The impact of changes in human fertility on poverty
Household survey data for developing and transitional economies are used to estimate the effect of fertility (crude birth rate net of infant deaths) on private consumption poverty. Cross-national regressions indicate that higher fertility increases poverty both by retarding economic growth and by skewing distribution against the poor. Our median country in 1980 had 'dollar-a-day' poverty incidence of 18.9 per cent; had it reduced its fertility by four per 1,000 throughout the 1980s (the sample median fall), it is estimated that incidence would have been reduced to 13.9 per cent, the growth and distribution effects being roughly equally responsible for this reduction.
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