Journal of Economic Literature
Vol. 33, No. 4, December 1995

Contents

The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings
Robert Haveman and Barbara Wolfe      1829

The Population Problem: Theory and Evidence
Partha Dasgupta      1879

Stature and the Standard of Living
Richard H. Steckel      1903

Chile con Chicago: A Review Essay
William J. Barber      1941

The Elusive Effects of Minimum Wages
John Kennan      1950

The Productivity of Economics Departments in the U.S.: Publications in the Core Journals
Michael E. Conroy and Richard Dusansky      1966

Book Reviews in pdf format (AEA members only)


The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings
Robert Haveman and Barbara Wolfe

We review and critique the empirical literature on the links between investments in children and children's attainments. The primary theoretical perspectives that dominate this literature form the framework for our review. The potential effects on children of family choices and neighborhood characteristics are emphasized. The outcomes of interest include educational attainment, fertility choices, and work-related outcomes such as earnings and welfare recipiency. A set of tables provides details on the existing empirical literature. The focus is on the economics literature, but relevant studies from other social sciences are included as well.

View article in pdf format (AEA members only)


The Population Problem: Theory and Evidence
Partha Dasgupta

This article applies economic analysis to rural households in poor countries to see what one may mean by a "population problem." It is argued that there is a serious population problem in certain regions of the world, and that it is in varying degrees linked to poverty, to gender inequalities in the exercise of power, to communal sharing of child-rearing, and to an erosion of the local environmental-resource base. It is argued that some of the links may, to an extent, be synergistic. One manifestation of the problem is that very high fertility rates are experienced by women bearing risks of death that should now be unacceptable. An argument is sketched to show how the cycle of poverty, low birth-weight and stature, and high fertility rates can perpetuate within a dynasty. The one general policy conclusion that emerges is that a population policy in these parts should not only contain such measures as family-planning programs, improved female education, and employment opportunities, but also those measures that are directed at the alleviation of poverty, such as improved credit, insurance, and savings opportunities, and a ready availability of basic household needs, such as potable water and fuel. It is argued that these latter measures lower the net private benefits of procreation.

View article in pdf format (AEA members only)


Stature and the Standard of Living
Richard H. Steckel

Research on the standard of living now emphasizes alternatives or supplements to the national income accounts. This paper reviews the results of two decades of research using stature as a measure of health aspects of human welfare. After comparing and contrasting stature with per capita income, I consider height patterns discovered by economic historians that challenge traditional beliefs about the past, including long-term trends, cycles in heights, and the dreadfully small stature of slave children that was followed by catch-up growth. The paper concludes with comparisons to work in development economics and suggestions for research.

View article in pdf format (AEA members only)


Chile con Chicago: A Review Essay
William J. Barber

In this article, the book written by Juan Gabriel Valdes - entitled "Pinochet's Economists: The Chicago School in Chile" - serves as a point of departure. Valdes's account of the way in which University of Chicago economists came to be linked with the Catholic University in Chile in the mid-1950s is summarized, as is his characterization of the manner in which Chilean "Chicago Boys" subsequently won control of the economics faculty there. The centerpiece of Valdes's story is the behavior of the "Chicago Boys" in restructuring Chile's economy in the service of General Pinochet's military dictatorship (1973-89). The article concludes that Valdes's treatment of two additional themes - the cross-cultural transmission of economic ideas and the capacity of Chicago School economists to accommodate to authoritarian regimes - calls for qualification.

View article in pdf format (AEA members only)


The Elusive Effects of Minimum Wages
John Kennan

The main theme of David Card and Alan Krueger's book, "Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage", is that the data do not support the view that minimum wages reduce employment. The most important chapter considers data for the fast food industry, where it is suggested that recent minimum wage increases may actually have increased employment, contrary to the standard theorem that labor demand curves slope down. A more reasonable view of the evidence, in this book and in many other studies going back to 1915, is that the employment effects of minimum wages are small, and difficult to detect in the noisy data available.

View article in pdf format (AEA members only)


The Productivity of Economics Departments in the U.S.: Publications in the Core Journals
Michael E. Conroy and Richard Dusansky

The paper ranks Departments of Economics in the U.S., based on publications in a set of eight "Blue Ribbon" journals during the period 1987-91. We adjust for variation in character and page size across the journals, allow for differences in journal quality and deal with changes in department composition over the period by assigning affiliation at the time of assessment rather than at the date of publication. Alternative journal set specifications are examined to test the sensitivity of the composition of the top 25 departments.

View article in pdf format (AEA members only)



The Journal of Economic Literature

Report of the Editor

Editors and Contacts

Editorial Policy

AEA Disclosure Policy

Style Guide

Submissions

Institutional Subscription

Copyright & Reprint Permissions

Issues and Articles

March 2014 JEL

Previous Issues

Forthcoming Articles

Search Articles

Full Issue PDF Download

Tools

JEL Classification Codes Guide

JEL Indexes (members only)

eTOC Alert for JEL

Follow us on Twitter

SGML Encoded Citations

Virtual Field Journals

Athens Login (for Athens Subscribers only)

Announcements

"Economic Perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility"by Markus Kitzmueller and Jay Shimshack has received considerable attention since its publication in the March 2012 issue of the Journal of Economic Literature. The AEA is proud to make this article complimentary through our website: [Full-Text Article]

Contact Us