Title

Contraception and the Demographic Transition

Campus Units

Economics

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Submitted Manuscript

Publication Date

11-2016

Journal or Book Title

The Economic Journal

Volume

127

First Page or Article ID Number

2263

Last Page

2301

DOI

10.1111/eco j.12431

Abstract

Inspired by the historical English experience, we modify the Beckerian paradigm of fertility by incorporating costly, societal influence on contraception. Heterogeneous, generationally-linked households choose between ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ contraception. The modern has a higher fixed but lower variable cost of averting childbirths. Initially the rich adopt the modern, which unleashes society-wide diffusion. Eventually everyone switches, lowering fertility further and across households. Hastening the switch is falling child mortality. Quantitative experiments suggest contraception was a vital link between the historical mortality and fertility transitions, though not the latter’s proximate cause. Implications for more recent transitions are discussed.

JEL Classification

O40, I12, J11

Comments

This article is published as Bhattacharya,J., Chakraborty, S., Contraception and the Demographic Transition. 2016 The Economic Journal; 127; 2263-2301. DOI: 10.1111/eco j.12431. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Royal Economic Society

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

Published Version Working Paper

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