The Trade-off between Fertility and Education: Evidence from before the Demographic Transition

Sascha Becker, Francesco Cinnirella, Ludger Woessmann

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

The trade-off between child quantity and quality is a crucial ingredient of unified growth models that explain the transition from Malthusian stagnation to modern growth. We present first evidence that such a trade-off indeed existed already in the nineteenth century, exploiting a unique census-based dataset of 334 Prussian counties in 1849. Furthermore, we find that causation between fertility and education runs both ways, based on separate instrumental-variable models that instrument fertility by sex ratios and education by landownership inequality and distance to Wittenberg. Education in 1849 also predicts the fertility transition in 1880–1905.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Economic Growth
Vol/bind15
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)177-204
ISSN1381-4338
StatusUdgivet - 2010

Fingeraftryk

Demographic transition
Education
Fertility
Trade-offs
Causation
Instrumental variables
Sex education
Census
Sex ratio
Stagnation
Growth model

Citer dette

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The Trade-off between Fertility and Education: Evidence from before the Demographic Transition. / Becker, Sascha; Cinnirella, Francesco; Woessmann, Ludger.

I: Journal of Economic Growth, Bind 15, Nr. 3, 2010, s. 177-204.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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AU - Cinnirella, Francesco

AU - Woessmann, Ludger

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N2 - The trade-off between child quantity and quality is a crucial ingredient of unified growth models that explain the transition from Malthusian stagnation to modern growth. We present first evidence that such a trade-off indeed existed already in the nineteenth century, exploiting a unique census-based dataset of 334 Prussian counties in 1849. Furthermore, we find that causation between fertility and education runs both ways, based on separate instrumental-variable models that instrument fertility by sex ratios and education by landownership inequality and distance to Wittenberg. Education in 1849 also predicts the fertility transition in 1880–1905.

AB - The trade-off between child quantity and quality is a crucial ingredient of unified growth models that explain the transition from Malthusian stagnation to modern growth. We present first evidence that such a trade-off indeed existed already in the nineteenth century, exploiting a unique census-based dataset of 334 Prussian counties in 1849. Furthermore, we find that causation between fertility and education runs both ways, based on separate instrumental-variable models that instrument fertility by sex ratios and education by landownership inequality and distance to Wittenberg. Education in 1849 also predicts the fertility transition in 1880–1905.

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JF - Journal of Economic Growth

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