WP-15: Technology, Gender Inequality, and Fertility
This paper proposes a new mechanism linking technology, gender inequality in education, and fertility in a unified growth model. There are three main components to the mechanism: First, increases in the level of technology not only increase the return to human capital but also reduce women's time in doing housework, leaving women with more time for child care and labor-force participation, since technological progress creates labour-saving products for doing housework. Second, the decreases in women's time devoted to housework in the future make households today invest less in education for their sons in order to invest more education for their daughters because the marginal return to female education is higher than that to male education, therefore, improving the gender equality in education. Third, the better gender equality in education, in turn, accelerates the technological progress. This positive feedback loop generates a demographic transition accompanied with accelerated economic growth.
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