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Growth and Childbearing in the Short- and Long-Run

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  • Shoumitro Chatterjee
  • Tom Vogl

Abstract

Despite being key to theories of economic growth and the demographic transition, evidence on how fertility responds to aggregate income change is mixed. We analyze economic growth and fertility change in the developing world over six decades, using data on 2.3 million women from 255 surveys in 81 countries. We find that fertility responds differently to fluctuations and long-run growth, and the nature of these responses varies over the lifecycle. Fertility is procyclical, falling during recessions, but also declines with long-run growth. Lifetime fertility is affected by fluctuations near the end of the reproductive period but not those at prime reproductive age. Our results are consistent with models linking demography, human capital, and long-run growth, extended to include a lifecycle with liquidity constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Shoumitro Chatterjee & Tom Vogl, 2016. "Growth and Childbearing in the Short- and Long-Run," NBER Working Papers 23000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23000
    Note: CH DEV EFG
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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