On Tue, Jul 15, 2003 at 07:04:27PM -0400, Robert A. Book wrote:
> [...]  The point
> I was tryign to make is that it's possible for a dictatorship to
> depress child-rearing opportunities less than other opportunities,
> thus making child-rearing relatively more attractive.

Why do you think dictatorships tend to depress people's non-child-rearing
opportunities more than their child-rearing opportunities? Note that this
is a matter of choice for the government. Certainly dictators can choose
to depress people's child-rearing opportunities very heavily if they want
to. Just look at China's one-child policy.

The article said average GDP growth in dictatorships is faster
than in democracies because of higher fertility, meaning this
"depression of opportunities" is actually causing the total wealth of the
country (including human capital) to grow faster, which doesn't seem very 

I think maybe the answer is that a dictator has an economic incentive to
maximize total GDP, while a voter has an incentive to maximize per capita
GDP instead. The dictator owns all government revenue, which is directly
related to total GDP. The voter has only a proportional claim to
government revenue. The more people there are, the greater the GDP and
government revenue, but also the more people he has to share it with, so
he only cares about per capita GDP. Perhaps the difference in fertility 
reflect perfectly rational policy decisions made by those in control of 

I'm curious if anyone is aware of an instance, where a conscious,
explicit choice was made in government policy to choose higher total GDP
over higher per capita GDP, or vice versa.

Reply via email to