GH 101 Pop lec 2014 Revised.pdf

Large family size can operate to reduce poverty by

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Large family size can operate to reduce poverty by providing resources to a resource-poor household (from family chores to income generation) providing security for old age enlarging the pool of potential generators of wealth for families who have income insecurity.
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Why do poor families have many children? 1. Children as resources: labor, income, insecurity 2. Powerlessness of women, men 3. Son preference 4. Religion, social class, culture 5. Lack of health services
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Worldwide 0.6 0.9 1.8 2.0 2.0 1.3 0 1 2 3 1950-1955 1970-1975 1990-1995 2010-2015 2030-2035 2045-2050 Billions 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Children per woman Women 15 to 49 Average number of children per woman Source: United Nations, World Population Prospects: The 2004 Revision (medium scenario), 2005. Women of Childbearing Age and Fertility
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Is large family size a causal factor in poverty? Evidence : Studies from developed countries generally find evidence of a negative impact of family size on child well-being Empirical studies from developing countries is mixed – both positive and negative impacts (Ahlburg, Pop Growth & Poverty1994) Extra birth (twins) reduces schooling of siblings 17-34% (Rosensweig, JPolEcon 1990) Large families (older children and relatives) provide additional resources and level out fluctuations of income in poor families Small impact of family size compared to education, assets, family income (most authors)
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Population Growth
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Developing Regions Make Up an Increasing Share of World Population Source: United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision, and Population Reference Bureau (2008). World Population (in Billions): 1950-2050
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Source: Population Reference Bureau, 2005 World Population Data Sheet . Projected Population Change Percent Population Change, 2005-2050
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Less Developed Countries Have More Young People Relative to Elderly Source: United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision , and Population Reference Bureau (2008) Population by Age and Sex, Less Developed Countries: 2008
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Population Growth - some studies Regression analysis of 22 countries from 1960-1985: Pop growth was not associated with changes in poverty, using different measures of poverty, models, and time periods (Squire, AmEcRev 1993) No evidence of wage decrease during 60-80 population growth (accommodations –land reform, land inputs, increased non-agricultural employment, development of human capital of poor) Past population growth = higher GNP/capita growth; recent pop growth = lower GNP/capita growth difficult to assess cause and effect (Johnson,Lee, Pop Growth&Devt 1987)
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Other studies/observations re Population Growth Common property decrease from 1950-80 (firewood, free ranging for animals, water, building materials) – but result of government policy as much as growth (Jodha 1990) Decrease educational expense per child in countries with larger population growth – but mostly related to economic adjustment and social policies (Cox, Jiminez)
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Thus, Causal effect of rapid population growth and poverty is basically unclear It is likely that these studies are too unreliable for
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  • Fall '13
  • Demography, World population, Population Reference Bureau

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