Free education, fertility and human capital accumulation

Leonid V. Azarnert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This article analyzes the effect of free public education on fertility, private educational investments, and human capital accumulation at different stages of economic development. The model shows that, when fertility is endogenous, parental human capital levels are crucial for determining the effect of free education. At early stages of development when parental human capital is low, free access to basic education may provide the only chance to leave poverty. In contrast, at advanced stages of development when parental human capital is high, the availability of free education crowds out private educational investments, stimulates fertility, and may impede growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-468
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Population Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Fertility
  • Free public education
  • Human capital
  • Private education


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