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Differential Fertility, Human Capital, and Development

  • Tom Vogl
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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19128.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19128.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19128
    Note: CH DEV ED EFG
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. Esther Duflo, 2012. "Women Empowerment and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1051-79, December.
    2. Daniel Chen & Michael Kremer, 1999. "Income-Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 155-160, May.
    3. 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.
    4. DE LA CROIX, David & DOEPKE, Matthias, . "Inequality and growth: why differential fertility matters," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1676, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    5. 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.
    6. Cohen, Daniel & Soto, Marcelo, 2001. "Growth and Human Capital: Good Data, Good Results," CEPR Discussion Papers 3025, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Lam, David, 1986. "The Dynamics of Population Growth, Differential Fertility, and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1103-16, December.
    8. Dahan, Momi & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1998. " Demographic Transition, Income Distribution, and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 29-52, March.
    9. Kremer, Michael & Chen, Daniel L, 2002. " Income Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 227-58, September.
    10. Malthus, Thomas Robert, 1798. "An Essay on the Principle of Population," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number malthus1798.
    11. Hadeishi, Hajime, 2003. "Economic Well-Being and Fertility in France: Nuits, 1744 1792," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(02), pages 489-505, June.
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