What Do Women Do?: World Population Growth and Fertility Patterns, 1960-2000

40 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2008 Last revised: 30 Jun 2009

See all articles by Enriqueta Camps

Enriqueta Camps

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences

Stanley L. Engerman

University of Rochester - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 20, 2008

Abstract

In this paper we attempt to describe the general picture reasons behind the world population explosion during the 20th century. In general we comment that if, according to some, at the end of the 20th century there were too many people, this was has a consequence of scientific innovation, circulation of information, and economic growth, leading to a dramatic improvement in life expectancies. Nevertheless, a crucial variable shaping differences in demographic growth is fertility. In this paper we identify as important exogenous variables affecting fertility female education levels, infant mortality, and racial identity and diversity. It is estimated that three additional years of schooling for mothers leads on average (at the world level ) to one child less per couple. Even if we can identify a worldwide trend towards convergence in demographic trends, the African case needs to be given more attention, not only because of its different demographic patterns, but also because this is the continent where the worldwide movement towards a higher quality of life has not yet been achieved for an important share of the world's population.

Keywords: Fertility, human capital, infant mortality, race, population growth

JEL Classification: I10, J1,I21, J7, N3

Suggested Citation

Camps, Enriqueta and Engerman, Stanley L., What Do Women Do?: World Population Growth and Fertility Patterns, 1960-2000 (August 20, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1285452 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1285452

Enriqueta Camps (Contact Author)

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences ( email )

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(34) 93 542 17 46 (Fax)

Stanley L. Engerman

University of Rochester - Department of Economics ( email )

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Rochester, NY 14627-0158
United States
585-275-3165 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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