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Theories of Fertility. Economics Aspect and Poverty. Essay

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Updated: Sep 27th, 2021

Malthusian theory

There is increase in number of children as income grows but the number remains higher after growth rate in income has already gone down. This theory does not put into consideration the progress in technology that increases returns to scale. In this theory, return to conditions of subsistence level occurs due to increase in birth rates that outpaces agricultural production. Limited supply of resources limit enrollment ratio of children in school because of people’s belief in important of prosperity and rising trends in consumption.

According to Malthusian theory, education system increase income inequalities because increase in enrollment ration into education system require a lot of money to maintain children in school and the amount of income available increase at a lower rate resulting to financial deficit. This financial deficit brings about increase in income inequalities because; the amount of income available will not be able to take care of the increasing enrollment into education. Qualitative and quantitative expansion in education influence domestic inequality and economic growth. Education in less developed countries consumes a lot of public revenue due to belief that, education help farmers to be more productive and responsive to technology in Agriculture.(Gray, 2004 pp 24-27).

Micro-economic household theory of poverty

Children in less developed countries are taken to be very special consumption good and as investment. Fertility is an economic response to demand of consumers to have many children compared to other goods. Malnutrition does not come as a result of lack of food because; many individuals’ and households remain malnourished even if income and supply of food are adequate. The programs and policy of nutrition is based on sound knowledge of behavior patterns of households. The focus of microeconomic theory of households is on how decisions are made concerning scarce food resources which is based on the family size where large family bring about income inequalities due to demand for huge amount of money for purchasing food, purchasing power of the family because, a family that is financially unstable will not be able to purchase enough food and if they concentrate on proper nutrition then there will be no savings. Healthful foods must be readily available failure to which their limited supply will make them more expensive to purchase and therefore the income available may not be enough. Food preferences of the family may affect income and lead to income inequality because, the food that is most preferred by the family may be very expensive to purchase and the income available is limited.

Environmental variables such as level of education of the homemaker and ethnic traditions affect decisions made about food resources that are scarce because, some traditions allow people to take certain food but not others. This food may be expensive to buy with the limited supply of income leading to income inequalities. The homemaker may have knowledge that makes him require expensive food due to the knowledge that they are the best for consumptions and this may be of high cost to purchase. There are some diseases that limit absorption of nutrients in the body and require to be monitored to be able to anticipate problems of malnutrition that are not related to the food. (Jones, 1997 pp 11-14).

Economic theory of fertility

Many families want to have a certain number of children especially male children who are surviving. These children are use to supply the family with child labor where they are used to work in the farm or family businesses instead of employing people from outside. This helps the family not to spend large amount of money employing people because children are shown how to work and may not demand huge amount of salaries and are always available to do the work assigned to them.

There are other families who need large number of children who would support their parents once they grow old and they end up having many children whom they may not be able to supply with basic need or even demand high income to support their daily needs. This may result to opportunity cost because the mother is forced to stay at home in order to take care of children and there is actual cost that is incurred in providing children with quality education. Tradeoff occurs between high quality of education offered by parents with few children where they are able to pay high cost to ensure their few children get quality education and the low quality education offered by families with many children where they offer low cost education to their children. Income inequality is high because, many children will need large amount of money to be educated which may not be available. (Iram, 2000 pp 33-36).

The population poverty cycle theory

When the rate of saving is low, poverty is transmitted up to the future generation. Most of the times, poor people prefer to have large families in order to compensate for the poverty. Population growth becomes very high and increases the dependency burden where there are very few people who are able to work and generate income and many people who rely on the income generated. The expense becomes high leading to reduced savings and when the saving is low, investment becomes difficult to be carried out. Lack of investment leads to greater poverty because all the income generated is used without getting more income from investment (Bork, 2001 pp 75-79).

The large families will have many children who need to be educated and the income available is not enough. This will make families struggle with the little income they have to educate children leaving them with no savings that can be used for investment which will ultimately lead to greater poverty. Low income levels are feature of the absolute poverty. People who earn low income have their marginal propensity to consume being high and their income is used to consume the necessities and their propensity to save is low. Their ratio of savings is low due to low overall income. Savings is supposed to provide funds that are used by firms for investment and this makes the funds available for investment to be low. The labor productivity in terms of each worker output is low because there is no purchase of capital and wages are linked to levels of productivity and incomes are low. People with low income have limited access to education and it becomes too expensive to get education leading to low education level that bring about low productivity levels and hence low income. (Knottnerus, 1999 pp14-19)

Why educational systems of many developing nations sometimes act to increase rather than decrease income inequalities

There is growing unemployment and underemployment with educated people being unemployed due to formal education. Attainment of higher level education does not improve the ability of a person to do productive work. Education has been absorbing recurrent expenditure of government and consumes a lot of time for children and adults creating psychological burden for development aspirations. There is need to develop human knowledge and skills which is politically sensitive and very costly economically. Demand for education desire economic improvement through assessing jobs that are better paid.

There are direct and indirect costs of education that the student bears. Therefore education that is demanded needs to be paid high salary once the student is employed. After education, the numbers of places where one can be employed depend on income or wage differential, probability of getting employment in modern sector, direct costs involved in education and opportunity or direct cost of education.

