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Cheap Children and the Persistence of Poverty

Listed author(s):
  • Omer Moav

This paper develops a theory of fertility that offers an explanation for the persistence of poverty within and across countries. If educated individuals have a comparative advantage in raising educated children then parental fertility choice is shown to give rise to a poverty trap, in which the poor choose high fertility rates with low investment in child quality. Moreover, the impact of child quality choice on economic performance is amplified by the diluting effect of higher fertility on physical capital accumulation. The theory proposes insights regarding the effects of inequality, globalisation and life expectancy on economic growth and demographic transitions. Copyright 2005 Royal Economic Society.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2004.00961.x
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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 115 (2005)
Issue (Month): 500 (01)
Pages: 88-110

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:115:y:2005:i:500:p:88-110
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  1. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191.
  2. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Nien-Huei Jiang, Neville, 2002. "A simple model of inequality, occupational choice, and development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 205-226, October.
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  4. Eicher, Theo S. & Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia, 2001. "Inequality and growth: the dual role of human capital in development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 173-197, October.
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  6. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
  7. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter & Violante, Giovanni L, 2002. "General Purpose Technology and Wage Inequality," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 315-345, December.
  8. Matthias Doepke, 2004. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 347-383, 09.
  9. Avner Ahituv, 2001. "Be fruitful or multiply: On the interplay between fertility and economic development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(1), pages 51-71.
  10. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1091-1113, September.
  11. Galor, Oded, 1996. "Convergence? Inferences from Theoretical Models," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 1056-1069, July.
  12. Moshe Hazan & Binyamin Berdugo, 2002. "Child Labour, Fertility, and Economic Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 810-828, October.
  13. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters,in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Ability-Biased Technological Transition, Wage Inequality, and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 469-497.
  15. Galor, Oded, 2005. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293 Elsevier.
  16. 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, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  17. Morand, Olivier F, 1999. "Endogenous Fertility, Income Distribution, and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 331-349, September.
  18. Amparo Castelló-Climent & Rafael Doménech, 2008. "Human Capital Inequality, Life Expectancy And Economic Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 653-677, 04.
  19. Dahan, Momi & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1998. "Demographic Transition, Income Distribution, and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 29-52, March.
  20. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-387, June.
  21. Psacharopoulos, George & Valenzuela, Jorge & Arends, Mary, 1996. "Teacher salaries in Latin America: A review," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 401-406, October.
  22. Michael Kremer, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716.
  23. David Lam & Suzanne Duryea, 1999. "Effects of Schooling on Fertility, Labor Supply, and Investments in Children, with Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 160-192.
  24. Maoz, Yishay D & Moav, Omer, 1999. "Intergenerational Mobility and the Process of Development," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 677-697, October.
  25. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, June.
  26. Gary S. Becker, 1975. "Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education, Second Edition," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck75-1, June.
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