What Accounts for the Emergence of Malthusian Fertility in Transition Economies?
The transition to market-oriented economies in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in the 1990s, like the Great Depression in the U.S. and Germany in the 1930s, generated sharp declines in real incomes and a corresponding drop in fertility. This is contrary to the robust negative relationship between income and fertility that has been extensively documented. This paper presents a theoretical model that explains the positive relationship between fertility and income. The model predicts that: i) the perceived level of subsistence consumption fundamentally determines whether fertility and income are positively or negatively related; ii) once incomes decline below a threshold, declining labor income causes fertility to fall; and iii) rising income inequality has a negative impact on fertility rates. Empirical tests using both aggregate and microeconomic data provide strong support for the predictions of the model. Our empirics predict that the perceived subsistence level is a statistically significant determinant of fertility and that the average country in our sample will remain in a Mathusian fertility regime for twenty more years.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2002|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 500 E. 9th Street, Claremont, CA 91711|
Phone: (909) 607-3041
Fax: (909) 621-8249
Web page: http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/rdschool/papers/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1988.
"A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25.
- Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, . "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 85-11, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1986. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," NBER Working Papers 1793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Owen, Ann L. & Weil, David N., 1998.
"Intergenerational earnings mobility, inequality and growth,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 71-104, February.
- Ann L. Owen & David N. Weil, 1997. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobility, Inequality, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 6070, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Costas Azariadis, 1996.
"The Economics of Poverty Traps Part One: Complete Markets,"
9606, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
- Azariadis, Costas, 1996. "The Economics of Poverty Traps: Part One: Complete Markets," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 449-96, December.
- Richard M. Auty & Pat McGregor, 1995. "Economic growth, inequality and poverty: An analysis of policy in a two period framework," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(4), pages 619-635, 07.
- Carroll, Christopher D & Overland, Jody & Weil, David N, 1997.
"Comparison Utility in a Growth Model,"
Journal of Economic Growth,
Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 339-67, December.
- Christopher D. Carroll & Jody Overland & David N. Weil, 1997. "Comparison Utility in a Growth Model," NBER Working Papers 6138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Christopher D Carroll & Jody Overland & David N Weil, 1997. "Comparison Utility in a Growth Model," Economics Working Paper Archive 387, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
- Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988.
"Income Distribution and Macroeconomics,"
51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
- Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1995.
"The Gender Gap, Fertility and Growth,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
- Robert J. Barro, 1991.
"Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
- Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stokey, Nancy L & Rebelo, Sergio, 1995.
"Growth Effects of Flat-Rate Taxes,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 519-50, June.
- Barro, Robert J, 2000. "Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:2002-01. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.