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Differences in fertility behavior and uncertainty: an economic theory of the minority status hypothesis

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  • Bastien Chabé-Ferret

    ()

  • Paolo Melindi Ghidi

    ()

Abstract

We revisit the question of why fertility behaviors and educational decisions appear to vary systematically across ethnic groups. We assess the possibility that differences in fertility across groups remain even though their socio-economic characteristics are similar. More specifically, we consider that parents’ fertility decisions are affected by the uncertainty concerning the future economic status of their offspring. We assume that this uncertainty varies across groups and is linked to the size of the group one belongs to. We find theoretical support for the minority status hypothesis according to which members of large minorities usually have a higher fertility than those in the majority facing low potential for social mobility while small minorities have lower fertility. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00148-012-0434-8
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 26 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 887-905

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:26:y:2013:i:3:p:887-905

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Related research

Keywords: Fertility; Minority status; Uncertainty; D81; J13; J15;

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References

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  1. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot : Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," DELTA Working Papers 1999-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  2. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2002. "Public versus Private Education when Differential Fertility Matters," UCLA Economics Working Papers 816, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1091-1113, September.
  4. George Hondroyiannis, 2010. "Fertility Determinants and Economic Uncertainty: An Assessment Using European Panel Data," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 33-50, March.
  5. Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995. "The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," NBER Working Papers 5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 2002. "A Stochastic Model of Mortality, Fertility, and Human Capital Investment," Macroeconomics 0212009, EconWPA.
  8. Matthias Doepke, 2002. "Child Mortality and Fertility Decline: Does the Barro-Becker Model Fit the Facts?," UCLA Economics Working Papers 824, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
  10. Lang, Kevin, 1986. "A Language Theory of Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 363-82, May.
  11. Simon, Curtis J & Warner, John T, 1992. "Matchmaker, Matchmaker: The Effect of Old Boy Networks on Job Match Quality, Earnings, and Tenure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(3), pages 306-30, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Aisa, Rosa & Andaluz, Joaquín & Gemma, Larramona, 2014. "Fertility Patterns in the Roma Population of Spain," MPRA Paper 52972, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. BAUDIN, Thomas & DE LA CROIX, David & GOBBI, Paula, 2012. "DINKs, DEWKs & Co. Marriage, fertility and childlessness in the United States," CORE Discussion Papers 2012051, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).

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