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Development Policies when Accounting for the Extensive Margin of Fertility

Listed author(s):
  • Thomas BAUDIN

    ()

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Centre de Recherche en Démographie et Sociétés and UNIVERSITE DE LILLE 3, EQUIPPE)

  • David de la CROIX

    ()

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE))

  • Paula GOBBI

    ()

    (National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS) and UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

Beyond natural sterility, there are two main types of childlessness: one driven by poverty and another by the high opportunity cost to child-rearing. We argue that taking childlessness and its causes into account matters for assessing the impact of development policies on fertility. We measure the importance of the components of childlessness with a structural model of fertility and marriage. Deep parameters are identified using census data from 36 developing countries. On average, one more year of education decreases poverty-driven childlessness by 0.75 percentage points, but increases opportunity-cost-driven childlessness by 0.57 percentage points from the 9th year of schooling onwards. Neglecting the endogenous response of marriage and childlessness leads to overestimating the effectiveness of family planning policies, except where highly educated mothers are also heavily affected by unwanted births, and to underestimating the effect of promoting gender equality on fertility, except in countries where poverty-driven childlessness is high.

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File URL: http://sites.uclouvain.be/econ/DP/IRES/2015003.pdf
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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2015003.

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Length: 74
Date of creation: 29 Jan 2015
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2015003
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  1. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Georgi Kocharkov & Cezar Santos, 2016. "Technology and the Changing Family: A Unified Model of Marriage, Divorce, Educational Attainment, and Married Female Labor-Force Participation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 1-41, January.
  2. David De La Croix & Fabio Mariani, 2015. "From Polygyny to Serial Monogamy: A Unified Theory of Marriage Institutions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 565-607.
  3. Sah, Raaj Kumar, 1991. "The Effects of Child Mortality Changes on Fertility Choice and Parental Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 582-606, June.
  4. Pritchett, Lant H. & DEC, 1994. "Desired fertility and the impact of population policies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1273, The World Bank.
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  6. Oded Galor, 2011. "Unified Growth Theory," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9477.
  7. Matthias Doepke, 2005. "Child mortality and fertility decline: Does the Barro-Becker model fit the facts?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(2), pages 337-366, 06.
  8. de la Croix,David, 2014. "Fertility, Education, Growth, and Sustainability," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107443051, August.
  9. Becker, Gary S, 1993. "Nobel Lecture: The Economic Way of Looking at Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 385-409, June.
  10. David de la Croix & Marie Vander Donckt, 2010. "Would Empowering Women Initiate the Demographic Transition in Least Developed Countries?," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 85-129.
  11. Nava Ashraf & Erica Field & Jean Lee, 2014. "Household Bargaining and Excess Fertility: An Experimental Study in Zambia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2210-2237, July.
  12. Thomas Baudin, 2012. "The Optimal Trade-Off Between Quality and Quantity with Unknown Number of Survivors," Mathematical Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 94-113, April.
  13. 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).
  14. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem, 2003. "A stochastic model of mortality, fertility, and human capital investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 103-118, February.
  15. Claude Diebolt & Faustine Perrin, 2013. "From Stagnation to Sustained Growth: The Role of Female Empowerment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 545-549, May.
  16. 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.
  17. Paula Gobbi, 2013. "A model of voluntary childlessness," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 963-982, July.
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