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Timing of childbearing, family size and economic growth


  • Murat F. Iyigun


This paper incorporates the timing of childbearing into a growth model with endogenous fertility. It analyzes a model in which individuals' human capital stock depends positively on their education and parental human capital and in which producing and raising children and acquiring human capital are intensive. The model highlights how changes in the human capital stock interact with individuals' timing of childbearing in affecting the evolution of the economy. It shows that, if the complementarity between parental human capital and education in determining individuals' human capital is relatively large, then increases in the human capital stock raise the opportunity cost of having children while young and induce individuals to delay childbearing. That, in turn, accelerates human capital accumulation in the future. The model also demonstrates that early childbearing may lead to a development trap with low human capital.

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  • Murat F. Iyigun, 1996. "Timing of childbearing, family size and economic growth," International Finance Discussion Papers 573, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:573

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Murat F. Iyigun, 1995. "Human capital accumulation, fertility and growth: a re-analysis," International Finance Discussion Papers 523, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Sundstrom, William A. & David, Paul A., 1988. "Old-age security motives, labor markets, and farm family fertility in antebellum American," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 164-197, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gilbert Cette & Nicolas Dromel & Dominique Meda, 2007. "Opportunity costs of having a child, financial constraints and fertility," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 239-244.
    2. Blackburn, Keith & Cipriani, Giam Pietro, 2002. "A model of longevity, fertility and growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 187-204, February.

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    Demography ; Economics;


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