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Maternal Health and Fertility: An International Perspective

Stefania Albanesi ()

No 2013-005, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group

Abstract: This paper examines the impact of the decline in maternal mortality on fertility and women's human capital. Fertility theory suggests that a permanent decline in maternal mortality initially increases fertility and generates a permanent rise in women's human capital, relative to men. The resulting rise in the opportunity cost of children leads to a subsequent decline in desired fertility, generating a boom-bust response. We assess these predictions using newly digitized data on maternal mortality for 25 advanced and emerging economies for the time period 1900-2000. The empirical estimates suggest that the decline in maternal mortality contributed significantly to the baby booms and subsequent baby busts experienced by these economies in the twentieth century, and that the female-male differential in education attainment grew more in those countries that experience a sizable maternal mortality decline.

Keywords: Maternal mortality decline; fertility choice; baby boom; women's; human capital (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J11 J13 J16 N3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-hea and nep-his
Note: FI
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http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Albane ... health-fertility.pdf First version, July, 2012 (application/pdf)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hka:wpaper:2013-005

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