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  1. 1

    Prices, infrastructure, household characteristics and child height.

    Thomas D; Strauss J

    [Unpublished] 1990. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Toronto, Canada, May 3-5, 1990. [2], 28 p.

    Household survey data from Brazil, matched with information collected at the municipio (county) level, are used to examine the relation between parental characteristics (primarily education), community infrastructure and services, and child height. Data are drawn from 2 sources: Informacoes Basicas Municipais (1974) is a periodic survey of 4000 municipios on infrastructure, health and education services. Estudo Nacional da Despesa Familiar (1974-75) is a household survey covering 37,000 children under age 8 on income, expenditure, anthropometry and socio-demographic characteristics. Local food price indices were derived from these data. Child height is significantly affected by local infrastructure, particularly modern sewerage and piped water in urban areas and electricity in rural settings. These effects are stronger for children over 2, those of better educated mothers, and those in households spending more. Higher prices for dairy products and sugar are linked to lower urban child height, and higher fish prices to lower rural child height, significantly for children of illiterate mothers. Higher prices for meat and rice are associated with taller height, possible because men usually eat these foods. Mothers with elementary schooling can counteract the effects of food prices on child height. Number of teachers is positively related to height in rural children. Numbers of nurses and of hospital beds is associated with shorter children, suggesting that large hospitals locate in poor urban areas. This study has succeeded in identifying some public investments that affect child health.
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  2. 2

    Macroeconomic consequences of the 'new home economics'.

    Cigno A

    In: Economics of changing age distributions in developed countries, edited by Ronald D. Lee, W. Brian Arthur and Gerry Rodgers. Oxford, England, Clarendon Press, 1988. 139-50. (International Studies in Demography)

    This chapter examines the consequences of grafting an economic theory of fertility on to a simple model of economic growth. Our 1st discovery was that the existence of a sustainable equilibrium with growing per capita income imposes certain local restrictions on the form of the utility function. By exploiting those restrictions, the author was able to derive conclusions about the effects of government intervention on the long-term behavior of the model economy. The most striking of those conclusions was that a policy of taxing income and redistributing the proceeds to families in proportion to the number of children would increase income, consumption, and the number of children per adult, but would permanently reduce the amount spent on each child. By contrast, income taxation would have no macroeconomic effects, no matter how the proceeds were spent, if population were exogenous. Strong results obtained with a highly stylized model must be taken with the proverbial pinch of salt, particularly so when they concern complex phenomena like fertility. But the approach followed in this discussion, namely inferring the properties of the utility function from the conditions for a sustainable equilibrium and then seeing how these properties affect the comparative statics and dynamics of the system, appears to be promising. It might even be that some of the steady-state results would carry over to models with a variable saving rate and a more detailed age structure.
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  3. 3

    An economic analysis of the timing of child birth.

    Happel SK; Hill JK; Low SA

    [Unpublished] 1982. Paper presented at the Population Association of America Annual Meeting, San Diego, Calif., Apr. 29-May 1, 1982. 35 p.

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