Céline Zipfel

Céline Zipfel

PhD Candidate in Economics

Department of Economics

+44 7956025182
Connect with me

English, French, German, Spanish
Key Expertise
Development Economics

About me

Assistant Professor, Stockholm School of Economics

Research interests
Development and Labor Economics, Family Economics (primary)

Job market paper
Defusing a Population Explosion? Jobs and Fertility in sub-Saharan Africa

Read the abstract and download the paper

Over three-quarters of global population growth between now and 2100 is expected to occur in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper leverages micro data from 153 reproductive health surveys to shed light on a macro puzzle: fertility rates in sub-Saharan Africa are exceptionally high conditional on GDP per capita. I establish an important empirical fact: the relationship between income and desired fertility is on average steeper in sub-Saharan Africa relative to other regions. I hypothesize that the main reason for the poor to have a higher demand for children in sub-Saharan Africa is that they face especially limited job opportunities. A quantity-quality trade-off model of fertility choice featuring a fixed human capital requirement for entry into salaried employment predicts that a feedback loop can arise, where the poor get stuck in a high fertility - informal work equilibrium in which they also under-invest in their children's education. Rich micro data assembled from reproductive health surveys, censuses and household expenditure surveys provide empirical support for the model's key assumptions and predictions. The findings suggest that differences in labor market opportunities across the income distribution represent an important driver of sub-Saharan Africa's exceptional fertility trend.

Download paper

Download CV

Publications and additional papers


Placement Officer
Professor Mark Schankerman

Professor Oriana Bandiera
Professor Robin Burgess
Dr Gharad Bryan

Dr Rachael Meager
Professor Nava Ashraf

Professor Oriana Bandiera
Professor Robin Burgess
Dr Gharad Bryan
Dr Rachael Meager
Professor Nava Ashraf


Contact information


Office Address
Department of Economics,
London School of Economics and Political Science,
Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE