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The increasing importance of economic conditions on fertility

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Author Info

  • Deniz D. Karaman Örsal

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Joshua R. Goldstein

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

Abstract

This paper investigates whether there has been a fundamental change in the importance of economic conditions on fertility. Through the 1980s econometric studies had found at best a mixed, neutral or negative effect of economic conditions on fertility. Notably, Butz and Ward (1979) concluded that fertility was counter-cyclical, with fertility falling in good times, as the opportunity costs of childbearing rose. More recently, there have been signs that fluctuations in fertility have been pro-cyclical, with good economic times being associated with higher birth rates, and the recent recession with lower birth rates. In this paper, we use panel methods to study short term changes in aggregate fertility and economic measures in OECD countries from 1976-2008. We find indeed that fertility became positively associated with good economic conditions. Furthermore, the increasing importance of economic conditions was detected for both tempo and quantum.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2010-014.

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Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2010-014

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Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

Related research

Keywords: economic conditions; total fertility rate;

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References

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  1. Tomas Kögel, 2001. "Did the association between fertility and female employment within OECD countries really change its sign?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-034, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  2. Ermisch, John F, 1980. "Time Costs, Aspirations and the Effect of Economic Growth on German Fertility," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 42(2), pages 125-43, May.
  3. Henriette Engelhardt & Tomas Kögel & Alexia Prskawetz, 2001. "Fertility and women´s employment reconsidered: A macro-level time-series analysis for developed countries, 1960-2000," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-021, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  4. Alícia Adserà, 2004. "Changing fertility rates in developed countries. The impact of labor market institutions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 17-43, February.
  5. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  6. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Robert McNown, 2003. "A Cointegration Model of Age-Specific Fertility and Female Labor Supply in the United States," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 344-358, October.
  8. John Ermisch, 1988. "Econometric Analysis of Birth Rate Dynamics in Britain," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 563-576.
  9. Ahn, N. & Mira, P., 1999. "A Note on the Changing Relationship Between Fertility and Female Employment Rates in Developed Countries," Papers 9903, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  10. Diane J. Macunovich, 1995. "The Butz-Ward Fertility Model in the Light of More Recent Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 229-255.
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Cited by:
  1. Nick Parr & Ross Guest, 2011. "The contribution of increases in family benefits to Australia’s early 21st-century fertility increase: An empirical analysis," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 25(6), pages 215-244, July.

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