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Would empowering women initiate the demographic transition in least-developed countries?

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  • de la CROIX, David

    () (Université catholique de Louvain (UCL). Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE))

  • VANDER DONCKT, Marie

Abstract

We examine the pathways by which gender inequality affects fertility and hampers growth. We introduce several dimensions of gender inequality into a 2-sex OLG model with a non-unitary representation of household decision-making. We characterize a Malthusian corner regime which is characterized by strong gender inequality in education and high fertility. We find both in theory and in the data that reducing the social and institutional gender gap does not help to escape from this regime while reducing the wage gender gap lowers fertility only in countries which have already escaped from it. The key policies to ease out the countries in the Malthusian regime are to promote mother's longevity and to curb infant mortality. In the interior regime, parents consider the impact of their children education on the expected intra-household bargaining position in their future couple. Education could thus compensate against the institutional and social gender gap that still exists in developed countries.

Suggested Citation

  • de la CROIX, David & VANDER DONCKT, Marie, 2008. "Would empowering women initiate the demographic transition in least-developed countries?," CORE Discussion Papers 2008043, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2008043
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    File URL: http://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/core/documents/coredp2008_43.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "Mortality Reductions, Educational Attainment, and Fertility Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 580-601, June.
    2. Francois, Patrick, 1998. "Gender discrimination without gender difference: theory and policy responses," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 1-32, April.
    3. Hazan, Moshe & Zoabi, Hosny, 2005. "Does Longevity Cause Growth?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4931, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Iyigun, Murat & Walsh, Randall P., 2007. "Endogenous gender power, household labor supply and the demographic transition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 138-155, January.
    5. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2002. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends, and Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 340-375, June.
    6. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis T, 1991. "Intergenerational Trade, Longevity, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1029-1059, October.
    7. Michael Bar & Oksana Leukhina, 2010. "Demographic Transition and Industrial Revolution: A Macroeconomic Investigation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(2), pages 424-451, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender gap; fertility; education; household bargaining.;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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