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Fertility, Education, and Market Failures

We show that coordination failures may be part of an explanation for the demographic differences between rich and poor countries and their differing attitudes towards the use of child labor. Our analysis is carried out within a two-period, general equilibrium model with endogenous fertility, parental investment in children's education and firms' tradeoff between traditional technologies and the adoption of skill-intensive, modern ones. The model exhibits multiple equilibria due to the lack of a coordination mechanism between parental decisions on the quantity and the quality of children and entrepreneurs' technology choices.

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Paper provided by CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal in its series Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers with number 148.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cre:crefwp:148
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  1. Barro, R.J. & Becker, G.S., 1988. "Fertility Choice In A Model Of Economic Growth," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 88-8, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  2. Murphy, Kevin M. & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1989. "Industrialization and the Big Push," Scholarly Articles 3606235, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Glomm, Gerhard, 1997. "Parental choice of human capital investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 99-114, June.
  4. Basu, Kaushik, 1998. "Child labor : cause, consequence, and cure, with remarks on International Labor Standards," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2027, The World Bank.
  5. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1996. "Why Are There Rich and Poor Countries? Symmetry-Breaking in the World Economy," NBER Working Papers 5697, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Swaminathan, Madhura, 1998. "Economic growth and the persistence of child labor: Evidence from an Indian city," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(8), pages 1513-1528, August.
  7. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Is Child Labor Inefficient?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 663-679, August.
  8. Kaushik Basu, 2006. "Gender and Say: a Model of Household Behaviour with Endogenously Determined Balance of Power," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 558-580, 04.
  9. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-102, February.
  10. Sylvain Dessy & Stephane Pallage, 2001. "Why Banning the Worst Forms of Child Labour Would Hurt Poor Countries," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 135, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  11. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert F. Tamura, 1990. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  13. Dessy, Sylvain E. & Pallage, Stephane, 2001. "Child labor and coordination failures," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 469-476, August.
  14. Basu, Kaushik, 2000. "The Intriguing Relation between Adult Minimum Wage and Child Labour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C50-61, March.
  15. Ranjan, Priya, 1999. "An economic analysis of child labor," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 99-105, July.
  16. Acemoglu, D., 1994. "Search in the Labor market: Incomplete Contracts and Growth," Working papers 94-23, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  17. Peter Howitt, 2000. "Endogenous Growth and Cross-Country Income Differences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 829-846, September.
  18. Dessy, Sylvain & Pallage, Stephane, 2003. "Taxes, inequality and the size of the informal sector," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 225-233, February.
  19. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "Monopoly rights: a barrier to riches," Staff Report 236, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  20. Dessy, Sylvain E., 2000. "A defense of compulsive measures against child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 261-275, June.
  21. Stephane Pallage & Michel A. Robe, 2003. "On the Welfare Cost of Economic Fluctuations in Developing Countries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 677-698, 05.
  22. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  23. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  24. Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Coulombe, Harold, 1997. "Child labor and schooling in Ghana," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1844, The World Bank.
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