Journal of Economic Growth

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 357–385 | Cite as

The long-run determinants of fertility: one century of demographic change 1900–1999

Open Access
Article

Abstract

We examine the long-run relationship between fertility, mortality, and income using panel cointegration techniques and the available data for the last century. Our main result is that mortality changes and growth of income contributed to the fertility transition. The fertility reduction triggered by falling mortality, however, is not enough to overcompensate the positive effect of falling mortality on population growth. This means that growth of income per capita is essential to explain the observed secular decline of population growth. These results are robust to alternative estimation methods, potential outliers, sample selection, different measures of mortality, the sample period, the inclusion of education as an explanatory variable, and the use of different data sets. In addition, our causality tests suggest that fertility changes are both cause and consequence of economic development.

Keywords

Fertility Mortality Economic development Panel cointegration 

JEL Classification

J1 J13 C23 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors’ would like to thank David Reher for sharing the data. The authors’ thank David Canning, Jesus Crespo Cuaresma, Carl-Johan Dalgaard, Michael Funke, six anonymous referees, and the editor, Oded Galor, for useful comments and suggestions.

Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dierk Herzer
    • 1
  • Holger Strulik
    • 2
  • Sebastian Vollmer
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsHelmut-Schmidt-University HamburgHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  3. 3.Department of Global Health and PopulationHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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