A theory of population growth when women realty count

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Abstract

Conventional economic theories of population growth build upon the work of Gary Becker and Richard Easterlin. Although different in many important respects, these theories assume that women and men have the same preferences with respect to the target number of children. For this reason, they fail to explain important patterns of demographic change, particularly in less developed regions of the world. In this article, a model of population growth is developed which examines the implications of assuming that women prefer fewer children than men. In this scenario, changes in variables which serve to empower women, such as education and family planning, contribute to the reduction of family size and, thereby, in the rate of population growth, irrespective of relative prices and levels of income. Moreover, modeling the household with differential gender-specific preference functions enriches the traditional models of fertility, allowing for explanations of demographic change which are consistent with the stylized facts of fertility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-43
Number of pages17
JournalKyklos
Volume52
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Keywords

  • demographic trend
  • population growth
  • theoretical study
  • womens status

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