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From Malthus to modern growth : child labor, schooling and human capital

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  • Vogel, Edgar

Abstract

This paper develops a dynamic general equilibrium model of fertility, human capital accumulation, child labor and uncertain child survival focusing on the qualitative and quantitative effect of declining mortality on household decisions and economic development. Due to uncertainty about child survival, parents have a precautionary demand for children. Rising survival probability leads to falling fertility, eventually to investment into schooling and the demise of child labor. Child labor can be an obstacle to development since it lowers the incentives of parents to educate children. Furthermore, the paper argues that the decline of precautionary child demand as a consequence of falling mortality is not sufficient to generate a demographic transition. Falling mortality can only explain a relatively small part of the fertility decline. A sizable reduction in fertility can only be achieved by human capital investment and the induced quantity-quality trade off.

Suggested Citation

  • Vogel, Edgar, 2008. "From Malthus to modern growth : child labor, schooling and human capital," Papers 08-42, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
  • Handle: RePEc:mnh:spaper:2385
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    File URL: https://madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/2385/1/dp08_42.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Demographic transition ; child mortality ; precautionary demand ; child labor ; human capital ; growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • 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
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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