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Variety expansion and fertility rates

  • Akiko Maruyama
  • Kazuhiro Yamamoto


To investigate how fertility rates interrelate with the modern economy, we construct a simple model in which variety expansion of consumption goods reduces fertility rates. In our model, variety expansion reduces the relative price of a composite of di?erentiated goods compared to child- rearing costs. Thus, parents raise the expenditure share for diffrentiated goods and lower the number of children. We show that this model can be applied to a growth model in which economic growth progresses with variety expansion of consumption goods and fertility rates decrease with economic growth. In addition, we show that international trade, which raises consumption variety, lowers fertility rates. Thus, we show a new mechanism for fertility decline, and this mechanism can be applied to growth and international trade models.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 57-71

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:23:y:2010:i:1:p:57-71
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  1. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem, 2003. "A stochastic model of mortality, fertility, and human capital investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 103-118, February.
  2. Oded Galor, 2006. "The Demographic Transition," Working Papers 2006-24, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2002. "Does the Mortality Decline Promote Economic Growth?," Macroeconomics 0212008, EconWPA.
  9. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M & Tamura, Robert, 1990. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S12-37, October.
  10. Oded_Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2006. "Trade and the Great Divergence: The Family Connection," Working Papers 2006-01, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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  13. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. 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.
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