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

  • Alan Fernihough

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 di fferent 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://hdl.handle.net/10197/6389
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: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201113
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Becker, Sascha O. & Cinnirella, Francesco & Wößmann, Ludger, 2010. "The trade-off between fertility and education: Evidence from before the demographic transition," Munich Reprints in Economics 20196, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Instruments, Randomization, and Learning about Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 424-55, June.
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  6. 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, September.
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  8. repec:pri:rpdevs:deaton_instruments_randomization_learning_all_04april_2010 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. 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.
  10. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191.
  11. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Oded Galor, 2010. "The Demographic Transition: Causes and Consequences," Working Papers 2010-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  13. Timothy J. Hatton & Richard M. Martin, 2010. "The effects on stature of poverty, family size, and birth order: British children in the 1930s," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 157-184, January.
  14. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 669-700.
  15. 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.
  16. Oded_Galor, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth:Unified Growth Theory," Working Papers 2004-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  17. 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.
  18. Cormac Gráda, 1991. "New evidence on the fertility transition in Ireland 1880–1911," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 28(4), pages 535-548, November.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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, .
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