Does Falling National Fertility Increase Income Inequality? from The Economist

Photo by Andrew Bardwell/Flickr/cc

In poor countries lower fertility is usually good for the economy. But it can also increase inequality.

ECONOMIES benefit when people start having smaller families. As fertility falls, the share of working-age adults in the population creeps up, laying the foundation for the so-called “demographic dividend”. With fewer children, parents invest more in each child’s education, increasing human capital. People tend to save more for their retirment, so more money is available for investment. And women take paid jobs, boosting the size of the workforce. All this is good for economic growth and household income. A recent study estimated that a decrease of Nigeria’s fertility rate by one child per woman would boost GDP per head by 13% over 20 years. But not every consequence of lower fertility is peachy. A new study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health identifies another and surprising effect: higher inequality in the short term.

CLICK HERE to read the full article.

Source: The Economist, Aug 11, 2012.

2 Comments

Filed under Family Planning, Growth, Population

2 responses to “Does Falling National Fertility Increase Income Inequality? from The Economist

  1. Val

    The smarter are more easily educated and make more money with that intelligence and education. They also can see ahead better and have much fewer children, either from education in ecology or knowing the costs of raising a child properly.
    The poor tend to be less educated and less smart. If their fertility rate falls, then in the next generation, there is less demand for jobs, so higher wages. The problems are overshoot and momentum. They keep the population far beyond eco-capacity. As depletion and pollution effects set in the region, they crash. Some escape to the next region, then that region collapses.
    Nigeria? With a doubling time from 2010 of 19 years and their resources, already stretched and depleted, they simply can not avoid crashing before doubling.

  2. You must crack the nuts before you can eat the kernel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s