This paper incorporates the timing of childbearing into a growth model with
endogenous fertility. It analyzes a model in which individuals' human capital
stock depends positively on their education and parental human capital and in
which producing and raising children and acquiring human capital are
intensive. The model highlights how changes in the human capital stock
interact with individuals' timing of childbearing in affecting the evolution of
the economy. It shows that, if the complementarity between parental human
capital and education in determining individuals' human capital is relatively
large, then increases in the human capital stock raise the opportunity cost of
having children while young and induce individuals to delay childbearing.
That, in turn, accelerates human capital accumulation in the future. The model
also demonstrates that early childbearing may lead to a development trap with
low human capital.
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Last update: July 19, 2001