Table of Contents
International Journal of Population Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 8717265, 11 pages
Research Article

Distributive Implications of Fertility Changes in Latin America

Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS), Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata and CONICET, 1900 La Plata, Argentina

Received 13 February 2016; Accepted 22 May 2016

Academic Editor: Jonathan Haughton

Copyright © 2016 Nicolás Badaracco et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fertility rates significantly fell over the last decades in Latin America. In order to assess the extent to which these changes contributed to the observed reduction in income poverty and inequality, we apply microeconometric decomposition to microdata from national household surveys from seven Latin American countries. We find that changes in fertility rates were associated with a nonnegligible reduction in inequality and poverty in the region. The main channel was straightforward: lower fertility implied smaller families and hence larger per capita incomes. Lower fertility also fostered labor force participation, especially among women, which contributed to the reduction of poverty and inequality in most countries, although the size of this effect was smaller.