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Fertility and development: the roles of schooling and family production

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  • William Lord
  • Peter Rangazas

Abstract

This paper presents a quantitative theory of development that highlights three mechanisms that relate schooling, fertility, and growth. First, we point out that in the early stages of development, fertility and schooling may rise together as the schooling of younger children increases their relative contribution to family income when they turn working age. Second, the model contains a supply-side theory of schooling that generates a rise in schooling independent of technological change. Third, we introduce a direct negative effect of industrialization on fertility that does not operate through human capital and the quantity-quality tradeoff. An initial quantitative assessment of the theoretical mechanisms is conducted by calibrating and applying the model to United States history from 1800 to 2000. We find that the demise in family production is an important factor reducing fertility in the 19th century and schooling of older children is dominant factor reducing fertility in the 20th century. The same model is applied to England from 1740 to 1940, where we offer two complimentary explanations for the rise in fertility from 1740 to 1820. The first is based on the rapid expansion in the cottage industry and the second on the increased relative productivity of children. We also find that the subsequent fall in fertility from 1820 to 1940 cannot be explained without introducing child labor/compulsory schooling laws. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

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  • William Lord & Peter Rangazas, 2006. "Fertility and development: the roles of schooling and family production," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 229-261, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:11:y:2006:i:3:p:229-261
    DOI: 10.1007/s10887-006-9005-8
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    3. Kamhon Kan & Myoung‐Jae Lee, 2018. "The Effects Of Education On Fertility: Evidence From Taiwan," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(1), pages 343-357, January.
    4. Sibabrata Das & Alex Mourmouras & Peter Rangazas, 2018. "Wage and Fertility Gaps in Dual Economies," Springer Texts in Business and Economics, in: Economic Growth and Development, edition 2, chapter 7, pages 191-227, Springer.
    5. Masako Kimura & Daishin Yasui, 2012. "Public Policy and the Income-Fertility Relationship in Economic Development," KIER Working Papers 834, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    6. Salam Abdus & Peter Rangazas, 2011. "Adult Nutrition and Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(4), pages 636-649, October.
    7. Galor, Oded, 2007. "Multiple growth regimes - Insights from unified growth theory," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 470-475, September.
    8. Alex Mourmouras & Peter Rangazas, 2009. "Reconciling Kuznets and Habbakuk in a unified growth theory," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 149-181, June.
    9. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Canuto, Otaviano, 2015. "Gender equality and economic growth in Brazil: A long-run analysis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 155-172.
    10. Ho, Chi Pui, 2016. "GeoPopulation-Institution Hypothesis: Reconciling American Development Process and Reversal of Fortune within a Unified Growth Framework," MPRA Paper 73863, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Hideki Nakamura, 2015. "The Effects of Child Mortality Changes on Two Income Groups and Macroeconomics," KIER Working Papers 920, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    12. Masako Kimura & Daishin Yasui, 2009. "Production Structure, Household Time Allocation, and Fertility," KIER Working Papers 684, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    13. Giray Gozgor & Mehmet Huseyin Bilgin & Peter Rangazas, 2021. "Economic Uncertainty and Fertility," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 373-399.
    14. Ho, Chi Pui, 2016. "Rise of Women in Unified Growth Theory: French Development Process and Policy Implications," MPRA Paper 73864, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Gargi Bhattacharya & Sushil K. Haldar, 2012. "Poverty, Fertility and Child Labor: Does Demand Theory of Fertility Matter? An Exploratory Study in India," International Journal of Business and Social Research, MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, vol. 2(3), pages 91-98, June.
    16. Matthias Cinyabuguma & Bill Lord & Christelle Viauroux, 2012. "Revolution in U.S. Fertility, Schooling and Women's Work, 1875-1940: Assessing Proposed Explanations," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 12-04, UMBC Department of Economics, revised 30 Aug 2013.
    17. Matthias Cinyabuguma & Bill Lord & Christelle Viauroux, 2009. "Schooling, Fertility, and Married Female Labor Supply: What Role for Health?," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 09-108, UMBC Department of Economics.
    18. Akira Yakita, 2010. "Human capital accumulation, fertility and economic development," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 99(2), pages 97-116, March.
    19. Mr. Alex Mourmouras & Mr. Peter Rangazas, 2007. "Wage Gaps and Development: Lessons from U.S. History," IMF Working Papers 2007/105, International Monetary Fund.
    20. Cellarier, Laurent L., 2021. "Is landownership a ladder out of poverty?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).

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