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The fertility of the Irish in the United States in 1910

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  • Guinnane, Timothy W.
  • Moehling, Carolyn M.
  • O Grada, Cormac

Abstract

In most western societies, marital fertility began to decline in the nineteenth century. But in Ireland, fertility in marriage remained stubbornly high into the twentieth century. Explanations of this focus on the influence of the Roman Catholic Church in Irish society. These arguments are often backed up by claims that the Irish outside of Ireland behaved the same way. This paper investigates these claims by examining the marital fertility of Irish Americans in 1900 and 1910. We find that Irish fertility patterns did not survive the Atlantic crossing. The Irish in America had smaller families than couples in both rural and urban Ireland. But Irish immigrants still had large families relative to the native-born population in the U.S. This higher marital fertility of Irish immigrants cannot be attributed to differences in other population characteristics. Conditional on observable characteristics, Irish immigrants had larger families.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 43 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 465-485

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:43:y:2006:i:3:p:465-485

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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References

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  1. Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-33, March.
  2. O Grada, Cormac & Duffy, Niall, 1995. "Fertility Control Early in Marriage in Ireland a Century Ago," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 423-31, November.
  3. Timothy W Guinnane & Carolyn Moehling & Cormac Ó Gráda, 2001. "Fertility in South Dublin a Century ago - A First Look," Working Papers 200126, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  4. Benefo, Kofi & Schultz, T Paul, 1996. "Fertility and Child Mortality in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(1), pages 123-58, January.
  5. Frank Windmeijer & Joao Santos Silva, 1996. "Endogeneity in count data models; an application to demand for health care," IFS Working Papers W96/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Paul David & Thomas Mroz & Warren Sanderson & Kenneth Wachter & David Weir, 1988. "Cohort parity analysis: Statistical estimates of the extent of fertility control," Demography, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 163-188, May.
  7. Timothy Guinnane & Carolyn Moehling & Cormac O Grada, 2001. "Fertility in South Dublin a Century Ago: A First Look," Working Papers 838, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  8. Haines, Michael R., 1980. "Fertility and Marriage in a Nineteenth-Century Industrial City: Philadelphia, 1850–1880," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(01), pages 151-158, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Bar-El, Ronen & García Muñoz, Teresa & Neuman, Shoshana & Tobol, Yossi, 2010. "The Evolution of Secularization: Cultural Transmission, Religion and Fertility Theory, Simulations and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 4980, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Neil Cummins, 2009. "Marital fertility and wealth in transition era France, 1750-1850," PSE Working Papers halshs-00566843, HAL.
  3. Alan Fernihough, 2011. "Human Capital and the Quantity-Quality Trade-Off during the Demographic Transition: New Evidence from Ireland," Working Papers 201113, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  4. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00566843 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Luttmer, Erzo F. P. & Singhal, Monica, 2008. "Culture, Context, and the Taste for Redistribution," Working Paper Series rwp08-038, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  6. Kelly Ragan, 2012. "Sex and the Single Girl: The Role of Culture in Contraception Demand," 2012 Meeting Papers 846, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Thomas N. Maloney & Heidi Hanson & Ken R. Smith, 2014. "Occupation and fertility on the frontier," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(29), pages 853-886, March.

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