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Population Growth and Human Capital Investments: Theory and Evidence


  • Rosenzweig, Mark R


This paper presents evidence from empirical studies that test hypotheses derived from models of household behavior pertaining to the interrelationships among population growth, human capital, and economic development. These studies have exploited quasi-natural experiments embodied in the cross-area variability in the wage rates of children in a number of low-income countries, the intercouple variation in the biological propensity to conceive, and the geographically selective introduction of new high-yielding seed varieties in India in 1961-71. The evidence supports the hypothesis that alterations in the returns to human capital associated with exogenous technical change lead to increases in human capital investments and to reductions in fertility. Copyright 1990 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1990. "Population Growth and Human Capital Investments: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 38-70, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:98:y:1990:i:5:p:s38-70

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
    3. King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio T, 1993. "Transitional Dynamics and Economic Growth in the Neoclassical Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 908-931, September.
    4. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Methods and Problems in Business Cycle Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(4), pages 696-715, November.
    5. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-357, April.
    6. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1984. "Improved International Comparisons of Real Product and Its Composition: 1950-1980," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 30(2), pages 207-262, June.
    7. J. A. Mirrlees, 1969. "The Dynamic Nonsubstitution Theorem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 67-76.
    8. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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