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Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters

David de la Croix and Matthias Doepke
The American Economic Review
Vol. 93, No. 4 (Sep., 2003), pp. 1091-1113
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3132280
Page Count: 23
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Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters
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Abstract

We develop a new theoretical link between inequality and growth. In our model, fertility and education decisions are interdependent. Poor parents decide to have many children and invest little in education. A mean-preserving spread in the income distribution increases the fertility differential between the rich and the poor, which implies that more weight gets placed on families who provide little education. Consequently, an increase in inequality lowers average education and, therefore, growth. We find that this fertility-differential effect accounts for most of the empirical relationship between inequality and growth.

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