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The Effect of Life Expectancy on Fertility, Saving, Schooling and Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence

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  • Jie Zhang
  • Junsen Zhang

Abstract

We construct a simple growth model where agents with uncertain survival choose schooling time, life-cycle consumption and the number of children. We show that rising longevity reduces fertility but raises saving, schooling time and the growth rate at a diminishing rate. Cross-section analyses using data from 76 countries support these propositions: life expectancy has a significant positive effect on the saving rate, secondary school enrollment and growth but a significant negative effect on fertility. Through sensitivity analyses, the effect on the saving rate is inconclusive, while the effects on the other variables are robust and consistent. These estimated effects are decreasing in life expectancy. Copyright The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics", 2005 .

Suggested Citation

  • Jie Zhang & Junsen Zhang, 2005. "The Effect of Life Expectancy on Fertility, Saving, Schooling and Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(1), pages 45-66, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:107:y:2005:i:1:p:45-66
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