Skill Composition, Fertility and Economic Growth
19 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2013 Last revised: 20 Jan 2014
Date Written: August 1, 2013
While high fertility persists in the poorest countries and fertility declines with per capita income in developing countries, fertility and per capita income are now positively associated across most developed countries. This paper presents a model where a Ushaped relationship between overall fertility and per capita income reflects within country differences in workforce skill composition and household choice of occupation, fertility and childrearing. The fraction of skilled workers rises with economic growth. By allowing for both differences in the fertility of skilled and unskilled workers and purchased childrearing inputs, we explain a poverty trap with high fertility, fertility decline with economic development and the possible reversal of fertility decline in a developed economy where most workers are skilled.
Keywords: fertility, economic growth, education, childrearing
JEL Classification: J13, J24, O40
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