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The impact of changes in human fertility on poverty

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  • Robert Eastwood
  • Michael Lipton

Abstract

Household survey data for developing and transitional economies are used to estimate the effect of fertility (crude birth rate net of infant deaths) on private consumption poverty. Cross-national regressions indicate that higher fertility increases poverty both by retarding economic growth and by skewing distribution against the poor. Our median country in 1980 had 'dollar-a-day' poverty incidence of 18.9 per cent; had it reduced its fertility by four per 1,000 throughout the 1980s (the sample median fall), it is estimated that incidence would have been reduced to 13.9 per cent, the growth and distribution effects being roughly equally responsible for this reduction.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Eastwood & Michael Lipton, 1999. "The impact of changes in human fertility on poverty," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 1-30.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:36:y:1999:i:1:p:1-30 DOI: 10.1080/00220389908422609
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    Cited by:

    1. Hanjra, Munir A. & Ferede, Tadele & Gutta, Debel Gemechu, 2009. "Reducing poverty in sub-Saharan Africa through investments in water and other priorities," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(7), pages 1062-1070, July.
    2. Das Gupta, Monica & Bongaarts, John & Cleland, John, 2011. "Population, poverty, and sustainable development : a review of the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5719, The World Bank.
    3. Orbeta, Aniceto Jr. C., 2002. "A Review of Research on Population-Related Issues: 1980-2002," Discussion Papers DP 2002-17, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    4. Oulay Phadouangdeth & Sounthone Phommason & Phouphet Kyophilavong & Inpaeng Sayvaya, 2014. "Does the Accession of Road Reduce the Poverty? Evidence from Northern, Central, and Southern Parts of Lao PDR," International Journal of Economics and Empirical Research (IJEER), The Economics and Social Development Organization (TESDO), vol. 2(9), pages 377-386, September.
    5. Kim Jungho & Henriette Engelhardt & Alexia Prskawetz & Arnstein Aassve, 2009. "Does Fertility Decrease the Welfare of Households? An Analysis of Poverty Dynamics and Fertility in Indonesia," VID Working Papers 0506, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.
    6. Melanie Grosse & Stephan Klasen & Julius Spatz, 2005. "Creating National Poverty Profiles and Growth Incidence Curves with Incomplete Income or Consumption Expenditure Data: An Application to Bolivia," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 129, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    7. repec:pje:journl:article14sumiii is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Mussa, Richard, 2017. "Poverty in Malawi: Policy Analysis with Distributional Changes," MPRA Paper 75980, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Sanjay K. Mohanty & Gunther Fink & Rajesh Chauhan & David Canning, 2016. "Distal determinants of fertility decline: Evidence from 640 Indian districts," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 34(13), pages 373-406, March.
    10. Dasgupta, Partha, 2000. "Reproductive externalities and fertility behaviour," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 619-644, May.
    11. Baris Ucar & Gianni Betti, 2016. "The effect of a newborn on household poverty: a multi-indicator analysis," Department of Economics University of Siena 742, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    12. Michael Lipton, 2001. "Reviving global poverty reduction: what role for genetically modified plants?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 823-846.
    13. Tamara Tonoyan, 2005. "Poverty, Inequality and Health: А case study of Armenia," Departmental Discussion Papers 124, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    14. Keisuke Kawata & Leksay Keoyasan & Yuichiro Yoshida, 2014. "Expenditure Growth in Laos Between 1997 and 2008 : Is It Due to the Improvement of Social Factors or their Returns?," IDEC DP2 Series 4-5, Hiroshima University, Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC).
    15. Mussa, Richard, 2017. "Poverty and Inequality in Malawi: Trends, Prospects, and Policy Simulations," MPRA Paper 75979, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Andersson, Magnus & Engvall, Anders & Kokko, Ari, 2006. "Determinants Of Poverty In Lao Pdr," EIJS Working Paper Series 223, Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies.
    17. Garza-Rodriguez, Jorge, 2016. "The determinants of poverty in the Mexican states of the US-Mexico border," MPRA Paper 71523, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Mussa, Richard, 2017. "Contextual Effects of Education on Poverty in Malawi," MPRA Paper 75976, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Garza-Rodriguez, Jorge, 2016. "Los determinantes de la pobreza en los estados mexicanos en la frontera con Estados Unidos
      [The determinants of poverty in the Mexican states of the US–Mexico border]
      ," MPRA Paper 71526, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Engvall, Anders, 2007. "Ethnic Minorities And Rural Poverty In Lao Pdr," EIJS Working Paper Series 232, Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies.
    21. Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "On the contribution of demographic change to aggregate poverty measures for the developing world," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3580, The World Bank.

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