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Religions, fertility, and growth in South-East Asia

Author: David De la Croix; Clara Delavallade; Centre for Economic Policy Research (Great Britain),
Publisher: London : Centre for Economic Policy Research, 2018.
Series: Discussion paper (Centre for Economic Policy Research (Great Britain)), no. 12622.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
We investigate the extent to which religions' pronatalism is detrimental to growth via the fertility/education channel. Using censuses from South-East Asia, we first estimate an empirical model of fertility and show that having a religious affiliation significantly raises fertility, especially for couples with intermediate to high education levels. We next use these estimates to identify the parameters of a  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: David De la Croix; Clara Delavallade; Centre for Economic Policy Research (Great Britain),
OCLC Number: 1019881798
Notes: "Published 18 January 2018"
"Submitted 18 January 2018"
Description: 1 online resource (76 pages) : illustrations.
Series Title: Discussion paper (Centre for Economic Policy Research (Great Britain)), no. 12622.
Responsibility: David de la Croix and Clara Delavallade.

Abstract:

We investigate the extent to which religions' pronatalism is detrimental to growth via the fertility/education channel. Using censuses from South-East Asia, we first estimate an empirical model of fertility and show that having a religious affiliation significantly raises fertility, especially for couples with intermediate to high education levels. We next use these estimates to identify the parameters of a structural model of fertility choice. On average, Catholicism is the most pro-child religion (increasing total spending on children), followed by Buddhism, while Islam has a strong pro-birth component (redirecting spending from quality to quantity). We show that pro-child religions depress growth in the early stages of growth by lowering savings, physical capital, and labor supply. These effects account for 10% to 30% of the actual growth gaps between countries over 1950-1980. At later stages of growth, pro-birth religions lower human capital accumulation, explaining between 10% to 20% of the growth gap between Muslim and Buddhist countries over 1980-2010.

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