Volume 16 - Article 7 | Pages 195–218

Demographic transitions and children's resources: growth or divergence?

By Parfait M. Eloundou-Enyegue, C. Shannon Stokes

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Date received:17 Jul 2006
Date published:08 Mar 2007
Word count:5141
Keywords:children’s resources, decomposition, family size, family structure, fertility transition, inequality, resource dilution, simulation


How do fertility transitions affect children’s resource endowments? Existing perspectives provide two seemingly different answers: Dilution arguments focusing on family size predict an average gain, while divergence arguments focusing on family structure predict increased inequality. We attempt to integrate these two perspectives, to show how changes in family size and structure additively and interactively shape the levels and inequality in children’s resource endowments. Failure to consider these interactions can severely bias estimates of the magnitude or even direction of the influences of fertility transitions. An empirical illustration is provided with Cameroon data.

Author's Affiliation

Parfait M. Eloundou-Enyegue - Cornell University, United States of America [Email]
C. Shannon Stokes - Pennsylvania State University, United States of America [Email]

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