Mortality, fertility, and persistent income inequality

Sarkar, Jayanta (2008) Mortality, fertility, and persistent income inequality. Southern Economic Journal, 75(2), pp. 332-350.

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Many developing countries are plagued by persistent inequality in income distribution. While a growing body of economic-demographic literature emphasizes differential fertility channel, this paper investigates differential child mortality--differences in child mortality across income groups--as a critical link through which income inequality persists. Using an overlapping generations model in which both child mortality and fertility are endogenously determined by parental choice, this paper demonstrates that differential child mortality and its interaction with differential fertility may generate an "income inequality trap." The trap is characterized by higher child mortality and lower degree of skill formation among the poorer households. The model can also explain the behavior of aggregate fertility and mortality rates for countries at various stages of development, consonant with patterns of demographic transition. The results indicate that provision of public health that raises the productivity of private health spending may be an effective way to reduce income inequality

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ID Code: 45360
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0038-4038
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000)
Deposited On: 24 Aug 2011 22:19
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2014 05:35

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