Elise S. Brezis

Professor of Economics

Curriculum vitae

Head, Israel Macroeconomic Forum

Department of Economics

Bar-Ilan University, Israel

Endogenous Fertility With A Sibship Size Effect

Journal article

Elise S. Brezis, Rodolphe Dos Santos Ferreira
Macroeconomic Dynamics, vol. 20(8), Cambridge University Press, 2016 Dec, pp. 2046-2066

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APA   Click to copy
Brezis, E. S., & Ferreira, R. D. S. (2016). Endogenous Fertility With A Sibship Size Effect. Macroeconomic Dynamics, 20(8), 2046–2066. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1365100515000255

Chicago/Turabian   Click to copy
Brezis, Elise S., and Rodolphe Dos Santos Ferreira. “Endogenous Fertility With A Sibship Size Effect.” Macroeconomic Dynamics 20, no. 8 (December 2016): 2046–2066.

MLA   Click to copy
Brezis, Elise S., and Rodolphe Dos Santos Ferreira. “Endogenous Fertility With A Sibship Size Effect.” Macroeconomic Dynamics, vol. 20, no. 8, Cambridge University Press, Dec. 2016, pp. 2046–66, doi:10.1017/S1365100515000255.

BibTeX   Click to copy

  title = {Endogenous Fertility With A Sibship Size Effect},
  year = {2016},
  month = dec,
  issue = {8},
  journal = {Macroeconomic Dynamics},
  pages = {2046-2066},
  publisher = {Cambridge University Press},
  volume = {20},
  doi = {10.1017/S1365100515000255},
  author = {Brezis, Elise S. and Ferreira, Rodolphe Dos Santos},
  month_numeric = {12}


Since the seminal work of Becker, the dynamics of endogenous fertility has been based on the trade-off faced by parents between the quantity and the quality of their children. However, in developing countries, where child labor is an indispensable source of household income, parents actually incur a negative cost by having an extra child, so that the trade-off disappears. The purpose of this paper is to restore the Beckerian quantity–quality trade-off when intergenerational transfers are upstream, in order to keep fertility endogenous. We do that by adding a negative “sibship size effect” on human capital formation to the standard Becker model. With a simple specification, we obtain multiplicity of steady states or, more fundamentally, the possibility of a jump from a state with high fertility and low income to a state with low fertility and high income, triggered by a continuous increase in the productivity of human capital formation.

Keywords: endogenous fertility, intergenerational transfers, human capital formation, demographic transition

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