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Explaining International Fertility Differences

  • Rodolfo E. Manuelli

    (Department of Economics, Washington University in St. Louis.)

  • Ananth Seshadri

    (Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison.)

Why do fertility rates vary so much across countries? Why are European fertility rates so much lower than American fertility rates? To answer these questions we extend the Barro-Becker framework to incorporate the decision to accumulate human capital (which determines earnings) and health capital (which determines life span). We find that cross-country differences in productivity and taxes go a long way toward explaining the observed differences in fertility and mortality. (c) 2009 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology..

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 124 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 771-807

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:124:y:2009:i:2:p:771-807
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