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A number of writers contend that rising per capita incomes will reduce birthrates and solve problems of high population growth in developing countries (see,for example, Clark and Simon). This contention is attractive because familyplanning programmes that may conflict with some religious and ethical valuesneed not be implemented. But the contention is dangerous if it is wrong. Evenif developing countries temporarily achieve per capita income gains, failure ofsuch gains to retard population growth can eventually offset advances in totalincome and relegate developing countries to low per capita incomes andundernutrition for years to come.The purpose of this paper is to test empirically the null hypothesis that thepopulation growth rate is not influenced by the per capita income growth rate.This hypothesis has been addressed in the past on both deductive and empiricalgrounds. Microeconomic theoretical analysis suggests that higher family incomeresults in higher fertility rates (Becker). Some empirical evidence supports thisconclusion (Adelman). However, other empirical studies report negative incomeelasticities of fertility (Ben-Porath, for example).

Subject(s): Labor and Human Capital

Public Economics

Issue Date: 1981

Publication Type: Conference Paper/ Presentation

PURL Identifier: Page range: 232-237

Total Pages: 6

Record appears in: International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) > 1981 Occasional Paper Series No. 2

Autor: Futa, Mudiumbula ; Tweeten, Luther


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