Demographic Change, Economic Growth, Income Distribution, and Poverty in Nigeria: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis

 Last updated September 2009

Nkang M. Nkang

It has become increasingly important to analyse population dynamics beyond population growth itself, since it has been demonstrated that age structure, fertility, mortality, and migration influence population and economic growth in significant ways. Generally, fertility and mortality determine the age distribution of population and are in turn determined by the living conditions in the population. With the appropriate health facilities and policies, fertility and mortality rates can be managed to align with economic growth objectives. Fertility rates are high in most developing countries because most women in these countries have an unmet need for contraception. The high unmet need leads to millions of either unwanted or mistimed pregnancies that give rise to high youth dependency ratios. This has been hypothesized to negatively impact economic growth by reducing per capita incomes and increasing the incidence of poverty. In contrast, it is perceived that demographic transition, driven by fertility reduction, promotes growth and allows greater human capital investments by households, with attendant distributional outcomes that reduce poverty. Given this background, the study seeks to evaluate the impact of fertility shocks on economic growth, income inequality, and poverty in Nigeria using the computable general equilibrium framework.

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Nkang M. Nkang,, University of Ibadan, Nigeria