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Статья

Does Economic Development Reduce Household Size? Evidence from India

Journal of Policy Modeling. 2020. P. 1-24.

Due to the recent rise in economic development the family sizes in developing countries have become small. This phenomenon demands several policy considerations. Is India ready for it? In this perspective, the paper investigates the impact of a higher level of economic development on average household size in India from 1991 to 2011. Variables such as a higher level of education, health outcomes, the extent of inequality, and urbanization have a negative effect on the average household size. The lower level of poverty is associated with lower level family size in the long run, whereas, infrastructure has a mixed effect. Results show that different religious and social groups have an effect on the family size in India. The results are consistent in state and household level analysis and conclude that a higher level of economic development reduces the family size. Smaller family size faces several problems such as child-rearing, higher divorce rates due to marital conflicts, degradation of children's mental health, land and property disputes, and a low transfer of financial support from children to elderly parents. Therefore, not only the government needs to take cognizance and solve these problems, but also needs to find an appropriate balance between work and family, which is missing currently. This lesson can be useful for many other developing countries to cope up with the reduction in family sizes.