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World population growth and fertility patterns, 1960-2000. A simple model explaining the evolution of world's fertility during the second half of the 20th Century
Camps, Enriqueta; Engerman, Stanley
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
In this paper we attempt to describe the general reasons behind the world populationexplosion in the 20th century. The size of the population at the end of the century inquestion, deemed excessive by some, was a consequence of a dramatic improvementin life expectancies, attributable, in turn, to scientific innovation, the circulation ofinformation and economic growth. Nevertheless, fertility is a variable that plays acrucial role in differences in demographic growth. We identify infant mortality, femaleeducation levels and racial identity as important exogenous variables affecting fertility.It is estimated that in poor countries one additional year of primary schooling forwomen leads to 0.614 child less per couple on average (worldwide). While it may bepossible to identify a global tendency towards convergence in demographic trends,particular attention should be paid to the case of Africa, not only due to its differentdemographic patterns, but also because much of the continent's population has yet toexperience improvement in quality of life generally enjoyed across the rest of theplanet.
25-09-2008
Economic and Business History
Statistics, Econometrics and Quantitative Methods
fertility
human capital
infant mortality
race
population growth
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