A Theory of Endogenous Fertility with Occupational Choice

By: Dilip Mookherjee, Silvia Prina, and Debraj Ray

Published in:

American Economic Journal 4 (4), pages 1-34.


Theories based on partial equilibrium reasoning alone cannot explain the widespread negative cross-sectional correlation between parental wages and fertility, without restrictive assumptions on preferences and childcare costs. We argue that incorporating a dynamic general equilibrium analysis of returns to human capital can help explain observed empirical patterns. Other by-products of this theory include explanations for intergenerational mobility without stochastic shocks, connections between mobility and fertility patterns, and locally determinate steady states. Comparative statics exercises on steady states shed light on the effects of education, childcare subsidies, child labor regulations, and income redistribution policy on long run living standards.

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Published July 2, 2014 11:41 AM - Last modified July 2, 2014 11:41 AM