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Demographic Transition, Income Distribution and Economic Growth

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  • Dahan, Momi
  • Tsiddon, Daniel

Abstract

This work investigates the links between fertility choice, the dynamics of income distribution and economic growth. We use a simple model of fertility choice in conjunction with the well-documented differences in returns to human capital across rich and poor to model the co-determination of family size and investment in human capital. We show that fertility choice, income distribution, and economic growth affect each other in a way that produces an inverted U-shaped dynamics: The first stage is characterized by an increase in the average rate of fertility and widening income inequality, while income per capita may or may not grow. It is only in the second stage that the average fertility declines and income becomes more equally distributed; at this later stage the economy also becomes more human-capital abundant and growth of income per capita takes off. This model therefore comes very close to the documented facts about epochs of demographic transition with relaying neither on "near rationality" arguments nor on non-economic objectives.

Suggested Citation

  • Dahan, Momi & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1996. "Demographic Transition, Income Distribution and Economic Growth," Foerder Institute for Economic Research Working Papers 275622, Tel-Aviv University > Foerder Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:isfiwp:275622
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.275622
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-387, June.
    2. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1997. "Technological Progress, Mobility, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 363-382, June.
    3. Michael Kremer, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716.
    4. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert Tamura, 1994. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education, Third Edition, pages 323-350, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1997. "The Distribution of Human Capital and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 93-124, March.
    6. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    7. Timothy Guinnane & Barbara Okun & James Trussell, 1994. "What do we know about the timing of fertility transitions in europe?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 31(1), pages 1-20, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial Economics; Labor and Human Capital;

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • O0 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - General

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