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Development Policies when Accounting for the Extensive Margin of Fertility

Author

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  • 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))

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas BAUDIN & David de la CROIX & Paula GOBBI, 2015. "Development Policies when Accounting for the Extensive Margin of Fertility," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2015003, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2015003
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    Cited by:

    1. de la Croix, David & Gobbi, Paula E., 2017. "Population density, fertility, and demographic convergence in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 13-24.
    2. Momota, Akira, 2016. "Intensive and extensive margins of fertility, capital accumulation, and economic welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 90-110.
    3. repec:dem:demres:v:37:y:2017:i:12 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Poverty; Childlessness; Marriage; Inequality; Fertility; Unwanted Births; Structural Estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • 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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