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

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  1. DE LA CROIX, David & DOEPKE, Matthias, 2001. "Inequality and Growth : Why Differential Fertility Matters," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2001008, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  2. Matthias Doepke, 2005. "Child mortality and fertility decline: Does the Barro-Becker model fit the facts?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 337-366, 06.
  3. 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.
  4. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem, 2003. "A stochastic model of mortality, fertility, and human capital investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 103-118, February.
  5. 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.
  6. Lang, Kevin, 1986. "A Language Theory of Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 363-82, May.
  7. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2002. "Public versus Private Education when Differential Fertility Matters," UCLA Economics Working Papers 816, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot: Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," Papers 1999-10, Laval - Laboratoire Econometrie.
  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. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  11. Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996. "The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-95, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Thomas Baudin & David De La Croix & Paula Gobbi, 2012. "DINKs, DEWKs & Co. Marriage, Fertility and Childlessness in the United States," Working Papers hal-00993307, HAL.
  2. Aisa, Rosa & Andaluz, Joaquín & Gemma, Larramona, 2014. "Fertility Patterns in the Roma Population of Spain," MPRA Paper 52972, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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