Escaping Malthus: Economic Growth and Fertility Change in the Developing World†

Escaping Malthus: Economic Growth and Fertility Change in the Developing World† AbstractFollowing mid-twentieth century predictions of Malthusian catastrophe, fertility in the developing world more than halved, while living standards more than doubled. We analyze how fertility change related to economic growth during this episode, using data on 2.3 million women from 255 household surveys. We find different responses to fluctuations and long-run growth, both heterogeneous over the life cycle. Fertility was procyclical but declined and delayed with long-run growth; fluctuations late (but not early) in the reproductive period affected lifetime fertility. The results are consistent with models of the escape from the Malthusian trap, extended with a life cycle and liquidity constraints. (JEL D15, I12, I15, J13, J16, O15, O47) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Economic Review American Economic Association

Escaping Malthus: Economic Growth and Fertility Change in the Developing World†

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Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 © American Economic Association
ISSN
0002-8282
D.O.I.
10.1257/aer.20170748
Publisher site
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Abstract

AbstractFollowing mid-twentieth century predictions of Malthusian catastrophe, fertility in the developing world more than halved, while living standards more than doubled. We analyze how fertility change related to economic growth during this episode, using data on 2.3 million women from 255 household surveys. We find different responses to fluctuations and long-run growth, both heterogeneous over the life cycle. Fertility was procyclical but declined and delayed with long-run growth; fluctuations late (but not early) in the reproductive period affected lifetime fertility. The results are consistent with models of the escape from the Malthusian trap, extended with a life cycle and liquidity constraints. (JEL D15, I12, I15, J13, J16, O15, O47)

Journal

American Economic ReviewAmerican Economic Association

Published: Jun 1, 2018

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