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Childhood disease and the precautionary demand for children

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  • Anna-Maria Aksan
  • Shankha Chakraborty

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Abstract

The childhood disease burden depends on the prevalence of infectious diseases, their case fatalities, and long-term morbidity. We propose a quantity–quality model of fertility choice under uncertainty that emphasizes morbidity and mortality from infectious disease. The fertility response to a decline in child mortality depends on the morbidity effect of the disease, the prevalence rate, and whether the prevalence or case fatality rate declines. Fertility follows mortality and morbidity, but since mortality and morbidity do not always move in the same direction, the fertility response may be dampened or nonmonotonic. Disease-specific evidence from sub-Saharan Africa supports these theoretical predictions. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Anna-Maria Aksan & Shankha Chakraborty, 2013. "Childhood disease and the precautionary demand for children," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 855-885, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:26:y:2013:i:3:p:855-885 DOI: 10.1007/s00148-012-0430-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Matthias Doepke, 2002. "Child Mortality and Fertility Decline: Does the Barro-Becker Model Fit the Facts?," UCLA Economics Working Papers 824, UCLA Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mauricio Reis, 2014. "Public primary health care and children’s health in Brazil: evidence from siblings," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 421-445.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Infectious disease; Child mortality; Morbidity; Fertility; Precautionary demand; Demographic transition; I12; J11; O12;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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