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The Effect of Interventions to Reduce Fertility on Economic Growth

62 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2011  

Quamrul H. Ashraf

Williams College - Department of Economics

David N. Weil

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

Joshua Wilde

University of South Florida

Date Written: August 2011

Abstract

We assess quantitatively the effect of exogenous reductions in fertility on output per capita. Our simulation model allows for effects that run through schooling, the size and age structure of the population, capital accumulation, parental time input into child-rearing, and crowding of fixed natural resources. The model is parameterized using a combination of microeconomic estimates, data on demographics and natural resource income in developing countries, and standard components of quantitative macroeconomic theory. We apply the model to examine the effect of a change in fertility from the UN medium-variant to the UN low-variant projection, using Nigerian vital rates as a baseline. For a base case set of parameters, we find that such a change would raise output per capita by 5.6 percent at a horizon of 20 years, and by 11.9 percent at a horizon of 50 years.

Suggested Citation

Ashraf, Quamrul H. and Weil, David N. and Wilde, Joshua, The Effect of Interventions to Reduce Fertility on Economic Growth (August 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w17377. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1919450

Quamrul H. Ashraf (Contact Author)

Williams College - Department of Economics ( email )

Fernald House
Williamstown, MA 01267
United States

David Nathan Weil

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Box B
Providence, RI 02912
United States
401-863-1754 (Phone)
401-863-1970 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Joshua Wilde

University of South Florida ( email )

Tampa, FL 33620
United States
813-974-2076 (Phone)
813-974-6510 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.cas.usf.edu/jkwilde/

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