Fertility choice, land, and the Malthusian hypothesis

Eckstein, Zvi, Stern, Steven, & Wolpin, Kenneth I. (1988) Fertility choice, land, and the Malthusian hypothesis. International Economic Review, 29(2), pp. 353-361.

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In a standard overlapping generations growth model, with a fixed amount of land and endogenous fertility, the competitive economy converges to a steady state with a zero population growth rate and positive consumption per capita. The Malthusian hypothesis is interpreted as a positive statement about the relationship between population growth and consumption per-capita, when production exhibits diminishing returns to labor and there is a fixed amount of land essential for production. Even when individuals care only about the number of their children and not about their children's welfare, the equilibrium is such that they eventually would choose to have only one child for each adult. Hence, if Malthus's "positive check' on population is the result of the response of optimizing agents to competitively determined prices, Malthus's pessimistic conjecture is not necessarily true, even though his other assumptions hold. -from Authors

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ID Code: 73229
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.2307/2526671
ISSN: 0020-6598
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1988 Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
Deposited On: 02 Jul 2014 02:19
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2014 02:19

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