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Population Policies, Fertility, Women's Human Capital, and Child Quality

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  • T. Paul Schultz

    () (Yale University)

Abstract

Population policies are defined here as voluntary programs which help people control their fertility and expect to improve their lives. There are few studies of the long-run effects of policy-induced changes in fertility on the welfare of women, such as policies that subsidize the diffusion and use of best practice birth control technologies. Evaluation of the consequences of such family planning programs almost never assess their long-run consequences, such as on labor supply, savings, or investment in the human capital of children, although they occasionally estimate the short-run association with the adoption of contraception or age-specific fertility. The dearth of long-run family planning experiments has led economists to consider instrumental variables as a substitute for policy interventions which not only determine variation in fertility but are arguably independent of the reproductive preferences of parents or unobserved constraints that might influence family life cycle behaviors. Using these instrumental variables to estimate the effect of this exogenous variation in fertility on family outcomes, economists discover these Across effects@ of fertility on family welfare outcomes tend to be substantially smaller in absolute magnitude than the OLS estimates of partial correlations referred to in the literature as evidence of the beneficial social externalities associated with the policies that reduce fertility. The paper summarizes critically the empirical literature on fertility and development and proposes an agenda for research on the topic.

Suggested Citation

  • T. Paul Schultz, 2007. "Population Policies, Fertility, Women's Human Capital, and Child Quality," Working Papers 954, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:954
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    Cited by:

    1. Clark, Gregory & Cummins, Neil, 2016. "The Child Quality-Quantity Tradeoff, England, 1780-1880: A Fundamental Component of the Economic Theory of Growth is Missing," CEPR Discussion Papers 11232, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. David SAHN & Catalina HERRERA, 2014. "The Impact of Early Childbearing on Schooling and Cognitive Skills among Young Women in Madagascar," Working Papers 201428, CERDI.
    3. Schultz, T. Paul, 2010. "Population and Health Policies," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    4. T. Paul Schultz, 2007. "Fertility in Developing Countries," Working Papers 953, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    5. Takasaki, Yoshito, 2017. "Do Natural Disasters Decrease the Gender Gap in Schooling?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 75-89.
    6. Alessandro Cigno, 2010. "How to Avoid a Pension Crisis: A Question of Intelligent System Design ," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 56(1), pages 21-37, March.
    7. Liu, Yanyan & Yamauchi, Futoshi, 2014. "Population density, migration, and the returns to human capital and land: Insights from Indonesia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 182-193.
    8. Oliveira, Jaqueline, 2016. "The value of children: Inter-generational support, fertility, and human capital," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 1-16.
    9. Joshi, Shareen & Schultz, T. Paul, 2007. "Family Planning as an Investment in Development: Evaluation of a Program’s Consequences in Matlab, Bangladesh," IZA Discussion Papers 2639, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Shareen Joshi & T. Schultz, 2013. "Family Planning and Women’s and Children’s Health: Long-Term Consequences of an Outreach Program in Matlab, Bangladesh," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(1), pages 149-180, February.
    11. Lindskog, Annika, 2013. "The effect of siblings’ education on school-entry in the Ethiopian highlands," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 45-68.
    12. Kenayathulla, Husaina Banu, 2016. "Gender differences in intra-household educational expenditures in Malaysia," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 59-73.
    13. Herrera Catalina & E. Sahn David, 2017. "Working Paper 281 - Early Childbearing, School Attainment and Cognitive Skills," Working Paper Series 2398, African Development Bank.
    14. Tanya Byker & Italo A. Gutierrez, 2016. "Treatment Effects Using Inverse Probability Weighting and Contaminated Treatment Data An Application to the Evaluation of a Government Female Sterilization Campaign in Peru," Working Papers WR-1118-1, RAND Corporation.
    15. repec:eee:injoed:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:39-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Thomas Gries & Rainer Grundmann, 2014. "Trade and fertility in the developing world: the impact of trade and trade structure," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(4), pages 1165-1186, October.
    17. Mveyange Anthony, 2015. "On the fertility transition in Africa: Income, child mortality, or education?," WIDER Working Paper Series 089, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    18. Assaad, Ragui & Krafft, Caroline, 2014. "The economics of marriage in North Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 067, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    19. Carolyn Chisadza & Manoel Bittencourt, 2015. "Education and Fertility: Panel Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 201526, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    20. de Jong, Eelke & Smits, Jeroen & Longwe, Abiba, 2017. "Estimating the Causal Effect of Fertility on Women’s Employment in Africa Using Twins," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 360-368.
    21. Julio Cáceres-Delpiano, 2012. "Can We Still Learn Something From the Relationship Between Fertility and Mother’s Employment? Evidence From Developing Countries," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(1), pages 151-174, February.
    22. Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue & Sarah Giroux, 2012. "Fertility Transitions and Schooling: From Micro- to Macro-Level Associations," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(4), pages 1407-1432, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consequences of Fertility Decline; Child Quality; Evaluation of Population Policies;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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