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

Author(s): Chatterjee, Shoumitro; Vogl, Tom S.

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Abstract: Following 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.
Publication Date: Jun-2018
Citation: Chatterjee, Shoumitro, Vogl, Tom. (2018). Escaping Malthus: Economic Growth and Fertility Change in the Developing World.. The American economic review, 108 (6), 1440 - 1467
DOI: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20170748
ISSN: 0002-8282
EISSN: 1944-7981
Pages: 1440 - 1467
Language: eng
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: The American economic review
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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