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The political economy of fertility

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  • Thorsten Janus

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Abstract

This paper studies the political economy of fertility. Specifically, I argue that fertility may be a strategic choice for ethnic groups engaged in redistributive conflict. I first present a simple conflict model where high fertility is optimal for each ethnic group if and only if the economy’s ethnic diversity is high, institutions are weak, or both. I then test the model in a cross-national dataset. Consistent with the theory, I find that economies where the product of ethnic diversity and a measure of institutional weakness is high have increased fertility rates. I conclude that fertility may depend on political factors. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Thorsten Janus, 2013. "The political economy of fertility," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 493-505, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:155:y:2013:i:3:p:493-505
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-011-9879-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gören, Erkan, 2014. "How Ethnic Diversity Affects Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 275-297.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Population; Fertility; Ethnic diversity; Social conflict; Social norms; D72; D74; J13; O12;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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