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A Demographic Dividend for Sub-Saharan Africa: Source, Magnitude, and Realization

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Listed:
  • Bloom, David E.

    () (Harvard University)

  • Humair, Salal

    () (Harvard School of Public Health)

  • Rosenberg, Larry

    () (Harvard School of Public Health)

  • Sevilla, J.P.

    (George Mason University)

  • Trussell, James

    () (Princeton University)

Abstract

Managing rapid population growth and spurring economic growth are among the most pressing policy challenges for Sub-Saharan Africa. We discuss the links between them and investigate the potential of family planning programs to address these challenges. Specifically, we estimate the impact of family planning programs on income per capita that can arise via the demographic dividend (DD), a boost to per capita income that operates through a chain of causality related to declining fertility. We develop a model to determine the impact of "meeting unmet need" (MUN) for modern contraceptive methods on fertility and hence on the population age structure in the coming years. We also estimate empirically the DD that has been observed in other countries, using a cross-country regression with panel data covering 40 years. Using the age structure projected by MUN and the empirical estimates of the DD, we estimate the potential for additional economic growth in Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal. We find that in 2030, these countries can enjoy an increase in per capita income of 8-13% by meeting one-third of their unmet need for modern contraception and can enjoy a 31-65% higher income per capita by meeting all of the unmet need. By 2050, these ranges become 13-22% and 47-87% respectively. We discuss the policy implications of our findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Bloom, David E. & Humair, Salal & Rosenberg, Larry & Sevilla, J.P. & Trussell, James, 2013. "A Demographic Dividend for Sub-Saharan Africa: Source, Magnitude, and Realization," IZA Discussion Papers 7855, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7855
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David E. BLOOM & Jocelyn E. FINLAY, 2009. "Demographic Change and Economic Growth in Asia," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 4(1), pages 45-64, June.
    2. Pritchett, Lant H. & DEC, 1994. "Desired fertility and the impact of population policies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1273, The World Bank.
    3. Gene M. Grossman (ed.), 1996. "Economic Growth," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, volume 0, number 553.
    4. Grant Miller, 2010. "Contraception as Development? New Evidence from Family Planning in Colombia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(545), pages 709-736, June.
    5. Bloom, David E & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1998. "Demographic Transitions and Economic Miracles in Emerging Asia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(3), pages 419-455, September.
    6. Paul Gertler & John Molyneaux, 1994. "How economic development and family planning programs combined to reduce indonesian fertility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 31(1), pages 33-63, February.
    7. David E. Bloom & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1998. "Geography, Demography, and Economic Growth in Africa," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 207-296.
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    Cited by:

    1. Munir Ahmad & Rana Ejaz Ali Khan, 2019. "Does Demographic Transition with Human Capital Dynamics Matter for Economic Growth? A Dynamic Panel Data Approach to GMM," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 142(2), pages 753-772, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    aging; health care; labor studies;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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