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Differential Fertility, Human Capital, and Development

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  • Tom Vogl

Abstract

Using micro-data from 48 developing countries, I document a recent reversal in the income-fertility relationship and its aggregate implications. Before 1960, children from larger families had richer parents and obtained more education. By century's end, both patterns had reversed. Consequently, income differentials in fertility historically raised average education but now reduce it. While the reversal is unrelated to changes in GDP, women's work, sectoral composition, or health, half is attributable to rising aggregate education in the parents' generation. The results support a model in which rising skill returns lowered the minimum income at which parents invest in education.

Suggested Citation

  • Tom Vogl, 2013. "Differential Fertility, Human Capital, and Development," NBER Working Papers 19128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19128
    Note: CH DEV ED EFG
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Esther Duflo, 2012. "Women Empowerment and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1051-1079, December.
    2. Lam, David, 1986. "The Dynamics of Population Growth, Differential Fertility, and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1103-1116, December.
    3. Daniel Cohen & Marcelo Soto, 2007. "Growth and human capital: good data, good results," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 51-76, March.
    4. Kremer, Michael & Chen, Daniel L, 2002. "Income Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 227-258, September.
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    6. Daniel Chen & Michael Kremer, 1999. "Income-Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 155-160, May.
    7. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1091-1113, September.
    8. repec:cor:louvrp:-1676 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
    10. Vegard Skirbekk, 2008. "Fertility trends by social status," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 18(5), pages 145-180, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sonia Bhalotra & Abhishek Chakravarty & Dilip Mookherjee & Francisco J. Pino, "undated". "Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-281, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    2. Sangheon Lee & Megan Gerecke, 2015. "Economic development and inequality: revisiting the Kuznets curve," Chapters,in: Labour Markets, Institutions and Inequality, chapter 2, pages 39-64 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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