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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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  • Aassve, Arnstein & Engelhardt, Henriette & Francavilla, Francesca & Kedir, Abbi & Kim, Jungho & Mealli, Fabrizia & Mencarini, Letizia & Pudney, Stephen & Prskawetz, Alexia, 2005. "Poverty and fertility in less developed countries: a comparative analysis," ISER Working Paper Series 2005-13, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2005-13

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    2. Bigsten, Arne & Kebede, Bereket & Shimeles, Abebe & Taddesse, Mekonnen, 2003. "Growth and Poverty Reduction in Ethiopia: Evidence from Household Panel Surveys," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 87-106, January.
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    5. Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "Issues in Measuring and Modelling Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1328-1343, September.
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    7. Ravallion, Martin & Bidani, Benu, 1994. "How Robust Is a Poverty Profile?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(1), pages 75-102, January.
    8. 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 14-64, Part II, .
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    10. 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.
    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. John C. Anyanwu, 2014. "Marital Status, Household Size and Poverty in Nigeria: Evidence from the 2009/2010 Survey Data," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 26(1), pages 118-137, March.
    2. Kebede, Sindu & Fekadu, Belay & Aredo, Dejene, 2011. "Trade Liberalization and Poverty: A Macro-Micro Analysis in Ethiopia," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 44, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    3. World Bank Group, 2017. "Republic of Malawi Poverty Assessment," World Bank Other Operational Studies 26488, The World Bank.
    4. Jungho Kim & Alexia Prskawetz, 2010. "External Shocks, Household Consumption and Fertility in Indonesia," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 29(4), pages 503-526, August.
    5. Baris Ucar & Gianni Betti, 2016. "The effect of a newborn on household poverty: a multi-indicator analysis," Department of Economics University of Siena 742, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    6. Pudney, Stephen & Francavilla, Francesca, 2006. "Income mis-measurement and the estimation of poverty rates: an analysis of income poverty in Albania," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-35, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    7. John Anyanwu, 2012. "Working Paper 149 - Accounting for Poverty in Africa: Illustration with Survey Data from Nigeria," Working Paper Series 383, African Development Bank.

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