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Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth

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  • Gary S. Becker
  • Kevin M. Murphy
  • Robert F. Tamura

Abstract

Our model of growth departs from both the Malthusian and neoclassical approaches by including investments in human capital. We assume, crucially, that rates of return on human capital investments rise, rather than, decline, as the stock of human capital increases, until the stock becomes large. This arises because the education sector uses human capital note intensively than either the capital producing sector of the goods producing sector. This produces multiple steady scares: an undeveloped steady stare with little human capital, low rates of return on human capital investments and high fertility, and a developed steady stats with higher rates of return a large, and, perhaps, growing stock of human capital and low fertility. Multiple steady states mean that history and luck are critical determinants of a country's growth experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert F. Tamura, 1990. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3414
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    1. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education, Third Edition, pages 257-298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    6. Tamura, R., 1991. "Fertility , Human Capital and the "Wealth of Nations"," Working Papers 91-17, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
    7. Heckman, James J, 1976. "A Life-Cycle Model of Earnings, Learning, and Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 11-44, August.
    8. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1988. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25.
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