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The Large Fall in Global Fertility: A Quantitative Model

Tiloka de Silva () and Silvana Tenreyro ()
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Tiloka de Silva: London School of Economics (LSE)

No 1718, Discussion Papers from Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM)

Abstract: Over the past four decades, fertility rates have fallen dramatically in most middle- and low-income countries around the world. To analyze these developments, we study a quantitative model of endogenous human capital and fertility choice, augmented to allow for social norms over the number of children. The model enables us to gauge the role of human capital accumulation on the decline in fertility and to simulate the implementation of population-control policies aimed at affecting social norms and fostering the use of contraceptive technologies. Using data on several socio-economic variables as well as information on funding of population-control policies to parametrize the model, we find that policies aimed at altering family-size norms have provided a significant impulse to accelerate and strengthen the decline in fertility that would have otherwise gradually taken place as economies move to higher levels of human capital.

Keywords: Fertility rates; Birth rate; Convergence; Macro-development; Malthusian growth; Population (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Date: 2017-07
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