206214
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