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A stochastic model of mortality, fertility, and human capital investment

  • Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem

This paper examines the relationship between fertility and human capital investment, and it’s implications for economic growth, focusing on the e ects of declining mortality. Unlike the existing literature, this paper stresses the role of uncertainty about the number of surviving children. If the marginal utility of a surviving child is convex then there will be a precautionary demand for children. As the mortality rate and thus uncertainty falls, this demand decreases. Furthermore, lower mortality encourages educational investment in children. The key result is that this empirically observed quality-quantity trade o is realized only if uncertainty is incorporated into individual’s optimization problem.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304-3878(02)00089-5
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 103-118

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:70:y:2003:i:1:p:103-118
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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  1. Sah, R.K., 1989. "The Effects Of Mortality Changes On Fertility Choice And Individual Welfare: Some Theoretical Predictions," Papers 599, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  2. 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.
  3. Brezis, Elise S., 2001. "Social classes, demographic transition and economic growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 707-717, May.
  4. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-87, June.
  5. Robert J. Barro, 1996. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," NBER Working Papers 5698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dahan, Momi & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1998. "Demographic Transition, Income Distribution, and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 29-52, March.
  7. Becker, Gary S, 1981. "Altruism in the Family and Selfishness in the Market Place," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 48(189), pages 1-15, February.
  8. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 150-154, May.
  9. Robert Tamura, 2002. "Human capital and economic development," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2002-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  10. Charles I. Jones, . "Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable? Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run," Working Papers 99008, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  11. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  12. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, . "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 90-5a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  13. Francine D. Blau, 1996. "The Gender Pay Gap," NBER Working Papers 5664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Gene M. Grossman (ed.), 1996. "Economic Growth," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, volume 0, number 553.
  15. Simon Appleton & Francis Teal, 2002. "Working Paper 39 - Human Capital and Economic Development," Working Paper Series 173, African Development Bank.
  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. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
  18. O'Hara, Donald J, 1975. "Microeconomic Aspects of the Demographic Transition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1203-16, December.
  19. Ram, Rati & Schultz, Theodore W, 1979. "Life Span, Health, Savings, and Productivity," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 399-421, April.
  20. Ben-Porath, Yoram, 1976. "Fertility Response to Child Mortality: Micro Data from Israel," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S163-78, August.
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