American Economic Review: Vol. 101 No. 3 (May 2011)


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Fertility and the Plough

Article Citation

Alesina, Alberto, Paola Giuliano, and Nathan Nunn. 2011. "Fertility and the Plough." American Economic Review, 101(3): 499-503.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.3.499


This paper provides evidence that the form of agriculture traditionally practiced—intensive plough agriculture versus shifting hoe agriculture—affected historic norms and preferences about fertility, and that these norms persist, affecting observed fertility around the world today.

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Alesina, Alberto (Harvard U)
Giuliano, Paola (UCLA)
Nunn, Nathan (Harvard U)

JEL Classifications

J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
O15: Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
O17: Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification

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