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Trade and fertility in the developing world: the impact of trade and trade structure

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In the literature on trade and development, fertility and trade have been widely discussed as two separate economic forces. However, an important recent contribution connects these two and suggests that international trade between developed and developing countries has an asymmetric effect on the demand for human capital. The asymmetry leads to a decline in fertility rates in developed countries and an increase in these rates in developing countries. We provide additional comprehensive empirical evidence in support of this novel hypothesis. Our findings suggest that countries that export skill-intensive manufacturing goods experience a decline in fertility rates, whereas in countries that export primary, low-skill-intensive goods, fertility rates are affected positively. Further, our findings indicate that the negative influence of manufacturing exports on fertility holds primarily and most strongly for middle-income countries where structural modernization and a growing manufacturing-intensive export sector is observed. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00148-014-0508-x
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Article provided by Springer & European Society for Population Economics in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2014)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 1165-1186

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:27:y:2014:i:4:p:1165-1186
DOI: 10.1007/s00148-014-0508-x
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