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High development and fertility: fertility at older reproductive ages and gender equality explain the positive link

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Author Info

  • Mikko Myrskylä

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

  • Hans-Peter Kohler

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

  • Francesco C. Billari

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

Abstract

A fundamental reversal of the traditional fertility-development relationship has occurred in highly developed countries so that further socioeconomic development is no longer associated with decreasing fertility, but with increasing fertility. In this paper, we seek to shed light on the mechanisms underlying this reversal by analyzing data from 1975 to 2008 for over 100 countries. We find that the reversal exists from both the period and the cohort perspectives, and is mainly driven by increasing fertility at older reproductive ages. Further, the reversal is only partially explained by changes in the timing of fertility. However, the positive impact of development on fertility is conditional on gender equality: countries that rank high in development as measured by health, income, and education, but low in gender equality, continue to experience declining fertility. This finding demonstrates the importance of work-family balance in shaping fertility at older reproductive ages.

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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-2011-017.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2011-017

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

Related research

Keywords: World; developed areas; equal opportunity; fertility; gender; low fertility zones;

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References

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  9. Peter McDonald, 2000. "Gender Equity in Theories of Fertility Transition," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 26(3), pages 427-439.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Erich Striessnig & Wolfgang Lutz, 2013. "Can below-replacement fertility be desirable?," Empirica, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 409-425, August.
  2. Lars Dommermuth & Bryndl Hohmann-Marriott & Trude Lappegård, 2013. "Gender equality in the family and childbearing," Discussion Papers 759, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  3. Frans J. Willekens, 2014. "Demographic transitions in Europe and the world," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2014-004, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  4. Arnstein Aassve & Francesco Billari & Léa Pessin, 2012. "Trust and fertility dynamics," Working Papers 055, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.

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