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Growth and Childbearing in the Short- and Long-Run

Shoumitro Chatterjee and Tom Vogl
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Shoumitro Chatterjee: Princeton University
Tom Vogl: Princeton University

Working Papers from Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies.

Abstract: Despite being key to theories of economic growth and the demographic transition, evidence on how fertility responds to aggregate income change is mixed. We analyze economic growth and fertility change in the developing world over six decades, using data on 2.3 million women from 255 surveys in 81 countries. We find that fertility responds differently to fluctuations and long-run growth, and the nature of these responses varies over the life cycle. Fertility is procyclical, falling during recessions, but also declines and delays with long-run growth. Lifetime fertility is affected by fluctuations near the end of the reproductive period but not those at prime reproductive age. Our results are consistent with models linking demography, human capital, and long-run growth, extended to include a life cycle with liquidity constraints.

JEL-codes: J13 O40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gro and nep-his
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