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Fertility and the Plough

  • Alesina, Alberto

    ()

    (Harvard University)

  • Giuliano, Paola

    ()

    (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Nunn, Nathan

    ()

    (Harvard University)

The current study finds that societies which historically engaged in plough agriculture today have lower fertility. We argue, and provide ethnographic evidence, that the finding is explained by the fact that with plough agriculture, children, like women, are relatively less useful in the field. The plough requires strength and eliminates the need for weeding, a task particularly suitable for women and children. This in turn generates a preference for fewer children, lowering fertility.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp5502.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5502.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: American Economic Review, 2011, 101 (3), 499-503
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5502
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Raquel Fernandez & Alessandra Fogli, 2005. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," NBER Working Papers 11268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Raquel Fernandez & Alessandra Fogli, 2005. "Fertility: The Role of Culture and Family Experience," Working Papers 05-14, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  3. Nicole M Fortin, 2005. "Gender Role Attitudes and the Labour-market Outcomes of Women across OECD Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 416-438, Autumn.
  4. Alesina, Alberto F & Giuliano, Paola & Nunn, Nathan, 2011. "On the origins of gender roles: women and the plough," CEPR Discussion Papers 8418, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Raquel Fernández, 2007. "Alfred Marshall Lecture Women, Work, and Culture," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 305-332, 04-05.
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