Religions, Fertility, and Growth in South-East Asia
David de la Croix () and
Clara Delavallade ()
No 12622, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers
We investigate the extent to which religions' pronatalism is detrimental to growth via the fertility/education channel. Using censuses from South-East Asia, we first estimate an empirical model of fertility and show that having a religious affiliation significantly raises fertility, especially for couples with intermediate to high education levels. We next use these estimates to identify the parameters of a structural model of fertility choice. On average, Catholicism is the most pro-child religion (increasing total spending on children), followed by Buddhism, while Islam has a strong pro-birth component (redirecting spending from quality to quantity). We show that pro-child religions depress growth in the early stages of growth by lowering savings, physical capital, and labor supply. These effects account for 10% to 30% of the actual growth gaps between countries over 1950-1980. At later stages of growth, pro-birth religions lower human capital accumulation, explaining between 10% to 20% of the growth gap between Muslim and Buddhist countries over 1980-2010.
Keywords: Buddhism; Catholicism; education; indirect inference; Islam; Quality-Quantity Tradeoff (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 O11 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Journal Article: RELIGIONS, FERTILITY, AND GROWTH IN SOUTHEAST ASIA (2018)
Working Paper: Religions, Fertility, and Growth in South-East Asia (2016)
Working Paper: Religions, Fertility and Growth in South-East Asia (2015)
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