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Contraception and Development: A Unified Growth Theory

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  • Strulik, Holger

    () (Department of Business and Economics)

Abstract

This study investigates the interaction of the use of modern contraceptives, fertility, education, and long-run growth. It develops an economic model that takes into account that sexual intercourse is utility enhancing and that birth control by modern contraceptives is more efficient and more costly than traditional methods. The study shows how a traditional economy, in which modern contraceptives are not used and fertility is high, gradually converges towards a high growth regime, in which couples use modern contraceptives. Innovations in contraceptive technology at later points in time speed up the fertility transition and the convergence to steady growth. Utility enhancing sexual intercourse provides a “natural” explanation for why net fertility decreases with income. Lower prices or higher efficacy of contraceptives are conducive to an earlier onset of the fertility transition and a quicker convergence but do not effect economic performance (nor sexual intercourse) at the steady state.

Suggested Citation

  • Strulik, Holger, 2014. "Contraception and Development: A Unified Growth Theory," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 7/2014, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sdueko:2014_007
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    Cited by:

    1. d'Albis, Hippolyte & Greulich, Angela & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2018. "Development, fertility and childbearing age: A Unified Growth Theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 461-494.
    2. d'Albis, Hippolyte & Greulich, Angela & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2018. "Development, fertility and childbearing age: A Unified Growth Theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 461-494.
    3. Madsen, Jakob & Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Technological change and inequality in the very long run," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    4. Hippolyte d'Albis & Angela Luci Greulich & Grégory Ponthière, 2015. "Avoir un enfant plus tard: Enjeux sociodémographiques du report des naissances," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01245523, HAL.
    5. d'Albis, Hippolyte & Greulich, Angela & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2018. "Development, fertility and childbearing age: A Unified Growth Theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 461-494.
    6. Madsen, Jakob Brøchner & Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Testing unified growth theory: Technological progress and the child quantity-quality tradeoff," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 393, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    7. Hippolyte D'Albis & Angela Greulich & Grégory Ponthière, 2015. "AVOIR UN ENFANT PLUS TARD Enjeux sociodémographiques du report des naissances," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01298929, HAL.
    8. repec:hal:journl:hal-01298929 is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; sex; contraceptive use; education; economic development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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