Income-Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility

62 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2000 Last revised: 15 Oct 2010

See all articles by Michael Kremer

Michael Kremer

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Center for Global Development; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Daniel L. Chen

Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France

Date Written: February 2000

Abstract

Developing countries with highly unequal income distributions, such as Brazil or South Africa, face an uphill battle in reducing inequality. Educated workers in these countries have a much lower birthrate than uneducated workers. Assuming children of educated workers are more likely to become educated, this tends to increase the proportion of unskilled workers, reducing their wages, and thus their opportunity cost of having children, creating a vicious cycle. A model incorporating this effect generates multiple steady-state levels of inequality, suggesting that in some circumstances, temporarily increasing access to educational opportunities could permanently reduce inequality. Empirical evidence suggests that the fertility differential between the educated and uneducated is greater in less equal countries, consistent with the model.

Suggested Citation

Kremer, Michael R. and Chen, Daniel L., Income-Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility (February 2000). NBER Working Paper No. w7530. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=216011

Michael R. Kremer (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Rm. 207
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Brookings Institution

1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036-2188
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Center for Global Development

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Daniel L. Chen

Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Toulouse School of Economics, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, University of Toulouse Capitole, Toulouse, France ( email )

21 allée de Brienne
31015 Toulouse cedex 6 France
Toulouse, 31015
France

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
50
Abstract Views
1,174
PlumX Metrics