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Poverty and fertility in less developed countries: a comparative analysis

  • Aassve, Arnstein
  • Engelhardt, Henriette
  • Francavilla, Francesca
  • Kedir, Abbi
  • Kim, Jungho
  • Mealli, Fabrizia
  • Mencarini, Letizia
  • Pudney, Stephen
  • Prskawetz, Alexia

Just as poverty analysis has a central part in Development Economics, studies of fertility behaviour have an equally important standing in the Demography literature. Poverty and fertility are two important aspects of welfare that are closely related. In this paper we use unique longitudinal data sources to study the relationship between poverty and fertility at household level over a two to five year period. In particular we compare the relationship between fertility and poverty in four countries: Albania, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Vietnam. These countries differ greatly in their history, average income, social structure, economic institutions and demographic features. We find that there is a substantial difference in the relative importance of the determinants of poverty dynamics and fertility; the persistence of high levels of fertility and poverty in Ethiopia is driven by lack of economic growth and poor access to family planning; education and health provision are crucial elements in reducing poverty and fertility, as is clear from Vietnam, Indonesia and Albania.

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Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2005-13.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2005
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2005-13
Contact details of provider: Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
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Web page: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/
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  1. Bigsten, Arne & Kebede, Bereket & Shimeles, Abebe & Taddesse , Mekonnen, 2002. "Growth and Poverty Reduction in Ethiopia: Evidence from Household Panel Surveys," Working Papers in Economics 65, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Lanjouw, Peter & Ravallion, Martin & DEC, 1994. "Poverty and household size," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1332, The World Bank.
  3. Easterlin, Richard A. & Crimmins, Eileen M., 1985. "The Fertility Revolution," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226180298.
  4. Joseph Hotz, V. & Klerman, Jacob Alex & Willis, Robert J., 1993. "The economics of fertility in developed countries," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 275-347 Elsevier.
  5. 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, .
  6. Ravallion, Martin & Bidani, Benu, 1993. "How robust is a poverty profile?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1223, The World Bank.
  7. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  8. Bob Baulch & John Hoddinott, 2000. "Economic mobility and poverty dynamics in developing countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 1-24.
  9. Willis, Robert J, 1973. "A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S14-64, Part II, .
  10. Birdsall, Nancy M. & Griffin, Charles C., 1988. "Fertility and poverty in developing countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 29-55, April.
  11. Assefa Admassie, 2002. "Explaining the High Incidence of Child Labour in Sub–Saharan Africa," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 14(2), pages 251-275.
  12. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1985. "The Demand for and Supply of Births: Fertility and Its Life Cycle Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 992-1015, December.
  13. Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "Issues in Measuring and Modelling Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1328-43, September.
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