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Department of Economic History, Lund University Lund Papers in Economic History, Department of Economic History, Lund University

No 141:
Did Gender-Bias Matter in the Quantity-Quality Trade-off in 19th Century France?

Claude Diebolt (), Tapas Mishra () and Faustine Perrin ()

Abstract: Recent theoretical developments of growth models, especially on unified theories of growth, suggest that the child quantity-quality trade-off has been a central element of the transition from Malthusian stagnation to sustained growth. Using an original censusbased dataset, this paper explores the role of gender on the trade-off between education and fertility across 86 French counties during the nineteenth century, as an empirical extension of Diebolt-Perrin (2013). We first test the existence of the child quantity-quality trade-off in 1851. Second, we explore the long-run effect of education on fertility from a gendered approach. Two important results emerge: (i) significant and negative association between education and fertility is found, and (ii) such a relationship is non-unique over the distribution of education/fertility. While our results suggest the existence of a negative and significant effect of the female endowments in human capital on the fertility transition, the effects of negative endowment almost disappear at low level of fertility.

Keywords: Cliometrics; Education; Fertility; Demographic Transition; Unified growth theory; Nineteenth century France; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: C22; C26; C32; C36; C81; C82; I20; J13; N01; N33; (follow links to similar papers)

56 pages, December 15, 2015

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