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Endogenous fertility with a sibship size effect

  • Elise S. Brezis
  • Rodolphe Dos Santos Ferreira

Since the seminal work of Becker, the dynamics of endogenous fertility has been based on the trade-off faced by parents between the quantity and the quality of their children. However, in developing countries, when child labor is an indispensable source of household income, parents actually incur a negative cost for having an extra child, so that the trade-off disappears. The purpose of this paper is to restore the Beckerian quantity-quality trade-off in the case intergenerational transfers are upstream, so as to keep fertility endogenous. We do that by adding a negative “sibship size effect” on human capital formation to the standard Becker model. With a simple specification, we obtain multiplicity of steady states or, more fundamentally, the possibility of a jump from a state with high fertility and low income to a state with low fertility and high income, triggered by a continuous increase in the productivity of human capital formation.

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Paper provided by Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg in its series Working Papers of BETA with number 2014-03.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2014-03
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