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Endogenous Fluctuations in the Barro-Becker Theory of Fertility

  • Jess Benhabib
  • Kazuo Nishimura
Part of the Studies in Contemporary Economics book series (CONTEMPORARY)

Abstract

One of the recent interesting hypotheses of population growth is due to EASTERLIN (1973) (see also BECKER (1981) chapter 7) who suggests the possibility of self-generating fluctuations in population growth. A large population will face stiffer economic competition, lower incomes, congestions and crowding if other means of production as well as the social infrastructure do not expand simultaneously. The result may be a decline in fertility as parents try to maintain an adequate standard of living for themselves. But why should capital and other means of production or the social infrastructure not expand with population size at a uniform rate? Are fluctuations a necessary or even possible outcome of this analysis? Using the BARRO-BECKER framework (1985) and relaxing some of their assumptions, we will answer this question. Our results show that under a broad class of preferences, fertility and per capita incomes not only move together but endogenously oscillate.

Keywords

Capital Stock Optimal Path Social Infrastructure Constant Relative Risk Aversion Fertility Choice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. BARRO, R., and BECKER, G., “Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth”, Working paper from University of Rochester, October, 1984.Google Scholar
  2. BECKER, G., A Treatise on the Family Harvard University Press, 1981.Google Scholar
  3. BENHABIB, J., and NISHIMURA, K., “Competitive Equilibrium Cycles”, Journal of Economic Theory 35 (1985), 284–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. BENHABIB, J., MAJUMDAR, M., and NISHIMURA, K., “Global Equilibrium Dynamics with Stationary Recursive Preferences”, presented at the Workshop on the Advances in the Analysis of Economic Dynamic Systems, Venice, January 1986.Google Scholar
  5. EASTERLIN, R., “Relative Economic Status and the American Fertility Swing”, in E. B. SHELDON, ed., Family Economic Behavior: Problems and Prospects Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1973.Google Scholar
  6. KEMP, M., and KONDO, H. “Overlapping Generations, Competitive Efficiency and Optimal Population”, Working paper from University of New South Wales, 1985.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jess Benhabib
    • 1
  • Kazuo Nishimura
    • 2
  1. 1.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Kyoto Institute of Economic ResearchKyotoJapan

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