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Development, fertility and childbearing age: A unified growth theory

Listed author(s):
  • Hippolyte D'Albis

    ()

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Angela Greulich

    ()

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, INED - Institut national d'études démographiques, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Grégory Ponthière

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12)

During the last two centuries, fertility has exhibited, in industrialized economies, two distinct trends: the cohort total fertility rate follows a decreasing pattern, while the cohort average age at motherhood exhibits a U-shaped pattern. This paper proposes a unified growth theory aimed at rationalizing those two demographic stylized facts. We develop a three-period OLG model with two periods of fertility, and show how a traditional economy, where individuals do not invest in higher education, and where income rises push towards advancing births, can progressively converge towards a modern economy, where individuals invest in higher education, and where income rises encourage postponing births. Our findings are illustrated numerically by replicating the dynamics of the quantum and the tempo of births for Swedish cohorts born between 1876 and 1966.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-01452846.

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Date of creation: Feb 2017
Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-01452846
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  1. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191.
  2. David De La Croix & Fabio Mariani, 2015. "From Polygyny to Serial Monogamy: A Unified Theory of Marriage Institutions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 565-607.
  3. Ermisch, John & Ogawa, Naohiro, 1994. "Age at Motherhood in Japan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 7(4), pages 393-420, November.
  4. David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2013. "The Child is Father Of the Man: Implications for the Demographic Transition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(567), pages 236-261, 03.
  5. Akira Momota & Ryo Horii, 2013. "Timing of childbirth, capital accumulation, and economic welfare," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 494-522, April.
  6. Yvan St.-Pierre & Philip Merrigan, 1998. "An econometric and neoclassical analysis of the timing and spacing of births in Canada from 1950 to 1990," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(1), pages 29-51.
  7. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2015. "Optimal life-cycle fertility in a Barro-Becker economy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(1), pages 45-87, January.
  8. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis T, 1991. "Intergenerational Trade, Longevity, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1029-1059, October.
  9. Heather Joshi, 2002. "Production, Reproduction, and Education: Women, Children, and Work in a British Perspective," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(3), pages 445-474.
  10. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-387, June.
  11. Barro, Robert J & Becker, Gary S, 1989. "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 481-501, March.
  12. Pestieau, Pierre & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2016. "Long-term care and births timing," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 340-357.
  13. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2014. "Optimal fertility along the life cycle," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(1), pages 185-224, January.
  14. d'Albis, Hippolyte & Augeraud-Véron, Emmanuelle & Schubert, Katheline, 2010. "Demographic-economic equilibria when the age at motherhood is endogenous," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 1211-1221, November.
  15. Heather Joshi, 1998. "The opportunity costs of childbearing: More than mothers' business," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(2), pages 161-183.
  16. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-1441, November.
  17. Lindner, Ines & Strulik, Holger, 2014. "From tradition to modernity: Economic growth in a small world," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 17-29.
  18. Dankmeyer, Ben, 1996. "Long Run Opportunity-Costs of Children According to Education of the Mother in the Netherlands," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(3), pages 349-361, August.
  19. Siv Gustafsson, 2001. "Optimal age at motherhood. Theoretical and empirical considerations on postponement of maternity in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247.
  20. Amalia R. Miller, 2009. "Motherhood Delay and the Human Capital of the Next Generation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 154-158, May.
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