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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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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, Raaj Kumar, 1991. "The Effects of Child Mortality Changes on Fertility Choice and Parental Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 582-606, June.
  2. Robert J. Barro, 1998. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522543, June.
  3. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Francine D. Blau, 1996. "The Gender Pay Gap," NBER Working Papers 5664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Simon Appleton & Francis Teal, 2002. "Working Paper 39 - Human Capital and Economic Development," Working Paper Series 173, African Development Bank.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Jones Charles I., 2001. "Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable? Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-45, August.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, 1994. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 323-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Robert Tamura, 2002. "Human capital and economic development," Working Paper 2002-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  16. Dahan, Momi & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1998. " Demographic Transition, Income Distribution, and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 29-52, March.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Brezis, Elise S., 2001. "Social classes, demographic transition and economic growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 707-717, May.
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