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The Fertility of the Irish in America in 1910

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Author Info

  • Timothy Guinnane

    ()
    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Carolyn Moehling

    ()
    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Cormac O Grada
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    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 Ireland's late entry to the fertility transition 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 1910 and produces three main findings. First, the Irish in America had smaller families than both the rural and urban Irish and their fertility patterns show clear evidence of fertility control. Second, despite the evidence of control, Irish-Americans continued to have large families, much larger, in fact, than the U.S. native-born population. The fertility differential between these populations was not due to differences in other population characteristics. Rather it was due to the fact that conditional on characteristics, Irish-Americans chose to have larger families. Third, the differential fertility patterns of Irish-Americans were not just due to the effects of being immigrants. Germans and English immigrants also had higher fertility than the native-born population, but to a much larger extent than for the Irish, this higher fertility could be explained by the population characteristics of these groups.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 848.

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    Length: 44 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:848

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    Related research

    Keywords: Ireland; United States; Fertility; Demography; Immigration;

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    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Duffy, Niall & O'GrĂ¡da, Cormac, 1995. "Fertility Control Early in Marriage in Ireland a Century Ago," CEPR Discussion Papers 1109, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
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    Cited by:
    1. Pierre Cahuc & Yann Algan, 2005. "The Roots of Low European Employment : Family Culture?," Sciences Po publications 5169, Sciences Po.
    2. Pierre Cahuc & Yann Algan, 2007. "Social Attitudes and Economic Development : an Epidemiological Approach," Sciences Po publications 6403, Sciences Po.
    3. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8808 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Pierre Cahuc & Yann Algan, 2007. "Social Attitudes and Macroeconomic Performance:," 2007 Meeting Papers 414, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8813 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8814 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ferrer, Ana, 2012. "Age at Migration, Language and Fertility Patterns among Migrants to Canada," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2012-2, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 29 Jan 2012.
    8. Alison L. Booth & Hiau Joo Kee, 2009. "Intergenerational Transmission of Fertility Patterns," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(2), pages 183-208, 04.
    9. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8810 is not listed on IDEAS

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