Lecture 19 - Economic Motivations for Fertility

author: Robert Wyman, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: May 14, 2010,   recorded: April 2009,   views: 3108
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Description

Data shows, consistently, that poor people have more children than rich people; economically speaking, children are an inferior good. Children are production goods because they do work, consumption goods because they are enjoyable, and investment goods because they support parents in old age. Jobs in the modern sector require education and health. To pay for this, parents have to focus their resources on fewer children.

Reading assignment:

Bryant, John. "Theories of Fertility Decline and Evidence from Development Indicators." Population and Development Review, no. 33 (2007), pp. 101-104 and 122-124

Lloyd, Cynthia. "Investing in the Next Generation: The Implications of High Fertility at the Level of the Family." In R. Cassen, ed. Population and Development: Old Debates, New Conclusions. Washington, D.C.: Overseas Development Council, 1994, pp. 181-202

Panayotou, Theodore. " The Population, Environment, and Development Nexus." In R. Cassen, ed. Population and Development: Old Debates, New Conclusions. Washington, D.C.: Overseas Development Council, 1994, pp. 149-152

Hardin, Garrett. "The Tragedy of the Commons." Science, Vol. 162, no. 3859, 13 December 1968, pp. 1243-1248

Resources: Notes - Lecture 19 [PDF]

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