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Human Capital and the Quantity-Quality Trade-Off during the Demographic Transition: New Evidence from Ireland

  • Alan Fernihough

    (University College Dublin)

In this article I measure the child quantity-quality relationship in 1911 Ireland. My analysis shows that sibship size had a strong impact on the probability of school enrollment in both Belfast and Dublin. However, the magnitude of the relationship varied considerably across different cohorts, most noticeably between the two cities. The existence of this relationship shows how the demographic transition played a vital role in the expansion of human capital and is highly consistent with the theoretical foundations of various long-run growth theories.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/WP11_13.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201113.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 05 Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201113
Contact details of provider: Postal: UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4
Phone: +353-1-7067777
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Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics

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  1. Galor, Oded, 2005. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293 Elsevier.
  2. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 150-154, May.
  3. James J. Heckman & Sergio Urzua, 2009. "Comparing IV With Structural Models: What Simple IV Can and Cannot Identify," NBER Working Papers 14706, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Galor, Oded, 2012. "The Demographic Transition: Causes and Consequences," IZA Discussion Papers 6334, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Children's Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 669-700, May.
  6. Jan Van Bavel & Sarah Moreels & Bart Van de Putte & Koen Matthijs, 2011. "Family size and intergenerational social mobility during the fertility transition," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 24(14), pages 313-344, February.
  7. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Instruments, Randomization, and Learning about Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 424-55, June.
  8. Becker, Sascha O. & Cinnirella, Francesco & Woessmann, Ludger, 2009. "The Trade-off between Fertility and Education: Evidence from before the Demographic Transition," IZA Discussion Papers 4557, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Guinnane, Timothy W. & Moehling, Carolyn M. & O Grada, Cormac, 2006. "The fertility of the Irish in the United States in 1910," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 465-485, July.
  10. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1980. "Testing the Quantity-Quality Fertility Model: The Use of Twins as a Natural Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 227-40, January.
  11. 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.
  12. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection And The Origin Of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191, November.
  13. George B. Roberts, Chairman, Universities-National Bureau Committee for Economic Research, 1960. "Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number univ60-2, August.
  14. Oded Galor, 2006. "The Demographic Transition," Working Papers 2006-24, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  15. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1976. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 0123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. O'Gráda, Cormac, 1991. "New Evidence on the Fertility Transition in Ireland 1880-1911," CEPR Discussion Papers 531, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Hoyt Bleakley & Fabian Lange, 2009. "Chronic Disease Burden and the Interaction of Education, Fertility, and Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 52-65, February.
  18. Timothy J. Hatton & Richard M. Martin, 2008. "The Effects on Stature of Poverty, Family Size and Birth Order: British Children in the 1930s," CEPR Discussion Papers 572, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  19. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  20. Nancy Qian, 2009. "Quantity-Quality and the One Child Policy:The Only-Child Disadvantage in School Enrollment in Rural China," NBER Working Papers 14973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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