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Endogenous childlessness and the stages of development

Author

Listed:
  • David de la Croix

    (CORE - Department of Economics - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain = Catholic University of Louvain)

  • Paula Gobbi

    (UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain = Catholic University of Louvain)

  • Thomas Baudin

    (EQUIPPE - Economie Quantitative, Intégration, Politiques Publiques et Econométrie - Université de Lille, Droit et Santé - PRES Université Lille Nord de France - Université de Lille, Sciences Humaines et Sociales - Université de Lille, Sciences et Technologies, LEM - Lille économie management - UMR 9221 - UA - Université d'Artois - UCL - Université catholique de Lille - Université de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

Although developing countries are characterized by high average fertility rates, they are as concerned by childlessness as developed countries. Beyond natural sterility, there are two main types of childlessness: one driven by poverty and another by the high opportunity cost of child-rearing. 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. As average education increases, poverty-driven childlessness first decreases to a minimum, and then the opportunity-driven part of childlessness increases. We show that neglecting the endogenous response of marriage and childlessness may lead to a poor understanding of the impact that social progress, such as universal primary education, may have on completed fertility. The same holds for family planning, closing the gender pay gap, and the eradication of child mortality.

Suggested Citation

  • David de la Croix & Paula Gobbi & Thomas Baudin, 2018. "Endogenous childlessness and the stages of development," Post-Print hal-01817987, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01817987
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01817987
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    Cited by:

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    3. Bhalotra, Sonia & Venkataramani, Atheendar & Walther, Selma, 2018. "Fertility and labor market responses to reductions in mortality," ISER Working Paper Series 2018-15, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    4. Bloom, David E. & Kuhn, Michael & Prettner, Klaus, 2017. "Africa'S Prospects For Enjoying A Demographic Dividend," Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 83(1), pages 63-76, March.
    5. Zainab Iftikhar, 2018. "The effect of norms on fertility and its implications for the quantity-quality trade-off in Pakistan," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2018014, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    6. Hiller, Victor & Touré, Nouhoum, 2021. "Endogenous gender power: The two facets of empowerment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 149(C).

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    More about this item

    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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