Rapid expansion in the formal primary education may create pressures on the need to expand tertiary and secondary school to accommodate those who want to proceed to secondary school. Women education affects fertility behavior by women using time in child rearing. There is need to develop employment opportunities for women and expand women education to lower fertility. Marginal social costs of education exceed the marginal social benefits making additional investment in education to yield negative social return. This is due to wrong policies of wage differential and high price of education services. Individuals engage in lengthy formal education and encounter shortage of jobs. People who are educated are pre-emptied by more educated people resulting to temporary unemployment. Bruce, 2007 pp 45-48).

There has been world resource depletion and destruction on the environment that was once productive because, the large population has made excessive use of resources that are available such as land and minerals and destruction on the environment has made it difficult for it to be productive and supply the raw materials that are needed for production. Destruction of the environment also makes the goods produced to be of very low quality and at reduced quantity making them not to be enough for human consumption and therefore a lot of income will be used to purchase those products from outside. (Balfour, 2007 pp. 13-16).

Policies that will make education system more equitable

The policies of Tories combine greater parent choice suggestion and supply-side reforms with driven directives to threaten teacher autonomy. These policies to have the children go to school at age of six and use of synthetic phonics and ability within schools. The national curriculum should be conservative implemented where it is centralized and ensure there is no corruption in teaching by making use of ideologies. The school choice agenda says that Swedish school reforms which are used by Tory policy have resulted to social segregation.

Before school choice reforms in Swedish, people attended schools and reflected the local neighborhood by attending nearest schools with little selection based on ability. Children got good schools regardless of their academic backgrounds. The ones living in bad area had little option to attend a better school. Ethnic minorities had little access to Swedish culture through the school system. The reforms of school choice lowered the boundaries between new education suppliers and local neighborhood. As a result, pupils who were placed in suburbs went to the schools where people were mixed with representation of Swedish society as a whole which led to the decrease in ethnic lines segregation. Better education outcomes were produced by school choice for those attending new independent schools and in any district that had independent schools. (Moshia, 2006 pp 23-26).

The government control in New Zealand was used by middle class to have influence in getting the available education even if it means moving house, paying and ensuring their children cram for the entrance exams. Enactment of supply side reform allowed the opening of new independent schools so that every family can enjoy equal education opportunities. There were no unnecessary barriers for providers of education to have schools opened and expand them according to how parents would choose. Decentralized education system was created where all the children had fair access to the high performing schools. (Nils, 2007 pp 23-26).

The affirmative action in higher education system in California had claims and statements that assured diversity representation in higher education campuses. This resulted to high reduction in minorities who enrolled in selective institutions. The Supreme courts handed down decisions to guide all university and college admission programs and decision addressed the efforts that increased diversity among student population in campuses. There was relief to the people who ensured higher education doors were open to the students who had been excluded before and this was a huge victory.

The curriculum needs to be changed in order to meet the needs of a society that is changing. Various types of intelligence need to be measured and encourage students to follow a life path to help them have fulfillment and personal development. New career pathways are created together with traditional academic route. Funding education system is important even if it has no new curricula or programs because lack of funding resulting to major inequalities in the society. These inequalities not only affect those who are forgotten by the system but knock effect of Irish aspect of life through increased rate of crime, reduced economic potential and higher taxes. (Greaney, 1996 pp 23-25).


Growth in population requires high income to cater for education expenses but income inequality increases when the educated people do not get high paid employment and some are unemployed. Large family size may make the family to be financially unstable due to demand for large amount of funds to pay for school fees and these children are not able to get high quality education that enable them cater for their daily needs and support their parents when they grow old. Low rate of savings make people transmit poverty to the future generation and the dependency burden increases because only very few people are able to work and generate income that is relied upon by many people. Recurrent government expenditure has been consumed by children in getting educated who creates psychological burden for development aspirations. In order to obtain education, there are indirect and direct costs for the students to bear and this requires high salary to be paid in order to compensate for the money spent for school fees. There should be no discrimination in schools and all parents should have the freedom of taking their children to the school of their choice and every student is entitled to quality education.


Nils C. (2007): Governance and performance of education systems: Springer, pp 23-26.

Balfour G. (2007): the education system of Great Britain and Ireland: Lighting Source Inc, pp 13-16.

Bruce D. (2007): Financing education systems: Prentice Hall, pp 45-48.

Knottnerus D. (1999): The social worlds for male and female children: Mellen press, pp 14-19.

Iram S. (2000): The education system of Israel: Information age publishing, pp 33-36.

Jones D. (1997): Building a web-based education system: Wiley Pub, pp 11-14.

Gray M. (2004): Institutional context of education systems: Springer London, pp 24-27.

Moshia E. (2006): Poverty and education systems: Author house, pp 23-26.

Bork A. (2001): Tutorial distance learning; rebuilding our education system: Plenum publishers, pp 75-79.

Greaney V. (1996): Monitoring the learning outcomes of education systems: World Bank, pp 23-25.

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