Fertility and the Plough
15 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2011
Date Written: February 2011
The current study finds that societies which historically engaged in plough agriculture today have lower fertility. We argue, and provide ethnographic evidence, that the finding is explained by the fact that with plough agriculture, children, like women, are relatively less useful in the field. The plough requires strength and eliminates the need for weeding, a task particularly suitable for women and children. This in turn generates a preference for fewer children, lowering fertility.
Keywords: cultural norms, fertility, plough
JEL Classification: J13, O13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation