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Did Gender-Bias Matter in the Quantity-Quality Trade-off in the 19th Century France?

Listed author(s):
  • Claude Diebolt

    (BETA, University of Strasbourg Strasbourg, France)

  • Tapas Mishra

    (Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, United-Kingdom)

  • Faustine Perrin

    (Department of Economic History, Lund University)

Recent theoretical developments of growth models, especially on unified theories of growth, suggest that the child quantity-quality trade-off has been a central element of the transition from Malthusian stagnation to sustained growth. Using an original censusbased dataset, this paper explores the role of gender on the trade-off between education and fertility across 86 French counties during the nineteenth century, as an empirical extension of Diebolt-Perrin (2013). We first test the existence of the child quantity-quality trade-off in 1851. Second, we explore the long-run effect of education on fertility from a gendered approach. Two important results emerge: (i) significant and negative association between education and fertility is found, and (ii) such a relationship is non-unique over the distribution of education/fertility. While our results suggest the existence of a negative and significant effect of the female endowments in human capital on the fertility transition, the effects of negative endowment almost disappear at low level of fertility.

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Paper provided by Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC) in its series Working Papers with number 04-15.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:afc:wpaper:04-15
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.cliometrie.org

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